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Jay Currie

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6/15/2005

Dithers digs in

To say that my French is rusty implies that it exists at all, however, does this mean what I think it means?

Un plan B pour les libéraux?

L'existence de cette lettre a mis le feu aux poudres à la Chambre des communes. À tour de rôle, le Parti conservateur, le Bloc québécois et le NPD ont soutenu que le gouvernement Martin n'avait nullement besoin de donner de telles garanties à l'ancien premier ministre. Que cette lettre soit demeurée secrète jusqu'ici prouve à leurs yeux que le gouvernement a conclu une entente en catimini avec Jean Chrétien.

Ils ont aussi dit croire qu'en permettant à Jean Chrétien de reprendre ses démarches contre le juge Gomery là où il les a laissées en mai, les libéraux minoritaires de Paul Martin se sont ainsi ménagé un plan B dans l'éventualité où le rapport du juge sur le scandale des commandites serait trop sévère à l'endroit du Parti libéral.

Car une nouvelle attaque de Jean Chrétien en Cour fédérale pourrait retarder la publication du second rapport du juge Gomery, prévu en décembre. Ce faisant, Paul Martin, qui a promis de déclencher des élections générales 30 jours après la publication de ce deuxième rapport, pourrait se dégager facilement de cet engagement.
la presse
Essentially this is the Kreaver Inquiry gambit. Chrétien waits in the weeds until the preliminary report of Mr. Justice Gomery. If it looks as if Gomery is going to be really damaging, Chrétien revives his bias allegation and takes it all the way to the SCC thereby delaying the release of the final report and, of course, letting Dithers off his 30 day promise. (As if the slime bucket has ever intended to keep that promise.) What's cure about this, as Maisonneuve's Media Scout points out, is that Martin's office has written a letter acknowledging that Chrétien has the right to do this,
The Post goes ahead and prints The Letter (not available online), which states, in part: "We understand that your client has reconsidered his position and is now prepared to discontinue his judicial review application. We also acknowledge that, in the event that your client were to seek judicial review of the commission report … he would not be stopped from raising the bias argument if he so wishes." The government denies there is any secret deal, claiming to be simply outlining Chrétien’s rights as a citizen. Right. This still doesn’t explain why the letter needed to be written in the first place, though it is nice to know the PMO is now running a legal-aid clinic on the side.
mediascout
In principle, there is really nothing the PMO could do to stop Chrétien or any one of the other thugs from going the appeal route - something which Dithers most certainly knew at the time he made the 30 day promise. (You don't set up your own publically funded, inhouse inquiry law shop not to know exactly what the longer term legal issues are going to be.) In practice, the PMO could have written that the Government of Canada would take every step necessary to ensure that the integrity of the public inquiry process was protected and would vigorously oppose any attempt to impugn the Commissioner's conduct of the inquiry.

As it turns out, Gormery himself is going to the Federal Court to deal with the bias allegation even though Chrétien has suspended his action in the matter.