Your money, their legal bills part 2:
Liberal Adscam legal bills
[PoliticsWatch updated 5:20 p.m. January 10, 2007]
|Former PM Jean Chretien's legal invoices for
the Gomery inquiry have been blacked out by the federal
Canada's new government is refusing to disclose details about how
taxpayer money was spent on legal representation for former prime minister
Jean Chretien at the Gomery inquiry.
The federal justice department has blacked out all details of how the former prime minister's lawyers spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in legal fees.
Taxpayers footed the bill for legal representation for Chretien,
former cabinet ministers and a cadre of Liberal political staffers
for matters related to the Gomery inquiry into the federal sponsorship scandal.
Invoices submitted by the former prime minister
to the federal government obtained by PoliticsWatch under access to
information are heavily blacked-out with virtually all of the 352 pages
released containing nothing but letterhead.
In total, the public spent more than $2.8 million in legal fees for the Adscam
witnesses. Chretien alone ran up a tab of $587,430.00, nearly one-fifth
the entire money spent on legal fees by the government.
Justice Canada was inundated with invoices from various former
Liberal politicians and staffers for legal costs. The government
refused to pay a large percentage of some of the initial bill claims
made by some of the Liberal staffers.
Justice Canada officials confirmed to PoliticsWatch that the heavy editing
of the Chretien documents was "by virtue of section 23 (solicitor-client
privilege) of the Access to Information Act."
Information Commissioner Robert Marleau's office confirmed on
December 27 that it has launched an investigation into the invoices
following a complaint by PoliticsWatch.
Gomery's fact finding report was released in November of 2005 and
placed blame for the sponsorship scandal on Chretien,
his former chief of staff Jean Pelletier and former public
works minister Alfonso Gagliano among others.
Chretien has launched a judicial challenge of Gomery's findings but
pledged that his further legal challenges of Gomery's findings will be paid for out of
his own pocket.
While Adscam no longer dominates the political debate in the House
of Commons like it did the previous three years, the scandal has the
potential to erupt again in the near future.
Last month, Liberal MP Jean Lapierre said the Liberals could face
challenges in Quebec in the next election because of the
"This whole sponsorship thing is still sticking with us," he bluntly said.
"In January, you're going to have criminal charges laid out for five or seven individuals, you're going to have a report from a judge on Option Canada and all of those things are going to affect our brand."
their legal bills part 1
(July 24, 2006)
Justice department documents obtained through access to
information by PoliticsWatch shows the federal government was billed nearly
$2.8 million for legal fees by a number politicians, political staffers and
bureaucrats who appeared before the Gomery inquiry. Find out which Adscam
witnesses submitted the biggest legal bills.
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