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Key Documents

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Opposition Adscam report (PDF)

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
Auditor General's findings on sponsorship program

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Public Works internal audit on sponsorship program, August 2000


arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Public Accounts Committee- Minutes and Evidence

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Public Works special site on the sponsorship program

Witness schedule

May 5
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Ran Quail, former deputy minister Public Works

Potential witnesses

Committee List #1

Committee List #2

Special request for those with information
The committee is requesting that any person, whether public servants or members of the general public, has information relevant to the sponsorship inquiry but are reluctant to come forward publicly, contact the legal counsel of the committee. The counsel will be bound by a committee motion to respect privacy as if governed by attorney-client privilege. You can make contact the following way:

Phone: (613) 996-1057
Fax: (613) 992-4317

Who has appeared

Feb. 12 
Sheila Fraser, Auditor General of Canada
-Shahid Minto, Assistant Auditor General
-Ronald Campbell, Assistant Auditor General
-Hugh McRoberts, Assistant Auditor General.

Feb. 17
Treasury Board President Reg Alcock.

Feb. 19
Sheila Fraser, Auditor General of Canada
-Ronald Campbell, Assistant Auditor General
-Shahid Minto, Assistant Auditor Genera
-Jean Ste-Marie, Legal Advisor and Assistant Auditor General
-Louise Bertrand, Principal. Privy Council Office
-Kathy O'Hara, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Machinery of Government

Feb. 24
I. David Marshall, Deputy Minister Public Works
-Yvette Aloisi, Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services, Human Resources and Communications Branch 
-Guy Bédard, Assistant Executive Director, Public Programs and Services Branch at Communication Canada
-George Butts, Director General, Acquisition Program Integrity Secretariat Sector. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
-Jim Judd, Secretary of the Treasury Board and Comptroller General of Canada.

Feb. 26
-Jim Judd, Secretary of the Treasury Board and Comptroller General of Canada. 
- I. David Marshall, Deputy Minister Public Works
-Magali Fournier, Legal Counsel of Mr. Alfonso Gagliano.

Mar. 1
-Former public works deputy minister Janice Cochrane
-Former public works deputy minister Ranald Quail

Mar. 2
-Former Treasury Board Secretary Peter Harder

Mar. 11
-Public Works manager Allan Cutler 

Mar. 18 and 19
-former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano

Mar. 24
-Myriam Bedard

Mar. 25
-Public works employee Hugette Tremblay and former public works minister Diane Marleau

Mar. 29
-Public works director general of audits,
Norm Steinberg

April 5
-Former public works minister
David Dingwall

April 6
-Former Via Rail chair
 Jean Pelletier

April 7
-Former Via Rail president
 Marc LeFrancois

April 13
-Canada Post president
 Andre Ouellet

April 19
-Former Groupe Everest president
 Claude Boulay

April 20
-Former Public Works employee Isabelle Roy

April 21
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Giuliano Zaccardelli, RCMP Commissioner

April 22 and 23
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
Charles Guite, former executive director of the sponsorship program

April 27
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Benard Michaud, Groupaction comptroller and John Hayter of the ad firm Vickers & Benson

April 28
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) David Myer, former CCSB director

April 29
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Gilles Andre Goselin, former ad agency executive

May 3
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Auditor General Sheila Fraser and Alex Himelfarb, Clerk of the Privy Council

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes)Inside PoliticsWatch


On February 10, 2004, minutes after Auditor General Sheila Fraser tabled her report regarding problems with the sponsorship program, Prime Minister Paul Martin announced a number of measures to deal with the issues raised in the report. This included a Commons committee probe.

"The government has also taken steps to see that the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee – which is chaired by an Opposition Member – is being struck early so that it can begin the important work of receiving and reviewing the Auditor General’s report right away," the PM said. 

The prime minister has said that he wants as much light shone on the scandal before going to the polls.  But at the same time, it is believed that Martin will call a federal election in early April, thus disbanding the committee and its work. 

Nonetheless, the committee plans on hearing from a number of witnesses this month, including former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano, whose department oversaw the sponsorship program at the height of its problems.

The committee is made up of 17 MPs -- Nine Liberals, five Conservatives, two Bloc and one NDP -- but is unique because it is chaired by an Opposition member -- Conservative John Williams.

The rules of the hearings are as follows: That witnesses be given five minutes to make their opening statement and if they have additional information, it should be deposited with the Clerk of the Committee. 

During the questioning of witnesses, there be allocated eight minutes for the first questioner of each party and that thereafter four minutes be allocated to each subsequent questioner, at the discretion of the Chair.

The committee also created a subcommittee on witnesses, comprised of one member from each party --  Williams, vice-chair Marlene Jennings, BQ MP Odina Desrochers, and NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis.

PoliticsWatch gives you an overview of the witnesses that have and could appear and profiles the committee's MPs. 


Opposition Adscam report slams Martin
May 18, 2004 - OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Paul Martin is mentioned 22 times in a scathing interim report by opposition members of the committee investigating Adscam that suggests he should resign. "Mr. Martin knew enough to try to exert political interference to ensure his friends, including those helping him seek re-election, were rewarded, according to testimony and records," the 11-page report released by opposition members of the Public Accounts committee states. 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Adscam report slams Martin (May 18)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Opposition Adscam report (PDF)


Guite arrested, pleads not guilty
May 10, 2004 - OTTAWA -- Just two weeks after the prime minister's Quebec lieutenant called for charges to be laid in Adscam, Chuck Guite, the former executive director of the sponsorship program, has been arrested by the RCMP. Guite and Jean Brault, president of the ad agency Groupaction, both face five counts of fraud and one conspiracy by fraudulent means count totalling $1.9 million. 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Read the full story

Key Witnesses to Date

May 3: Sheila Fraser, Auditor General
Fraser clarified that she never said $100 million went missing from the sponsorship program, but at the same time she said her concerns about the program went beyond just the $100 million paid to ad agencies and had to do with the entire $250 million program. "I think I have said on numerous occasions that we have never said that the $100 million is missing or stolen or unaccounted for," Fraser said before the committee. 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story



April 22 and 23: Charles Guite, former sponsorship program executive director
The star witness in the Adscam hearings alleged political interference in the awarding of contracts by officials in the office of Prime Minister Paul Martin when he was minister of finance. Liberal MPs on the committee challenged his story that Martin's former aide Terrie O'Leary called him and arranged a meeting with him regarding the contract selection process for finance. 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Martin's finance office interfered: Guite (April 22)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Guite testifies he met with PMO and ministers (April 22)

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Unedited transcript of Chuck Guite's testimony (April 22)

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) "I definitely met Madam O'Leary" (April 23)

April 19: Claude Boulay, former Groupe Everest president
The first head of one of the ad agencies implicated in Adscam testified before the committee, saying his firm did nothing wrong. Boulay told the committee that his firm did not misappropriate money from the sponsorship program. 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Transcript of Boulay's testimony


April 13: Andre Ouellet, president of Canada Post (suspended)
Ouellet took exception with the findings of the Auditor General's report that flagged two sponsorship deals that involved the Crown corporation. He told the committee Canada Post received "valuable publicity and advertising in return" for the money it spent on two projects mentioned in the Auditor General Sheila Fraser's report on the sponsorship program. 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Transcript of Ouellet's testimony

April 7: Marc LeFrancois, former Via Rail president
The recently fired president of Via Rail criticized Auditor General Sheila Fraser's description of Via Rail's role in the sponsorship scandal in his testimony. LeFrancois told the committee past audits of Via did not criticize the two projects that were included in the Auditor General's report on the sponsorship program. 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Transcript of LeFrancois' testimony

April 6: Jean Pelletier, former chief of staff to Jean Chretien
Pelletier testified that he met with the executive director of the sponsorship program once every two months, but no political direction was given in those meetings. He told the committee that his meetings with Chuck Guite were to "find out if the program was operating." 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Transcript of Pelletier's testimony


April 5: David Dingwall, public works minister (1993-96)
Dingwall told the committee he implemented the first ever government advertising guidelines in the history of Canada, but relied upon his deputy minister and public servants to ensure the rules were followed. "I don't manage the programs," he said. "I don't manage various contracts."

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Transcript of Dingwall's testimony

April 2: Charles Guite, former executive director of the sponsorship program (transcript from 2002)
In secret testimony from 2002, Guite justified his lack of proper record keeping and favouratism to a handful of Liberal-friendly Quebec ad firms because he felt the country was at war with Quebec separatists and any information about advertising purchases could fall into the hands of the enemy. 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Politics Watch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Unedited transcript of Guite's 2002 testimony

Mar. 29: Norm Steinberg, director general of audits public works
Steinberg testified that former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano never asked whether the police should be called in to investigate the findings of a 2000 audit of the sponsorship program. "I do not have any recollection of Mr. Gagliano asking me if I should call the police," said Steinberg.

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Transcript of Steinberg's testimony


Mar. 25: Hugette Tremblay, Public Works employee
The assistant to sponsorship program director Chuck Guite, Hugette Tremblay, testified that former Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano held weekly meetings with Guite. This contradicts Gagliano's earlier testimony that he only met with Guite two or three times a year.

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Transcript of Hugette Tremblay's testimony

Mar. 25: Diane Marleau, former public works minister
Marleau testified that shortly after coming to public works in 1996, Guite came in her office and told her that he reported to her. Marleau said that such an arrangement would not happen under her watch. She had difficulty recalling an 1996 audit of the contracting problems in her department. 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Transcript of Diane Marleau's testimony

Mar. 24: Myriam Bedard, gold medallist and former Via Rail employee
Olympic gold medallist Myriam Bedard described a culture of nepotism and loyalty to Groupaction at Via Rail in her appearance before the Commons committee investigating Adscam. "Every advertising project we worked on, including graphic design and printing, had to go thorough Groupaction," Bedard said.

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Transcript of Myriam Bedard's testimony

Mar. 18 and 19: Alfonso Gagliano (former public works minister)
Gagliano testified for two days before the committee, saying he was unaware of problems in his department and later admitting that he never read an internal audit he called for in 2000 regarding contracting irregularities within the department.   

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story Day 1
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Transcript of Gagliano's testimony: Day 1 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story Day 2
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Transcript of Gagliano's testimony: Day 2

Mar. 11: Allan Cutler (Public Works manager)
Public servant Allan Cutler told the Commons public accounts committee that Charles Guite, the man who later became executive director of the sponsorship program, began to interfere with his job negotiating individual contracts with agencies in 1994, three years before the sponsorship program was created.  

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
Transcript of Cutler's testimony

Mar. 2: Peter Harder (Treasury Board Secretary 1995 -2000)
The former secretary of the Treasury Board, which oversees government spending, told the Commons inquiry that he was never involved in any discussions about problems with the federal sponsorship program in his time there. 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
Transcript of Harder's testimony

Mar. 1: Ran Quail (Deputy Minister of Public Works 1993 -2001)
 The deputy minister of public works between 1993 and 2001 told the Commons committee the Communications Co-ordination Services Branch, which operated the sponsorship program, was created in 1997 so that the public works minister could exert control over it. 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PoliticsWatch story
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
Transcript of Quail's testimony

PoliticsWatch Adscam archive

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Adscam report slams Martin (May 18)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PM breaking his word: MPs (May 12)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Liberals drive "stake through the heart" of Adscam testimony (May 11)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) NDP MP demands Adscam apology (May 11)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Guite arrested, pleads not guilty (May 10)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Liberals move to end Adscam testimony (May 6)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) AG says scandal not $100M, but $250M (May 3)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Martin's Quebec czar accused of playing politics with RCMP (April 22)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) What the PM's friend said to PoliticsWatch about Guite (April 21)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Tories say memos link PM to Adscam practices (April 20)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Liberal Party "malfeasance" fit to print (April 20)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Martin bombshell: Another O'Leary memo (April 2)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Guite's secret testimony to be released (April 1)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Guite acted alone to save Canada: MP (Mar. 31)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Martin moves to discredit Adscam investigation (Mar. 31)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Liberals attack chair of Public Accounts (Mar. 30) 
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Witch hunt or three-ring circus? (Mar. 29) 
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Tories accuse Grit MPs of Adscam cover up
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PM will restore integrity "come hell or high water"
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Whistleblown on Earnscliffe "scheme" in '95
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Key Adscam figure a whistleblower?
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PM in Adscam: Tories
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) We know where the bodies are buried: MP
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) "What a weasel, Mr. Speaker"
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Ads, scams and birthday videotape
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PM denies Gagliano pre-judged
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) MP wants all evidence on Web
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) "There was no slush fund"
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Tories target PMO in Adscam
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) PM plays down ties to ad exec
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Martin launches counteroffensive
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) MPs want to focus on other issues
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
"We have nothing to hide"
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
Cabinet ministers targeted in QP
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
"The Liberal Party is not corrupt"
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
PM doesn't remember letter
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
Sponsorship firm gave to ministers

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Martin shifts spin

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
PM's timeline

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
PM blames small group of people
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
PM says he did not sign ad cheques (Feb. 10)
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) 
Letter links ad contracts to Grits

Committee Members

PhotoJohn Williams (Chair)

Party: Conservative
St. Albert, Alberta
First elected:

"There seems to be nothing in Mr. Gagliano's quotes in the newspaper that are in accordance with the facts other than his attempt to stir up the Liberal party."

Member of Parliament
Marlene Jennings (Vice-chair)
Party: Liberal
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine (Quebec)
First elected:

"I would ask you, how is it that it was not on your radar screen? How is it that program and that same group of people were not being audited on an ongoing basis?"

Member of Parliament
Beth Phinney (Vice-chair)
Party: Liberal
Hamilton Mountain (Ontario)
First elected:

Phinney recently made headlines for offering her Hamilton Mountain riding to Sheila Copps, who, at the time, was embroiled in a nomination battle with Transport Minister Tony Valeri.

Member of Parliament
Maurizio Bevilacqua
Party: Liberal
Vaughn-King-Aurora (Ontario)
First elected:

Bevilacqua was the former chair of the finance committee. He was in former prime minister Jean Chretien's cabinet, as secretary of state of financial institutions. He turned down a parliamentary secretary job offer from Prime Minister Paul Martin. 

Member of ParliamentWalt Lestewka
Party: Liberal
Riding: St. Catharines
First elected: 1993

"One of the first items that the government and the cabinet made was the decision to review the sponsorship program. The first decision in cabinet was to cancel the sponsorship program. Let us make that very clear and well understood. We too will wait to hear the Auditor General's report.” 

PhotoPaul Forseth
Party: Conservative
New Westminster-Coquitlam-Burnaby (B.C.)
First elected:

“With this scheme, I want to know...who told you to just go along, get along and let it be known to you not to get too much involved in the internal workings of CCSB [Communication Co-ordination and Services Branch] and what was really going on there?” 

PhotoPhilip Mayfield
Party: Conservative
Riding: Cariboo—Chilcotin (B.C.)
First elected: 1993

"The sponsorship program was indulging in criminal activity and any inquiry worth its salt will not be 'wrapped up' by the fall. The prime minister is running out of options and the past is catching up with his government, the last thing the Liberal Party of Canada should get is a mandate to take us to the cleaners all over again."  

PhotoVal Meredith
Party: Conservative
Riding: South Surrey - White Rock - Langley (B.C.)
First elected: 1993

"As Finance Minister, (Martin) approved the spending of $250 million taxpayers' dollars for the sponsorship program, while sitting on the Treasury Board committee of Cabinet without raising concern."

Odina Desrochers
Party: Bloc
Lotbinière—L'Érablea (Quebec)
First elected:

“ I remember my days on the public accounts committee when we tried to have some witnesses appear who could cast some light on this. You should have seen the stonewalling that went on, as the federal Liberals systematically prevented the Standing Committee on Public Accounts from doing its job." 

PhotoJudy Wasylycia-Leis
Party: NDP
Riding: Winnipeg North-Centre 
First elected: 1997

“Do you really believe ... that it's possible for this kind of elaborate scheme to have been carried out completely by a small group of 14, a rogue element within the department, without senior officials knowing? Could it be that we're dealing with a small group of instigators but a large group of collaborators?"

PhotoPeter Goldring
Party: Conservative
First elected:

Gazillions of Gagliano’s dollars have apparently been used as a political cash cow, milking the public for Liberal benefit.  The cream of funds have been skimmed off to the ridings of the Prime Minister and Gagliano.  Twenty per cent of funding to less than one per cent of the ridings.” 

Member of ParliamentJoe Jordan
Party: Liberal
Riding: Leeds-Grenville (Ontario)
First elected: 1997

"Putting the decision-making and combining it with the approval of invoices just violates one-over-one approval. The group seemed to be able to spend this money as if it was their own.” 

Member of ParliamentSteve Mahoney
Party: Liberal
Riding: Mississauga West
First elected: 1997

Mahoney is coming off a defeat in his riding nomination. He was challenged and lost to Liberal MP Carolyn Parrish. Mahoney was a secretary of state for a brief period in the final Chretien cabinet.  

Member of ParliamentShawn Murphy
Party: Liberal
Riding: Hillsborough (P.E.I.)
First elected: 2000

"I believe that Prime Minister Paul Martin is on the right track in taking the actions to get to the bottom of this issue, and hold those responsible to account."

Alan Tonks
Party: Liberal
Riding: York South-Weston (Ont.)
First elected: 2000

“The Standing Committee on Public Accounts is tasked with the important work of receiving and reviewing the Auditor General’s report right away, and I look forward to working with my colleagues from all parties to ensure that this happens as expeditiously as possible. I take the report by the Auditor General very seriously. Canadians must have unquestioned confidence in their government, its ethics and its management of public finances."

PhotoDominic LeBlanc
Party: Liberal
Riding: Beauséjour--Petitcodiac (New Brunswick)
First elected: 2000

Son of former Governor-General Romeo Leblanc. He was among several Liberal MPs who were known to have visited the Irving fishing lodge. 

Roger Gaudet

Riding: Berthier-Montcalm (Quebec)
First elected: 2002

“We want the prime minister to identify these 10 ministers, who have caught the Groupaction disease and think it is normal to pay $27,000 10 times for a copy of one report.” 

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