Liberals demand apology after income
[PoliticsWatch updated 4:45 p.m., February 15, 2007]
OTTAWA — Liberal
Leader Stephane Dion said Thursday the RCMP's laying of charges
against a senior finance department official in the income trust
investigation exonerates his party from insider trading allegations.
Serge Nadeau, who is a director general with the
department of finance, was charged with criminal breach of
"It is alleged that he used confidential Government of Canada information for the purchase of securities which gave him a personal
benefit," the RCMP said in a statement.
The RCMP said the charges against Nadeau concludes the force's
"The RCMP income trust investigation exonerates the Liberal Party of Canada and shows that the Conservative and NDP allegations of a politically-motivated leak were
false," Dion said in a statement he read in the House of
In addition, Dion called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to
withdraw one of three French-language attack ads released this week
that "smears the reputation of the Honourable Ralph Goodale,"
the current Liberal House leader who was finance minister when the
income trust investigation was launched.
Goodale's November 2005 announcement to lower the tax on dividend yielding stocks and keep in place the tax free status of income trusts
had been the subject of allegations of insider trading by opposition parties and some Bay Street watchers.
On the day Goodale announced the changes there was a notable spike in the volume of a number of dividend-paying stocks and income trusts
in the hours before the decision was made public.
The RCMP's decision to announce a criminal investigation of the
alleged leak during the federal election campaign coincided with the
Liberals losing the polling lead in the race. Liberals on Parliament
Hill have quietly blamed the RCMP for their election loss for the
past 14 months.
The Tories and the NDP used the RCMP investigation as a battering
ram against the Liberals throughout the campaign.
Both parties demanded Goodale resign after he was interviewed by the
RCMP as part of their investigation.
Goodale released a statement on Thursday saying the RCMP's
investigation has "indicated no involvement in this matter by me, my staff or any other political person."
However, in the days following the income trust announcement,
Goodale was adamant that no one from not only his staff, but from
the entire finance department was involved in wrong doing.
"There was no leak from my staff or my department, we are very
careful about those things," he said on November 29,
NDP Leader MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis released a statement on
Thursday calling for Goodale to apologize.
"Mr. Goodale owes me and everyday Canadians an apology,"
she said. "He repeatedly claimed there was no reason for an investigation. He was wrong. He claimed that I and the NDP were motivated merely by politics. He was wrong."
With the RCMP closing its investigation with only one individual
charged, the large spike in the volume of trading in the hours
before Goodale's announcement remains a question that will remain
"Obviously what has been alleged in the charge that's been made is not the allegation that was made in the House of
Commons," Goodale told reporters after question period on
Thursday. "They're two quite different things."
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters news of the
charges has created "some angst" and sadness at his
"This is a senior person who has been charged and it's not a happy day for the professionals at the department of
finance," he said.
However, he said there would be no apologies to Goodale from the
"If Mr. Goodale wants an apology he should go to the RCMP,"
Flaherty made a similar market-effecting income trust announcement
in October, which he said only a handful of people were aware of in
Nadeau was not one of those officials, according to Flaherty.
"He was not part of the very small group of public servants and
my own staff who knew I was working on the issue and was going to
make an announcement. He was not part of that very tight
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