Monday, May 16, 2005


Gomery Inquiry Witnesses of the Week

The Montreal Gazette May 16,2005

This week, the commission will hear testimony beginning today from Sheila Fraser, the federal auditor-general who last year blew the whistle on the sponsorship scam, whereby a select group of Quebec ad firms pocketed $100 million from the $250-million program without proper accounting and often for doing little or no work.
She will be followed by a panel of civil servants from the public works department, the treasury board and the privy council office, who will testify to what has been done in response to Fraser's bomb-shell report.
They will be followed by executives from two more advertising firms whose names have come up in testimony, John Hayter of Vickers & Benson and Yves Gougoux and John Parisella of BCP Ltd..
After them will come Giuseppe (Joe) Morselli, a close associate of former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano, against whom numerous allegations have been lodged, including that he ran a secretive parallel fundraising operation in the Quebec wing of the federal Liberal Party and that he trafficked in envelopes stuffed with tens of thousands of dollars in illicit cash. Morselli was expected to testify earlier this month but his testimony has been delayed.
In the last week of this month, the commission will hear a report from Kroll Lindquist Avey, a forensic accounting firm retained by the commission to conduct a thorough financial probe of the sponsorship program dealings.


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