Friday, April 15, 2005

I cannot recall how I got so rich

Seems there is a lot of lying memory loss amongst key Liberals these days.

Enter Jacques Corriveau:

Having made $8-million from the sponsorship program, a key figure in the scandal said yesterday that the effects of age, medication and anesthesia from a recent operation mean he can no longer remember pivotal events in the controversy.

In his long-awaited testimony at the Gomery inquiry, Jacques Corriveau, 72, also tried to play down his friendship with Jean Chrétien, prime minister at the time of the sponsorship program, despite being shown phone logs listing dozens of calls between the two.

He said he could not document past meetings because he throws away his agenda book every month.

“Because of the medications I am taking I have trouble focusing and remembering,” he told the inquiry.
The president of a multi-million dollar company, with memory problems, conveniently destroys all details of his business doings.
Inquiry counsel Bernard Roy asked why Mr. Corriveau's recollections “seemed sharper” when he reminisced about his career and trips to Italy in the 1960s. “I was curious why your memory fails you on more recent events.”

“I can explain,” Mr. Corriveau replied.

“I know a person very close to me who suffers from Alzheimer's and I am conscious of that problem. I am 72, I had an important operation, four hours and a half of anesthesia. It can have an impact. In my entourage people realize that problem.”

A reporter who later buttonholed him in a hallway asked Mr. Corriveau whether he had Alzheimer's. “No,” he said.

Documents filed at the inquiry show that his graphics company, Pluri Design Canada Inc., made $8-million in subcontracts from six firms for sponsorship-related work.

Revenues linked to federal contracts totalled 79 per cent of his earnings between 1996 and 2003. In addition, he earned another $1.1-million in contracts from the Liberal Party of Canada.

Mr. Corriveau conceded he did better with the Liberals in office during the 1990s than under the 1980s Conservative governments.

“When good fortune smiles on you, you don't turn it away,” he said with a chuckle.
But he just cannot recall the details surrounding the intake of so much loot. Funny, he's quite certain there was no wrong doing though:
Jacques Corriveau told the sponsorship inquiry his memory is clear on two key points -- he never diverted secret cash contributions to the Liberals and never discussed sponsorship deals with Chretien.
Those frequent phone conversations were all about art and culture I am sure.