May 13, 2005

Calling John Rae

Jim Duff, for Canada Free Press;

Gomery watchers have grown accustomed to hyperbolic descriptions of the various testimonies, but as someone who spent the past year interviewing Alfonso Gagliano, Beryl Wajsman and others for a book, I can honestly say nothing surprised me until this past week, when former PLCQ director-general Benôit Corbeil told the commission that whenever the perennially cash-strapped Quebec wing needed money, a call would be made to John Rae, executive assistant to the office of Power Corp. chairman Paul Desmarais. According to Corbeil, Rae would then call Banque Nationale president André Bérard to ask that the party's line of credit be increased. In three years, PLCQ's debt soared from $30,000 to more than $3 million.

Why would a senior advisor to the chairman of a publicly traded corporation, a trusted confidant of both Jean Chrétien and the current PM, make a call to a bank president on behalf of the Liberals' Quebec wing? Which hat was Mr. Rae wearing when he allegedly made those calls? One has difficulty believing this service was in exchange for access and influence, given that the LPCQ's president at the time was Françoise Patry, whose day job was ‹ and is ‹ serving as administrative assistant to Power Corp. chairman Paul Desmarais and his wife Jacqueline.

Was Mr. Rae acting on behalf of Power Corp. in guaranteeing the Quebec wing's line of credit? That would beg the question of why one of Canada's largest financial-services conglomerates was acting as a guarantor for a political party. If so, did Power Corp. make a declaration of this liability to shareholders or list it for tax purposes as a donation in kind?

Posted by Kate at May 13, 2005 12:04 PM

Another tentacle appears in another crevice. Sharp, sharp catch, Kate.

Posted by: Shaken at May 13, 2005 12:14 PM

Not mine - like a lot of this stuff, it was a reader tip.

I'ts enough to do to just sift through them all these days.

Posted by: Kate at May 13, 2005 12:17 PM

I find it quite reasonable that Martin really didn't know what was going on behind the scenes to make the sponsorship program work. But I don't believe for a second that Chretien didn't know exactly what was involved - for that reason, he probably made sure to stay "out of the kitchen" as Beryl W. would say to ensure that he 'knew' nothing. I can think of Martin here as the 'innocent' bystander who walks down an alley, sees a body sprawled on the pavement and picks up the gun just as the cops show up. I think he's been set up by the Liberal powers-that-be since day one. He's not smart enough or tough enough dream this stuff up, but he's dumb enough to be left standing when the music stops.
I suspect that Martin was not the preferred choice of the powers that be in the Liberal Party to succeed Chretien, but for some reason they were unable/unwilling to manipulate the process to prevent it (perhaps a power struggle?); we can only speculate as to the reason. So if he either a) can't avoid an election altogether by proroguing parliament or b) doesn't get a majority government (which I doubt) in the next election, then he's toast. In that case his successor will be the real choice of the Godfather. The key question at this juncture is whether or not there is ia power struggle going on behind the scenes. Is Paul Desmarais still the real power broker of the Liberal Party? If not, then who is? There are billions of dollars in business opportunities and personal wealth - not to mention huge opportunities for money - laundering at stake here and organized crime takes many forms. Why settle for Columbia or Eastern Europe when you can do it right next door to the US. Libranos is possibly much closer to the truth than even most Liberals suspect.

Posted by: ed_in_cda at May 13, 2005 1:16 PM

I was doing a little research on my home riding of Saint-Lambert, Quebec and whose name should pop up in the list of the Liberal candidate's contributors?

None other than John Rae.

Of course, he had lots of company - Groupaction, Desmarais/Chretien, a long list of Lafleur executives and associates, and affiliates of Jacques Corriveau.

Posted by: stint at May 13, 2005 1:26 PM

Move along people, nothin' ta see here.

Posted by: keith at May 13, 2005 1:36 PM

These are excellent questions. The next Fifth Estate will accuse the US Vice President and Halibuton of being everything that the Desmarais crowd and Power Corp are.

Posted by: little tobacco at May 13, 2005 2:21 PM

And what did Power Corp provide as security for the increased line of credit? A promissory note? A debenture? Pledged shares? Cash? A guarantee? Did they declare this as a political contribution to the LP? Did the Bank make concessions for Power Corp on the line of credit? Like a lower than normal interest rate? Did it declare this as a political contribution to the LP? Who is paying, or paid, the interest on the LP's debt?

Posted by: Occam's Carbuncle at May 13, 2005 2:56 PM

P. Martin the hand-puppet? the dupe? the know-nothing guy? the Liberal with liberal principles? the poor schmo? the dummy? the naive son of Paul Martin, Sr.,? the receptionist? the ????

Where is Don Boudria, MP? Was he not Min. of Public Works? Where is Jim Jordan, ex-MP? Joe Jordan,(son) ex-MP; was he not a spear-carrier, fart-catcher for ex-PM Chretien? Boudria is deserting the ship... what are the deserters called?

Summon them to the Gomery Inquiry; grill them as to their knowledge, if any, of Librano$' fund-raising schemes.

Why have they not come forward to testify? Are they not honourable men? Martin invited them to come forward. Their silence damns them; all the Librano$ who have failed to come forward to offer their testimony under oath; all, all, are under a cloud of suspicion.

Remember: Confession is good for the soul. Absolve?

Posted by: maz2 at May 13, 2005 3:08 PM

When considering the Liberals, you keep forgetting Conservative Senator E.Trevor Eyton.
Why is everybody so scared of him?

Posted by: old squid at May 13, 2005 3:30 PM

Power Corp. is not just a Liberal backer, or banker, or whatever. Desmarais el al try to plant key people in any party that looks like it may gain power. These days, they are desparate to Belinda set up in the CPC... she is their line to the PMO should the CPC win. Mulroney is a Desmarais man; and Belinda is his plant. The question people need to ask themselves, is their Canada one where a tiny group of elite billionaires choose the PM, again, and again, and again.

Posted by: DT at May 13, 2005 3:42 PM

Jim Duff is in error.

The only way, and it is the only way it can happen, to shut down the Gomery Inquiry is if Martin issues an order in council.

Gomery has no reason to shut down the inquiry..and because he owes nothing to Dither's, he won't.

Now if there was a power struggle going on, it was this.

Back in 2001 May of that year, the AG dropped her first report, the one that said "they broke just about every rule in the book". Not long after that Dither's ended his tenure as finance minister over "disagreements" with Chretien. The disagreements have never been disclosed. And depending on who is asking and who is asked, you can never confidently get a clear response whether he got fired or resigned.

I'd say the leaks that surfaced about something amiss in the sponsorship program, had more to do with fund raising for a leadership contest, and maintaining a grip on power.

Posted by: gimbol at May 13, 2005 3:48 PM

Speaking of Belinda, she's been quiet this week. Perhaps Harper applied duct tape?

Posted by: Candace at May 13, 2005 3:54 PM

Candace, Belinda's immediate priority is to be on call to say "Harper did it all wrong", if in fact things do go wrong. Like DT said above, Belinda is a Mulroney-Desmarais mole. It is so obvious that it may be hard for some to see, but in the fullness of time, all will be revealed, even to the blind. Imagine, an election campaign between Belinda, on one side, aligned with Power Corp, and whoever (Martin, Justin Trudeau ...) on the other, aligned with Power Corp. When you see it coming, buy Power Corp, buy as much as you can.

There is a reason why the Ottawa-Montreal axis despises Harper; he is not "one of us", and he cannot be bought.

Posted by: keith at May 13, 2005 4:28 PM

DT, give us your scoop on Belinda/Power Corp ... what are the dots connecting them?

Posted by: Shaken at May 13, 2005 4:29 PM

Does anyone think Peter McKay, not Belinda, would make a good Prime Minister?(David Orchard, notwithstanding)

Posted by: old squid at May 13, 2005 4:45 PM

Paul Martin innocent? Unaware? A mere bystander? Dream on.

The man was in charge of the nation's finances for almost a decade. He was the number two ranking Liberal in the country and the number one Liberal in Quebec.

He has nuked anyone and everyone that got in his way to the top, including Chretien, whom he embarrassed greatly.

He has lied shamelessly from start to finish and broken every promise he ever made to Canadians.

Don't be too kind to PMPM. He's just as bad as the rest of them... if not worse.

Posted by: clearthinker at May 13, 2005 4:50 PM

Old Squid:

What's the hurry to get rid of Harper? Let the bloody guy have his shot at it before looking for suitable replacements.

Posted by: clearthinker at May 13, 2005 4:52 PM

I wouldn't poke at belinda with a stick... I despise "FOBs".... Friends of Bill (clinton).

And seriously, if pmpm really had no idea what was going on, then he's simply too dense to be PM anyway.

This country NEEDS someone in power who isn't part of the current "ruling elite". Harper is for real, which is a concept that a lot of people are completely unfamiliar with.

Posted by: CodeTech at May 13, 2005 4:57 PM

Sorry if I gave the impression I was trying to get rid of Stephen. I like McKay(again, David Orchard notwithstanding) and when Stephen is ready to call it quits, I'd like to see Peter as PM, Not Belinda.

Posted by: old squid at May 13, 2005 5:04 PM

Belinda is a Powerplant.

Posted by: richfisher at May 13, 2005 7:07 PM


Posted by: old squid at May 13, 2005 7:12 PM

Name of Don Boudria surfaced at the Gomery Inquiry finally. MP, from Ontario, a pallo of Jean; Leader of The Rat Pack; a specialist in patronage files & savaging reputations.

Read: "Money and Hypocrisy" by Ian MacDonald, 2002: Article at:

The ex-Leader of The Rat Pack has announced he is, like the proverbial rats, leaping off the Librano$' sinking, stinking tub. (Not running again).

Posted by: maz2 at May 13, 2005 7:54 PM

Shaken: Belinda's is tied to Power Corp. Her mentors are William Davis and Brian Mulroney. Davis is a Power Corp. man from way back and Mulroney is a Desmarais Chum. Magna International and Power Corp. also share or exchange the same Advisory Board members often. It's all one big corporate family. They work in a sphere so far above us that it's hard to keep track... but in the end it's a small group. For more on Demarais, go to and click on Canada's Kingmaker

Posted by: DT at May 13, 2005 9:44 PM

No problem, Old Squid. Didn't mean to jump all over you, I guess like most conservatives I'm a little testy these days!

I agree that McKay is the man if Harper isn't able or willing to carry the torch. Baby Belinda is nothing more than an opportunist.

If Daddy hadn't seen the Chretienite writing on the wall, I have no doubt she would have run as a Liberal.

Posted by: clearthinker at May 13, 2005 10:52 PM

Belinda is an establishment elite plant; and that's all she is. What's amazing is that she's the best they can come up with. Mulroney should be ashamed of himself.

Posted by: DT at May 14, 2005 12:03 AM

This Power Corp connection is no different than the Russian Mob running the former Soviet Union as far as I can see; perhaps without the violence but certainly with the same corruption. It deserves exposure at the highest level. The Hell's Angels and the Asian gangs are pikers in light of Desmarais.

Posted by: Wayne at May 14, 2005 12:20 AM

Great catch Kate. The Desmarais/Powercor/PMO cartel has their finger in more and more public scandas where political influence pedling, public fund subsidy and political insider dealing is exposed.

From domestic public trust scandals to international profiteering frauds, the Desmarais-Powercor alumnus do us Canadians proud and prove we can politically graft with the most devious minds volitile quasi-rogue states have to offer.

Yaaaa Canada...your Powercor-PMO cartel is out there grafting for your best interests.

Posted by: WL Mackenzie Redux at May 14, 2005 11:16 AM

This Power Corp connection is no different than the Russian Mob running the former Soviet Union ... perhaps without the violence ...

Try not paying your taxes to the Mob running Canada.

Posted by: Justzumgai at May 14, 2005 11:57 PM