This Magazine Staff
“The sponsorship program was the right thing to do.”
That’s Warren Kinsella, in today’s Post.
I agree, 100%. Pierre Trudeau was right, when he wrote in Federalism and the French Canadians, that Canada would never win a battle of symbols and myths for the hearts of Quebecers. But that was never a battle Canada had to win, it was one it simply had to avoid losing. Quebecers are Canadians in their bones, and all the ROC had to do is make sure that what the federal government did for them was visible, and visibly good. And they (the ROC) had to do it in the face of relentless propaganda from BOTH separatist and “federalist” parties in Quebec.
So yes, the sponsorship programme was the right thing to do. I’m with Mr. Kinsella all the way on that. But his piece continues:
Was it properly managed? No. Obviously not. That’s why Jean Chretien personally called in the Auditor General, and then the RCMP. (And those two phone calls, by the way, aren’t the actions of a guy who is trying to cover up anything.)
Those of us who loudly opposed the creation of the Sponsorship Inquiry did so because we felt, one, there was nothing Justice John Gomery could do that the Mounties couldn’t do better, or weren’t doing already. And, two, the inquiry’s rules of evidence would open the door to an avalanche of unproven hearsay and innuendo. We were right. The result? The reputation of federalism – Liberal or Conservative – has been destroyed in the Province of Quebec for a decade.
But here’s the problem: What if the Mounties are themselves controlled by corrupt elements within the Liberal Party of Canada?
What if we simply can’t trust the Mounties, or the Liberals, with the rule of law, and our basic rights and freedoms?
What then, Mr. Kinsella?