Wednesday, May 13, 2009

 

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Unlike Justice Jeffrey Oliphant, I don't have to reserve judgement on the testimony of the former Prime-Minister Brian Mulroney at the inquiry looking into his relationship with Karl Heinz Schreiber.

I don't doubt that Mr. Mulroney's legal counsel Guy Pratte tried forcefully over his two days at bar to frame and contextualize to the best of his ability the long term association between the former Prime-Minister and the dubious credentials of his chief accuser, German-Canadian businessman Schreiber. What Mr. Pratte and Justice Oliphant received in return though was vintage Mulroney - Argumentative, combative, defensive and occasionally vindictive. "Deja-vue" re-exposure of all those things for which so many despised the former Prime-Minister by the time he stepped-out of the limelight in 1993.

Surely if it's worth forking-over almost $15-million on a tax-payer funded inquiry to discover what happened to someone else's $300-thousand...or was it $225-thousand(?)...15 years ago: Then this should have been the moment for the main protagonist to shine. Instead I have to conclude that when the train carrying the "Humility Fairy" passed by the Baie-Comeau station 70 or so years ago...Mr. Mulroney was somewhere else!

A couple of weeks back I argued on this page that most Canadians had many years ago made-up their minds on the issues revolving around Mr. Mulroney and his association with Mr. Schreiber...and we've all since moved-on. Recent polls suggesting that the Oliphant Inquiry is a monumental waste of taxpayer money seem to confirm my argument. And, the former Prime-Minister's performance at hitting the softball questions from lawyer Pratte in the last 48 hours is unlikely to change the verdict where it counts...in the Court of Public Opinion.

The "going" is about to get a lot tougher as lawyers for the inquiry, Mr. Schreiber, the Government of Canada, perhaps others, get their crack at dissecting the former Prime-Minister's recollections over his association with Karl Heinz Schreiber.

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