Friday, February 22, 2008

Part II: The cook, the thief, his wife & her lamp shades

François Martin, Brian Mulroney's former chef presented himself to the Commons Ethics committee on February 7. Martin was called before the Committee to confirm or deny reports that he witnessed, "cash [coming] in like it was falling from the sky" at 24 Sussex. The following is NOT a transcript, so quote at your own risk ;) Time-stamps are approximate. This is the second half of Martin's testimony--return to the first half by clicking here: Part I.

The cook, the thief, his wife & her lamp shades
5:17 PM
Martin (NDP): we have no questions for this witness other than to thank him for attending.

Del Mastro (CPC): thank you for appearing today. Know it was inconvenient. Don't be intimidated by questions. Can you tell us what involvement or first hand knowledge you have about Bear Head Project (BHP)?

François Martin: none. Sorry.

Del Mastro (CPC): Can you tell us what involvement or first hand knowledge you have about purchase of Airbus (AB) by Air Canada?

François Martin: same answer, none. I'm better at cooking than I am at that stuff.

Del Mastro (CPC): Can you tell us what involvement or first hand knowledge you have about consulting agreement between Brian Mulroney (BM) and Karlheinz Schreiber (KHS)?

François Martin: only what I know from media. Nothing else.

Del Mastro (CPC): Can you tell us what involvement or first hand knowledge you have about correspondence from PCO to PMO re: KHS to current PM Harper?

François Martin: none, none at all.

Del Mastro (CPC): I'm satisfied that you have no information to share w/this cmte about the BHP, AB or the consulting agreement, or btwn KHS and Harper.
(grumbling from somewhere)

Del Mastro (CPC): No, no! I have time. I'd like to remind the chair, and members of this cmte of the directive we agreed to---examinations of ethical code of conduct, to review matters relating to BM AB settlement...including allegations related to BM by KHS and handling of correspondence between PCO and PMO. Mr Martin, on behalf of myself (??), I'd like to apologize to you for the ordeal you've had to go was most unnecessary. And I remind all my colleagues that they should exercise due consideration when they are doing this to a witness. I have nothing further! (smug bastard)
5:20 PM
Szabo (chair, LPC): Ooooookaaaay...well, Mr. Del Mastro, maybe I should at least remind you that the witness list was approved by the comte in December. (grumbling from CPC) I understand that the conservatives did not suggest ANY witnesses for the purposes of this cmte, but as a cmte, we had a process list, and it was agreed. Sometimes witnesses are misquoted. Mr. Martin has found that this has happened to him.

Szabo (chair, LPC): M. Martin, have you ever met KHS?

François Martin: not that I remember, no

Szabo (chair, LPC): up till 89, you never saw KHS at 24 Sussex?

François Martin: I don't remember that gentleman. Perhaps w/my agenda, menus, he might show up there, but I was responsible for working in kitchen.

Hubbard (LPC): as the chef there, you were responsible for kitchen and looking after guests. You must've done a very good job, b/c you worked so long and people spoke very highly of you. Did you have a budget or how did you manage your activities?

François Martin: I had an unlimited budget-carte blanche...

Hubbard (LPC): (laughing) we had Mr. Spector here. Do you watch this at all? Too busy? Watch news, watch TV about all this KHS and BM thing?

François Martin: I watched 6 o'clock news w/Norman Spector

Hubbard (LPC): when Mr. Spector came, there was a Mr. Pratt who told him to be careful about what he told the cmte. Pratt is a very high-priced lawyer who works for BM. Did you get a letter like that, telling you to be careful about what you say?

François Martin: I didn't receive anything. I would have told you, here.

Hubbard (LPC): it wouldn't be sitting in a box somewhere? (chuckling) (FM laughs too) It amuses me that Norman Spector got a warning. I'm like Del Mastro in that I appreciate your coming, but we had all sorts of evidence about money being transferred to 24 Sussex and they alluded to fact that someone was bringing cash over. Mr. Spector even left accounts here showing some of that money spent on lamp-shades--nearly every week they bought a new lamp-shade! (HUH?! That's some hard partyin'!). A lot of covers, and so on...lot of damages...when you worked there, did you have any evidence of wild parties and things being broken?

François Martin: No.

Hubbard (LPC): want to thank you for coming and glad you have a good job where you are.

5:25 PM
Ménard (BQ): Just one question. I think everyone's curious: did you ever meet Stevie Cameron?

François Martin: yes

Ménard (BQ): did you ever speak to her?

François Martin: yes

Ménard (BQ): did you tell her what had happened?

François Martin: yes

Ménard (BQ): what you told that what she wrote?

François Martin: no. What I said today was true. She turned what I told her into prose.

Ménard (BQ): well, I wouldn't call that prose when you talk about numerous envelopes of money, that's not what you've told us today. You said it happened only once. That's what you told Stevie Cameron?

François Martin: yes. Told her I had 1500 petty cash and that I'd also gone to pick up envelope from Fred Doucet's office.

Ménard (BQ): so you must have been very astonished by what she'd written

François Martin: yes, I was.

Ménard (BQ): she was lying, then?

François Martin: she certainly changed my story

Ménard (BQ): ok, that's all I wanted to know

Szabo (chair, LPC): in December, when we composed witness list, the process was to comm. w/each of received witnesses. Do you recall telephone conversations w/asst clerk, "Julia?" Julia's the asst clerk, and her job is basically to find out your availability and times when you would be travelling, etc. She makes very detailed notes and on review of those notes, the first time she contacted you, you told her you wouldn't come, is that right?

François Martin: yes, b/c I was very busy. It was the end of the year.

Szabo (chair, LPC): the quotation was that "you were very disgusted by what was going on at 24 Sussex and that you didn't even want to talk about it." That's correct?

François Martin: I said 'disgusted'? Yes, I may have said that.

Szabo (chair, LPC): I know you didn't want to come. I know that you were disgusted with what was there, and as a consequence, you worked long hours, you needed to get out of there, and you did. What did you find so disgusting about working at 24 Sussex? I remind you that you're under oath. I don't know if anyone's tried to coach you on your witnessing, but I think it's important that you answer.

Del Mastro (CPC): (angry) Point of Order! How is that related?

Szabo (chair, LPC): He's a witness! (to Del Mastro) You're debating! Not a point of order.

Szabo (chair, LPC): (calmly to FM) Mr. Martin, could you try to answer for us?

5:30 PM
François Martin: I was young at the time. I was 24 when I came to 24 Sussex. And at one point, I found that there was a lot of spending...the style of living was extravagant and the style didn't suit me, so I decided to go practise my profession elsewhere. That's all. I was a professional and wanted to do something different.

Szabo (chair, LPC): It's important for you to be on the record as to why you responded to Julia that way. Your answer seems perfectly reasonable. I thank you for being here. I will excuse you now.

François Martin: (leaves)

Szabo (chair, LPC): colleagues, you've received a document from Clerk regarding powers to call for records. Gives you info regarding our ability to subpoena tax returns, etc. Any questions?

Wallace (CPC): If motion comes up to subpoena, I would like the law clerk to be there.

Szabo (chair, LPC): absolutely. This is just FYI document.


Stay tuned for: Schreiber's attorney, Marc Lalonde; GCI & Bear Head Industries hack Greg Alford; former Mulroney crony, Fred Doucet!
Or...return to Part I: "The cook, the thief, his wife & her envelopes").
Lampshade kitteh adapted from a Birthday card I received from Mr. Kitty (Avanti Press Inc, photo by Michelle Reynard, 2007)
Smug Del Mastro created by moi--including the shitty halo (I don't have a very steady hand with that paintbrush, yet).

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Part I: The cook, the thief, his wife & her envelopes

François Martin, Brian Mulroney's former chef presented himself to the Commons Ethics committee on February 7. Martin was called before the Committee to confirm or deny reports that he witnessed, "cash [coming] in like it was falling from the sky" at 24 Sussex. The following is NOT a transcript, so quote at your own risk ;) Time-stamps are approximate.

The cook, the thief, his wife & her envelopes
4:58 PM
Szabo (chair, LPC): our next witness is M François Martin, the former chef in PM Mulroney's official residence, 24 Sussex. He held that position for four years and resigned in 1989. Good afternoon, M Martin. Take your time. This is an information meeting. The cmte is doing a study and we are trying to gather info relating to ethical conduct and rules. This is a cmte of parliament and it's normal practice for us to swear-in witness. Anything you say is protected, and can't be used against you in any way. Asst. Clerk will swear you in.
(M. Martin is wearing a grey, informal long-sleeved shirt that is open; first three buttons undone?!)
(M. Martin is sworn in)

Szabo (chair, LPC): ok, now that you're sworn in, the question on everybody's minds is...(smiling in a really goofy, slightly embarrassed way) You are now with the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil correct?

François Martin: yes

Szabo (chair, LPC): what do you do?

François Martin: I work for the head office in Montréal.

Szabo (chair, LPC): I want to take this slow and I want you to relax. (Where have I heard THAT before, lol). Anyone who comes before the cmte for first time wonders about the were here during part of M Lavoie's testimony and observed should know that M Lavoie has been here for many, many years and knows this process well (!!!) Want you to understand that this isn't a court. We're conducting a study. Want to better understand a pretty complicated situation. Your position, working at 24 Sussex, having occasion to see, hear things...know who came around...might help us understand relationships among many people. You're one of many witnesses, so I don't expect that you're going to help us in broad ways but I have a feeling that the kinds of things you can tell us will give us a good sense. Any testimony or evidence you give is protected by parliamentary priv. Can't be used against you at all. Because you were an employee, from all we know, you did a very good job for the PM at the time. We've asked you here to help us and that's exactly why you're here. Express your opinions and feelings freely. Answer to the best of your ability. We'll try to take time to properly explain ourselves. Any questions?

François Martin: not really, but it was about 20 yrs ago, so I'll try my best to remember.

Szabo (chair, LPC): Mr. Dhaliwal will ask you a few questions.

5:04 PM
Dhaliwal (LPC): I'm interested in you describing the details of your handling cash at 24 Sussex during your employment. You would pick up envelopes of cash for BM's office, is that correct?

François Martin: no, I didn't pick up envelopes for PMO. Once I picked up an envelope from an office, which was Fred Doucet's at the time. A brown envelope that I brought back to 24 Sussex

Dhaliwal (LPC): what was in the envelope?

François Martin: I have no idea. I was going into the office at Langevin bldg. I remember b/c before that, Mrs. Mulroney had asked me to make a deposit of 10K in the Bank of Montreal. On Sparks, behind Longevin. I deposited the 10K, and then did errands. I remember that Doucet envelope, b/c it looked similar to the one given me by Mrs M, but I have no idea what was in the envelope.

Dhaliwal (LPC): you said there was lots of cash at 24 Sussex when you worked there. Is that true?

François Martin: a lot of money where? Don't understand the question.

Dhaliwal (LPC): at 24 Sussex Dr.

François Martin: I had a 1500$ petty cash for the two residences at the time. Don't remember any other money circulating or moving around. Nothing of the sort. (Wow...this is interesting)

Dhaliwal (LPC): there was a special safe that was installed in your office to handle or hold cash-can you confirm that?

François Martin: I can confirm that there was a safe in my office, but I don't know what was in it.

Dhaliwal (LPC): (sorry--missed question b/c the English-sound-channel was still muted when the translator finished w/Martin's answer. Grrrr!)

François Martin: the PM and his asst Rick Morgan

Dhaliwal (LPC): who kept track of money coming in and out of safe? Morgan?

François Martin: to my knowledge, yes, but those are the people who used safe. Don't know if it was money or documents or what. I was busy running two kitchens and organizing staff. I didn't have my ear to the door, listening to what was going on.

Dhaliwal (LPC): you said earlier that the envelope from Doucet--same or similar envelope that you deposited into Bank of Montreal?

François Martin: similar to an envelope, ONCE, for Mrs. M, in a bank acct that belonged to her. I see nothing illegal in that. It was an ordinary errand that I was running.
(it is becoming clear that Martin is not going to confirm Stevie Cameron's story, at least not today)

Dhaliwal (LPC): did you do other banking, aside from this, for Mrs. M?

François Martin: no, never

Dhaliwal (LPC): did you have any other dealings in cash, flowing from Mr. M?

François Martin: no

Dhaliwal (LPC): did you see any of the following...Jerry Doucet?

François Martin: don't remember. No idea.

Dhaliwal (LPC): Schreiber?

François Martin: don't remember, either. Sorry, it was years ago...

Dhaliwal (LPC): (missed it)

François Martin: don't remember. Perhaps. I have my date book and menus for all the dinners that I could pass on to you, but I don't remember names exactly of the people.

Dhaliwal (LPC): I'd ask for those records to be given to us

Szabo (chair, LPC): which records?

Dhaliwal (LPC): for those dinners...

Szabo (chair, LPC): you have to be WAY more specific...he worked there for four years...let's be reasonable. What are you looking for?

Dhaliwal (LPC): go through his records, these are the names of people seen at 24 Sussex Dr.

Szabo (chair, LPC): is that clear enough? Is it with respect to specific functions? Political? Visitors?

Thibault (LPC): point of order? (acknowledged by chair) perhaps I can recommend that we don't move on this now, and in the future we can decide what docs to ask people for

Szabo (chair, LPC): that sounds like a good approach. Moving on...

5:11 PM
Ménard (BQ): You say that once Mr. Doucet gave an envelope, but you didn't know what was in it.

François Martin: right. That happened once, when I went up to his office

Ménard (BQ): and once, at Mrs. M's request, you had an envelope w/10K to deposit

François Martin: that just happened once.

Ménard (BQ): Ok. Not several times. You know that all kinds of stuff has been written about you....

François Martin: yes

Ménard (BQ): ALLLLLL sorts of things (smiling mischieviosly).

François Martin: no, I've heard some reports, but...

Ménard (BQ): I'll bet you're interested in what people are saying about you...

François Martin: No, not really (smiling)

Ménard (BQ): we were told that you had said that the 'cash fell from heaven' at 24 Sussex. Is that true?

François Martin: yes, that's true...well, I'm from a family of 8 kids. So it wasn't an extravagant lifestyle. So I'm sure I said it was an adjustment to come into a place like that...
Ménard (BQ): you were reported that it was CASH money that was moving around, as if from heaven

François Martin: no, no...there were expenses, accts all over Ottawa for my purchasing, etc, but I didn't see CASH moving around the house, so to speak

Ménard (BQ): I'm sure there were major receptions, so you needed large budgets for those. When you did that, was it the Mulroneys who paid or the gov?

François Martin: I have no idea. I submitted my invoices and received cash or from open accts. The invoice was sent to someone (probably in gov) who paid for it. I really don't know how it worked administratively

Ménard (BQ): it was reported that you said that Mrs. M regularly asked you to transport envelopes from PCO

François Martin: no.

Ménard (BQ): that's wrong?

François Martin: inaccurate

Ménard (BQ): it was also reported that you said Mrs. M gave you a number of envelopes of cash to deposit in Wellington branch of Bank of Montreal. But there was only one envelope. Did you say to someone, "But it's not true!"

François Martin: by "someone," who do you mean? Yes, I told the people around me. Did I challenge the article? The answer is no.

Ménard (BQ): did you speak about it w/Mulroney family?

François Martin: no, I didn't defend myself

Ménard (BQ): and how did you defend yourself against lies?

François Martin: there was no point. People can say what they like. Lots of reports, for e.g. that I wasn't on good terms w/Mrs. M, but that wasn't true; we were on very good terms when I was there. So there's just no end to it.

Ménard (BQ): since this cmte has been sitting, and you knew you would be appearing, has anyone contacted you about what you might say to this committee? No one has contacted you?

François Martin: yes, numerous journalists contacted me, but I never returned calls. La Presse, G&M, numerous papers.

Ménard (BQ): anyone from BM's entourage, directly or indirectly?

François Martin: no, not at all. None.

Ménard (BQ): alright. And now you apparently saw BM take something out of a safety deposit box that was as big as a refrigerator...

François Martin: but I don't know that it was money. It was always envelopes, could be documents...

Ménard (BQ): were you always there when BM took things out of the safety deposit box?

François Martin: do you mean as large as a fridge? It was about 4' tall

Ménard (BQ): no further questions

Coming up next: Part II ("The cook, the thief, his wife & her lamp shades"). Or, return to Lavoie's testimony (Part I)
Revolting, sexist blender ad via The Daily Mail

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lavoie testimony, Part VI: A high-maintenance relationship

Former Mulroney Dep. Chief of Staff and PR flack Communications Director Luc Lavoie presented himself to the Commons Ethics committee on February 7. The following is NOT a transcript, so quote at your own risk ;) Time-stamps are approximate. This is the final installment of the Lavoie testimony. To return to the beginning of this series, click here: Part I.

A high-maintenance relationship
4:38 PM
Lavallée (BQ): when we look and see who benefitted, we see that the letter of request (LOR) to Swiss authorities, we see that the only people who benefitted from LOR were the people around BM, b/c indeed it allowed him to collect 2.1 mill. Do you know the name of the person who leaked that LOR?

Luc Lavoie: I don't know. The settlement in Jan 97 said that the inquiry would be continued. There was more than one leak. 5 leaks.

Lavallée (BQ): but the first leak, to Financial Post..

Luc Lavoie: (interrupting) excuse me, that was not the first leak. The first was written by Agence France Presse (AFP), then Der Spiegel, then Maclean's. At that time, we were monitoring to see which leak would be the first to be published. Friday, Nov 17 5pm, a journalist I didn't know called BM's office, it was referred to me, and he spoke about leak, and we gave a short stmt prepared by lawyers.

Lavallée (BQ): any idea who was the leaker?

Luc Lavoie: we could go on speculating, but very honestly, I have no idea what source of leak was. Some leaks, I can imagine, let's say Stevie Cameron played a major role as both a journalist and a police informant. She had a code attached to her name and all of a sudden, one of the calls was from her...she was probably the one at the root of the letter.

Lavallée (BQ): yeah, but she didn't write it.

Luc Lavoie: well, the officer she worked with was Fiegenwald and he was the one who wrote the letter

Lavallée (BQ): does he write in German?

Luc Lavoie: no, it was translated in German. Originally in English.

Lavallée (BQ): there's something odd--there are a number of things that BM didn't tell you, but you were his spokesperson. His press officer, his adviser! You're the person to whom he should have entrusted a great deal of info. I'm sure you're extremely talented (*flirt*), and I've worked with clients in an agency, and normally we get the client to tell us his entire the level you were, you should have asked questions. The reason you didn't ask questions--was it b/c you felt on shaky legal ground? Or b/c BM knew everything wasn't above board?

Luc Lavoie: there were two periods. 95-97, a time where it was my job to be BM's PR consultant. I could devote all my time and resources necessary to serve him. As of 2000, when I joined Quebecor, I helped him and his family when they had Communications issues (especially when he was ill), but very honestly, it was not my job, I didn't see him on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Spoke on phone, maybe 3 min, 5 min.

4:44 PM
Mulcair (NDP): going back to spring 2000, M. Tremblay, BM's lawyer, when he told you it was a retainer. You've used that word in all public stmts thereafter. There's a meaning to that word for a lawyer, but also has a meaning in terms of taxes--e.g. paid in trust, not yet considered revenue. When you learned in 2000 that he'd received money from KHS, in thousands of dollars...BM said he'd never had any dealings with him except for coffee in a hotel. At the time, did you ask if BM had reported money to Revenue Canada?

Luc Lavoie: didn't have to ask, b/c he told me he'd paid his taxes. I was told of three instalments and the taxes paid thereof. That's what I learned.

Mulcair (NDP): did you then speak to BM about that amount, at any time spring 2000-2008?

Luc Lavoie: one evening on telephone, last fall, before he testitfied.

Mulcair (NDP): you're his main spokesperson. You brought up sum of 300K. You don't have a good reason for these major contradictions? I didn't expect you to say under oath that between spring 2000 and fall 2007, with client former PM, that you NEVER spoke about money?

Luc Lavoie: but he wasn't a client last year...

Mulcair (NDP): but he used to be...

Luc Lavoie: ok, ok, but I never discussed that sum with him

Mulcair (NDP): you heard the quotes attributed to you last fall...BM never told you to correct amount you were quoted in media? 3 X 75K rather than 3 x 100K?

Luc Lavoie: he told me one night on the phone that it was 3 x 75K

4:48 PM
Hubbard (LPC): On Tues we heard from Mr. Spector that you worked in PMO around the same time. Am I right to assume that you were there as part of PC Party?

Luc Lavoie: I was never a member of any party, at any time

Hubbard (LPC): and when Mr. Spector talked of money flowing through the office, you're not aware of any of that PC Canada fund or didn't see any of that activity?

Luc Lavoie: what activity?

Hubbard (LPC): he talked about 5K/month, coming from don't (remember)?

Luc Lavoie: no

Hubbard (LPC): we hear that the present government has cutoff any relationship btwn BM and any of Harper gov. Curious to me why you've ceased to work with him, as of fall 2007. What reason? Tied in w/Harper government muzzling? Do you have any relationship w/Harper government, in terms of any members of the board or...

Luc Lavoie: number one, my relationship w/BM was terminated because...helping BM w/communication when it involved 6-7 calls/month was something I could deal with; helping BM when it involved 30, 35 calls/month in the level of crisis...simply incompatible with my profession
(Ha! Turns out Mulroney was 'high maintenance' *snerk*). Number two...nothing to do w/cutoff by Harper government. Number three, I haven't had any contact w/Harper's ministers, but it might happen in future because our business is regulated.

Hubbard (LPC): when you have a friend who's in big trouble...and you're the expert...why would one of my best friends leave when I'm in need of help? (*ouch*)

Luc Lavoie: I don't know I'm his best friend, but we still have a friendly relationship, but I could not serve him well b/c I have a real-time job as an executive of a major corporation, and I could not perform my duty.

Szabo (chair, LPC): M. Lavoie, c'est ca! (laughing)

Luc Lavoie: thanks M. Szabo

Szabo (chair, LPC): you've challenged us a little bit. Your name might come up again, when we review at the end. Suspend for 5 min.

Coming up next: Mulroney's former chef testifies (Part I: "The cook, the thief, his wife & her envelopes"). Or, return to Part V of the Lavoie testimony ("Szabo lets fly with an awesome (near) curse-word")
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Lavoie testimony, Part V: Szabo lets fly with an awesome (near) curse-word

Former Mulroney Dep. Chief of Staff and PR flack Communications Director Luc Lavoie presented himself to the Commons Ethics committee on February 7. The following is NOT a transcript, so quote at your own risk ;) Time-stamps are approximate. To return to the beginning of this series, click here: Part I.

Szabo lets fly with an awesome (near) curse-word
Martin (NDP): you were instrumental in relieving Canadians of 2.1 mill, no matter how you slice it. I don't know a lot about PR, but that seems like a staggering amount of money to make in such a short period of time. It's a whole whack of dough. You said gov wouldn't have settled if they knew what they know said you knew that Brian Mulroney (BM) had a business relationship w/Karlheinz Schreiber (KHS)...

Luc Lavoie: (interrupting) No, I didn't say that...

Martin (NDP): well, I understood you to say that in Nov 95 there was a business relationship w/KHS

Luc Lavoie: I never said that. Not the case.

Martin (NDP): certainly BM was not being forthright w/Canadians. And we could have kept on, not to "torture" the man, but to get to the truth. Because Canadians feel it's like pulling teeth to get truth. Don't misunderstand when we say we wished the investigation had gone further.

Mulcair (NDP): in answering M. Murphy, he said that Ogilvy Renault, BM's firm, his contract allowed him to work as an outside consultant. (NOTE: Lavoie vouched for BM's December exchange w/Thibault). What did you base that on? Under oath?

Luc Lavoie: he told me that

Mulcair (NDP): but when *I* asked you if that work referred to law firm or something else, you said you had no info on that. But in response to M. Murphy, you said the contract was with Ogilvy Renault. We're going to subpoena the firm and get his contract. You said he told you he had a contract w/OR to do outside work, outside firm.

Luc Lavoie: yes

Mulcair (NDP): there was a leak, a reference to an extraordinary RCMP, Feigenwald, who was the fall-guy for the Liberals in this story, but you said that the initial leak came from Switzerland. What's your proof? The Liberals always tried to pin it on the RCMP.

Luc Lavoie: the original leak, the first reference to this matter in an article by Agence France Presse and published in front page La Presse, Montreal. No reference to BM, but investigation w/RCMP "money paid in kickbacks to Canadian politicians," that was Nov 12, 1995. AFP from Geneva or from Zurich.

Mulcair (NDP): testimony refers to GCI. What's your knowledge of Mr. Moore's involvement?

Luc Lavoie: don't know Moores, only know what I read in media

4:28 PM
Thibault (LPC): it was stated in past, by you or BM himself, in 2003 that the monies from KHS (in relation to lawsuit against BM by KHS) that 300K-and that amount wasn't disputed at the time by either party-- was for representation for Thyssen for plant in Montreal East, as well as some relation to a Pasta business.

Luc Lavoie: need more information. In 2003?

Thibault (LPC): you're familiar w/lawsuit by KHS against BM?

Luc Lavoie: I believe that was 2007

Thibault (LPC): you may be right. The claim by KHS is that no work was done to earn money. Claim by BM was that money was for pasta business and working on Thyssen plant, what was once BHP. It morphed in 1993, around time, to Montreal East (from Cape Breton). There was no argument over amount of 300K. You're familiar w/their statement of claims?

Luc Lavoie: yes, I am

Thibault (LPC): we hear in this cmte that the work BM earned was for Thyssen're familiar w/BM's current position?

Luc Lavoie: I heard that

Thibault (LPC): he never discussed taht with you? That he was/wasn't working for Thyssen?

Luc Lavoie: I remember hearing him say he was working on Thyssen LAV project. He mentioned, further down road, that he did some work about pasta business

Thibault (LPC): But you're not a kid out of PR school. You're one of the top in of the absolute best (awwww...)

Luc Lavoie: thank you

Thibault (LPC): he's hired you, he's got all these accusations against know about all of these. You know that Harper has met w/BM at Harrington lake. And that Schreiber provides letter to BM to go to Mr. Harper. You're aware of that?

Luc Lavoie: afterwards...I wasn't aware of that Harrington Lake meeting until I heard it in the media

Thibault (LPC): but BM has huge problems in the media...and he doesn't tell you these things? Is it plausible deniability that he's affording you? Or is he replacing someone as the "biggest liar"...

Luc Lavoie: no, top three I said...maybe top five (laughter)

Szabo (chair, LPC): order! Mr. Lavoie, one more time: you said that you were apprised of the money transaction in spring 2000. I assume someone talked about 'how much,' or at least if I'd received envelopes w/1000$ bills, it is SO unusual, SO off the wall, that SOMEONE must have said "thousand dollar bills!" Is that correct?

Luc Lavoie: no, someone said to me "retainer in cash, in 10s of 1000s of dollars on three occasions..."

Szabo (chair, LPC): (incredulous) but this thing about 1000 currency, never came up w/anybody's discussion.

Luc Lavoie: no

Szabo (chair, LPC): (bangs table) Incroyable!
(holy shit! I think this is the closest Szabo has come to cursing! Awesome!)

4:34 PM
Murphy (LPC): in Nov 95, to CBC, you were asked if BM had any connection to Swiss accts DEVON, you categorically deny that he has any connection. Asked if there was 3rd party involvement, you said, "Absolutely not! I know that to be true! He told me" Your statement in 95 was that he had received NO money.

Luc Lavoie: that's not what we were talking about. We were talking about bank accts in LOR to Swiss in 95.

Wallace (CPC): (interrupting) I thought at 4:30 we would be starting a new witness...

Szabo (chair, LPC): thank you, if you heard in my opening stmt--and Mr. Tilson argued this--I didn't take time then, but I'll repeat to remind members, when we approved witness list, we went through it, and I explained we would put one comprehensive witness w/narrower witness, so we knew there'd be an imbalance in amt time...

Wallace (CPC): you're assuming that this is the "bad" witness and the other is not (??)

Szabo (chair, LPC): thank you, that is not a Point of Order, but I wanted to answer your question

Wallace (CPC): I think we should be following the agenda.

Szabo (chair, LPC): Mr. Wallace, the cmte approved and agreed that the meeting would go beyond 5:30 if necessary, so thank you.

Wallace (CPC): we're now in the third long will we go?

Szabo (chair, LPC): I'll ask the clerk to get the minutes from our mtg, to remind everyone what we agreed to. Now, Mr. Murphy, please carry on.

4:37 PM
Murphy (LPC): you told the nation that BM had not received money from DEVON in 95. You thought he received no money from KHS. So how can you know that he didn't receive money from DEVON, 'cause you now know that he DID receive money from KHS? How could you be certain in 95? The answer, I think, is that BM never told you about it. You told the truth b/c he kept that from you. What do you think?

Luc Lavoie: that was a little convoluted. I don't agree with that statement.

Murphy (LPC): can you tell me the name of the consulting company? You didn't answer that question for us, before...

Luc Lavoie: I didn't answer b/c I don't know.

Coming up next: Part VI ("A high maintenance relationship"), or return to Part IV ("Let's not get metaphysical here...")
LOL Wallace home-made by moi. Please feel free to steal at will.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lavoie testimony, Part IV: "Let's not get metaphysical here..."

Former Mulroney Dep. Chief of Staff and PR flack Communications Director Luc Lavoie presented himself to the Commons Ethics committee on February 7. The following is NOT a transcript, so quote at your own risk ;) Time-stamps are approximate. To return to the beginning of this series, click here: Part I.

"Let's not get metaphysical here..."
4:11 PM
Wallace (CPC): thank you, Mr. Chair. Want to finish some of my questioning. This cmte's charged w/looking at new info that might not have been known at time of settlement. Is there any new info that this cmte doesn't know?

Luc Lavoie: no

Wallace (CPC): so your testimony today regarding the letter of request (LOR), which started lawsuit, was regarding that, in letter, it didn't just subtly accuse BM, it identified him as having done a criminal activity

Luc Lavoie: it was stated as fact

Wallace (CPC): in your view, settlement paid was b/c letter in such a form that it identified BM as a fact being involved in criminal activity

Luc Lavoie: when you're talking about payment, you're referring to 2.1 mill settlement? (Wallace affirms) That 2.1 was determined in arbitration process. He was never paid damages. The facts, as stated in LOR were completely wrong, they never had any evidence, they still don't, and the moment that the AG of Switzerland stated that there never WAS a Swiss bank acct for BM, the whole thing became a horrendous libel, which it was.

Wallace (CPC): ok. In our last meeting, we had former AG, Min Justice Rock here and he speculated that if he had known about agreement btwn KHS and BM AFTER Airbus (AB) (and nothing to do w/it), it might have had something to do w/level of settlement. Might have affected the amount. Would you like to speculate about whether you think it would have influenced things or not?

Luc Lavoie: I don't have the competence of Allan Rock, a well known top gun litigator in Ontario (laughter from cheap seats). Yes he is! (smiling at laughing goofballs). Thank you, Thomas. The reality is that I have a problem w/reasoning: you write in a letter that BM has 5 mill that he got as a kickback from sale of planes and helicopters and Bear Head Project (BHP)--you say he received 5 mill while he was in office, from a bank acct in Liechtenstein to a bank acct (that never existed) in write that and 25 members of board receive it, it leaks to the media, first to Agence France Presse (AFP) and then it makes the rounds, finally ending up in the Financial Post. And then you find that indeed, after he left office, he received 300K to do work for same person, KHS. So you go, "god, that would have been great, so I could keep torturing him for years!" And I have a serious problem with that. The libel was horrendous. They had to draft it 7 times so it got to level that the Swiss would act on it...

Wallace (CPC): when you say "they had to draft it 7 times," who are you referring to?

Luc Lavoie: we found out through litigation process, before settlement, that the way it works is that Dept Justice would send letter to correspondent in Switzerland, and they say, "if I send you this, will you freeze the acct," and they say, "no, that's not enough," so they give it some more torque, and go & go & go, and the 7th draft was way worse than 1st one. They knew they'd done no investigation. They could only rely on a journalist-turned-informant and a former Chief of Staff (Norman Spector), who said BM had cancelled BHP. That's was Sgt Fiegenwald said under oath in Eurocopter trial. This letter's extremely damaging. It leaks out. And now you say, "if we had known, after BM left office...300K was paid, then we could have kept going w/torturing BM and his family." It doesn't change the fact that he never had a Swiss bank acct, as confirmed by Swiss AG, he never had anything to do w/this treatment, as confirmed by your star witness. Never had anything to do w/MBB, confirmed by Eurocopter trial. If anyone says, "if we had known a little more, we could have kept torturing him some more..." I find this offensive...

Szabo (chair, LPC): (interrupting) Ok, ok...order.

4:18 PM
Ménard (BQ): you gave some explanations about BM's behaviour. You said his financial situation wasn't very good. BM contradicted that categorically. You know very well it's different to get people to feel pain of the rich (*snerk*), and by doing this, you exposed him to this're a PR guy.

Luc Lavoie: well, I was no longer in a PR firm

Ménard (BQ): but you're a professional. Extremely professional.

Luc Lavoie: I'll take that as a compliment, M Ménard (smirking). Just want to give you the context and tell you about the atmosphere. It was an error to do that in such a context.

Ménard (BQ): if such a transaction, why would he give an explanation of that type--why apologize? He doesn't need to apologize for getting a retainer for a genuine contract. Is that not the case?

Luc Lavoie: I'll leave it up to you to judge

Ménard (BQ): ask difficult question. I imagine you followed his appearance here. Is that the first time you heard him talk about the contract that he had w/KHS and the reasons that he had?

Luc Lavoie: no.

Ménard (BQ): he'd explained before?

Luc Lavoie: yes, a few times.

Ménard (BQ): did you know that he got the money in cash? Did you know that he kept it in cash, in safety deposit boxes?

Luc Lavoie: no

Ménard (BQ): aware of this mandate to do peacekeeping LAVs?

Luc Lavoie: knew it had something to do w/marketing of LAVs

Ménard (BQ): to China?

Luc Lavoie: not specific countries, just international

Ménard (BQ): but we know he said he went to many countries, France and even China 5 years after Tiananmen Square, w/image engraved in peoples' minds, the student run over by a tank

Luc Lavoie: (interrupting) but not a LAV... (Gah! I can't believe he said that!)

Ménard (BQ): no, but one of the most shocking images. France is quite proud and jealous of technology. When KHS was arrested, BM said he wanted to settle matters w/tax dept, and was in such a hurry that he paid taxes even on expenses he could have deducted. Do you believe that this contract even existed?

Luc Lavoie: take his word for it.

Ménard (BQ): (smiling) When you don't respond yes or no, you keep your credibility...

Luc Lavoie: there are some rules for non-responses...

Ménard (BQ): (smiling) let's not get 'metaphysical' here...(*snerk*).

4:23 PM
Hiebert (CPC): My colleague asked if you had any knowledge of certain decisions or projects while in PMO. At ANY point, while in PMO or at ANY time, did you have any knowledge of any wrongdoing, by any public official, with respect to BHP?

Luc Lavoie: no

Hiebert (CPC): while in PMO or at ANY time, did you have any knowledge of any wrongdoing, by any public official, with respect to AB?

Luc Lavoie: no

Hiebert (CPC): while in PMO or at ANY time, did you have any knowledge of any wrongdoing, by any public official, with respect to consulting agreement between BM and KHS?

Luc Lavoie: no

Hiebert (CPC): so you're telling us that you don't know of any wrongdoing, whatsoever, in any of these matters?

Luc Lavoie: no

Coming up next: Part V ("Szabo lets fly with an awesome (near) curse-word"), or return to Part III ("I know you're no stranger to profanity...")
Metaphysical Lavoie: adapted from this CP pic by Tom Hanson (ying/yang thing from here)

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Lavoie testimony, Part III: "I know you're no stranger to profanity..."

Former Mulroney Dep. Chief of Staff and PR flack Communications Director Luc Lavoie presented himself to the Commons Ethics committee on February 7. The following is NOT a transcript, so quote at your own risk ;) Time-stamps are approximate. To return to the beginning of this series, click here: Part I.

"I know you're no stranger to profanity..."
3:56 PM
Wallace (CPC): like some clarification: can you explain what you did for the PMO from 88-91?

Luc Lavoie: Deputy Chief of Staff (CoS)

Wallace (CPC): role?

Luc Lavoie: charge of logistics, operations, organized international travel.

Wallace (CPC): you left that position and the next time you worked for BM was...95?

Luc Lavoie: hired as PR consultant in 95 to help him w/completely diff project, and then in Nov, this specific case (Karlheinz Schreiber, KHS)

Wallace (CPC): so when you were an employee of PMO, could you tell us if you had any involvement w/BHP?

Luc Lavoie: none, just recollect that simply there was a project to build light armoured vehicles (LAVs) in Cape Breton

Wallace (CPC): did you have any first hand knowledge of Air Canada purchase of Airbus (AB), while you worked in PMO?

Luc Lavoie: absolutely not

Wallace (CPC): in that role, did you have any knowledge of consulting agreement between BM and KHS, while you were in PMO? Any sense of that happening? And then, afterwards, in 1995, did you know?

Luc Lavoie: (asks Wallace to repeat and he does) No (no knowledge while in PMO). After 1995, didn't know of retainer till spring 2000.

Wallace (CPC): you're well aware of letter of request (LOR) to Swiss, the one that caused gov to pay settlement. That's why this cmte's been constituted. Want to know if there's new info that would lead us to make decision any differently. Your interpretation of why gov settled is different from what members of opposition are to give you an opportunity to tell us your impression.

Luc Lavoie: there was a letter sent in Sept 95 (LOR) which the drafter--b/c it was signed by public service, but I think the drafter was a member of RCMP--stating, w/o any attempt to make it qualified or conditional, that this letter was of upmost importance, that it had to do w/activities from the beginning of BM's term to the end of it...that there was a scheme wherein 5 mill had passed from accts in Liechtenstein to Zurich, and that acct could be opened w/code word "DEVON." And LOR sent as stmt of fact to Swiss authorities...and, btw, it's interesting that SEVEN drafts of that letter had been prepared of that LOR, b/c the first draft wouldn't trigger anything from Swiss; they went to factual stmts, not allegations, so that they would trigger Swiss to actually freeze accts. We found out, from letter sent by Attorney Gen of Switzerland, one that was later famous as chief prosecutor of war crime tribunal (Carla del Ponte), there never was any bank acct in Switz that belonged to BM. There was also a copy of letter sent to every member of board of Swiss bank corp (25 BOD). Also found that the sole source of info for the LOR was a journalist who'd decided to turn herself into a police informant, and I should be more specific, b/c Norman Spector provided affidavit. Leak from day 1...reason for settlement is that AG, RCMP had no evidence whatsoever to support horrendous libel.

Wallace (CPC): you claimed that BM might've reached an agreement w/KHS b/c he needed money. BM, in front of us, claimed that is just not the case. Still stand by your stmt?

Luc Lavoie: standing by quote, but put in context: having conversation w/two different journalists, and in both cases, the quotation was interpreted differently. BM was not a man who'd inherited millions of dollars, like some in past--and I'm not saying this in a derogatory way--he was not a rich man. I was saying, when you leave office, and you want to start a new career, you might be optimistic, and you're looking to get first pieces of business.

4:05 PM
Szabo (chair, LPC): Mr. Lavoie, one of the mysteries of all this--and Canadians REALLY want the answer--is was it 300K or 225K? In an article Jan 23, 2007, CP, Bronskill, Bryden "Justice Dept weighed reopening AB settlement..." quoting, "The RCMP informed Mulroney in the summer of 2000 that they were aware of the $300,000 retainer from Schreiber, Lavoie said. "There were formal contacts between the RCMP and Mr. Mulroney's lawyer in which it was made clear that they knew that."" YOU made the representation to these media in Jan 2007 that it was 300K. How do you explain discrepancy?

Luc Lavoie: the number "300K" was a fig that came up in G&M, he never denied it, and it became perceived as the truth, and he never fought back. And I never asked if that was the exact amount.

Murphy (LPC): thanks. I want to tell you that none of my questions came from the CBC (Conservatives laugh and jeer at this). Mr.'re in charge of PR for Quebecor. BM is chairman of board of Quebecor, correct?

Luc Lavoie: no, BM is chairman of board of Quebecor WORLD, a subsidiary of Quebecor Inc.

Murphy (LPC): following on Chairman's question, you said in response that this came from media. That's true, but it came from a quote from you...unless you're quarrelling w/Ottawa Citizen story that quotes you, quoting KHS, telling Citizen that he pulled out an envelope full of cash "and BM said, "What is that?" and (KHS) said, "I want to pay you in cash." "Why would you have to do this in cash?" said Mr. Lavoie. " YOU were told by BM that KHS gave him 100K in cash and then you told Ottawa Cit in 2007, highly charged media environment (Nov 2007). How can you say that the media made this up?

Luc Lavoie: I didn't say the media made this up. The figure 300K came in a story from Kaplan in G&M, which I never fought back upon. Never specifically asked was it 300 or was it less. I knew it was in the "tens of thousands"...

Murphy (LPC): would you at LEAST admit, from a professional point of view, that it was sloppy for you to quote w/o verifying that, in a quote coming from former PM?

Luc Lavoie: (glowering at Murphy; Not responding)

Murphy (LPC): I guess you won't (*snerk*).

Luc Lavoie: (smirking, smiling)

Murphy (LPC): the PM was here saying it was 75K b/c he wanted it to be the amount declared on his tax returns, not the 300k...that will remain a question that's out there. This consulting firm that BM made after he left office, did he ever give you the NAME of that firm? Do you know if he registered it w/in Ontario, Quebec or federally?

Luc Lavoie: I knew of an existence of an arrangement at his law firm that allowed him to have a separate consulting firm. I presumed everything was fine.

Murphy (LPC): well, I look at Aug 2, 1993 w/ Renault and Mulroney...other forms of games that will remain yours know of no name of consulting firm?

Luc Lavoie: no

Murphy (LPC): going back to your 587K, your firm's bill for services rendered, before the proverbial...hit the fan. I know you're no stranger to profanity, I've seen it here (*snerk*) ...

Luc Lavoie: why would you say that? (smiling)

Murphy (LPC): in Nov 95, you were on the case, taking care of your client's seems incredible to me, and YOU were the one who put credibility on the line, when you mentioned Mr. Schreiber's being the "biggest [] liar I've ever seen"

Luc Lavoie: I retracted that...

Murphy (LPC): you said it...

Luc Lavoie: I changed my mind...I would put him in the top three (laughter)

Murphy (LPC): don't cut into my time! (more laughter) We're on the trial of maybe the second biggest liar on the scene (chorus of Ooooooh!s)

Szabo (chair, LPC): time's up

Luc Lavoie: it was just starting to be fun

Szabo (chair, LPC): well, and I would just ask members to be judicious in their language. Let's be careful, here. Ok, Mr. Wallace...

Coming up next: Part IV ("Let's not get metaphysical here..."), or return to Part II ("Why would an advisor give bad advice?")
LOL Lavoie: home-made by kitty, but please feel free to steal (link-luv always appreciated)

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lavoie testimony, Part II: Why would an advisor give bad advice?

Former Mulroney Dep. Chief of Staff and PR flack Communications Director Luc Lavoie presented himself to the Commons Ethics committee on February 7. The following is NOT a transcript, so quote at your own risk ;) Time-stamps are approximate. To return to the beginning of this series, click here: Part I.

Why would an advisor give bad advice?
3:41 PM
Ménard (BQ): I was looking at your CV and seen you often on TV. I can consider you one of the best communicators for a firm. Experience on TV. I imagine you were hired to give BM advice on PR...

Luc Lavoie: you're saying that?

Ménard (BQ): asking the question--one of your duties was to advise him?

Luc Lavoie: yes

Ménard (BQ): in spring 2000, first time you found out BM received money from KHS

Luc Lavoie: that's right

Ménard (BQ): but in 99, when you said BM never got any money, there was never any money, at that point you didn't know he received money from KHS? (note: listen to interview, scroll down to "October 8, 1999")

Luc Lavoie: I didn't know, but I'd remind you that that conversation, in my mind, very clearly had to do w/Airbus (AB), MBB, and Bear Head Project (BHP), but you're right, I was not aware

Ménard (BQ): you saw that the issue wasn't dying out, even after settlement. Still suspicions that KHS had given BM money. I'm sure you noticed (*snerk*). You were no doubt aware of the RCMP letter sent to Swiss authorities in which...

Luc Lavoie: yes, I know it by heart (smiling)

Ménard (BQ): not surprised. So...when lawyers spoke in spring 2000, he said there was a cash retainer, 3 payments of "tens of thousands of dollars," you say. It seems like that would be interpreted in the range of ~50K, but you came up to 100K

Luc Lavoie: no. Tens of thousands...the 300K figure is the one that appeared in the G&M

Ménard (BQ): so you WEREN'T the one who said there was a payment of 100K?

Luc Lavoie: said that last fall, but first time figures put forward was in the article by William Kaplan in the G&M

Ménard (BQ): and the first time you realized BM said it was 75K, did you find out at the same time as we did?

Luc Lavoie: no, a little before that. A few weeks before that.

Ménard (BQ): I imagine you understood, as of the moment BM received cash from KHS, in cash, that if that were known, some would think that would be confirmation of what was in the RCMP's letter. But, as far as you were concerned, there was another reason for payments...

Luc Lavoie: you're referring to RCMP
LOR (letter of request), I would just say we should remember that that LOR referred to a Swiss bank acct, code name "DEVON," and ...

Ménard (BQ): but there was also the "BRITAIN" acct...

Luc Lavoie: there were 5Mill dollars deposited, kickbacks on sale of AB to Air Canada and these MBB helicopters to coast guard and so-called BHP. Put things in proper context: money paid for retainer? This money paid after he left office, for different work, no connection...nothing to do with this matter.

Ménard (BQ): perfectly legit transaction? That explained basis of some rumours that were going around...

Luc Lavoie: I wouldn't speculate on that

Ménard (BQ): Why, then, did you not advise him to say publicly, that that transaction w/KHS had taken place or to advise BM to explain right away, particularly w/rumours out there. Why not say that it was for legit work (and dispel rumours)?

Luc Lavoie: Well, I've had many, many conversations w/him and wouldn't say that I never advised that. That was considered.

Ménard (BQ): when did you find out that BM had kept it in 1000$ bills, here, when he testified to this committee? Do you think that would have been tougher to explain?

Luc Lavoie: I'm sorry, could you clarify?

Ménard (BQ): it looks suspicious. Makes relationship look fishy. You must have understood that. A PM getting cash in 1000$ bills in envelope. He keeps it in a safety deposit box for years...don't you think it makes things look even stranger?

Luc Lavoie: not really

Ménard (BQ): but you don't know what he did w/cash?

Luc Lavoie: no, I don't know what he did w/his own business.

3:49 PM
Martin (NDP): You were instrumental in helping BM win 2.1 mill libel suit against gov. In settlement reached, roughly 1.4 mill went to lawyers and $587 721 went to your firm, "National Public Relations"

Luc Lavoie: no, the money wasn't to me, it went to HIM. Money adjudicated by arbitration process lead by the late Allan Gold

Martin (NDP): correct. So the 587K+ worth of PR, specific to your time as communications Director, from 1995 onwards (i.e. not to Lavoie's time in PMO). Now, a lot of Canadians want to recoup that 2.1 mill. To earn that amount (587K), you must have been quite helpful to him...BM talked about that period being very difficult for him. Did you never ask him, "If I'm gonna represent you, Brian, did you or did you not accept money from KHS? It's gonna be integral to my convincing Canadians," did you not ask him that, at any time?

Luc Lavoie: uh...not exactly. I ask a question the day he contacted me, Mon, Nov 13, 1995. I was in Ottawa, he asked me to come to Montreal to see him. I met him the following morning at his home. He told me what he was faced w/, this LOR. I asked him if there was any truth to the LOR, and he said, "Absolutely not."
Martin (NDP): so YOU weren't lying to the people of Canada. He was lying to YOU.

Luc Lavoie: there was no truth to what was in that LOR

Martin (NDP): We paid him 2.1 mill b/c it was alleged that KHS gave him money, and now that we know that he did...

Luc Lavoie: (interrupting) no...

Martin (NDP): that's an extraordinary thing.

Luc Lavoie: I don't agree with what you said, by the way...

3:52 PM
Mulcair (NDP): thank you. You spoke about a lawyer who said BM received money. The one that spoke to you in 2000...

Luc Lavoie: Gérald Tremblay

Mulcair (NDP): you used the word, "retainer." Do you remember whether conversation took place in English or French?

Luc Lavoie: French

Mulcair (NDP): and he used the word, "retainer?" This is a word that is rarely used outside of the language, except in legal language. I think BM was already an associate in law firm in Montreal. Was he working as a lawyer for this retainer?

Luc Lavoie: maybe yes, maybe no, but I was in PR and we also had retainers.

Mulcair (NDP): but you would have still had to explain why he received these 100s of thousands of dollars. You had to have asked what it was for...

Luc Lavoie: the question wasn't about that. The reason M Tremblay called was b/c I was being sued by KHS for defamation, slander, and it was clear I needed that info

Mulcair (NDP): and you, M Lavoie, what did YOU understand that BM had done for these retainers?

Luc Lavoie: I understood that he took retainer to represent those firms

Mulcair (NDP): that's what you understood then? The purposes of representation?

Luc Lavoie: yes.

Mulcair (NDP): BM told us that he kept CANADIAN 1000$ bills (cash) in US, in a sdb. Can you explain that? What expenses can be paid in the States w/Canadian 1000$ bills?

Luc Lavoie: I wasn't involved, so I can't answer

Mulcair (NDP): it's your former boss who can tell us? I'm going to come back to Thibault's and Ménard's question, b/c I'm still not convinced by your answer. You're the spokesperson for the former PM and you're hired to give his version of facts and you're doing it very well. You went before cameras in fall 97 and said (three times!) "100K." I'm seeking, in vain, where BM contradicted you publicly, and I can't find it, except when he came before us and told us it was 3 X 75K, instead. Given your expertise in PR, why is it that as soon as you mentioned 100K, why you didn't immediately correct yourself?

Luc Lavoie: I would like to correct you: I didn't speak before the cameras

Mulcair (NDP): but you said it publicly. You say you have no answer to give me?

Luc Lavoie: I'm not refusing to answer. I don't HAVE an answer.

Mulcair (NDP): you said 300K. Mr. M is your client. Did he contact you right away and say, "hey, Lavoie, it's not 300K." Did he call you to ask you to retract?

Luc Lavoie: he called that evening

Mulcair (NDP): why didn't you correct stmt?

Luc Lavoie: in the media climate at time, everything was blown out of proportion. Unbelievable. It was better, rightly or wrongly, and agreed that he would come here and testify to the facts.

Coming up next: Part III ("I know you're no stranger to profanity..."), or return to Part I ("Luc & Brian, BFF")
"Can we talk" pic courtesy of this marketing wiz-cum-blogger

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