Public Works and Government Services Canada

Public Works and Government Services Canada

September 19, 2005 15:00 ET

SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS ON THE SPONSORSHIP FILE

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor GATINEAU, QUÉBEC--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 19, 2005) - As part of its commitment to increase transparency and integrity, the Government of Canada referred a number of sponsorship files to the RCMP who have since pursued their investigation and subsequently filed criminal charges against four individuals.

In the first of these cases, Paul Coffin pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Quebec Superior Court today.

"Canadians deserve the truth. Canadians deserve justice. The Government of Canada is committed to both," said Scott Brison, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada.

The Government of Canada also launched civil action against 19 defendants (firms and individuals) for $40.8M. It announced on August 16, 2005, that it had fully recovered the $1.6 million owed to us by Paul Coffin. On September 2 of this year, it also recovered the sum of $50,000 from Publicité Martin. This is only a start and the government is continuing to make important progress on this suit.

The government has launched a significant number of measures to get to the bottom of this matter, including:
· cancelling the sponsorship program;
· calling for an independent Commission of Inquiry;
· introducing whistleblower legislation;
· extending of the Access to Information Act to Crown Corporations;
· re-establishing the Office of the Comptroller General; and
· reviews on changes to the governance of Crown Corporations, on changes to the Financial Administration Act, and on the accountabilities of Ministers and public servants.

The government intends to continue to take vigorous action on this file.

"The Government of Canada has made a clear commitment to restoring trust and accountability in government. In response to this commitment, a series of proactive measures were introduced to prevent similar problems in the future," said Reg Alcock, President of the Treasury Board.

Judge Gomery will be providing recommendations in his second report due February 1, 2006.

"As a next step, the Government intends to act decisively once we have the findings and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry in hand. Justice Gomery's second report is crucial for us to make sure this kind of abuse never happens again," said Belinda Stronach, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

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For more information, contact:
Renée David
Office of Minister Brison
Press Secretary
(819) 997-5421

Amy Butcher
Director of Communications
Office of Minister Belinda Stronach
(819) 994-2482

Lise Jolicoeur
Press Secretary
Office of the President of the Treasury Board
and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board
(613) 957-2666

Mario Baril
Media Relations
Public Work and Government Services Canada
(819) 956-2315

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Contact Information

  • Mario Baril
    Primary Phone: 819-956-2315