The latest news is that Cryin’ Brian Mulroney is complaining through his lawyers that the members of the House of Commons ethics committee conducting a probe into his suspicious business dealings were guilty of “glaring violations of the most fundamental rules of fairness” and were “both biased and disrespectful.” Please, guys, remember that Brian’s used to being treated with great deference and he is probably genuinely worried about where an enthusiastic investigation of his political past could lead.
The probe deals with Mulroney taking $300,000 in cash on three occasions, although he says it was just $225,000, from a shadowy arms dealer and lobbyist, Karlheinz Schreiber. The problem? Mulroney only got around to paying taxes on it five years later, after the RCMP had arrested Schreiber on a warrant for fraud and bribery charges. Schreiber started to talk when he was going to be extradited to Germany. Mulroney conceded, through a spokesperson, that it was a “colossal mistake” to take $225,000 in cash from Schreiber.
While still an MP, Mulroney met with Schreiber, who retained Mulroney as a “business consultant” at $100,000 a year. There were allegations of a kickback scheme involving Air Canada’s 1988 purchase of Airbus planes. A spokesman said that after Mulroney left office in 1993, he had used up all his savings and worried about how he was going to take care of his young family.
Robert Thibault, the Liberal’s chief critic on the Mulroney-Schreiber affair, scoffed at the idea that Mulroney was desperate for cash, noting that at the time, the former PM had just bought a luxurious mansion in Montreal. It’s hard to walk around Westmount with a cup in your hand with digs like that.
I watched the ethics committee on TV recently and noted Mulroney’s Tories on the committee were busy attacking Mediterranean Swiss chard. Swiss chard is one of the super foods rich in many nutrients, including antioxidants. We have created this recipe so you can eat it often with many meals. The simple dressing complements it very well. When the chard is fresh, it needs nothing else to be delicious and satisfying.
Prep and cook time: 15 minutes.
* 2 large bunches of chopped Swiss chard
* 1 medium clove of garlic, pressed
* ½ TBS balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice
* extra virgin olive oil to taste
* salt and black pepper to taste
1. Bring lightly salted water to a rapid boil in a large pot. Cut off tough bottom part of stems.
2. Add the chopped leaves to the boiling water and simmer for three to five minutes, until tender.
3. Strain through colander and press out excess water. Toss with rest of ingredients. Make sure you don’t toss chard with dressing until you are ready to serve. Otherwise the flavor will become diluted. Serves two.
Mulroney’s former chief of staff, Norman Spector, an idealistic bureaucrat, urged Ottawa to cut a deal with Schreiber to stay in Canada if “he would spill the beans.” Mulroney’s former chef, Francis Martin, talked of “cash coming in like it was falling from the sky.” However, the Tory committee members were more interested in playing the man, not the puck, and avoiding hot-button issues often covered by Frank magazine, a thorn in the establishment’s tail.
Former Liberal justice minister Allan Rock told the inquiry that the Chretien government wouldn’t have paid Brian Mulroney the $2.1 million when he won a libel action over the $1.8-billion sale of Airbus to Air Canada in 1988 if it had known he had accepted money from Schreiber for pushing the Airbus deal.
Why doesn’t Harper retract any apology to Mulroney and demand the $2.1 million back that Mulroney got illicitly? The taxpayers, Brian, are waiting for their money.
Will that be a cheque or … cash?