Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Plot Thickens in Harper's Latest Scandal

In the continuing story of the $9-million contract to renovate Parliament's West Block, we now learn that not only did a fundraiser get the contract, but he was instructed to host the fundraiser, allegedly in return for said contract.
Paul Sauve's company, LM Sauve, won a $9-million contract in 2008 to renovate Parliament's West Block. The Mounties are now looking into the
circumstances under which Public Works awarded the deal. Sauve says he hired Gilles Varin, a Tory-connected businessman, in early 2008 to help win the contract, eventually paying him $140,000. LM Sauve filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and lost the contract.

In January 2009 — months after his company got the contract — Sauve organized a fundraiser for the Conservative riding association in Bourassa, in the Montreal area. Sauve told The Canadian Press he did so on the advice of Varin and the head of the Tory riding association in Bourassa, Gilles Prud'Homme.
And Christian Paradis is right in the thick of it.
Earlier this week, Paradis — now natural resources minister — denied ever discussing the parliamentary renovation contract with Sauve during the Tory fundraiser. "At no time was there any discussion about government business. It was strictly a fundraising event," Paradis told the House of Commons on Wednesday. But a day later, Sauve said that the pair did discuss the contract at the fundraiser.
And rightfully so, the oppostiion is calling for Paradis's resignation:
The opposition is slamming the fundraising practices of the Conservative Party and calling for the head of Quebec lieutenant Christian Paradis, who attended a fundraiser last year with the recipients of a $9-million contract on Parliament Hill. Saying the Harper government is mixing federal contracts and donations to the party, opposition MPs used Question Period to attack the government’s standing on ethical issues.
And this on top of everything else, must have the poor man sweating bricks. (pun intended)

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