Friday, July 3, 2009

Was Stephen Harper an Early Beneficiary of Karlheinz Schreiber's Generosity?

Anyone following the Karlheinz Schreiber saga knows that there has to be more to the story than what has been revealed so far.

Apparently his 'kind hearted' benevolence was to the tune of some ten million dollars, and since Brian Mulroney only received a small portion of that, where did the rest go?

Did he pay off Peter MacKay's half million dollar debt so that he wouldn't challenge Stephen Harper's leadership bid for the new party? He was tight with Mackay's dad.

Stephen Harper only agreed to an inquiry when he learned that he was mentioned in court documents, so what was he afraid would be revealed? Was it simply the allegations that he agreed to help Mulroney cover up the mess, or was there something more damaging?

Straight Goods, believes that the Harper/Schreiber relationship may have started much earlier than that, back in the days when our current Prime Minister was an attack dog for the National Citizens Coalition.

But first a bit of background on Harper and the NCC, from Wikipedia:

The NCC claims a membership of between 40,000 to 45,000 individuals, but has not released members' names. Stephen Harper, the current Prime Minister of Canada, served as President of the organization from 1998 to 2002.

The NCC holds no annual general membership meetings and provides no financial statements to its members. The organization's constitution distinguishes between 'voting' and 'public' members. Public members pay dues but do not have formal mechanisms for influencing the organization's policies or priorities. Public members are not entitled to be notified of or to attend any meetings, and they are not entitled to vote at any such meetings.

Harper NCC Timeline:

1993 – The NCC successfully supports Stephen Harper's bid to become a Reform Party Member of Parliament for Calgary West.

1997 – Harper resigns as Member of Parliament to join the NCC. (he had been a member for at least a decade before that, but was now an actual employee)

1997 – Stephen Harper becomes Vice-President of the NCC.

1998 – Stephen Harper becomes President of the NCC, Gerry Nicholls becomes Vice-President.

2002 – Stephen Harper resigns as President of the NCC to seek the leadership of the Canadian Alliance.

But did he resign? When U.S. Republican pollster John McLaughlin posted a congratulatory letter to Stephen Harper after winning the 2006 election, he stated that he had worked with Harper and the NCC for many years. On his resume he boasts that he was responsible for our PM's rise to the top and on the McLaughlin & Associates website, they still list the NCC as one of their clients.

I think he just saw a better way of advancing the NCC's agenda from the inside, and his battles against the same institutions he fought when he was with the group, including Elections Canada and the Wheat Board, certainly suggest that.

Now to the Straight Goods' story involving pasta, the NCC and the Canadian Wheat Board. (I know there's a joke in there somewhere ... pasta, the NCC and CWB were in a bar see ... nah, never mind)

Who funded Harper's Wheat Board vendetta?
PM has been after Wheat Board since he was at National Citizens' Coalition
Ken Larsen , Southern Alberta
February 12, 2008

"Follow the money"

Brian Mulroney's former chief of staff Norman Spector advised the Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. He suggested the committee's most important work was to find where and to whom Karlheinz Schreiber distributed around $10 million in so-called commissions.

In December Schreiber told the same committee, "So forget the pasta thing. That came much later." At the time, many thought he was just talking about a machine. However, Mr Schreiber went on to testify that he and Mulroney discussed what to do about pasta in 1994, and he then went on to say "it started somehow in 1996 or 1997." Perhaps it was entirely coincidental, but less than a year later Steven Harper's National Citizens Coalition had generous funds to attack the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).

For Mr Harper it seems it was all about the pasta. He justified his attacks on the CWB with help from a couple of small groups, by claiming the CWB was preventing investors from opening pasta plants. For those who understand food processing, and the overbuilt pasta industry, these proposals were about as credible as a kindergarten class announcing they could build a working nuclear reactor if only Federal regulations were removed. However they did serve as a convenient stick for Harper to use on the CWB.

Indeed, Harper became infamous for attacking the CWB using lavish electronic and print advertising. In spite of repeated demands from farmers, Mr Harper is not interested in transparency and accountability when it applies to divulging the source of this anti-CWB funding.

Urban Canadians have only recently become aware of Prime Minister Harper's methods of sabotaging important Canadian institutions like the Nuclear Safety Commission. However farmers have been subjected to Harper's obsession with the CWB and pasta for years.

Mr Szabo, the chair of the Ethics Committee, said they are looking for more documentation from Mr Mulroney about his consulting business and reports of business he conducted for Mr Schreiber. When will Mr Harper explain his long and expensive fixation with the Canadian Wheat Board and pasta?

Although the Commons Committee has unearthed some information, many knowlegeable people have stated it does not have the structure and resources suited for the task. A full public inquiry with all the resources and power to subpoena documents and witnesses is required. Only then will Canadians be able to follow the Schreiber-Mulroney money trail and learn if it includes the pasta thing that Mr Harper was so obsessed with when he was spending big dollars on CWB attack ads.

No comments:

Post a Comment