Gomery report blames former Canada PM for sponsorship scandal

[JURIST] Former Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien and his chief of staff, Jean Pelletier, must be held accountable for the flawed running of the federal sponsorship program [CBC backgrounder] from 1994 to 2003, said the first report on the scandal [text; Commissioner's statement] from Justice John Gomery, released in Ottawa Tuesday. Gomery also chided several others for their parts in the $332 million scheme, including Chuck Guité, the bureaucrat who used the program to reward friends and ad firms, Jean Corriveau, Chrétien's friend who ran a "kickback scheme" to funnel taxpayers' dollars from the program to his own pocket and Canada's Liberal Party, and former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano, who "chose to perpetuate the irregular manner of directing the sponsorship program." Gomery, however, held Chrétien to be the most culpable as he chose to run the program from his office and had the ability to set the program up in a correct way as to not allow these sorts of misdeeds. Current Canadian prime minister Paul Martin, finance minister in the Chretien cabinet, was exonerated of any wrongdoing. CBC has more.

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