We are almost certainly going to have an inquiry into the 1993 dealings of Brian Mulroney and Karlheinz Schreiber. The inquiry has a narrow focus and will not deal with other possible corrupt practices by our former prime minister.
Since the inquiry will cover the Schreiber $300,000, the Ethics committee should focus on other matters, such as:
- The huge amounts of cash given to the Mulroneys during his years as PM: how much he got, how much they spent, where it came from, whether the Mulroneys paid tax on it.
- The money Frank Moores said he was collecting to give Mulroney after he was prime minister. How much was this? Was there a quid pro quo?
- Airbus. Where did the $20 million earmarked for Canadian schmiergelder go?
Due to the diligence of investigative journalists Stevie Cameron and Harvey Cashore, we know that Airbus, Thyssen and Messerschmitt Bolkow-Blohm earmarked tens of millions to influence the Canadian government during the Mulroney years. We need to start connecting some dots. We know Frank Moores lobbied for Airbus to help them get Air Canada to buy planes; we know Brian Mulroney appointed Frank Moores to the board of Air Canada just before the Airbus vote, but Moores was forced to resign because of a public scandal; we know Mulroney made other dubious appointments to the Air Canada board; we know that on February 4, 1986, Schreiber and Giorgio Pelossi opened two Swiss bank accounts, one each for Moores and Mulroney. All this has been in the public domain for years. We need to get testimony on these issues under oath and then we need someone to decide what it all adds up to.
- The 1983 Tory leadership covention where Schreiber chartered planes and bribed delegates to vote for Mulroney, apparently bankrolled by far-right Austrians and arms dealers: how many delegates were given free flights or bribed; who exactly was behind this and why; who besides Frank Moores was in on it; what did Mulroney know.
- Whether Mulroney should return the $2.1 million defamation suit settlement, given that he appears to have lied under oath during the proceedings. (David Johnston left this issue out of his recommendations for the inquiry.)
The Ethics committee should from now on put every witness under oath. They should consider granting immunity to witnesses, if that is possible.
In addition to the Ethics committee hearings and the inquiry, I urge investigative journalists and/or the RCMP to look into the wider issue of who else got bribes and who else paid bribes.
Schreiber has said that the ministries of transport and defence are where most of the graft is collected: those two ministries have the big-money contracts that can net the minister and other decision-makers the big kickbacks. During the Mulroney years, did the ministers of transport or defence have any extra spending money? Each big contract should be investigated. It seems pretty clear that the Mulroney government was into extraremuneratory deals, and it's very likely that the shennanigans went on with other nogoodnicks besides Karlheinz Schreiber.
- Documents in the case