Brian Mulroney: Are His Irish Eyes Still Smiling?

Mr. Justice Oliphant released his Report today which detailed his findings arising from the Mulroney/Schreiber Commission. Oliphant J. must have poured over his thesaurus to find the least offensive word to describe Brian Mulroney’s financial and business dealings with now-imprisoned convict Karlheinz Schreiber. He settled on “inappropriate”. He could have chosen “improper”, “unseemly” or even “malapropos”, but he was required by his mandate to avoid language that insinuated any civil or criminal liability.

Despite his softball adjective, he did make it clear that our former prime minister’s concealment of his seedy business relationship with the German arms dealer was a breach of Mr. Mulroney’s own ethics guidelines. He found that Mr. Mulroney’s receipt of $225,000 in 1993 and 1994 (or was it $300,000 as Schreiber testified?) was glaringly suspicious given that it was passed to Mulroney in hard cash, in plain white envelopes and then secreted by Mulroney into private stashes, either at his home or tucked in his safety deposit box.

What is most galling, however, is that Mulroney sued the federal government in 1996 for their allegedly defamatory accusations with respect to Mulroney’s relationship with Mr. Schreiber and to settle Mulroney’s lawsuit paid him the princely sum of $2.1 million. But money is only money. What Mr. Mulroney received from the government that was far more valuable to him was a public apology for their mistaken understanding of his dealings with Schreiber. Their payment and apology, however, was based on Mulroney’s sworn testimony that he met with Schreiber for coffee, a few times.

So where does this leave this ignominious tag-team? Well, Schreiber is serving a 8 1/2 year prison sentence while Mulroney remains in his own version of purgatory.

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