VIA Officials Tangled in Scandal
Prime Minister Paul Martin has announced that Via Rail President Francois Lacroix has been suspended without pay for his role in a federal sponsorship scandal. He has until March 1st to appeal the possibility of his dismissal.
Money for various sponsorship programmes was sent from various crown companies into large payments for advertising firms with liberal party connections.
Also getting sactioned for their parts are Canada post corporation head Andre Oulette, and the president of the business development bank of Canada.
The scandal broke as as the Crown companies sponosored various activities in the 1990s in Quebec.
Via sponsored a tv show on the life of legendary hockey player Maurice Richard. The show was paid for with a goverment grant. One of the advertising companies with Liberal party ties took nearly a quarter of the million dollar consultancy fee from the project.
There was no parliamentary oversight of this money, or any given to the other companies in question.
by Kevin Egan, February 24th 2004