MONTREAL — The jury has been selected at the fraud trial of a man who made headlines during the federal sponsorship scandal.
Jacques Corriveau, 83, is a former longtime federal Liberal organizer and a one-time close ally of ex-prime minister Jean Chretien.
The charges laid against him in 2013 are fraud against the government, forgery and laundering proceeds of crime.
His trial is expected to last about six weeks and the Crown says it will call about 20 witnesses.
The Mounties allege Corriveau set up a kickback system on contracts awarded during the sponsorship program and used his Pluri Design Canada Inc. firm to defraud the federal government.
The program was intended to increase the federal government’s presence in Quebec after the No side’s slim victory in the 1995 sovereignty referendum. The Gomery Commission, which looked into the program, found that firms were winning contracts based on donations to the federal Liberals, with little work being done.
Corriveau testified in 2005 at the inquiry, which led to the demise of the Liberals’ hold on power.
Corriveau was a very close friend of Chretien and worked on his campaigns.