Liveblogging the Ethics committee, Day Three, Part Two, Subsection B: Patrick Muttart. He’ll tell us what’s what! (Oh, and maybe Doug Finley, too!)


3:37:15 PM
I can’t believe Patrick Muttart isn’t here. I just don’t know what to believe in anymore. Oh wait, I can believe that Gary Goodyear has a point of order. That will be my rock.

Right now, Gary Goodyear is reading out from a package of lawyers’ letters related to the non-appearance of not-his-witnesses: Brian Hudson, Irving Gerstein and Patrick Muttart. Although Gary Goodyear says that he just got this document – which worries him tremendously – the rest of us have had copies since the start of the meeting, thanks to the Conservative Whip’s office, which was handing them out to all and sundry.

Which brings up an interesting point: If these are not, as Goodyear avers, “their’ witnesses, why does the whip have copies of correspondence between these witnesses’ lawyers and the clerk?

3:42:22 PM
Like ITQ, Gary Goodyear is even more especially concerned about the letter regarding Patrick Muttart’s lawyer’s letter – that would be A. Hamilton, incidentally, who has been scurrying around the committee room all day. Why? We’re not sure – he keeps being interrupted by growly opposition heckling, and attempts by the chair to answer questions that Goodyear intended to be rhetorical.

3:44:38 PM
Szabo admits that it was actually Gerstein’s housekeeper who was served – not Gerstein himself, who wasn’t in the country.

Goodyear is on a tear, however – he doesn’t have all the information.

Okay, seriously: What court proceeding is Patrick Muttart party to? Why should he be afforded the “Mayrand Accommodation”? Otherwise, it will jeopardize his testimony in a “real courtroom” – that’s the other key phrase of the day, by the way. Was Szabo willing to cut the same sort of “deal” with Muttart?

3:47:06 PM
Szabo notes that Muttard had actually agreed to appear sans summons, until yesterday, when he sent word that he, too, wanted to be given special privileges under the sub judice convention, even though he was told that he could make that argument at committee, should a question arise that he felt he couldn’t answer.

3:50:01 PM
Szabo tries desperately to explain that he only found out about all this stuff yesterday – yesterday evening, in fact – when it was too late to do anything.

The Conservatives keep accusing Szabo of circulating information only to Liberals, which – I don’t think that’s actually true, because if it was, the Bloc and the NDP would be complaining too.

And why is Gary Goodyear getting all this stuff? During his testimony, Steve Halicki mentioned at one point that he had sent a courtesy email to Goodyear, who is, coincidentally, his MP, and Goodyear had replied by saying that he couldn’t discuss the meeting, since it would be a conflict of interest.

3:53:21 PM
According to Gary Goodyear, these hearings are going well for the Conservatives, although he seems awfully cranky if that’s the case.

3:55:38 PM
Paul Szabo is, once again, pleading to reason — he’ll make the information available as soon as he can. Goodyear, meanwhile, says something about understanding how hard it must be for Szabo to “look like a fool”. Too easy.

Szabo has now checked the record, and can state that during yesterday’s press conference, he stated that the summons had been issued — not served — which he did not know at the time. All he knew was that the summonses had been delivered to the bailiff.

Now, however, he can confirm that, as for yesterday’s witnesses, summons were served on Heidi Kiorni, which I probably misspelled, the agent for Sylvie Boucher, Henri Gagnon, agent for Daniel Petit, and Andre Laurin were all served last week. Only one of the four, Andre Duval, was unable to be served — and that witness told the cler earlier that week that the party had told him to decline all invitations.

So basically, when the Conservatives were circling the scrum yesterday, claiming that the witnesses hadn’t been served, that was untrue. Also, that bit about the party not instructing witnesses to refuse to attend? That also seems to be – shall we say truth-challenged?

4:03:55 PM
Never mind that, though – what Dean del Mastro finds *really* offensive is Pat Martin “taking the Lord’s name in vain” – and on CPAC, a family network.

You really can’t make this up.

4:06:17 PM
Pat Martin makes an offer – if the chair stops letting the Conservatives take over the meeting with points of order, he’ll stop swearing. Which cracks up the media tent at Camp In and Out, and seems the perfect place to close.

4:07:24 PM
A tiny bit of closing housekeepery — witnesses tomorrow, who will probably show up, since none of them are affiliated with the Conservative Party — and we’re out of here.

4:10:12 PM
Wait, no, we aren’t. Pat Martin wants to make sure there is sufficient time to talk about the consequences for those who ignored the summonses – maybe with law clerk superhero Rob Walsh, even. He doesn’t want potential future witnesses to get the idea that committee invitations are optional, and he won’t tolerate this insult to Parliament by the Conservative Party of Canada.

So there.

David Tilson, meanwhile, wants to know why Marc Mayrand is coming back, and whether he will have the same “special exemption” as he did when he appeared last time.

He will, as per Szabo, but will have to give his reasons for declining to answer under the sub judice principle, as was the case last time, and he’ll be here to take questions – that’s all. He’s here to help.

4:15:59 PM
David Tilson doesn’t know anything at this point. Although he definitely isn’t sounding quite as belligerantly righteous on the issue of summonses, and who has, and has not, been served.

4:18:26 PM
And on that enigmatic note, we’re out of here for the day – but we’re back with a vengeance tomorrow.


Liveblogging the Ethics committee, Day Three, Part Two, Subsection B: Patrick Muttart. He’ll tell us what’s what! (Oh, and maybe Doug Finley, too!)

  1. I still got dibs on 2:38

  2. Hey G….I’m going for 3 – or so.

  3. I say 9 minutes after the committee adjourns once witnesses (and points of order) run out. My betting is that they will arrive together with the lost conservatives whose car they have been pushing into Ottawa.

  4. LOL Stephen…

  5. gah. I was off by a mile. I thought it was the session 3 batch.

  6. Kady…any whites of the eyes around yet?

  7. Not to worry G…I was the one waaaay off base on that.

  8. When is Finley showing up? Wasn’t he scheduled for tomorrow?

  9. Where is Kady? She hasn’t posted anything since the committee started. Maybe WordPress is messed up.

  10. penlan, you are on the wrong board.

  11. I am…hmm. I keep going back to the main page but this is the last header I get.

    Thanks for letting me know boudica.

  12. Where is it? I’m going mad trying to find the right board. ;)

  13. The “Newfoundland is cranky” board.

  14. ok…got it..WHEW!

  15. I’m beginning to despise the sound of Goodyears’ voice. He has such a condescending tone/attitude.

  16. Szabo’s going to personally oversee the creation of documents tonight.

    so there it is

    his stash is in the print shop.

  17. “During his testimony, Steve Halicki mentioned at one point that he had sent a courtesy email to Goodyear, who is, coincidentally, his MP, and Goodyear had replied by saying that he couldn’t discuss the meeting, since it would be a conflict of interest.”

    So obviously he was coached with “talking points”.

  18. dibs on quarter after

  19. “…shall we say truth-challenged?”


  20. Challenge the Chair! Bring in someone with enough self respoect to react when he’s accused of foul play. I mean OMG! Goodyear has his job to do but when the chair of a commitee says let me reply to your questions individually instead of letting you make them into a speech you should accept the chairs proposal.
    I’m tempted to treat Kady as a Gonzo journalist who exagerates what she sees but apparently that’s not the case. I read that people are discussing orifices and that seems over the top. But no! I turn on C-Pac, of all things, and yes the peoples reps are indeed discussing orifices. And someone’s biting the chairs orifice! And the chair is kissing orifice in reply. I’m going to the park for a much needed smoke.

  21. Szabo deserves to be fast-tracked for sainthood.

  22. Del Mastro should be sentenced to follow Pierre (F-Bomb) Poilivre around with a swear jar for the remainder of this Parliament if he’s really sincere about preventing swearing.

  23. Of all the chumps I’ve seen in my life, Dean del Mastro is indeed the chumpiest. His Roman Catholic upbringing is being compromised by his work on the committee. What about being a used car salesman??

    Poor Mike Horn — he thought Kady was exaggerating. I find watching this painful and frankly would rather read Kady’s accounts than see it live.

    It’s just too scary to think these are our elected officials. Just tragic.

  24. MJ…yes it is tragic. And these same MP’s & their leader are sending our country down the tubes. It’s awful. They are nothing but a bunch of thugs. AND have ripped off the tax-payer which they are trying so hard to deny, when it is so evident.

  25. Also, I’m tired just sitting here reading/listening to all this crap. I can’t imagine how tiring it must be for Kady. Draining actually. But I’ll be back tomorrow as I want to know exactly what’s going on.

  26. It’s sickening to see these clowns killing our parliamentary system while 90 of our soldiers have been killed trying to help a country halfway around the world to form a democratic government.

  27. Heather,

    Busy here making a halo for Szabo.

  28. Thanks very much penlan – let’s all chip in for some chocolate for him too, he certainly deserves it and I’m sure he needs it by now. Popcorn optional.

    Oh and let’s check with Dean del Mastro as to proper sainthood-fast-tracking procedure; as a Catholic I’m sure he will be able to give us expert advice.

  29. St. Szabo for sure. There should be a rule that if you lose control of your own committee you can’t be on anyone else’s. As for del Mastro, does he still thank his mom publicly for not aborting him?

  30. Whatever happened to members of the media at least trying not to show their bias?

    Macleans might as well have Jason Cherniak do the live blogging from committee.

  31. Jared, it’s a blog, not a news report.

  32. Jared: Kady’s blog is an opinion piece done in real time.

    If you want your news “politically corrected and sanitized” for you, watch the 6:00 o’clock news

  33. Kady, I love you “all to hell” but you need to pick up a dictionary. There is a huge difference between a “subpoena” and a “summons”.

    You should clarify that point for your readers. As far as I know the committee has no power to issue a “summons”.

    And therefore the reason why they are being ignored.

    It’s a minor point but important.

  34. Jared writes: “True, it’s a blog, and I offered my comment.”

    Actually Jared, you were calling into question Kady’s objectivity as a journalist according to your standards: “Whatever happened to members of the media at least trying not to show their bias?”

    It was an attack, and not a comment on the topic under discussion.

  35. Look Compos, if you want politically correct and sanitized comments..well, bite me.

  36. Jarid – some of us on this site watched it – Kady’s telling the truth and for that we can tell Del Mastro that Kady is indeed going to heaven.

    Kady, I love you “all to hell” but you need to pick up a dictionary. There is a huge difference between a “subpoena” and a “summons”.

    I don’t think this mistake was so bad….I get a little concerned about Wallace being on the Commmittee when he thought he was reading an affidavit……when in fact he was reading a letter…not enough sucking on his earpiece I guess.

    Del Mastro – partisan shot each time he speaks – he refers to the “jury” – hey, Dean, you are not in court here – do you know the difference?

  37. Sandi..I watched it too. What I saw was a clueless and spineless Szabo, an apoplectic Martin, and a bewildered Hubbard who really needed a nap. Way better comedic fodder than Goodyear points of order.

    I seem to recall the same antics from the Liberals during the Public Accounts committee investigation into Adscam..Hello, Marlene Jennings anyone?

  38. Apologies to everyone for not responding to comments until now – I find that by the time the committee winds down, I’m pretty much spent for the rest of the day.

    Anyway, I just wanted to note that there is, in fact, a difference between a summons and a subpoena, and I don’t *believe* I’ve referred to the latter when I meant the former – not yet, at least. I will have to crack open my M&M later, but I’d suggest that it is incorrect to suggest that a summons can be ignored at will; committees do exercise the full authority of parliament as far as the production of documents *and* witnesses, so it is not something one can shrug off with abandon.

    Also, as far as the antics of the Liberals during Public Accounts – which I also covered, incidentally – I do not believe there were any instances wherein a party official refused a request to appear. If you have an example, please do provide it. Most of the witnesses invited were whistleblowers who *wanted* to testify — Allan Cutler, Miriam Bedard — so there was no issue as far as compelling attendance, but I don’t actually recall any hostile — or reluctant — witnesses outright refusing to appear.

    One more day!

  39. Kady,please tell Mr. Whyte that Sisyphus said you should have a mental health break of moderate lenghth after tomrrow. As an adept of Greek mythology I’m sure he’ll understand.

  40. The adscam and these hearings are a bit tough to compare vis a vis the actions of the minority government members and witnesses appearing, or not.

    But in this instance, perhaps if the Cons had been allowed to call any witnesses, their tone would be a tad less obstructionist.

  41. Kady –

    You deserve the Order of Canada for sitting through 3 days of those awful–but morbidly fascinating–EC hearings. I don’t know how you stand listening to all the mock outrage and postering from the likes of Dean del Mastro and Gary Goodyear.

    I’m sorry but I find Mr. Goodyear loathsome. He is belligerence personified and aftering watching his blustering antics on CPAC, I wanted to be put a Harry Potter spell on him so that he would inflate more and more with every Conservative talking point and accusation that he spouted until he became one overly inflated puffball and floated up up and away into the rafters! (You get the picture!)

    Anyway, I hope your thumbs are on ice right now. That was blogging extraordinaire!

  42. I second Mud Puppy’s motion (point of “Order”?) re: an Order of Canada for Kady. And I feel remiss in not having nominated Kady for accelerated sainthood along with our supernaturally even-tempered committee chair. So Mr. del Mastro, could you add Kady to the fast-track list please?

    “Miracles” have been amply demonstrated in that neither our heroic liveblogger nor our long-suffering-and-soon-to-be-sainted chair have snapped and started hurling furniture, blackberries or epithets across the room in the face of extreme provocation.

    Kady, you and your thumbs deserve the thanks of the nation. Hope you’re relaxing with a long cool one on the patio at Hy’s.

  43. Whats interesting is that with the Olympics in full swing and summer vacation with 2 1/2 weeks to run and most of the country not paying attention to IN-OUT we see the momentum for the Harper party start to slow down. In the key places.

    So all is good IMO. Wait til this story gets some traction in September. I suspect the timing for the EC IN-OUT report will be impeccable and devastating.

    And the dissenting Report written by Gary Good year and Del Mastro will be pure comedy.

    Any bets on how many times Del Mastro inserts the phrase ‘perfectly legal’ into the report?

    Lord, it will be good to see Del Mastro back on the car lot by December flogging used Hondas. I pray it happens sooner rather than later.

  44. Court prothonotary Mireille Tabib set a schedule for the court case, (The Conservatives are suing chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand over his decision to reject $1.2 million in campaign advertising claims made by Tory candidates), that will extend into the fall. She said the case has already been subject to “inordinate delay” and gave the Tories until Aug. 29 to file their final written arguments. Elections Canada must file its response by Oct. 10. The main event – oral arguments before a judge – has yet to be scheduled.

  45. “…but we’re back with a vengeance tomorrow.”


  46. Jared: You say that as if Mr. Goodyear, current chair of the Procedure and House Affairs committee, has not plainly stated that he will not call that committee to order unless any investigation of the in-and-out matter is removed from the agenda.

    You say that as if Mr. Goodyear wasn’t already the reason for one committee of our parliament simply not working for several months. The conservatives are being deliberately, purposefully obstructionist, because all the evidence is showing that they’ve broken the law to which the penalty is time in jail.

    There’s a reason, after all, that some people shorten the Conservative Party of Canada to the Cons.. because that’s what a good number of them will be soon.

  47. Jared: did I hit a nerve?

    Careful what you ask for – I DO bite!

  48. comment by Jarrid on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 10:05 pm:

    “…but we’re back with a vengeance tomorrow.”


    Jarrid…If you are so bored (*Yawn*) then it makes no sense why you are here with nothing constructive to say.
    If I’m bored with something I don’t hang around. I go do something interesting.

    You have added nothing interesting, or informative, to the discourse here. Discussion is important to everyone. Differing viewpoints can be done in such a way as to help others get an insight into how others think & perceive & can be enlightening to all around.

    But inane & silly remarks, like yours, do not give a good impression of what a Conservative thinks/believes but only reinforces the image, which is a negative one, that has been displayed over & over again by this Con party. Passive, as well as belligerent, offensive attacks seem to be the only way the Cons know how to present themselves to the world. Just one of many other negative traits that are so apparent.

    Intelligent discussion is what makes people listen & think. Something you seem to be incapable of doing. That is very sad.

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