Martin Cauchon takes on Steven Harper -

Martin Cauchon takes on Steven Harper


The former Liberal Justice minister is a late-breaking candidate for the federal Liberal leadership. He lost to Tom Mulcair in Outremont in 2011 and did not contest the three elections before that, but back in the olden days Jean Chrétien handed him an increasing series of responsibilities. He was justice minister when Canada began to legalize gay marriage and almost decriminalized pot. He may be seen as an exciting candidate.

As Montreal journalist Justin Ling points out, a recent speech Cauchon gave in Berlin seems custom-designed to stifle any excitement.

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Martin Cauchon takes on Steven Harper

  1. Cauchon, should he even be back in politics?

    Ask him about being entertained, not once, but several times, by one of ADSCAM’s central figures, Jean Lafleur.

    Cauchon, another Liberal who couldn’t remember.

    • Former justice minister Martin Cauchon testifies that
      he and Jean Lafleur, head of Lafleur Communication Marketing, shared a
      “passion” for salmon fishing and fished together a few times. Cauchon
      says it would have been easy for Lafleur to push for sponsorship
      contracts during those trips, but he never did.


      • And they both most likely spoke French together…i think you’ve cracked the secret of adscam. Two liberals on a “fishing” trip together, both speaking French!
        If only the courts had your penetrating insight almost all liberals in this country would now be safely behind bars.

        • I guess that’s why Justice Gomery said of the Liberal party, “they are criminally organized”.

          • Why don’t you pull up the whole quote, in context…but you guys don’t do context, do you!

          • Don’t blow a valve, most Canadians caught the drift of the comment and voted accordingly in 2006 and beyond.

          • I’m not to get that full quote then?

          • It’s called a glitch, but making false assumptions seem to be your speciality.

          • The program ran from 1996 until 2004.

          • A Liberal party audit of its Quebec wing is presented showing that
            Lafleur, his company and his staff donated nearly $100,000 to the party
            from 1996 to 2003

          • Pull up the whole quote in context why don’t cha..but you guys dont do Context, do ya.

        • On January 15, 2002, Cauchon became Minister of Justice and Quebec lieutenant and as such he didn’t know what was going on?


          • I know 2002 is after the crimes of LAFLEUR, however Cauchon was and still is high in the Quebec wing Liberal ranks.

          • The program ran from 1996 until 2004, when broad corruption
            was discovered in its operations and the program was discontinued.
            Illicit and even illegal activities within the administration of the
            program were revealed, involving misuse and misdirection of public funds
            intended for government advertising
            in Quebec. Such misdirections included sponsorship money awarded to ad
            firms in return for little or no work, which firms maintained Liberal
            organizers or fundraisers on their payrolls or donated back part of the
            money to the Liberal Party.

      • From the CBC;

        Week of Feb. 28, 2005:

        Documents tabled at the inquiry in Montreal show that Lafleur
        Communication Marketing earned 78 per cent of its revenue between 1994
        and 2001 from the federal Public Works Department and Crown

        During that same time period, company head Jean Lafleur earned more than
        $9.3 million, his salary rising from just over $100,000 to $2.5
        million, and members of his family earned a total of $2.8 million. “This
        money doesn’t just include salaries. It also includes the business
        profits paid, in my name, as salary,” Lafleur says.

        A Liberal party audit of its Quebec wing is presented showing that
        Lafleur, his company and his staff donated nearly $100,000 to the party
        from 1996 to 2003.

        Lafleur admits that he socialized with prominent Liberals, including
        Chrétien cabinet ministers Martin Cauchon and Alfonso Gagliano, but
        denies discussing the sponsorship program with them or getting political
        direction from the government. Lafleur says he received direction of
        sponsorship contracts from Chuck Guité, the bureaucrat who ran the

    • LAFLEUR, Jean



      [1] The accused has pleaded guilty to 28 counts of fraud totalling $1,568,561.17.

      [2] The crimes were committed between September 1996 and
      March 2000. They were committed against the Government of Canada in the
      context of the Sponsorship Program.

      [3] The goal of the Sponsorship Program was to promote a positive image of Canada by involving the government in popular events.

      [4] Selected sports, cultural or community organizations were
      awarded large sums of money by the Government of Canada to finance
      various events.

    • You’re not supposed to remember Adscam, don’t you know?

  2. I spent part of my weekend wondering where he would have finished had he run for the Leadership in 2006. If had run, would have Dion? Would that have allowed Kennedy to come up the middle? Cauchon endorsed Rae, could Cauchon have delivered enough support to give Rae momentum? The latter seems the least likely.

    • I think one of the less-noticed dynamics in 2006 was that a lot of Liberals wanted to support a “real Liberal.” Johnny-come-latelies were penalized. That in itself wasn’t enough to put Dion over the top — it was Kennedy’s rock-solid support that did it — but it put a hard ceiling on Ignatieff’s support, and I think Rae’s too to some extent. Cauchon would have had that real-Liberal street cred. Except, come to think of it, he’d already blown much of it by not running in ’04 and ’06.

      Chrétien tried to get Rae to run as a Liberal in 2000. If he’d done that, and then stuck with it after Martin took over, he’d have been perfectly placed to succeed Martin in 2006. I offer no warranty for what would have happened after that.

  3. “It is through co-operation, discussion and intellectual curiosity that
    we will get to know each other better, that we will use difference as a
    catalyst for peace.”

    I was worried too many sentences like that would pass JT’s lips on his run for the gold. I dunno, maybe i just skipped over any real quick? But he has not sinned too badly in that respect on the whole.

    I’m not so sure it was that bad considering its audience, although, maybe he should get a more snappy speech writer.The concrete stuff like the landmine treaty resonated, but not much else for some reason. Certainly doesn’t have any of those…ich bein ein Berliner moments[ i am reliably informed JFK never actually said that] or …Mr Gorbachov, tear down this wall…or even a…Canada must be a just society!.. moments. But really who does nowadays? He is out to get a less than memorable orator in Steven, eventually.

    I looked for the…retarded pygmies line in vain, before realizing it was Pearsons.[ thank goodness i didn’t have a coffee in hand while reading it on the LT.]

    It will be interesting to see how JT and Mr C clash, particularly in or over QC. Someone’s going to look like yesterday’s man, or will someone else be shown to be out of touch in terms of classic liberal values? Who has the better pulse of modern QC or his party, leave alone the rest of Canada?

    • Who will win?

      Shiny Pony or Salmon Guy?

      • Guy with best hair of course. Unless Cauchon can do a little better in the ring than the senator did.

        • The Liberals are a joke, they are done.

  4. Justin Ling is an intrepid freelance journalist whose scruffy mug, salty
    baritone, and sarcastic wit has graced CBC’s Power & Politics, CTV
    Newsnet, CJAD and more print publications than you can shake a stick at.
    He’s available to speak about everything from Montreal goings-on,
    federal politics, international affairs, the Liberal leadership race and
    everything in between.

    Why don’t you have a snappy bio like this PWs? You could get one of those Greek fisherman’s hats off of Peter, a peg leg, maybe an African grey on the shoulder? …something like that.

    • I’m toying with a pocket watch and a faint Catalan accent, and if that goes well I’ll try to get an eye patch.

      • Ah, going for authentic eh. While your at it try and drag colleague Coyne along. He’s in need of a makeover these days. A top hat, plus 4s and a cane ought to do it, maybe a rakish Fitzgeraldish tash too? But just lately im thinking mutton chops and a Gladstone jowls should suit.

        • Just found out what plus 4s are. Better make it spats or pumps?
          Golf…a good way to ruin a walk. Wasn’t that Twain? Great man.

      • I see you as more of a monocle kind of guy than an eye patch kind of guy.

        • I did like that Anne of Green Gables thing he had going there. But I can see why he might not want to stick with it.