Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
March 06, 2004

Class action planned against Ottawa

This appears to be a good move to hold our government accountable for their actions. It's truly sad that a court action is the only avenue to deal with these self proclaimed power mongers!

See also: CEO in the PMO?

Please forward this to all Canadian Contacts.


Chris Gupta

Class action planned against Ottawa

Canadian Press

Ottawa — A former advertising executive with links to a firm implicated in the federal sponsorship scandal said Wednesday he'll launch a class action lawsuit against Ottawa to recoup missing taxpayer money.

Alain Richard, formerly a vice-president at the Groupaction firm at the centre of the scandal, says several-thousand Canadians have added their names to his web site over a 24-hour period, wanting to join the suit.

"The friends of the current government owe more than $50 to every Canadian taxpayer,” said Mr. Richard, whose site,, is named after Prime Minister Paul Martin and his predecessor, Jean Chrtien.

"I want to prove to the world that the only tool in a democracy isn't even the newspapers — it's the internet,” Mr. Richard continued. "If I don't do it, who will?”

Auditor General Sheila Fraser found Liberal-friendly Quebec firms got $100-million in commissions and fees under the $250-million sponsorship program, often for doing little or no work.

A judicial inquiry headed by Quebec judge John Gomery is to find fault with individuals and assign blame.

The scandal has rocked the government and driven down Liberal poll numbers.

Mr. Richard said he was vice-president of Groupaction's corporate branch and was not involved in the government relations division implicated in the sponsorship affair.

But as an employee in the Montreal office, he said signs of Groupaction's booming business were evident in the lavish lunches his colleagues began taking at downtown eateries on a near-daily basis in the fall of 1997.

"You go from $25 bottles of wine to $125 in just a few days because the contracts were just pouring in,” he said in an interview.

"People were spending money like crazy.”

The former executive said he has been warning police agencies and government officials about the misuse of funds since 1997, but received no response.

He added he has received threats since coming forward, including threatening phone calls at night.

He also says he was accosted by two men waiting for him in a parking lot two weeks ago. They told him he talked too much and threatened to punch him in the face.

Mr. Richard has since ramped up security in his home and has purchased guard dogs to protect himself.

He also recently sent a letter to Mr. Martin, offering to tell his story.

A Martin spokesman refused Wednesday to confirm whether the Prime Minister had received Mr. Richard's letter.

"We're very appreciative that people are coming forward,” said spokesman Justin Kingsley.

"We want to assure them that every letter we receive in this matter will be forwarded to Judge Gomery and to public inquiry officials.”

Mr. Richard said several thousand people have expressed interest in joining his class-action suit since the site began accepting names.

He said he would file the suit once a certain number of names were collected, although he wouldn't reveal the number.


posted by Chris Gupta on Saturday March 6 2004
updated on Saturday September 24 2005

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