Yesterday, Jean Chr�tien's former Chief of Staff claimed that he was only the messenger between federal departments and the Prime Minister. According to Jean Pelletier, even though Jean Chr�tien gave his ministers plenty of latitude, he knew everything that was going on in his government. The former mandarin denied any involvement in the selection of brokers but admits that he knew the ins and outs of a project. He said that he had become aware of the Sponsorship Program when the Clerk of the Privy Council informed the Prime Minister in December 1996.
In the afternoon, the former Quebec City mayor complained about the resistance from bureaucrats who did not want to give up control of the granting of contracts to Jean Chr�tien's office. He talked about how the Canadian Unity Fund had to remain under the personal control of the Prime Minister. He confirmed that the PM, as well as his entire Cabinet, was perfectly aware of all of its operations.
When questioned on the comments made by Ms. Bourgon (former head of the Public Service) on the responsibility of the Prime Minister, Mr. Pelletier said that there is no accountability for bureaucrats as it is too convenient to hide behind elected officials. (Note that Pelletier is not elected either)
Today: Former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chr�tien is testifying before the commission.
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