A fundraiser, a Lawsuit and a Questionable Contribution by Emily Dee, June 13, 2009, Pushed to the Left and Loving it
When the Alberta Government sprang for a lawsuit against Stockwell Day, then a member of the provincial legislature, the public was outraged.
$800,000.00 for a case that could have been settled for about $70,000.00 if Mr. Day hadn’t been so damned obstinate. Then again, they felt; why should they foot the bill at all? Just because he signed the letter to the editor that got him into hot water, as a member of the legislature, it was a personal assault not sanctioned by the government at all. But foot the bill they did, because the risk insurance they had to settle claims such as these, had a one million dollar deductible; so the entire burden fell to the Alberta taxpayers.
However, it was what took place immediately after that brought into question the ethics of Stockwell Day and the Alliance Party of Canada (Day was now that Party’s leader), and paints a much larger picture of the turn of events.
The case was settled on December 22, 2000, the same date that a $ 70,000.00 contribution was received by the Alliance Party from Bennett Jones, who just happened to be the law firm receiving the windfall of about $ 400,000.00 in legal fees for defending the case.
With it was a note to to Gwyn Morgan, “I enclose herewith a Bennett Jones LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) cheque in the amount of $70,000. May I wish the Canadian Alliance the best of luck in the future.” (Mr Morgan you may remember was the man that Stephen Harper tried to hire to head up the review board on public appointments as part of his bogus accountability act. He was rejected because of some racist remarks he had made, however, I think the issue should have been that Mr. Morgan, was ‘a longtime fundraiser for the Reform/Alliance/Conservative parties’. How impartial would he be?)
The cheque was drawn on one of the firm’s managed trust accounts and was signed by Lorne Britton and two other partners. (Britton didn’t handle the case, but the two other names on the cheque have not been released).
This was the largest single donation any law firm had ever made to a political party.
Also of concern is the revelation from the Alliance staff themselves when reporting the windfall: An enclosed note from the “fundraiser (Morgan) to the party’s national office says his expectation of a big donation had come through, and ‘Bennett Jones through, senior partner William Britton has made a substantial contribution to the Canadian Alliance.” (Toronto Star, Feb. 21). The Alliance Fund co-chair, Bruce McDonald, was also a partner in Bennett Jones, so you can see how the whole thing appears to be questionable.
Stockwell Day prolongs a case that everyone says should be settled, Bennett Jones receives almost $ 400,000.00 as a result of the prolonging, the Alliance Party of Canada receives a $ 70,000.00 political contribution from Bennett Jones.
All of this may be a coincidence, but I’m just saying. I mean why was Gwyn Morgan actively pursuing a large donation from a law firm currently representing the Alliance leader in a trial being paid for by taxpayers? If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat …. Later under pressure, Mr. Day repaid about $ 40,000.00 of the trial costs. Chicken feed when compared to the $ 800,000.00 price tag.
Labels: Alliance, corruption, Gwyn Morgan, Lawsuit, Scandal, Stockwell Day
Refer also to: