If there were any doubt that Team Trudeau is the Party of Inclusiveness and OpennessTM, one need look no further than the green-lighting of Randy Boissonnault as the party’s potential standard-bearer in Edmonton Centre.
With a list of supporters that includes the riding’s last Liberal MP, Anne McLellan, Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman, MLA Laurie Blakeman, Senator Grant Mitchell and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, the glabrous gay bidnessman seems a prohibitive favourite for the Redmonton nomination.
Of course, into such a well-connected life a few regrettable acquaintances must fall, and the Liberal Party Northern Alberta Greenlight Committee initially balked at Randy’s candidacy. Some of that was his presumption in campaigning before he had their go-ahead, but also nervousness the Tories would bring up his former boss, the legendary fraudster Michael Ritter.
Ritter, supremo of wealth management firm Newport Pacific, pled guilty in 2006 to stealing $10.5 million from one client and assisting another in a $270 million Ponzi scheme.
It was the deal of the century. Not only was he out in 18 months, the plea bargain saved him from facing U.S. prosecutors and serious time for his crimes.
Nobody is suggesting, nor should they, that our Randy knew anything of his superior’s activities. Ritter fooled most of the people almost all of the time.
Boissonnault, with legal help, got his run for the nomination vetted on appeal, doubtless with a pointed reference to L’Affaire Innes in Trinity-Spadina and its associated defamation actions.
Randy also availed himself of a kneebender last month from Graham Hicks, served up on the former Edmonton Sun hack’s HicksBiz blog, wherein he put that whole Ritter thing in perspective.
To hear Graham tell it, Randy had merely been a junior marketing thingy at Newport (despite his actual job title, VP Business Development), and left the company two years before Ritter’s arrest.
“Needless to say, I was horrified to learn of those crimes happening at Newport’s highest levels,” Randy told Hicks. Needless.
Ritter went on to establish his own biz consulting company, Xennex, and the charity Literacy Without Borders, which focuses on bringing Belize out of the unlettered darkness.
Curiously, though, Belize has an adult literacy rate of 94 per cent (The U.S. rate is 90). So, er, well done, Randy!
The offshore banking haven always held a special appeal for Ritter as well, who got an additional six-month jail term for possession of a Belizean passport under the name Adam Michael Phillip d’Orleans.
These days, Ritter has a real fake name, having legally changed it to Adam Michael Philipp Rohan.
No doubt the Great CanadianTM and all associated aliases will heartily endorse his old fartcatcher in Edmonton Centre.