My heart goes out to Tory Senator (rtd.) Gerry St. Germain, fingered by Witchfinder-General Michael Ferguson for an RCMP cavity search over a trifling $67,588 in travel, contracts and gifties.
A revoltin’ development indeed for Canada’s first Metis cabinet minister, onetime PC party president and tireless Byron Muldoon wind therapist.
On his second-last day in office in 1993, Muldoon finally succumbed to Gerry’s abject wheedling and plunked his sorry ass into the last remaining vacant Senate seat.
And Gerry never forgot who brung him, opining in his 2012 swansong speech, “I am confident historians will rightly position Brian Mulroney as Canada’s greatest prime minister,” he braunnosed, to stony silence from his senate colleagues.
He had also served loyally as party president — apart from one embarrassing outburst of candour back in ’91.
Some shitheel at Revenue Canada had leaked Muldoon’s 1990 tax return, which showed an income of some $300,000 — well in excess of his $164,200 pay as prime minister. From whence, in these pre-coffee-with-Karlheinz days, had the dough arrived?
“The party does give assistance to the leader of the party,” explained Gerry helpfully, “and what the prime minister actually declares as income is his business. I haven’t got any information as to the amounts.”
Later that same day, after dodging follow-up questions about, for example, whether Muldoon had to submit expense receipts for his PC Canada Fund sweeteners, Gerry re-emerged to, er, clarify his comments: “The PC Party of Canada does not supplement the income of the leader.”
So that’s all right, then!
Similarly misunderstood this time around, the honourable senator was obliged to emerge from retirement (Senate stipend: $105,551 per annum from a grateful nation), to defend his reputation from the overzealous abacus of the A-G.
“The presentation and tone of your general observations insinuate that I misappropriated my office resources in a nefarious manner,” groused Gerry in his response to Ferguson’s report. “I find these apparent accusations to be a defamatory affront to my personal integrity.”
And so say all of us! The audit, granted, was rendered somewhat more challenging by Gerry’s perfectly innocent shredding of relevant documentation, carried out in the course of a domestic downsizing and well in advance of the Ferguson Inquisition’s formation, as the honourable senator pointed out.
Particularly wounding to the devoted public servant was the unkind construction put on six toots to Edmonton for board meetings of the Sawridge Group hotel chain, for which he billed taxpayers $4,415 in travel and per diems.
None of which is to say that Gerry, whilst attending to his private business, had forgotten the nation’s:
“During these trips, I worked with a number of First Nations people on the development of legislation to enable First Nations Self Government. Bill S 216, which was tabled on my final day in the Senate, the Bill’s 4th iteration under my leadership, was a cornerstone work of my career.”
Ah yes, who could ever forget the watershed Bill S-216, “An Act providing for the recognition of self-governing First Nations of Canada,” which got its intro and first reading November 1, 2012. (Gerry officially retired November 6, but Nov. 1 was indeed the last day he bothered showing up for work).
Alas, recognition eluded our First Nations brothers and sisters once again, as the cornerstone work of Gerry’s career disappeared from the Order Paper the following March, never to be seen again.
And now this.