The Oliphant Inquiry – May 12, 2009 (Part 1 of 2)

Inquiries on CPAC

The Oliphant Inquiry – May 12, 2009 (Part 1 of 2)

Commission of Inquiry into Certain Allegations Respecting Business and Financial Dealings Between Karlheinz Schreiber and the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney

Witness: Brian Mulroney

The Commission hears testimony from Mr. Mulroney, a former prime minister of Canada, with Guy Pratte (Counsel for Mr. Mulroney) beginning direct examination. Mr. Mulroney speaks at length about his professional and political careers prior to his election, in 1983, as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. He is asked about his leadership style as prime minister and about his role in the creation of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. Mr. Mulroney is questioned about correspondence from Mr. Schreiber and about his own interest, beginning in 1987, in the Bear Head Project, a proposed manufacturing plant for military vehicles to be built in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Reviewing his correspondence with Paul Tellier and Lowell Murray, he recalls serious concerns within government about the viability of the project. Mr. Mulroney proceeds to reflect on the connection between “good politics” and “bad economic policy,” pointing to the election of Stephen Harper as a notable example. The former prime minister is also questioned about payments to Frank Moores and other Conservative-friendly lobbyists following the signing of an “understanding in principle,” in September 1988, by Bear Head and the federal government.