Mr. Speaker, it would be so hard for this Prime Minister not to have seen the unfolding of the advertising scandal in Quebec. It would be kind of like not noticing a three tonne pink elephant in the middle of the living room.
Consider that to pull off this scam required the cooperation of people in the offices of cabinet ministers, crown corporations, the federal public service, four ad agencies and the Liberal Party. That is a lot of people who had to stay quiet over a four year period.
One letter said that Liberal Party activists had been talking about possible criminal activity in the sponsorship program in the fall of 2001. The letter was sent to our current Prime Minister in February 2002, but he just cannot remember it. Despite its allusion to criminal activity, no one in his office thought to call the police.
Oh, yes, and remember too, Mr. Speaker, that he was also vice-chair of the Treasury Board, which had responsibility for spending oversight, and a Quebec cabinet minister who had even employed one of the notorious ad firms in his first leadership bid back in 1990.
All this proves is that we can lead a minister to this scandal but we cannot make him look.