No doubt by now you may have heard of the results of the Oliphant Commission report. It is refreshing as it is depressing. As Canadians however, I believe it is important that each and everyone of us read it, or at the very least the 75 page Executive Summary.
The Mulroney Schrieber affair has been at times bizarre, gross spectacle, intriguing, sad, and ultimately instructive. But more importantly it has been an example of the cost one man's arrogance and venality can have for a country's citizens.
That Mulroney took $225,000 to $ 300,000 in cash stuffed envelopes on three separate occasions has been well documented. That Mulroney and Schrieber each are not to be trusted has also been well established. And while Canadians have watched this ridiculous affair unfold, the truth and magnitude of which will never truly be known, we have also paid for it dearly.
Had Mulroney declared the funds immediately and recorded the transaction on his tax return in the year(s) of receipt of the cash the Canadian Government would have simply collected $ 100,000 to $135,000 in taxes and that would have been the end of it. But no. Instead, due to the venality and arrogance of Mulroney, Canadians had to suffer a circus act more bizarre and expensive than anything one could dream of.
In the first installment of this sordid soap opera Mulroney launched a defamation suit against the Canadian government and was awarded $ 2.1million in damages and legal costs. For his sad performance at the Oliphant Inquiry he received about $ 2.0 million to pay for his legal costs. And now we find that the total cost of the Oliphant Inquiry was in the area of $ 14.1 million. $ 18.2 million total.
So for the venality and arrogance of one man we have paid $ 18.2 million to determine that taking cash stuffed envelopes and not declaring the income is "Inappropriate". Frankly, I could have told you that for much less. As a Canadian taxpayer this should make you very upset.
Frankly, I think Mr. Mulroney owes Canadians about $18.2 million.