A first year of blogging in 2009 – penning on the tenth anniversary of my first blog article (Part 3)

(Continued from Part 2)

In February-March 2009 in the first three Parts of my second blog article, I analyzed some tantalizing facts reflecting certain matters of ethics in Canadian politics that had been playing out in the public eye as two related “affairs”.

There was the ongoing Mulroney-Schreiber Affair, about a disputed business relationship between German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber and former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney; and there was the older but broader Airbus Affair, about possible kickbacks Mr. Mulroney had received from Airbus Industrie for its 1988 sale of planes to Air Canada, which had been the subject of a criminal investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Central to the two affairs was not only Mr. Mulroney’s ethics and conduct, but also business lobbying by Mr. Schreiber who had distributed Airbus commissions in Canada, and his connections to prominent Canadian political figures including, in Mulroney’s circle, Mr. Peter MacKay, then cabinet minister in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, the deceased Mr. Frank Moores, former Newfoundland Premier and former Air Canada board member, Justice John C. Major, Prime Minister Mulroney’s appointee to the Supreme Court of Canada, and the deceased Mr. Bruce Verchere, formerly Prime Minister Mulroney’s tax lawyer and financial trustee who also represented the Swiss Bank where Schreiber had accounts for Airbus commissions as well as for a disputed $300,000 he had given Mulroney in their subsequently-disputed financial relationship.

In Parts 1 & 2, dated February 20 & March 8, 2009, respectively, I discussed a key fact linking the two affairs, in the form of an allegation Schreiber included in a court document filed during the Mulroney-Schreiber Affair in 2007, that could be central to the Airbus Affair; it regarded possible roles by Moores and Verchere in getting the Airbus money to Mulroney, here partially re-quoted as in Part 2 of my current review article:

“And yet by early November 2007 when he was trying hard to avoid extradition to Germany, railing against “abuse of power” by Mr. Mulroney earlier when the latter was prime minister, Mr. Schreiber took an extra legal step to try to expose Mulroney’s role in the Airbus Affair, a role that was connected to the company Government Consultants International, an Ottawa lobbying firm during the Mulroney era founded by Frank Moores, Mr. Mulroney’s appointee to the Air Canada board, according to a report in The Globe and Mail newspaper: 26

“An adviser to former prime minister Brian Mulroney asked Karlheinz Schreiber to transfer funds, made in connection with Air Canada’s 1988 purchase of Airbus airplanes, to Mr. Mulroney’s lawyer in Geneva, Switzerland, according to an affidavit sworn by Mr. Schreiber and filed Thursday in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The affidavit states that Mr. Schreiber informed Mr. Mulroney during a meeting at Zurich’s Hotel Savoy on Feb. 2, 1998 that one of Mr. Mulroney’s closest friends and advisers, Fred Doucet, had asked him to transfer funds “related to the Airbus deal” from the lobby firm, Government Consultants International, or GCI, to Mr. Mulroney’s Swiss lawyer.”



“The reason for then prime minister Brian Mulroney’s Canadian lawyer to be referred to as his lawyer in Switzerland is that Bruce Verchere was also the Canadian lawyer representing the Swiss bank where (in a branch in Zurich, Switzerland) Mr. Schreiber opened bank accounts for Airbus commissions and other funds including his now famous $300,000 given to Mulroney in 1993-94.59, 60, 61

As in the above two quotes, Prime Minister Mulroney’s close friend and advisor Fred Doucet once asked Schreiber to send money “related to the Airbus deal” to Mulroney’s lawyer Bruce Verchere.

In 2009 I noted in Part 1’s footnote that, according to Norman Spector, former chief of staff to Prime Minister Mulroney, Fred Doucet, also a former Chief of Staff, often brought visitors to see Mulroney without formally going through the Prime Minister’s Office:

“27. … Mulroney’s former chief of staff Norman Spector has also revealed that after leaving a former chief of staff position Fred Doucet became a lobbyist in Ottawa and from time to time would bring persons to meet with Mulroney, and that those appointments were not booked through or recorded by the Prime Minister’s Office…”

(“The myth of political vendetta in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Airbus Affair investigation, the politics of Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien, and some social undercurrents in Canada (Part 1)”, February 20, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Doucet also had a key role in the financial relationship between Mulroney and Schreiber that was at the center of the Mulroney-Schreiber Affair, having arranged the meetings during which Schreiber gave Mulroney envelopes containing cash:

“Mr. Doucet, a former chief of staff for Mulroney, told the Commons ethics committee that he only remembers arranging two of four meetings between his old boss and Schreiber, including one in a New York City hotel in 1994 where he saw Mr. Schreiber hand the former prime minister an envelope at the end of a 90-minute meeting.

He said Mr. Schreiber told Mr. Mulroney the money was to pay for expenses and services rendered by the former prime minister after hearing a presentation on his lobbying efforts in China, Russia and France. Mr. Doucet said he did not know at the time that the envelope, which Mr. Mulroney put in his briefcase, contained cash.

“Mr. Mulroney reported on a meeting he had had with the presidents of Russia, France, and the Chinese leadership, and his view that these countries . . . could play an important role in the United Nations peacekeeping initiatives and where the use of Thyssen military vehicles might be very appropriate,” said Mr. Doucet.

In early December, Mr. Doucet released a statement denying allegations by Schreiber that he asked for the transfer of money “for Airbus” into a Swiss bank account destined for the former prime minister.”

(“Former Mulroney staffer didn’t know envelope contained cash”, By Jack Aubry, February 12, 2008, Ottawa Citizen)

As discussed in Part 2 of my current review, Spector later stated in June 2009, during a public inquiry presided over by Justice Jeffrey J. Oliphant into the Mulroney-Schreiber business relationship, that Schreiber had been a frequent visitor to Prime Minister Mulroney, enjoying more access than any other lobbyist.

That public inquiry capped the Mulroney-Schreiber Affair that had first been brought forward by Schreiber and received intense public attention in the 2000s. But as recently reviewed in Part 2 of my current article, it was likely only the tip of a much larger iceberg that had been the Airbus Affair of the 1990s.

In February-March 2009, I then reviewed the historical political contexts of these affairs as they relate to government leadership ethics, in particular, some basic historical facts relating to Mr. Mulroney’s rise to power in the 1980s, and the various ethics and corruption problems dogging his government and him.

In reviewing the historical ethics and corruption problems associated with Mulroney, I highlighted the key roles of the left-leaning Canadian media in investigating and exposing them, and the important roles of women journalists, especially anti-corruption journalist Stevie Cameron who conducted wide-ranging investigative journalism work over a long period of time and whose efforts led to the intensification of the RCMP’s Airbus Affair criminal investigation in 1995.

I remarked in my post on February 20, 2009, that back in November 1995 – when the criminal investigation of Mulroney became publicly known – the RCMP’s lead investigator, Sgt. Fraser Fiegenwald, acknowledged that it had been media reports that led to the police’s intensified efforts:

“This particular controversy about what the RCMP have or have not done in its Airbus Affair investigation is hardly unique. When the Airbus Affair first broke into news headlines in November 1995, the RCMP investigator at the time, Sgt. Fraser Fiegenwald, actually revealed that although the criminal investigation had been first set up in 1988-89 soon after the Air Canada-Airbus Industrie deal, not much was done until March 1995 when he received some media reports containing intense allegations against former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney on the matter of kickbacks. 31

(Part 1, February 20, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Then in my post on March 8, 2009, I noted in a footnote that Sgt. Fiegenwald singled out several media venues, including the German news magazine Der Spiegel, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s The Fifth Estate TV program, and Stevie Cameron, as his source of information:

“44. RCMP investigator Sgt. Fraser Fiegenwald stated in November 1995 that it was stories in “the German news magazine Der Spiegel and the CBC-TV current affairs program Fifth Estate” that prompted him to look into the allegations, starting in March 1995; Fiegenwald later also identified Stevie Cameron as an early source of information…”

(“The myth of political vendetta in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Airbus Affair investigation, the politics of Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien, and some social undercurrents in Canada (Part 2)”, March 8, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

In that March 8 post, I also noted that over a decade later during the Mulroney-Schreiber Affair, Ms. Cameron personally acknowledged her own leading role in investigating Mr. Mulroney’s problems, as well as the key role of Justice Minister Allan Rock in then Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s government in the 1990s, citing Schreiber’s letter to Mulroney dated January 29, 2007, here as previously quoted in Part 2 of my current article:

“Ms. Cameron herself is also sure that the persons she has been chasing view her in this way as well, as she has been quoted as saying on November 13, 2007: 57

“Would I be at the top of Mulroney’s list of journalists? You bet. In a letter Schreiber wrote to Mulroney on Jan. 29 this year, he said, ‘All my personal problems began with Stevie Cameron’s book On The Take and Allan Rock’s political witch hunt with the RCMP against you.’”

Nonetheless, as discussed in February 2009 and reviewed in Part 2 of my current article, the RCMP closed its Airbus Affair criminal investigation in April 2003 without finding sufficient incriminating evidence against Mulroney, but it had not been a thorough investigation and the RCMP later expressed the willingness to conduct a new one if new information became available.

As I have discussed in Part 2 of my current review, the much more limited Mulroney-Schreiber Affair did have an official outcome, a report released in May 2010 with findings by Justice Oliphant who had conducted a public inquiry, concluding that Mr. Mulroney’s conduct in his financial dealings with Mr. Schreiber had been “inappropriate”.

But before Justice Oliphant’s inquiry and conclusions, in the spring of 2009 after reviewing some key facts and evidence and the media’s expository work on the subject, in my article’s Part 4 dated April 29 I commented on a huge gulf in perception between Mulroney’s ethics problems and the lacklustre, fruitless efforts on the part of the RCMP and the former Chretien government to uncover the truth:

“The legacy of Brian Mulroney, in his known propensity to associate with persons of corrupt or unsavoury repute and in the yet-unclear depth of his political problems of ethics and conduct relating to business interests close to or lobbying his government, may in the end be compared to some of the more notorious in the recent history of the western, Judeo-Christian, democratic world. Yet, as have been previously shown, neither the RCMP nor the Liberal government of Jean Chretien during its 10-year tenure from 1993 to 2003 really went after Mr. Mulroney: in public they were merely reacting to, and maintaining a continuing interest in, issues in the Airbus Affair as brought forward by members of a left-leaning Canadian media – particularly by Stevie Cameron and the CBC’s The Fifth Estate – and supported by those in the federal government system opposed to Mr. Mulroney’s rightwing agendas.

The conclusion would again appear to be that not only there was no political vendetta against Mulroney on the part of the RCMP or the Liberal government, which he has alleged, but that the long-running saga was mostly a media circus despite that – as previously shown – very serious and nagging questions still exist as to the nature of the Airbus Affair, the depth of corruption and Mr. Mulroney’s real role in them.”

(“The myth of political vendetta in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Airbus Affair investigation, the politics of Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien, and some social undercurrents in Canada (Part 4)”, April 29, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As commented above, the Airbus Affair appeared more of a “media circus” than being driven by the police criminal investigation or by the government.

But I then immediately added, in the above April 2009 blog post, that in order to understand the agendas of the RCMP and of the Chretien government I would review more facts relating to what the government, particularly then Justice Minister Allan Rock, had been aware of and what priority the government gave to the corruption investigation:

“However I am not ready to conclude such but would next illustrate that the Chretien government and the RCMP did likely have their own agendas in seeing the criminal investigation against Mulroney be launched and be ongoing for an extended period of time (from 1995 to 2003), and that although neither wanted to get to the bottom of the Airbus Affair both had an interest to see it hound Mr. Mulroney through to the end of the Chretien political era.”

(Part 4, April 29, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As quoted, my assertion was that the Chretien government and the RCMP did not want to get to the bottom of the Airbus Affair matters but rather wanted to “see it hound Mr. Mulroney through to the end of the Chretien political era”.

As a matter of fact, it was Mr. Mulroney himself who asserted in November 1997 that the Chretien government and Rock had been behind the criminal investigation since 1993, especially behind a criminally accusatory letter to the Swiss authorities – dated September 29, 1995 as mentioned in Part 2 of my current review – as I noted in my April 2009 post:

“In November 1997 in his first media interview after winning a legal settlement with the federal government over the libel issue, Mr. Mulroney alleged that there had been pressure from Liberal justice minister Allan Rock to prosecute him since 1993: 152

“Allan Rock arrives (in Ottawa) in 1993. The first thing he does as minister of justice is to write to the RCMP, conveying gossip about me personally to the commissioner of the RCMP requesting an investigation. Out comes (Stevie) Cameron’s book (On The Take), Herb Gray, the solicitor general, gives a copy of it to the commissioner of the RCMP, asking that he look into it. These are clear signals by a new government to a national police force, and the signals say, it’s all right for open season on Mulroney”.

And Mulroney further stated the Liberal government must have been behind the RCMP in branding him a criminal in a letter to the Swiss authorities:

“If anyone believes that this could take place without the knowledge of the minister of justice or the knowledge of the solicitor general or the knowledge and approval of the commissioner of the RCMP or the knowledge of the PMO [i.e., Prime Minister’s Office] anybody who believes that, I wish them well in Disney World”.

(Part 4, April 29, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As quoted in the above from Mr. Mulroney, “the first thing” the new Justice Minister Allan Rock did in 1993 was to convey some “gossip” about him to the RCMP commissioner, “requesting an investigation”; and then when Stevie Cameron’s book on corruption in the Mulroney era was published, Solicitor General Herb Gray gave a copy to the RCMP commissioner, “asking that he look into it”. Mulroney called it “open season on Mulroney”.

That’s very interesting. What could the “gossip” be about Mr. Mulroney in 1993 that Mr. Rock knew?

I contended that it could be information from the family of Bruce Verchere, formerly Prime Minister Mulroney’s tax lawyer and financial trustee, given to Liberal Party-friendly lawyers by Mrs. Lynne Walters Verchere during a family legal feud before Mr. Verchere’s sudden death in August 1993 due to suicide:

“They might have some evidence. According to Stevie Cameron, during 1993 lawyers closely affiliated with the Liberal Party had in fact been provided with documents pointing to fraud and financial mismanagement on the part of Bruce Verchere, then tax lawyer and financial trustee for Prime Minister Brian Mulroney: when Verchere’s wife Lynne Walters Verchere had a fallout with her husband whose fraud had gotten to the point of defrauding her and their children, Mrs. Verchere made the point of specifically retaining notable lawyers with distinction in the Liberal Party to represent her in the legal proceedings against Bruce Verchere, and she gave copies of many important documents she found in their home to these lawyers. 165, 166, 167

Note that this Bruce Verchere, who then died in an gunshot suicide in August 1993 only two months after being appointed board chairman of Atomic Energy Canada Limited in one of Mulroney’s patronage appointments on his last full day as prime minister, as previously discussed had been the “Swiss lawyer” of Mulroney’s who Karlheinz Schreiber alleges wanted Schreiber to transfer Airbus money to Mulroney; then later in the RCMP investigation, the September 29, 1995 Canadian government letter accusing Mulroney of criminal activity was written to the Swiss authorities to investigate the Airbus money.

If Liberal-affiliated lawyers indeed had access to documents containing clues of possible mismanagement in Brian Mulroney’s finances related to Airbus money, the issue would be how seriously, or not, during 1993-95 the Liberals push the RCMP to pursue those aspects, rather than that they had Mulroney accused without any evidence; in particular, did the “gossip” Allan Rock conveyed to the RCMP in 1993 right after he became justice minister – something Mulroney has alleged – include stuff to do with Mulroney’s former lawyer and trustee Bruce Verchere?

166. Other sources of information indicate that Raynold Langlois, the lead lawyer for Lynne Walters Verchere from around March 1992 to the time of her husband’s death in August 1993, recovering money from her husband Bruce Verchere, was son of a former Liberal senator, was himself a former chairman of the constitutional committee of the Quebec Liberal Party, and had earned a lot of legal fees from the former Trudeau government…”

(Part 4, April 29, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As noted earlier, Verchere not only was Prime Minister Mulroney’s lawyer but also represented the Swiss Bank where Schreiber had accounts for Airbus commissions as well as for the $300,000 he gave Mulroney that would later become a focus of dispute in the Mulroney-Schreiber Affair.

As noted above, two months after Mulroney’s stepping down and appointing Verchere as chairman of Atomic Energy Canada Limited, Verchere died of a gunshot-inflicted suicide.

Taking into account this intriguing Bruce Verchere facet, in my April 2009 post I concurred with Mr. Mulroney’s facts about the Chretien government’s encouraging the RCMP to investigate him since 1993, but countered his view about the Chretien government’s “open season on Mulroney”. I asserted that the criminal investigation of Mulroney had likely been a part of the Liberal government’s law-and-order agendas:

“While the Chretien government at the time denied any involvement in the RCMP investigation, I would give Mr. Mulroney the benefit of the doubt on his points quoted above. My analysis of press archives has suggested to me that such were likely the case, however that it was not obvious vendetta against Mulroney but a part of the incoming Liberal government’s law-and-order agendas during 1993-1995 to include a criminal investigation of Mulroney’s role in the Airbus Affair, and that the Liberal brand of law-and-order may at least partially explain the criminally accusatory language in the September 29, 1995 letter to the Swiss authorities.”

(Part 4, April 29, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As I remarked above in 2009, “the Liberal brand of law-and-order may at least partially explain the criminally accusatory language in the September 29, 1995 letter to the Swiss authorities”.

In other words, in my assessment, if the Canadian government letter to the Swiss authorities referred to “criminal activities carried out by the former prime minister” as previously quoted in my current review’s Part 2, then the “gossip” Justice Minister Allan Rock had been aware of likely suggested such.

Regarding Mr. Mulroney’s use of the word “gossip” to refer to certain information, an important point that I later emphasized in a blog post dated July 6, 2012, from a multipart article written after 2009, is that practically all of what had gone on among Schreiber, Mulroney, Verchere and Major had been shielded from the public during the Mulroney government era, and even later at the height of the Airbus Affair publicities in 1995-1997:

“As mentioned in Parts 3, 5 & 6, the business relationship between Mulroney and Verchere was never reported in public until Cameron’s 1998 book, despite the fact that it had been from Verchere’s law firm lawyer John Major was first appointed to Alberta Court of Appeal and then on November 13, 1992 to Supreme Court of Canada.”

(“Team Canada female athletes disqualified from Commonwealth silver medal, jailed Chinese democracy activist awarded with Nobel peace prize, and others in between (Part 8) — when political power games rule”, July 6, 2012, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

Hence a counterpoint to Mr. Mulroney’s complaint about “gossip” would be that, when what mattered to the country’s interests were the prerogative of a higher few, “gossip” was what ordinary members of the public could learn only.

As for my contention cited earlier that the Chretien government and RCMP used the long-lasting criminal investigation to “haunt Mr. Mulroney through to the end of the Chretien political era”, as circumstantial evidence I noted that the day the RCMP announced closure of the fruitless investigation, April 23, 2003, happened to be the 10-year anniversary of the Chretien Liberal Party’s unveiling of its law-and-order platform for the 1993 election that would turn out to be “the worst federal electoral defeat in Canadian history” for Mulroney’s Tories, namely the Progressive Conservative Party:

“Now, taking notice of Mr. Chretien’s liking of anniversary dates and milestones, one recognizes that on April 22, 2003 when the RCMP announced termination of the Airbus Affair criminal investigation, the day happened to be the 10-year anniversary of the Liberal Party’s unveiling of its law-and-order platform for the 1993 election, an election that would turn out to be historic as the Tories under Mulroney’s successor Kim Campbell would be reduced to only two seats and without official-party status – the worst federal electoral defeat in Canadian history. 158

(Part 4, April 29, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As above, I mentioned “Mr. Chretien’s liking of anniversary dates and milestones”. I especially compared the above 10-year anniversary date to Chretien’s euphoric celebration, as Prime Minister, of the most significant and related 10-year anniversary in 2003, that of his October 25, 1993 election victory, at “the sacred Sikh Golden Temple in India on a day that happened to be Diwali”, as he held on to the country’s leadership to beyond the 10-year mark despite being challenged by his rival, incoming Liberal leader Paul Martin:

“On the date of the 10-year anniversary of his election to power, Saturday, October 25, 2003, Chretien celebrated by visiting the sacred Sikh Golden Temple in India on a day that happened to be Diwali – India’s equivalent of Christmas, basking in happiness among over 100,000 revellers and accompanied by natural resources minister Herb Dhaliwal, one of several Sikh Canadian Liberal MPs, while in Ottawa in the House of Commons a motion put forward by the Bloc Quebecois was to be voted on that Tuesday to force Chretien to step down as soon as Paul Martin became the Liberal leader in November; but Mr. Chretien was still planning to attend the Commonwealth summit in Nigeria in December, and he survived the motion, notifying new leader Paul Martin on November 18 that he would leave office on December 12 after returning from Africa – an unusually long time for a new Liberal leader to wait (for anything more than 10 days). 155

(Part 4, April 29, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

I further reasoned that the Chretien Liberals in government wanted to take a strong stand when it came to Mulroney’s “criminal activities”, because Chretien had previously been accused of being weak on law and order by the Reform Party that had siphoned away votes from the Tories formerly under Mulroney:

“Behind and beyond any symbolism of a 10-year law-and-order milestone regarding Brian Mulroney was likely a Liberal view of Mulroney – like a criminal who should be subjected to law and order, even if the Liberals did not openly say such. Back in early 1993, the Liberal Party under Jean Chretien was criticized as weak on crime, a reputation to do with Chretien’s stint as justice minister under Pierre Trudeau before the Mulroney era; in 1993 the new Reform Party which was going to siphon off much of the Tory votes in Western Canada, ran on a strong law-and-order platform, and so Chretien responded by putting forward a law-and-order platform to make him look respectable. 161

(Part 4, April 29, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

However, a difficulty for the RCMP criminal investigation to uncover the Airbus money trail could be that certain Swiss bank accounts identified as containing Airbus money for Mulroney and Frank Moores turned out not to have it, as I noted in a footnote on February 20, 2009:

“27. Several months before his filing at court of an affidavit alleging that Mulroney had asked him for Airbus money, Karlheinz Schreiber wrote a letter to Mulroney in May 2007 threatening to expose Mulroney for accepting Airbus-related money (i.e., in addition to the $300,000 from Schreiber) from Government Consultants International… Schreiber’s allegations have been partially corroborated by his former accountant, Swiss businessman Giorgio Pelossi, in the latter’s testimony in front of the parliamentary ethics committee, who stated that Schreiber opened Swiss bank accounts for Airbus commissions for Mulroney and Frank Moores although money was never transferred into these particular accounts…”

(Part 1, February 20, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

In other words, the Airbus money trail could be craftier and more elaborate. Still, as pointed out in Part 2 of my current article, in its investigation the RCMP missed the fact that some $300,000 from one of Schreiber’s accounts in this Swiss Bank did reach Mulroney in cash envelopes; and, following the RCMP investigation’s closure, that money became the focus of the Mulroney-Schreiber Affair.

Moreover, the persons involved, such as Mr. Mulroney’s close friend the late Frank Moores, almost always denied any role. In Moores’s case, despite his having received Airbus money from one of Schreiber’s Swiss bank accounts, his public denial was lifelong, contradicted by Schreiber only later – over two years after Moores’s death:

“From the first whiff of an Airbus controversy in 1988 until he died 17 years later, Frank Duff Moores and all of the lobbyists from his firm were adamant: Mr. Moores had nothing to do with Airbus and its sale of $1.8-billion worth of airplanes to Air Canada.

The denials came from everywhere and everyone, such as his third wife, Beth Moores: “He has frequently, in previous statements, said that he has never, ever had anything to do with Airbus, ever,” she told The Globe and Mail in 1995.

Mr. Moores’ partner at his lobby firm Government Consultants International used equally strong language in 1988 shortly after Air Canada announced its purchase. “We never received any mandate … to work for Airbus,” the late Gary Ouellet told the Toronto Star. “We have not lobbied Air Canada.”

However, a letter written by Mr. Moores and obtained during months of research by The Globe and Mail and CBC’s fifth estate, shows the opposite.

On Feb. 3, 1988, only two months before the board of directors at Air Canada agreed to make the largest civilian aircraft purchase in the country’s history, Mr. Moores wrote to the chairman of Airbus Industrie, the late Franz Josef Strauss, about the financing agreement for the sale.

“I would like to bring to your attention a situation that has developed regarding the sale of aircraft to Air Canada,” Mr. Moores wrote, explaining that Air Canada required a “deficiency guarantee” before proceeding with the sale.

In 1995, his firm made headlines when Mr. Moores, along with Mr. Schreiber and Mr. Mulroney, was accused in a letter to the Swiss government of conspiring to defraud Canadians on the Airbus sale.

The federal government later apologized to all three.

In recent interviews with The Globe and CBC, Mr. Schreiber has acknowledged paying Mr. Moores for his lobbying services in cash. In fact, Mr. Schreiber created a sub-account in Switzerland with a codename for Mr. Moores – “Frankfurt” – from which numerous cash withdrawals were made.”

(“Despite denials, Moores worked on Airbus file”, by Greg McArthur, November 14, 2007/April 26, 2018, The Globe and Mail)

It has been confirmed by investigative journalistic work that Moores received at least $1.3 million Airbus commissions from Schreiber, out of around $20 million the latter received from Airbus, here partially re-quoted as in Part 2 of my current review:

“… after Karlheinz Schreiber received around $20 million dollars of commissions from Airbus Industrie (an amount according to himself), Moores billed Schreiber at least a confirmed $1.3 million for his part of the commissions; the conventional wisdom is that Moores was a middle man for Schreiber in distributing millions of dollars of commissions to others in Canada…”

Nonetheless, I pointed out in my April 2009 post that, when it came to law and order, the Chretien Liberals’ more serious interest was in gun control; the criminal investigation of Mr. Mulroney was thus, in a sense, an also-ran for the Liberal government in a way befitting its overall objectives:

“But in hindsight, Chretien was only testing the political water: his real brand of law and order would go against the political rightwing, and to him it was not so much harder penalties on crime, which the Reform Party championed, but more stringent gun control, about which Chretien stated on April 22, 1993 that he wanted to wait and see. 162 Gun control subsequently became the most high-profile law-and-order legislative issue of the Liberal government throughout the 1990s, and on that agenda both the Reform Party and the Tories put forth fierce opposition. 163

For the Liberals, why not deploy the same tack, as they did with gun control, on Brian Mulroney who had the reputation of a political “bully boy” and whose party had been so soundly trounced in the election? 164

(Part 4, April 29, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

In the subsequent several blog posts in 2009, starting with Part 5 dated May 27, I reviewed Mr. Chretien’s politics in government, especially the Chretien Liberals’ law-and-order politics.

I first highlighted RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster’s resignation early in the Chretien era, announced by Prime Minister Chretien, as being crucial due to Inkster’s long tenure under the Mulroney government since 1987 at the helm of the national law-enforcement agency that exhibited highly publicized political biases in favor of Mulroney, in particular in the “Richard Grise affair”:

“At the beginning in late 1993/early 1994, the politics of targeting Brian Mulroney would have been understandably tricky to the incoming Liberal government given that Mulroney had just served for nearly nine years as a majority-government leader; however the new government soon got a change of guard at the helm of the RCMP when in February 1994 Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced the resignation of RCMP commissioner Norman Inkster to take effect in June, while justice minister Allan Rock was busy with other Liberal priorities such as banning discrimination of homosexuals. 169

Appointed by Mulroney in 1987, Commissioner Inkster largely enjoyed a trouble-free seven years leading the RCMP, with a big part of the blames for controversies the RCMP was entangled in – particularly during 1988-90 over possible political biases in the Richard Grise affair (about certain timing in corruption investigation near the 1988 election time) and in the Doug Small affair (investigation into a 1989 federal budget leak) – shouldered by his second-in-command, deputy commissioner Henry Jensen. 170

But within the RCMP, Inkster was perceived by some as uninterested in political investigations or even yielding to high-level political pressures: when the Airbus Affair investigation broke into the news in late 1995 it was revealed that back in 1990 when Commissioner Inkster ordered an inquiry by Ontario Judge Rene Marin into RCMP handling of a corruption investigation on Tory Senator Michel Cogger, at the time part of the initial 1989 Airbus-Mulroney investigation had been hidden under the Cogger case for fear of Mulroney government interference. 171

(“The myth of political vendetta in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Airbus Affair investigation, the politics of Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien, and some social undercurrents in Canada (Part 5)”, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Besides his having been appointed by and served under Mulroney, I noticed that Inkster had never publicly endorsed gun control by the time when his resignation was announced in early 1994:

“On the other hand, by early 1994 Mr. Inkster never publicly expressed support for stricter gun control (as a quick survey of the press archives would reveal) despite passion for it from the new prime minister expressed during the election campaign; Allan Rock’s first public talk of tougher gun-control law started in April 1994 two months after announcement of Inkster’s resignation, and in contrast to Inkster the new RCMP commissioner Philip Murray in June on the day before taking over the job publicly expressed strong support for a full handgun ban suggested by Allan Rock. 174

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As noted above, the incoming RCMP Commissioner Philip Murray publicly expressed “strong support for a full handgun ban” before taking over the job.

In my assessment, Inkster’s departure made easier not only the Chretien government’s gun control agenda but also the criminal investigation of Mulroney:

“It is also interesting to note that Commissioner Inkster’s intent to resign was announced in February with departure in June, much like Mr. Mulroney had done a year prior as prime minister. 175

The point is that if the change of guard at the RCMP gave the Liberal gun-control drive crucial momentum, it likely also bolstered whatever Liberal plan there was to pursue Airbus Affair investigation against Mulroney.”

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

On the other hand, the cost of Inkster’s departure was high for Canada in an international context, as I remarked, that it came with the premature loss of the prestigious Interpol presidency that was in Canadian hands for only the second time in history:

“The price of Inkster’s resignation was high in early 1994: in November 1992 Mr. Inkster who had served from 1988 to 1991 as vice president for the Americas in the International Police Organization (Interpol), was elected as president of Interpol for a 4-year term – only the second Canadian to ever hold the top international police job. 172

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As above, Inkster had been elected Interpol president in November 1992. As I later noted in a blog post dated October 26, 2012, another part of my later article from which I have quoted a July 6, 2012 post, after leaving the RCMP in June Inkster quit the Interpol presidency in September 1994, having served less than 2 years of a 4-year term:

“Inkster was hoping to keep his INTERPOL presidency, but later gave that up in September …”

(“Team Canada female athletes disqualified from Commonwealth silver medal, jailed Chinese democracy activist awarded with Nobel peace prize, and others in between (Part 9) — when individual activism ranks at oblivion”, October 26, 2012, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

It remains unclear for what reasons Inkster also soon left the Interpol presidency, whether he was pressured to resign.

The only other Canadian president of the Interpol, William Léonard Higgitt from 1972 to 1976, retired from his RCMP Commissioner position in 1973 but continued to serve as Interpol President for another 3 years to the end of his full term. (“Former RCMP Commissioners”, March 31, 2018, Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and, “Former Presidents”, INTERPOL)

A media story at the time when Inkster’s RCMP departure was announced,  dated February 5, 1994, and quoted by me in October 2012, reported, “he could stay on as president of the international police organization Interpol”:

“During the period of my FPI committal and court disposition of charges, there was an important change at RCMP. On February 4, nearly a year after former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s February 24, 1993 announcement of retirement which then took place in June,  Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster’s retirement, to take effect in June (“Top Mountie to turn in his badge, says force needs periodic renewal”, by Stephen Bindman, February 5, 1994, The Vancouver Sun):

“Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced Friday that Inkster will step down after almost seven years as RCMP commissioner when Parliament adjourns for the summer, likely in June.

He could stay on as president of the international police organization Interpol – he was named in November 1992 to a four-year term – but will discuss it with his replacement as commissioner and the world body’s executive.

Among the low points, Inkster said, was the political storm he created on Parliament Hill in 1989 when he revealed more than a dozen MPs and senators were under RCMP investigation.

Another was last year’s suicide of Insp. Claude Savoie, who was under investigation for leaking information to a Montreal drug kingpin.

“We will never know why he chose to be his own judge and jury. It was a very sad point for all members. We all suffer and we all lose a little bit if one of our own gets into that sort of difficulty.””

(October 26, 2012, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As quoted in the above, in early February 1994 Inkster planned to discuss “with his replacement as commissioner and the world body’s executive” about the prospect of staying on as Interpol president.

As indicated above, in February 1994 when Prime Minister Chretien announced Commissioner Inkster’s retirement from the RCMP, I was under forced psychiatric committal at FPI – the British Columbia Forensic Psychiatric Institute – that suppressed my political activism.

But back in November 1992 when Inkster first ascended to the Interpol’s helm, there already was an intriguing facet that may have had relevance to my political activism:

“Even more intriguing is the fact that back on November 10, 1992 when Mr. Inkster was named president of Interpol, he got the job without competition: he became the only candidate when a second nominated candidate – from China – withdrew in favour of him. 176

Now that’s worth pondering: with Mr. Mulroney’s diplomatic clout among western leaders, Mr. Inkster likely had been agreed upon by them; but a Chinese government non-compete gesture at a time when the June 4, 1989 violent military crackdown on Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests was still fresh in people’s minds? 177 That had to be the result of some deal from Mr. Mulroney.

What is personally interesting is that the day when Norman Inkster was acclaimed president of Interpol happened to be the day when I first sent written press releases to the media – especially CBC-TV in Vancouver – criticizing Mulroney’s leadership in general and his conduct in the Charlottetown constitutional process, which had recently ended with the failure of the Charlottetown accord in a national referendum (an accord and failure previously discussed in the context of the role of David Cameron, husband of Stevie Cameron, in the Diane Wilhelmy affair).”

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

In short, as above, Inkster was “acclaimed” Interpol president when the only other candidate, representing China, withdrew in his favor; moreover, it took place on the same day – November 10, 1992 – when I happened to send out my first press releases to the media, criticising Prime Minister Mulroney’s leadership and conduct.

In relation to this history quoted above, in my blog post in May 2009 I reviewed the start of my political activism in November 1992 – in the context of relevant Canadian politics around that time, namely the transition from the era of Brian Mulroney’s Tories in power to that of Jean Chretien’s Liberals in government.

I quoted from one of my first press releases, sent out on the day when RCMP Commissioner Inkster became Interpol president, to demonstrate the matters of my pursue starting my activism on Canadian politics in November 1992:

“In one of the press releases on this date, November 10, 1992, I called for B.C. Tory MPs to support their caucus chair Stan Wilbee who had publicly demanded a leadership review, I stated that a cabinet restructuring proposed by Mr. Mulroney should not be the priority but rather the priority was Mulroney’s fitness as prime minister, and I demanded that constitutional affairs minister Joe Clark give a public account of the damages to national unity and to the economy inflicted by the Tory government’s constitutional misadventure. The quote below is from a copy of my old press release – disclosed to me in an October 1, 2003 RCMP personal-information disclosure: 178

“Mr. Stan Wilbee, MP for Delta, B.C., has spoken out publicly, criticizing Mr. Mulroney’s leadership and requesting a province-by-province Tory leadership review. The B.C. Tory MPs should speak out now in support of Mr. Wilbee, reaffirm their confidence in him as the B.C. caucus chair, and defy Mr. Mulroney’s threats of retaliation by means of cabinet restructuring or by any other means. … the most pressing issue facing the country right now, that of Mr. Mulroney’s fitness as the prime minister. … Before taking up any new tasks, Mr. Joe Clark needs to give the people of Canada an adequate explanation for the recent Charlottetown constitutional fiasco and a satisfactory account of the full extent of damages the latest constitutional adventure of the Tory government has done to both national unity and the economy.”

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

The substance of the above excerpt from one of my first press releases dated November 10, 1992, can be summarized as the following two topics:

A) criticising Mulroney’s leadership as the prime minister, expressing support for British Columbia Member of Parliament Stan Wilbee’s call for a Tory party leadership review, and demanding other B.C. Tory MPs’ support for Wilbee; and,

B) criticising the recent Charlottetown constitutional reform “fiasco”, and demanding that Mr. Joe Clark – responsible for constitutional affairs as noted in Part 2 of my current review – give a satisfactory account for the damages caused by the Tory government’s latest constitutional adventure.

In my May 2009 post I also noted that, in addition to my first press releases coinciding with RCMP Commissioner Inkster’s being acclaimed Interpol president, three days later on November 13 Prime Minister Mulroney appointed Justice John C. Major to the Supreme Court of Canada; Justice Major had been a lawyer in the law firm headed by Mulroney’s tax lawyer and financial trustee Bruce Verchere, was a friend of Karlheinz Schreiber who had helped Mulroney defeat Joe Clark in 1983 to become Tory leader, and happened to have the same annual birthday as my father:

“Also note that Mulroney’s appointment of John C.  Major of Alberta – a lawyer in the law firm Bennett Jones Verchere headed by Mulroney’s tax lawyer and financial trustee Bruce Verchere and a friend of Karlheinz Schreiber – to the Supreme Court of Canada happened on November 13, 1992, i.e., amid the tension of Stan Wilbee’s call for a leadership review, and that back in 1983 Schreiber had been involved in political maneuvers to oust Joe Clark and bring in Mulroney as Tory leader (the topic has been discussed in previous Notes, with attention to the fact that Justice Major later took early retirement on Christmas Day 2005 ahead of his turning 75 on February 20, 2006 – a date when my late father would have turned 73).”

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

By 2009 when I reviewed the above history, the installations of Mr. Inkster at the helm of the Interpol and Mr. Major at the Supreme Court of Canada back in November 1992 very much looked like crucial measures by Prime Minister Mulroney to protect his rule and his legacy.

Thus, in hindsight it wasn’t surprising that, despite my efforts communicating to and interacting with the media in November 1992 and afterwards, no changes happened directly as a result of my activism; but that might not matter as much, given the disastrous defeat the Tories soon suffered in the next election:

“History as it happened has been that Mulroney’s leadership never became an issue of debate within the ruling Progressive Conservative party, though a few short months later in February 1993 Mulroney announced his resignation to take place in June; no accounting of the party’s constitutional policy was ever done, or if it mattered, as in the coming election the party was nearly wiped out.”

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

In 2009 I cited the example of interacting with BCTV after sending the earlier-quoted press release to the media venue, that my efforts brought to their attention the leadership politics going on in British Columbia within Mulroney’s party:

“As it happened, I also sent a copy of this press release to BCTV (then part of the CTV network, today part of the Global TV network). In the morning of the day of the B.C. Tory caucus meeting to discuss the fate of Stan Wilbee as caucus chair (November 17, 1992 as per press archives), who had drawn up a letter of resignation to hand in for his challenge of Mulroney, 179 I phoned BCTV to follow up on my press release and told a news staff member about the caucus meeting in Ottawa, who replied that BCTV would send a camera crew there; later that day when I called again (likely in the afternoon) the same staff member said the camera was there right now; but when I called back the day after I sensed disappointment on the part of this BCTV news staff member, probably because it wasn’t as I had told him that the B.C. Tory MPs might turn against Mulroney’s leadership.

Regardless, I was disappointed that BCTV did not report on the caucus meeting it had camera footage on.  Brief press reports indicated that Stan Wilbee’s resignation was rejected by the caucus and days later Dr. Wilbee, a medical doctor and chair of the House of Commons subcommittee on health issues, also launched a parliamentary investigation on the HIV-tainted blood supply issue.180, 181

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As recalled above, I was told by BCTV that it sent a TV crew to a B.C. Tory caucus meeting in Capital Ottawa after being alerted by me of its potential importance; the meeting outcome was encouraging but was not as great as I had suggested it might be, and the TV network never reported it.

The encouraging outcome from that B.C. Tory caucus meeting, which to me partially validated my active efforts, came in the caucus’s rejection of Wilbee’s offer to resign his caucus chair position as recalled above, and also in Dr. Wilbee’s being able to launch a new parliamentary project in his capacities as a medical doctor and the chair of the House of Commons subcommittee on health issues.

Wilbee had been requested to quit his B.C. caucus chair position by B.C. MP Kim Campbell, at the time Justice Minister; even though the caucus let him keep the chair position, as a compromise Wilbee then refrained from further criticising Mulroney’s leadership; however another B.C. Tory MP, Al Horning, took over the role of doing so:

“Immediately, Kim Campbell, MP for B.C. Vancouver Centre, requested Wilbee to resign his B.C. caucus chair position for the reason that Wilbee’s view on leadership did not represent other B.C. caucus members. 183

But then the November 17 B.C. caucus meeting rejected Wilbee’s offer to resign as caucus chair; after that, Wilbee no longer called for a leadership review and would only state that Mulroney was unpopular in Western Canada but was better than leaders of the other parties: 184

“He is unpopular in the West, but once you get into an election campaign, where people start to compare leaders, I think that he comes out far and away above the rest.”

Wilbee said the above on January 31, 1993 after a national caucus meeting in which all were read “the riot act” not to speculate on leadership, by Mulroney personally. 185

But before that, in early January there was a cabinet shuffle and Joe Clark indeed kept his constitutional affairs job (and was given a new cabinet-committee position), and the press wondered why he was staying on a “nothing job”; Kim Campbell got the best “plums” to become defence minister and veterans affairs minister. 186

Also before that on January 18, Al Horning, Tory MP for B.C. Okanagan Centre (Kelowna), who earlier had praised Mulroney (“still head and shoulders ahead of” other party leaders) in a way similar to what Wilbee now did, took over as the only Tory MP to publicly challenge Mulroney, saying Mulroney should step down and predicting so. 187

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As above, another encouraging sign in late 1992-early 1993 that I viewed as partial validation of my active efforts was Joe Clark’s being kept at his Constitutional Affairs Minister position in a cabinet shuffle by Prime Minister Mulroney in January 1993 – when the Charlottetown Constitutional Accord had just been defeated in a national referendum on October 26, 1992 as mentioned in the context of the Diane Wilhelmy Affair in Part 2 of my current review.

The situation then persisted in January 1993 as more Tory MPs, not just in British Columbia, asked Mulroney to make his future leadership intention clear, though not openly opposing his staying as the leader:

“The discontent was spreading in January before it was gagged by Mulroney at month’s end, as a The Vancouver Sun article, “Minority dreaming of a Blue heaven after purge-a-Tory”, quoted Tory House leader Harvie Andre as stating on January 25 that there was a minority in the party and among the MPs who wanted Mulroney to step down: 188

““There is no grassroots sense that the leader must go, but they all read polls too and certain people are undoubtedly worried about whether we can win or not,” Andre said in an interview Monday.

”However, I don’t think that’s anywhere near the majority, that’s a minority at this point.”

Andre adds that given Mulroney’s unpopularity and the government’s standing in the polls, the prime minister is no doubt contemplating his future.

”Goodness knows, he’d be inhuman if he weren’t thinking about it.””

The news article reported that a dozen Tory MPs during a caucus meeting over the weekend actively called for Mulroney to make his intention clear – though apparently in early 1993 as in late 1992 only one Tory MP (in each case from B.C.) openly challenged Mulroney’s staying as leader.”

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Mulroney continued to display the intent and the enthusiasm to lead and win another election; then in late February 1993, major changes suddenly happened – even though there is no clear evidence that my activism had direct effects on them – in the form of retirement/resignation announcements by Joe Clark on February 20 and then by Brian Mulroney on February 24:

“His warning to Tory MPs apparently worked, Mulroney became feisty and fiery during much of February, predicting a third-term majority under his leadership, calling it “triple crown” and taunting opposition leader Jean Chretien with it in the House of Commons. 189

On February 20, just one day after Mulroney said he would seek re-nomination of MP candidacy in his riding, Mulroney’s long-time leadership rival Joe Clark, a former prime minister originally from Alberta, announced he would retire by the next election but in the meantime would continue with constitutional affairs – he had been hoping to negotiate a self-government accord for the Metis people. 190

On February 24, Brian Mulroney announced his intent to step down in June after a new leader was chosen.

Stan Wilbee immediately resumed his criticism, stating Mulroney “has become a lightning rod for everything that’s bad”, and, “Sometimes you have to start with a clean sheet”; as well, Kim Campbell confirmed that she had been harbouring leadership ambition while Mulroney pondered his future: 191

“People have approached me and my staff offering support. My position is that there wasn’t a campaign until the prime minister made a decision to retire”.

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As above, following Mulroney’s announcement of resignation to take effect in June, B.C. Tory MP Stan Wilbee immediately resumed his criticism of Mulroney’s leadership – in words even more critical and frank than before.

After Clark’s retirement announcement, something happened that I considered as another partial validation of my activism; the former prime minister and constitutional affairs minister, and his wife Maureen McTeer, soon became professors at my alma mater of graduate study, the University of California, Berkeley – a university known for its reputation of left-wing politics:

“Despite “attractive” private-sector job offers, and turning down Mulroney’s offer for him to become Canadian ambassador to the U.S., Mr. Clark (who was still an MP) and wife Maureen McTeer soon became professors at the University of California, Berkeley – my alma mater of graduate study as previously mentioned in the context of author Chalmers Johnson – with Mr. Clark at the same political science faculty Dr. Johnson had been in and Mrs. Clark joining the public health faculty; within a few short months an election-defeated Campbell would join Clark in the academic world, going to teach at Harvard University. 199

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As above, later after losing the election – in October 1993 – to Jean Chretien, Kim Campbell also joined the academia, teaching at Harvard University.

I remarked in the above May 2009 post, that in the end Kim Campbell was “the biggest winner” as well as “the biggest loser” from the sudden major political changes, becoming the first female Canadian prime minister but then suffering a historically worst electoral loss, with even her own parliamentary seat swept away in a wave of advances by ethnic minorities in Canadian politics:

“Kim Campbell turned out to be the biggest winner – and the biggest loser – of the ambiguous, non-open pressure waiting on Mulroney’s decision, as she would be crowned Mulroney’s successor (i.e., without a lot of competition) and become the first female prime minister after having been the first woman as justice minister and as defence minister 192 – a real “triple crown” – but she would also suffer the worst electoral defeat in Canadian history at the hand of the Chretien Liberals.

Adding insult to injury was the fact that Campbell would lose her own MP seat, to Liberal Dr. Hedy Fry, former president of B.C. medical association and the first woman of color to be in the cabinet; the Vancouver area also elected Raymond Chan, the first Chinese-Canadian cabinet member, and Herb Dhaliwal, later the first (Sikh) Indo-Canadian cabinet minister and the one accompanying Chretien to the Sikh Golden Temple in India to celebrate their 10-year victory anniversary. 193

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Succeeding Mulroney in June 1993, Campbell relied on many of the political figures who had helped Mulroney’s ascent to power, including Frank Moores and others with links to the scandals of the Mulroney era, such as Peter White of the “Richard Grise affair ”, for her election campaign:

“For the core of her campaign team Campbell used many of the controversial figures who had helped Mulroney win his 1983 leadership, persons such as Frank Moores, who as discussed in previous Notes had served on the Air Canada board and whose role in the 1988 Airbus purchase had been questioned by the media, Guy Charbonneau, Tory senator and a known central figure dealing with money in Mulroney’s political circle, David Angus, another Mulroney appointee on the Air Canada board who had also provided Tory party funds for Mulroney family’s expenses exposed during the 1987 “Guccigate” publicity, and Peter White, a Conrad Black associate who had had a hand in the Richard Grise affair as Mulroney’s principal secretary in 1989 – a scandal regarding possible RCMP political bias in favour of Mulroney at the time of the 1988 election. 195

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Stan Wilbee, within the Tory party a leading critic of Mulroney’s leadership, also lost in the election; and he pinned the blame on Mulroney and on Campbell’s having “inherited” Mulroney’s old political associates, as I remarked in Part 7 of my 2009 article, dated July 23:

“But Wilbee’s willingness to take open stands opposite Mulroney’s wasn’t enough to save him later from the nationwide tide sweeping away the Tories during the 1993 election, when he would come in third in his B.C. Delta riding behind Reform party’s John Cummins and Liberal party’s Karen Morgan; Wilbee placed the blame for his and the Progressive Conservative party’s election losses at Mulroney, and at “Mulroney’s campaign team” Kim Campbell inherited: 282

“She started off well but one of her problems was she inherited Mulroney’s campaign team”.

(“The myth of political vendetta in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Airbus Affair investigation, the politics of Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien, and some social undercurrents in Canada (Part 7)”, July 23, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

A reason that Campbell “inherited Mulroney’s campaign team” as pointed out by Wilbee in the above, was likely because – according to revelations by author Murray Dobbin in a 1993 book entitled, “The politics of Kim Campbell: from school trustee to Prime Minister” – Prime Minister Mulroney had secretly begun to cultivate Campbell as his successor, in an arrangement between them, since no later than early December 1992:

“According to author Murray Dobbin, no later than in early December 1992 Kim Campbell had actually made a ‘secret’ arrangement with Mulroney to succeed him, while Canadians were in the dark about whether Mulroney would leave: 197

“When Brian Mulroney met in early December 1992 with his Quebec lieutenant Marcel Masse… Mulroney asked Masse to take on the task of chaperoning Campbell around Quebec and organizing a few private dinners to introduce her to key business people, journalists, artists and other opinion makers. Masse agreed. And Campbell’s silent run for the leadership was underway.”

“… at a time when Canadians were still wondering whether Brian Mulroney would really resign, the man himself was already preparing Campbell for the crown and offering her the entire palace entourage. Masse would not only organize a series of private dinners for Campbell, but he would bring with him to Campbell’s side the entire organizing team that had helped Mulroney win the leadership of the Tory party.”

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

To me that was quite intriguing, i.e., the timing of early December 1992 when Mulroney began to cultivate Campbell as his successor could be a significant validation that my activism had some effects.

On November 30, i.e., the day before early December, I had faxed my press releases – with two dated November 10 and another dated November 20 – to Campbell’s MP constituency office in her Vancouver riding, in which I happened to be a resident; later that same day two RCMP officers, one of them introducing himself as Sergeant Brian Cotton, arrived at my apartment and the suppression of my political activism began:

“It turned out that in the morning of November 30 I had faxed several previous press releases – attached to a cover note – to the local constituency office of MP Kim Campbell in whose riding I was a resident, and in the afternoon two RCMP officers, one of whom introducing himself as Sgt. Brian Cotton, a detective from the UBC detachment, were in my city apartment to take me to UBC Hospital for a psychiatric assessment (and committal), citing something related to my prior dispute with my former employer UBC and the RCMP (a lawsuit by me had been mentioned at the start of the above-mentioned press release) as well as concern with my persistent communications with the CBC.

To the hospital, Sgt. Brian Cotton accused me of having “paranoid ideation”, and some UBC Hospital psychiatrists then determined my thinking as “delusional” and of “persecutory type”. But as everyone can read a copy of my fax received by Kim Campbell’s local MP office got into the hand of the RCMP on that same day – and not even by fax as there isn’t a second fax-mark line on this RCMP copy.

Police simply would not act this closely and quickly on a non-emergency mental-health case in apparent disregard for proper rules or conflict of interest: the officers were outside their normal jurisdiction area of UBC, the RCMP and UBC were defendants in a civil lawsuit by me over that prior dispute, and Sgt. Brian Cotton also rejected my response of going to the nearby Vancouver General Hospital for a ‘neutral’ assessment, citing pre-arrangement at UBC.

Within three weeks a mental-health review panel ordered my release. But in mid-January 1993 (days before Tory MP Al Horning came out saying Mulroney should step down), I was again under psychiatric committal – this time by Vancouver Police action – and again within a few weeks I was released by a review panel, in mid-February with Brian Mulroney still talking about winning a third majority.”

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As quoted earlier when first discussing my old press releases, many years later on October 1, 2003, the RCMP provided a copy in a personal-information disclosure to me; and as above, the RCMP copy showed that a copy of my fax received by Campbell’s MP office in Vancouver on November 30, 1992, went into the hands of the RCMP on that same day.

Also as told above, Sgt. Brian Cotton took me to the hospital of the University of British Columbia for a psychiatric assessment, where I was then committed, partly because of a prior dispute I had with the university involving the RCMP.

I had been a UBC faculty member. But Ms. Campbell had a deeper root there as a UBC graduate, law graduate and former faculty member, and by that time was the federal justice minister. (“The Right Honourable Kim Campbell: From Brock Hall to Parliament Hill”, by Veronika Bondarenko, January 19, 2015, The Ubyssey)

Upon reviewing the relevant history in the late 1992 and early 1993 – selectively quoted so far – that included the start of my political activism critical of then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s leadership, the ascent of then RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster to the Interpol presidency and a Chinese facet to his achieving it unopposed, the promotion of Justice John Major to the Supreme Court of Canada and his relationships to Karlheinz Schreiber and Bruce Verchere, the RCMP-led suppression of my political activism, and Prime Minister Mulroney’s sudden resignation less than three months later, I commented in regard to the RCMP’s and Commissioner Inkster’s possible political roles at the time:

“To refer here to this part of history of personal efforts to help bring down Mr. Mulroney is not to accuse then RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster of having-forged/forging deals with the devils, but to show that the RCMP played political roles – in my personal experience in particular.”

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

That brief period of history, in particular what went on behind the scenes in the suppression of my political activism, is of special relevance and importance to me, and more generally of significance as an integral part of Canadian history – especially relating to the departure of then Prime Minister Mulroney, and also to Canada’s leading role in international policing.

When Inkster was acclaimed Interpol president in November 1992, some in the media, also citing opinions within the RCMP, recalled historical controversies about the Interpol and its presidency, mainly their links to authoritarianism and corruption, here as I remarked in May 2009:

“Imagine what kind of clout in the international law-and-order arena the new Chretien government would lose with the departure of RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster, whose Interpol appointment had been praised by the RCMP as “a great honour for Canada” and for the RCMP, even if within the RCMP there were different opinions about the Interpol: while Inspector Claude Sweeney, head of Interpol’s Canadian branch, was enthusiastic about the benefit of computerized information hook-up in the plan, others pointed to examples of concern, such as in Venezuela where Interpol was expected to help track dissidents as criminals, or former Interpol drugs committee chairman Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian leader indicted in 1988 in the United States on narcotics charges, or former Interpol president Jolly Bugarin, crony of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, widely accused of a cover-up in the killing of Marcos opponent Benigno Aquino in 1983. 173

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

It was “a great honour for Canada” and for the RCMP. However, from the viewpoints of those expressing reservations about the Interpol as above, later Inkster’s premature departure from its presidency in September 1994 could easily be shrugged off, or even explained as ‘better off’.

But the real truth matters, especially when it comes to about Canada’s history in international policing.

Interestingly, and in an ironic sense fortunately, history can sometime repeat and in a way more in the open such that the shrouded past may be forced to surface as well.

Practically an exact 24 years after ceding to Canada’s Norman Inkster without a contest, on November 9-10, 1016, a candidate of the People’s Republic of China, Vice Minister of Public Security Meng Hongwei, was elected Interpol president. (“China’s Meng Hongwei elected President of INTERPOL”, November 10, 2016, INTERPOL)

Mr. Meng Hongwei was the first Chinese person to become president of the International Criminal Police Organization, the second-largest international organization after the United Nations; also elected was Mr. Alexander Prokopchuk, a candidate of Russia, as vice president – at a time when American business tycoon Donald Trump had just been elected President of the United States:

“Donald Trump isn’t the only president-elect sparking controversy this week. The International Criminal Police Organization elected a former Chinese paramilitary police force deputy as its president, and many human rights observers are up in arms about it.

Interpol announced the election results for its new chief, China’s Vice Minister for Public Security Meng Hongwei, on Twitter on Thursday. Meng is the first Chinese official to take the helm of the organization. Hongwei’s career history, and his country’s questionable human rights and policing record, have already drawn criticisms from day one.

Before Meng became vice minister since 2004, he was deputy director of the armed police forces Beijing would send to quell unrest in Tibet, Xinjiang, and other unstable outskirts of China.

Interpol’s president is primarily a symbolic figurehead, but Meng can still drive the organization’s strategy and set guidance for its general assembly body. Interpol also has a secretary general; that job currently is held by Jürgen Stock, who chairs the organization’s executive committee. With 190 members, Interpol is the second-largest international organization after the U.N.

And just to round things out, Interpol also elected a Russian official, Maj. Gen. Alexander Prokopchuk, as its vice president on Thursday. Russia, like China, isn’t known for having a particularly fair and just police force. Prokopchuk has been with Russia’s Interior Ministry since 2003.”

(“China and Russia Take the Helm of Interpol”, by Robbie Gramer, November 10, 2016, Foreign Policy)

Understandably, as noted above, human rights observers were concerned, especially since Mr. Meng had served as a deputy director of China’s armed police forces responsible for suppressing unrests.

Moreover, Meng’s Chinese public security job placed Communist Party politics above other regards, and his government ministry was in charge of cracking down on political dissent, such as arresting the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo:

“The day-to-day operations of Interpol are run by the secretary general, Jurgen Stock, who is from Germany. From 2000 to 2014, Interpol’s secretary general was an American.

Mr. Meng is a top official in the world’s biggest internal security force, tasked with clamping down on dissent and maintaining stability in an authoritarian, one-party state. Mr. Meng’s ministry arrests and interrogates political dissidents like the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, rounds up suspected separatists in restive areas such as Xinjiang, and arrests people protesting against environmental pollution or official corruption.

Mr. Meng, who turns 63 this month, is deeply immersed in Communist Party politics, in contrast with most police officials in Western nations, who are expected to be apolitical on the job.

In his public statements, Mr. Meng has made it clear that he places the politics of the Communist Party above any other considerations, as would be expected of any senior Chinese official. Speaking in October 2014, Mr. Meng told police officers preparing to go to Syria to put “politics first, party organization first and ideological thinking first.””

(“Interpol Names Chinese Police Official as Its New President”, by Michael Forsythe, November 10, 2016, The New York Times)

As described above, most police officials in Western nations were “expected to be apolitical” on the job, but not Mr. Meng or “any senior Chinese official”.

However, as mentioned earlier, at the time of Mr. Inkster’s ascent to the Interpol presidency there had previously been questions in the Canadian media, in particular regarding the “Richard Grise affair”, about whether the RCMP – the federal police in a Western nation – had political biases in favor of then Prime Minister Mulroney.

In other words, in reality the Western police officials were not always “apolitical”.

In a more positive light, Meng’s election was expected to give international credibility to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive:

“Li Wei, head of the anti-terrorism centre at China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said: “As the head of Interpol, Meng Hongwei will deepen the fight against transnational crime.”

Since taking power in 2012, China’s President Xi Jinping has launched a sweeping crackdown on corruption, punishing more than a million officials. But critics say the anti-graft drive is merely a way for Xi to take down his political enemies.

China has worked through Interpol to bring back officials it says fled overseas and last year issued 100 “red notices”, a type of international arrest warrant.

It says about a third have been returned to China, but many western countries are wary of complying with extradition requests given China’s harsh treatment of prisoners, use of the death penalty for economic crimes and a lack of concrete evidence.

Most officials on the list had fled to the US or Canada, and China does not have extradition treaties with either country. But in a surprise move in September, Canada announced it would start negotiating a treaty.

Li said: “We see people who China has issued red notices for are still very active in Europe.” With Meng at the head of Interpol “there will be closer cooperation between countries in fighting crime,” he added.”

(“New Interpol head is Chinese former deputy head of paramilitary police force”, by Benjamin Haas, November 10, 2016, The Guardian)

As reported above, from 2013 to 2016 over a million Chinese officials had been punished in President Xi’s anti-corruption campaign, and in 2015 China had issued 100 “red notices”, a type of international warrant, through the Interpol.

Especially worth noting is that most of these corrupt Chinese officials wanted by the Interpol had fled to the U.S. or Canada, and it wasn’t until September 2016 – only two months before Meng’s ascent to the Interpol helm – that the Canadian government announced it would negotiate an extradition treaty with China.

Most significantly, Mr. Meng’s taking the helm at the Interpol highlighted the integration of Chinese policing with international policing, as well as China’s growing importance in that international community, with the 2017 Interpol general assembly to be held in Beijing:

““We currently face some of the most serious global public security challenges since World War II,” Mr. Meng said in a statement following his selection at an annual meeting of the group in Bali, Indonesia. “Interpol, guided by the best set of principles and mechanism to date, has made a significant contribution to promoting international police cooperation.”

Next year’s general assembly will be in Beijing.

Lu Kang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters on Thursday that China had expressed its “heartfelt thanks” to Interpol member states for Mr. Meng’s election. “China will continue to support Interpol with all its strength and will continue to support Interpol’s work, to deepen cooperation with member states on cracking down on multinational crimes, and to build a good and safe environment for prosperity and development for every country of the world.””

(Michael Forsythe, November 10, 2016, The New York Times)

The future appeared bright for Mr. Meng at the Interpol, just as it had appeared for Mr. Inkster in November 1992.

Where history repeated was not so much in their elections but in what turned out to be their abnormally brief tenures.

Less than two years later in September-October 2018, Meng was detained in China for corruption and resigned his Interpol position:

“The head of Interpol, who vanished after taking a flight to Beijing, is being held and investigated for corruption, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security said in a statement Monday.

Meng Hongwei, who also was a vice minister of public security in China, has been accused by the Chinese government of accepting bribes and committing unspecified other crimes.

“(Meng) insisted on taking the wrong path and had only himself to blame (for his downfall),” the country’s top law enforcement official, Zhao Kezhi, was quoted as saying in the statement.

Authorities had previously remained tight-lipped about the whereabouts of Meng, following his sudden disappearance last month after he flew from France to China.

In an earlier statement released on Sunday, the Chinese government said Meng was “under investigation” by the National Supervisory Commission, the country’s top anti-corruption unit, but gave no further details on whether he was in custody or what the charges might be.

Concerns over Meng’s whereabouts were first raised by wife, Grace, who reported him missing to French authorities in the city of Lyon, where the couple live, last Thursday.

In a separate development, Interpol said it had received Meng’s resignation from the international police agency with “immediate effect” according to statement posted Sunday. It made no mention of the former president’s whereabouts or the Chinese investigation.”

(“Head of Interpol Meng Hongwei accused of corruption, Chinese government says”, by Ben Westcott and Steven Jiang, October 8, 2018, CNN)

In March 2019, the Chinese authorities announced that Meng would face criminal charges:

“Meng Hongwei, the former Chinese head of Interpol, will be prosecuted in his home country for allegedly taking bribes, China’s Communist Party says.

He has also been expelled from the party and stripped of all government positions, according to the party’s watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Mr Meng is said to have abused his position for personal gain, misusing state funds to finance his family’s “extravagant lifestyle” and disregarding Communist Party principles.

These charges amount to “serious violation of law and discipline”, according to the CCDI, which said it had referred the case to state prosecutors.”

(“Meng Hongwei: China to prosecute former Interpol chief”, March 27, 2019, BBC News)

Recently in June, Meng pleaded guilty, in court, of taking over $2 million in bribes:

“Former Interpol President Meng Hongwei has pleaded guilty to accepting more than $2 million in bribes and expressed regret for his crime, China’s state-run newspaper People’s Daily reported Thursday.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of China’s Communist Party charged Hongwei with abusing his posts within the Communist Party between 2005 and 2017 to garner special benefits, promotions for his wife, and to collect bribes totaling more than 14 million yuan.

Before Meng was elected as Interpol’s president in 2016 — the first Chinese person to hold the post — he served as head of the China Coast Guard and as vice-minister of public security, a position he kept until his arrest.

As NPR’s Bill Chappell reported, “He’s now stripped of that role, which he had gained under Zhou Yongkang, the former security czar who is now serving life in prison on bribery charges, snared in President Xi’s anti-corruption campaign.””

(“Former Interpol President Pleads Guilty To Bribery In Chinese Court”, by Vannessa Romo, June 20, 2019, National Public Radio)

So, very ironically, the international police leader turned out to be corrupt himself; and some of the concerns expressed in the Canadian media about the Interpol when Inkster ascended to its helm in November 1992 has turned out to be still quite relevant 24 years later.

Or Meng’s downfall could also be due to political conflicts with the Chinese leadership, according to some Western critics:

““Meng’s arrest seems like a powerful demonstration of China’s commitment to rooting out corruption, even when it can cost them the directorship of an important international vehicle,” Dimitar Gueorguiev, who teaches Chinese governance at Syracuse University, told The Guardian.

But critics say the anti-corruption campaign is also used as cover for political purges intended to strengthen Xi’s grip on power. There are hints of a political element in Meng’s detention; when announcing the charges against Meng, Chinese authorities also stressed the need for “absolute loyal political character.” Meng is now being held in a custody system notorious for torture, abuse, and denial of access to lawyers or a fair trial. It is certainly normal for any country to prosecute government officials for corruption; it is not normal to detain them without notice or charge, then thrust them into a system without fair representation or transparency.”

(“Can the Chinese Be Trusted to Lead Global Institutions?”, by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, October 11, 2018, The Atlantic)

Political power conflicts leading to a powerful figure’s downfall can be common in any country. It is also an important facet in my current review about the departure of Inkster from the RCMP and subsequent early departure from the Interpol, that is, soon after formerly Mulroney’s Tory party was trounced in an election and Liberal leader Chretien became the prime minister.

Mr. Meng served only weeks, if not only days, longer than Mr. Inkster at the top of the Interpol, stepping down in October compared to Inkster in September – ahead of the November mark of two full years in both cases.

In any case, without making light of the harsher punishments in law and order routinely handed down by the Chinese authorities compared to punishments by the justice system in a Western democracy, or of the obvious perception of more rampant corruption among Chinese officials than among their Western counterparts, about 24 years earlier Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney had been involved in ethically suspect, potentially corrupt and possibly criminal activities, and my political activism criticising his leadership was suppressed forcibly by oppressive means.

Yet, reviewing the Canadian press archives I have barely come across open comments relating Mr. Inkster’s departure to Mr. Mulroney’s, whether back around that earlier time, afterwards, or even during the times of the Airbus Affair and Mulroney-Schreiber Affair.

So unsurprisingly, my activism was coercively cast aside, rather easily with the involvements of the RCMP, and the damaging consequences of the suppression and oppression were then ignored.

But Inkster and Meng have not been alone, as Meng Hongwei has not been the only Interpol president officially caught and prosecuted for corruption.

Jackie Selebi, then South African police commissioner and former leading anti-apartheid activist, served at the Interpol’s helm for a little over three years of his 4-year term that began in 2004, was officially arrested and prosecuted in South Africa for “corruption, fraud, racketeering”, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison; related health problems led to Selebi’s death in January 2015 at the age of 64:

“The long saga of trials, prison and parole has ended for disgraced former police chief Jackie Selebi, who died after a long illness on Friday morning.

Selebi would have turned 65 on 7 March.

The former head of Interpol started serving a 15-year jail sentence in 2011, after being found guilty of corruption in 2010.

He was released on medical parole from Pretoria Central Prison after serving less than a year of his sentence.

In the apartheid-era 1980s, he served in Budapest, Hungary, as a representative of the World Federation of Democratic Youth.

In 1987, he was elected head of the ANC Youth League and was a member of the party’s national executive committee.

After the first democratic elections in 1994, he was elected to Parliament.

His stature grew further after he left, in 1995, to serve as the South African permanent representative at the United Nations in Geneva.

Three years later, he was presented with the International Service for Human Rights Award for his chairing of the 54th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, and for the way he presided over a 1997 diplomatic conference on anti-personnel mines in Oslo.

In 1999, Selebi returned to South Africa and took up the post of foreign affairs director-general.

It is believed to be his strong performance in this department that prompted former president Thabo Mbeki to ask him to take over the role of police commissioner, despite his having no background in law enforcement.

He stepped into the post in 2000. Two years later, he was made vice president of Interpol’s African region. In 2004, he was elected president of Interpol.

His fall from grace came swiftly. On 10 September 2007, the National Prosecuting Authority issued a warrant of arrest for Selebi for corruption, fraud, racketeering, and defeating the ends if justice.

Within months, Mbeki placed him on an “extended leave of absence”, essentially a suspension, and he resigned his Interpol position.

In 2007, Selebi was criticised for responding to concern about South Africa’s rising crime rate with: “What’s all the fuss about crime?”

But it was his friendship with convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti that brought about his downfall. In a three-month trial in mid-2010, nearly two years after charges were first laid against him, Selebi was found guilty of corruption and having received money from Agliotti.

Ahead of his trial, Selebi told journalists that claims he was corrupt were “garbage, total and unadulterated garbage”.

He famously remarked of Agliotti that “he is my friend, finish and klaar”.

Agliotti testified during the trial that he had handed him envelopes stuffed with cash and bought handbags for Selebi’s wife.”

(“Jackie Selebi: A spectacular fall from grace”, January 23, 2015, News24)

As told above, Mr. Selebi took cash in envelopes from a convicted drug dealer, Glenn Agliotti whom he called a “friend” – in a manner reminiscent of Mr. Mulroney’s taking cash in envelopes from Karlheinz Schreiber who was later convicted of fraud in Germany.

The trial of Jackie Selebi started in October 2009, and the guilty verdict was delivered at the beginning of July 2010. (“Ousted South African police chief’s corruption trial begins”, by David Smith, October 5, 2009, and, “Former South Africa police chief convicted of taking bribes”, by David Smith, July 2, 2010, The Guardian)

The time scheduling made that South African justice process overlap with, but run somewhat behind, the Canadian public inquiry on the Mulroney-Schreiber Affair: as in Part 2 of my current article, that inquiry’s hearings had taken place by mid-June 2009 when they were reviewed in the press by Mulroney’s former chief of staff Norman Spector, and Justice Jeffrey Oliphant’s report was published in May 2010.

Cash given Selebi by Agliotti included an amount for an Interpol dinner related to Selebi’s election to its presidency, and was handed over at a meeting of the two – much like between Mulroney and Schreiber:

“Another way in which Selebi allegedly gained financially was when he was up for the presidency of Interpol. He was to attend an Interpol dinner in France, to rally votes, in 2004.

Selebi needed money and “I was happy to sponsor this dinner,” said Agliotti. “We worked out a figure of R30 000 and I handed it over in cash at Europa coffee shop in Sandton.” Selebi was soon after elected as head of Interpol.”

(“Agliotti: ‘I paid Selebi R1-million’”, by Adriaan Basson and Ilham Rawoot, October 6, 2009, Mail & Guardian)

Through drug dealer Glenn Agliotti as the intermediary, Jackie Selebi also received bribes from South African mining tycoon Brett Kebble:

“Agliotti told the court that his payments to Selebi started with small amounts in envelopes and escalated to large amounts being “packed” into thick envelopes and collected by Selebi from his former fiancée, Dianne Muller’s, Midrand office.

When slain mining magnate Brett Kebble and his business partners wanted to meet Selebi, Agliotti was hesitant to expose his source to them.

“I didn’t want them to have easy access to the accused because then they would no longer need me or my services.”

Agliotti also explained the racket allegedly set up to pay Selebi. He bought a shelf company, called Spring Lights 6, from Muller’s father, Martin Flint, and used it to pocket the payments from the Kebble companies, mainly JCI and CMMS.

Agliotti also testified how he convinced the Kebbles to replace their head of security, Paul Stemmet, with Clint Nassif, another key state witness, who was convicted of drug dealing in 2007.

Agliotti estimates that the Kebbles deposited a total of R26-million to Spring Lights 6, of which he used R2-million as cash pay-outs.”

(Adriaan Basson and Ilham Rawoot, October 6, 2009, Mail & Guardian)

The tales, told by news stories reviewed above, of the falls from grace of onetime Interpol presidents Meng Hongwei and Jackie Selebi showed that corruption at the helm of international policing was by no means isolated. They also served to demonstrate that the shrouded Canadian past involving Mulroney, Schreiber and Inkster had most likely not been accidental, either.

But the sobering reality has been that, despite their abnormally short stints at the Interpol’s helm, the times of Mr. Inkster, Mr. Selebi and Mr. Meng were not the worst for the Interpol in its nearly century-long history.

Established in 1923, the international criminal police organization was a part of the German Nazi regime for a number of years during the 1930s and 1940s, beginning in 1938 when Nazi Germany annexed Austria:

“The International Criminal Police Organization, or INTERPOL, helps police departments around the world communicate with each other. It was established in 1923 at a meeting of the International Police Congress.

And, during World War II, it was a part of the Nazi war machine.

During the Anschluss of 1938, when Germany effectively conquered Austria, all Austrian police and military forces were absorbed by the Nazi party–and Interpol, which was headquartered in Vienna, came right along. The United States, encouraged by J. Edgar Hoover (who was in charge of the FBI at that time), joined Interpol in 1938–two weeks after the Nazis installed Otto Steinhäusl, an SS officer, as Interpol’s president.

Although Hitler promised to maintain the “strictly nonpolitical character” of Interpol’s mission statement, it was effectively absorbed as an arm of the Nazi regime–with Nazi leaders, Nazi money, and Nazi priorities. In fact, its list of presidents during that era includes prominent Nazis such as Otto Steinhäusl, Arthur Nebe, and the infamous Reinhard Heydrich–the latter of whom was one of the architects of the Holocaust.”

(“When the Nazis Ran Interpol”, by Jewniverse, May 17, 2012, Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

In particular as above, one of the Nazi-era presidents of the Interpol was Reinhard Heydrich, “one of the architects of the Holocaust”.

Also as above, encouraged by J. Edgar Hoover, then head of the FBI, i.e., the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States joined Interpol in 1938 soon after Nazi Germany had conquered Austria and Otto Steinhäusl, a Nazi member, had been installed as Interpol’s president.

In March 1938 to install Steinhäusl, then head of the Vienna Police and a tuberculosis sufferer, at the Interpol, at the time called the International Criminal Police Commission, or ICPC,  the German Nazis demanded the resignation of the sitting president Michael Skubl and then imprisoned him:

“On March 12, 1938, German troops invaded Austria. At noon that day, the President of the ICPC, Michael Skubl, was called to the building of the Austrian federal chancellery where he was told that Himmler demanded his resignation. Skubl was arrested and imprisoned until he was freed by Allied Forces in 1945 …With the annexation of Austria, nothing would prevent the Nazis from taking full control of the ICPC. By implication of the appointment procedure of the ICPC presidency decided upon in London, the Nazi-approved President of the police at Vienna, Otto Steinhäusl, became the new ICPC President in April 1938. Not only was Steinhäusl’s loyalty to Nazi Germany secure, the Germans also reckoned he would be but an interim figure, as he was known to suffer from tuberculosis … The first meeting under Steinhäusl’s Presidency, in Bucharest in 1938, produced only one unanimous decision: that the next meeting was to be held in Berlin. …”

(“The Logic of Nazification: The Case of the International Criminal Police Commission (‘Interpol’)”, by Mathieu Deflem, Volume 43, Number 1, 2002, International Journal of Comparative Sociology)

Steinhäusl died of tuberculosis in June 1940. By no later than August of that year Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the German Security Police, became the ‘elected’ president of the Interpol through manipulated vote counting, and one of Heydrich’s first presidential decisions was to move the Interpol headquarters to the German capital of Berlin:

“… In June 1940, the FBI received an ICPC circular letter with the notice that Reinhard Heydrich, the Chief of the German Security Police, had accepted the presidency of the Commission …

Following the death of Steinhäusl in June 1940, Secretary General Dressler sent a report to all ICPC members which specified that he and other police, including Nazi officials Nebe and Zindel, had decided “to request the Chief of the German Security Police” to accept the Presidency of the ICPC …. Reportedly, twenty-seven police officials representing 15 states consented with the suggestion … Because this was less than two-thirds of the total ICPC membership, the countries that could not be addressed were not counted and those that had abstained were considered as not voting against the motion, so that, the Nazi-controlled ICPC leadership reasoned, the necessary majority was reached. In a circular letter of August 24, 1940, Reinhard Heydrich declared–in a manner all too characteristically familiar of Nazi officialdom–that he had been informed that his candidacy as ICPC Presidency had “passed unanimously.” Heydrich continued that he would “lead the Commission into a new and successful future” and that the ICPC headquarters would “from now on be located in Berlin” …”

(“The Logic of Nazification: The Case of the International Criminal Police Commission (‘Interpol’)”, by Mathieu Deflem, Volume 43, Number 1, 2002, International Journal of Comparative Sociology)

Back in 1938 not long after the annexation of Austria, the Nazis launched a campaign of mass violence against Jews in Germany and Austria; as a top Nazi security leader, Heydrich was responsible for its start in a widespread event known as “Kristallnacht”, or Crystal Night, a precursor to the Holocaust, on the night of November 9-10, destroying Jewish buildings and businesses:

“At 1:20 a.m. on Nov. 10, 1938, Reinhard Heydrich, the brutal Nazi security boss, sent an urgent telegram to German police nationwide.

The subject was: “Measures against Jews tonight.”

“Places of business and apartments belonging to Jews may be destroyed but not looted,” he wrote. “Non-Jewish businesses are [to be] completely protected against damage … the demonstrations are not to be prevented by the Police.”

“As many Jews in all districts — especially the rich — as can be accommodated in existing prisons are to be arrested,” Heydrich added.

“For the time being only healthy male Jews, who are not too old, are to be detained,” he instructed. “After the detentions have been carried out the appropriate concentration camps are to be contacted immediately for the prompt accommodation of the Jews in the camps.”

These were the official Nazi orders for the wave of savage anti-Semitic attacks that became known as Kristallnacht — Crystal Night, the night of the shattered glass. It was so called because broken glass littered the streets of many German and Austrian cities. The attacks are widely seen as a violent turning point in what would become the Holocaust.

It was a massive upheaval across Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia that killed scores of Jews and destroyed thousands of Jewish businesses. In total, 267 synagogues were destroyed. Torahs were burned. Jewish cemeteries were desecrated.

Houses were ransacked, often by neighbors and acquaintances of the victims.”

(“Kristallnacht: The night Nazis killed Jews and destroyed synagogues 80 years before Pittsburgh”, by Michael E. Ruane, October 30, 2018, Washington Post)

As mentioned above, Kristallnacht also took place in the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia. That region had been annexed by Nazi Germany in September. (“Sept. 30, 1938 | Hitler Granted the Sudentenland by Britain, France and Italy”, by The Learning Network, September 30, 2011, The New York Times)

In light of this history of Nazi anti-Jewish violence, it is worth noting that, very ironically at the Interpol’s helm, both the acclamation of Norman Inkster in 1992 and the election of Meng Hongwei 24 years later fell on an anniversary of Kristallnacht.

In general, a new Interpol president was elected during an annual general assembly, the time of which varied in the later part of the year, such as in October when Jackie Selebi was chosen in 2004. (“New INTERPOL President chosen by General Assembly”, October 8, 2004, INTERPOL)

After Kristallnacht and following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, at Heydrich’s order Nazi death squads were formed and began physically killing Jews and Communist party officials, resulting in the deaths of over a million Jews in two years:

“The Nazi genocide and ethnic cleansing efforts did not begin as a specific plan to gas Jews and others in concentration camps, but rather evolved over time, beginning with systematic persecution aimed in part at encouraging Jewish emigration from Germany to other countries. It grew from spontaneous murders to planned massacres of Jewish communities, to the establishment of an industrial apparatus for the efficient, wholesale slaughter of a people.

Kristallnacht marked the transition of the Nazi policy vis-a-vis Jews from social ostracism, abrogation of legal rights and economic boycotts, to organized physical violence including murder. As such, some consider the November ‘38 pogrom as marking the actual beginning of the Holocaust – the date when anti-Jewish persecution in Germany began moving toward genocide.

Mass killings of Jews became commonplace following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Death squads called Einsatzgruppen, formed at the order of Reinhard Heydrich, director of the Reich Main Security Office at the time, were tasked with murdering Jewish civilians and Communist Party officials with the help of local citizens. Historians estimate that between June 1941 and May 1943, these roaming death squads killed over 1 million Jews.”

(“When Did the Holocaust Begin? A Genesis of Genocide”, February 17, 2014, Haaretz)

As above, Heydrich was also the director of the Reich Main Security Office.

Then in January 1942, Heydrich led the start of planning for the “Final Solution”, that is, the extermination of Jews in Europe, by convening the Wannsee Conference:

“Industrial-scale murder of Jews, known as the Final Solution, was approved by the senior Nazi leadership on January 20, 1942 at the Wannsee Conference, held just outside Berlin. At the meeting, called by Heydrich, he presented the plan to transport Jews from Eastern and Western Europe to extermination camps located in Poland.”

(February 17, 2014, Haaretz)

More accurately, the Wannsee Conference plan called for the estimated 11 million Jews in Europe to be deported to labor camps in “the East” where most would work till their deaths, and the “possible final remnant” would be “treated accordingly” so that any future “Jewish reconstruction” could not happen. The following are two excerpts from a “top secret” Nazi document, the Wannsee Protocol, produced by that conference.

Prior to introducing the “final solution”, the Wannsee Conference document reviewed past “accelerated emigration” of Jews, enforced under Heydrich’s authority since January 1939:

“By order of the Reich Marshal a Reich Central Office for Jewish emigration was set up in January 1939 and the Chief of the Security Police and SD was entrusted with the management. …

The aim of all this being that of clearing the German Lebensraum of Jews in a legal way.

All the Offices realized the drawbacks of such enforced accelerated emigration. For the time being they had, however, tolerated it on account of the lack of other possible solutions of the problem.

The Jews themselves, or rather their Jewish political organizations financed the emigration. In order to avoid the possibility of the impoverished Jews staying behind, action was taken to make the wealthy Jews finance the evacuation of the needy Jews, this was arranged by imposing a suitable tax, i.e. an emigration tax which was used for the financial arrangements in connection with the emigration of poor Jews, and was worked according to a ladder system.”

(“The Wannsee Protocol (January 20, 1942)”, German History in Documents and Images, German Historical Institute)

As described above, the Nazi German government had taxed the Jews to obtain the funds to send them abroad on a large scale, regardless of their being wealthy or poor.

The next step, according to the Wannsee Protocol, would be the “final solution”:

“Such activities are, however, to be considered as provisional actions, but practical experience is already being collected which is of greatest importance in relation to the future final solution of the Jewish problem.

Approx. 11,000,000 Jews will be involved in this final solution of the European problem…

Under proper guidance the Jews are now to be allocated for labor to the East in the course of the final solution. Able-bodied Jews will be taken in large labor columns to these districts for work on roads, separated according to sexes, in the course of which action a great part will undoubtedly be eliminated by natural causes.

The possible final remnant will, as it must undoubtedly consist of the toughest, have to be treated accordingly, as it is the product of natural selection, and would, if liberated, act as a bud cell of a Jewish reconstruction (see historical experience).

In the course of the practical execution of this final settlement of the problem, Europe will be cleaned up from the West to the East. Germany proper, including the protectorate Bohemia and Moravia, will have to be handled first because of reasons of housing and other social-political necessities.

The evacuated Jews will first be sent, group by group, into so-called transit-ghettos from which they will be taken to the East.

SS-Obergruppenfuehrer HEYDRICH went on to say that an important provision for the evacuation as such is the exact definition of the group of persons concerned in the matter.

It is intended not to evacuate Jews of more than 65 years of age but to send them to an old-age-ghetto – Theresienstadt is being considered for this purpose.

Through such expedient solution the numerous interventions will be eliminated with one blow.


(German History in Documents and Images, German Historical Institute)

As shown in the above Wannsee Protocol of January 20, 1942, and earlier in his telegram order to German police nationwide for Kristallnacht on November 10, 1938, at each stage of escalation against the European Jews Reinhard Heydrich not only supervised the initiation and implementation of the Nazi anti-Jewish measures, but methodically engaged in the specifics of their planning and execution.

In Heydrich’s vision, which he had advocated through his writings in the mid-1930s, the cleansing would not be confined to the Jews alone but would also include those racially, socially, politically or intellectually influenced by the Jews:

“The enemies themselves were “eternally the same”: “the Jew, the Freemason, and the politically-oriented cleric.” The “invisible,” submerged, camouflaged ideological wellsprings of these “enemies” lay in the “infectious residue” of “Jewish, liberal and Freemasonic spirit,” modes of thinking (democracy, communism, Christian and liberal individualism) that were outgrowths of allegedly inherited racial characteristics. Only the complete destruction of the “biological sources” of such thinking would eliminate the danger presented by such influences.

Ultimately, “invisible” Jewish opponents were the Jewish people themselves—as the Nazis defined them—and those who “thought like Jews”: Communists, liberals, democrats, champions of minority rights, Freemasons, Christian clerics who opposed the regime, Soviet communists, and the US and British leadership classes who opposed the “natural” expansion of Nazi Germany. To be absolutely safe, the Nazis had to destroy the members of the so-called Jewish race, whose genetic makeup created the basis for such thinking, as well as the Slavic and Asiatic leadership classes, whose heredity incorporated a propensity to follow that Jewish leadership.

Heydrich developed some of these themes in his writings of the mid-1930s and used them to advocate Security Police and SD leadership in “solving the Jewish Question.” …”

(“Reinhard Heydrich: In Depth”, Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Prior to the Wannsee Conference, in late 1941 Reinhard Heydrich had been given the additional responsibility of overseeing the Nazi rule in German-occupied Czechoslovakia, then referred to as “the protectorate Bohemia and Moravia” as in the Wannsee Protocol quoted earlier, and treated like a part of the German proper to be of top priority in the cleansing of Jews.

It began on September 27, 1941, when Heydrich became “Reichsprotektor” of Bohemia and Moravia, with the objectives of eliminating local resistance to Nazi German occupation, increasing arms production for the Nazi war operations, and planning for the eventual “Germanization” of Czechoslovakia:

“Exactly 70 years ago, on 27 September 1941, Reinhard Heydrich came to Prague on Hitler’s orders to take up the position of Reichsprotektor. He was 37 years old. At a gathering of Nazi officials several days before his arrival in Prague, he clearly expressed how he wanted to handle the population of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. A “final solution” awaited Jews, Roma and others in the death camps, while the Slavs were to be either murdered or Germanized and moved as far east as possible. “The Bohemian-Moravian area must never be left in such a state that the Czechs might be able to claim it as theirs… This space must be German once and for all so the Czech will have no claim to it in the end,” Heydrich said in that speech.

Reinhard Heydrich was one of the direct co-authors of the Holocaust – both of the idea of murdering homosexuals, Jewish people, mentally or physically disabled people, Romani people and others, as well as of the methods for pursuing genocide – death camps, Germanization, and racial/ethnic pogroms. The tragic fate of the Czech and Moravian Jews and Roma began under his rule.

Heydrich was sent to Prague for both military-economic and political reasons. After a significant rise in resistance activity and sabotage in 1941, Konstantin von Neurath, then-Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, was sent on medical leave “at his own request” by Hitler. The ambitious SS General Heydrich was sent to Prague to replace him. At the end of July 1941, Heydrich was entrusted with preparing “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question”.

The other reasons were economic. In addition to the Ruhr district, the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia had become an important center of the German arms industry during the second year of the war. At the Škoda factories in Plzeň and the Brno-based Zbrojovce armament factory, the Germans had access to some of the highest-performing metalworking shops for arms manufacturing in the world. The Nazis also frequently transferred production from the west of Germany to the Protectorate. One-third of German tanks and 40 % of their light artillery were being produced there at the time.

Heydrich’s short-term aim was the liquidation of the domestic resistance for the purpose of “pacifying” the situation in the Protectorate. On the day after his appointment, he announced a state of emergency and immediately took Czechoslovak Prime Minister Alois Eliáš into custody (who was sentenced to death in October for espionage and treason and executed on 19 June 1942). During this period of martial law (the second announced in the Protectorate; the first was announced in June 1939), representatives of the illegal leadership of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, the National Defense (Obrany národa), and the Sokol organization were executed between 28 September 1941 and 20 January 1942.

Heydrich gave a speech on solving the “Czech problem” at Černín Palace in Prague on 2 October 1941 that listed the following: deportation to the east, Germanization, and the physical liquidation of all who resisted. In the interim, the majority of the Czech population should be maximally exploited for the war effort.”

(“70th anniversary of Reichsprotektor Heydrich’s rule over Bohemia and Moravia”, September 27, 2011, Romea.cz)

As told above, prior to arriving in Czechoslovakia, “at the end of July 1941” Heydrich had already been “entrusted with” planning for the Final Solution for European Jews; and in Heydrich’s vision of “Germanization”, the eventual fate awaiting other non-Germans in Czechoslovakia would not be that much better than the Jews.

Immediately upon arrival, arresting Czechoslovakian Prime Minister Alois Eliáš and sentencing him to death were an integral part of Heydrich’s crackdown on resistance; Eliáš had had secret involvements in the resistance movement – on one occasion even personally offering poisonous sandwiches to some pro-Nazi journalists, resulting in the death of the most prominent of them:

“Since the first days of occupation a home resistance movement began to be formed. Unfortunately, expectations of some members of the movement concerning their activities were rather naive. Germans were quite different opponent than the Austrian authorities in the period of the First World War. Lots of resistance fighters paid dearly for their experience and lost their lives. It is surprising that the information on the Eliášs involvement in the resistance movement did not leak right in the very beginning. He became a member of so-called Council of Seniors of a military resistance movement group “Defence of the Nation”. The staff of this organization had its seat in the premises of the Presidium of Ministerial Council which was similar institution like the Office of the Government nowadays. The Prime Minister also maintained radio connection with newly formed exile government in London and was trying to follow their instruction. However, it was not always possible as the exile government had rather distorted notion on the everyday life in the protectorate and its policy.

At that time Eliáš was also involved in a significant action of the resistance movement – the removal of activist journalist. These collaborationists were received by Eliáš and during the audience they were offered poisonous sandwiches. The most prominent journalist, editor of “České slovo” daily, eventually died of the poisoning. Thus the Czech collaborationist journalism was got rid of one of the most prominent representatives.

The turn of the situation was the removal of Konstantin Neurath from the position of the Reich Protector. It was Reinhard Heidrich who was appointed to this position and he was decided to make short work with the Czech resistance movement. In the framework of measures taken, also Prime Minister Eliáš was arrested. After that, President Hácha formally dismissed him from the position of the prime minister. … Several days later a speedily arranged lawsuit was held and Eliáš was sentenced to death. The entire lawsuit was trumped-up as it had been decided before about the punishment.”

(“Alois Eliáš (29.9.1890 – 19.6.1942)”, September 29, 2010, Government Information Centre, Government of the Czech Republic)

As described above, when Heydrich replaced Konstantin Neurath as the Reich Protector of Czechoslovakia, the Nazi crackdown on local resistance was immediately intensified and hardened.

Despite the goal of Germanization, in order to increase arms production in Czechoslovakia to support Nazi Germany’s ongoing wars Heydrich adopted a pacification approach toward the working population, and soon achieved remarkable results:

“Heydrich as acting Reich Protector then courted Czech industrial workers and farmers, whose productive capacity was necessary to the German war effort, with wages and benefits packages equivalent to those of their German counterparts. The result of his policies was a 73% reduction in acts of sabotage within six months. By spring of 1942, the German authorities could boast of a pacification of the Protectorate. Some have speculated that Heydrich aimed next to assume a newly created top civilian position in occupied Northern France and Belgium.”

(Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

As noted above, Heydrich may have also planned to expand his pacification rule to Northern France and Belgium.

As quoted earlier, at the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942 – a few short months after taking over the Nazi rule in Czechoslovakia – Heydrich mentioned a particular “old-age-ghetto”, “Theresienstadt”, for the Jews.

The Theresienstadt ghetto was established on November 24, 1941, by Heydrich in Czechoslovakia:

“Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the SS (the Nazi paramilitary corps), established the camp at Theresienstadt on November 24, 1941. It soon became the home of Jews from Prague and other parts of German-occupied Bohemia and Moravia (now in the Czech Republic). In 1942 the Nazis expelled 7,000 Czechs who lived in Terezín and isolated the Jewish community in a closed environment. The Nazis intended the camp to house elderly, privileged, and famous Jews from Germany, Austria, the Czech lands, and western Europe. As the home—and the place of death—of some of the most prominent Czech, Austrian, and German artists, writers, scientists, jurists, diplomats, musicians, and scholars, Theresienstadt had a rich cultural life.

Some 15,000 children passed through Theresienstadt, and the community ensured that their education continued with a rigorous daily routine of classes, athletic activities, and art. They painted pictures and wrote poetry. By war’s end, however, no more than 1,100 (according to some estimates, no more than 150) of these children survived.

Conditions were harsh. At times, over 50,000 Jews lived in the space once inhabited by 7,000 Czechs. Food was scarce. In 1942, 15,891 people died, more than half the average daily population of Theresienstadt at the time.”

(“Theresienstadt: Concentration Camp, Czech Republic”, by Michael Berenbaum, Encyclopaedia Britannica)

As described above, in addition to the old-age Jews incarcerated there, including “some of the most prominent Czech, Austrian, and German artists, writers, scientists, jurists, diplomats, musicians, and scholars,”, around 15,000 Jewish children passed through Theresienstadt during its time and were allowed to continue their education and cultural activities; however, in the end no more than 1,100, or maybe no more than 150, of these children survived the Nazi concentration camps.

But any broader Nazi machination, on the “Final Solution” or on the “Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia”, did not fully materialize while under Heydrich’s supervision, as he would soon die in the Czechoslovakain capital Prague in June 1942, after an assassination effort by the Czechoslovakian resistance.

Almost from the start of his arrival in Prague, the Czechoslovakian resistance to Nazi German occupation planned to assassinate Heydrich.

The operation, code-named Operation Anthropoid, was initiated by the Czechoslovak government in exile in Britain and supported by the British Special Operations Executive; a team of resistance agents received training in Britain and parachuted into Czechoslovakia on December 28, 1941:

“The operation was instigated by František Moravec, head of the Czech intelligence services, with the knowledge and approval of Edvard Beneš, head of the Czechoslovak government in exile in Britain, almost as soon as Heydrich was appointed Protector. Moravec personally briefed Brigadier Colin Gubbins, who at the time was the Director of Operations in the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and who had responsibility for the Czech and Polish “country” sections of the organization. Gubbins readily agreed to help mount the operation, although knowledge of it was restricted to a few of the headquarters and training staff of SOE. The operation was given the codename Anthropoid, Greek for “having the form of a human,” a term usually used in zoology.

Preparation began on October 20, 1941. Moravec had personally selected two dozen of the most promising personnel from among the 2,000 exiled Czech soldiers based in Britain. They were sent to one of SOE’s commando training centers at Arisaig in Scotland. Warrant Officer Jozef Gabčík (Slovak) and Staff Sergeant Karel Svoboda (Czech) were chosen to carry out the operation on 28 October 1941 (Czechoslovakia’s Independence Day), but Svoboda was replaced with Jan Kubiš (Czech) after a head injury during training. This caused delays in the mission as Kubiš had not completed training, nor had the necessary false documents been prepared for him.

Gabčík and Kubiš, with seven other soldiers from Czechoslovakia’s army in exile in the United Kingdom, were flown in two other groups named Silver A and Silver B (who had different missions) from RAF Tangmere by a Halifax of No. 138 Squadron RAF at 22:00 on December 28, 1941. They landed near Nehvizdy east of Prague. …”

(“Operation Anthropoid”, Jewish Virtual Library, American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise)

Meanwhile, Heydrich became so confident of his success in pacification of the Czechoslovakian population that he travelled around Prague in an open-top vehicle without extra security protection:

“Heydrich was so confident that his pacification program had succeeded that he flagrantly disregarded measures for his own security and traveled around Prague in an open vehicle. …”

(Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Heydrich even moved to live in a Château outside the city, commuting daily to and from his office and in so doing making himself an even easier target for assassination:

“The paratroopers devised various plans for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. At the beginning of April 1942 Heydrich himself contributed to the options for his own assassination when he moved from his temporary quarters in Prague Castle to a Château in Panenské Břežany. In the end a sharp right-hand curve, straddling the streets Kirchmayerova and V Holešovičkách, below a school in Kobylisy, was chosen for the attack. It was known that his car was driven through this curve daily on the way to Prague Castle and that his chauffeur, SS-Oberscharführer Johannes Klein, had to slow down significantly.”

(Michal Burian, Aleš Knížek, Jiří Rajlich and Eduard Stehlík, ASSASSINATION: Operation ANTHROPOID 1941–1942, 2002, Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic)

On May 27, 1942, exactly 8 months from his taking over the Nazi rule in Czechoslovakia, a resistance assassination took place out and a wounded Heydrich died 8 days later on June 4:

“… On May 27, 1942, as he traveled on a familiar route to the airport to fly to Hitler’s headquarters, two Czech parachute agents succeeded in rolling a hand grenade under Heydrich’s transport vehicle. Though not mortally wounded by the blast itself, the grenade splinters in his leg and lower back led to an infection that killed him on June 4, 1942.”

(Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

As told above, On that day Heydrich was supposed to fly to Berlin to see the Nazi supreme leader Adolf Hitler, and the attempted assassination was not immediately successful – he was “not mortally wounded”.

As described in the last two quotes above, Heydrich was in a convertible Mercedes with only his chauffeur, “SS-Oberscharführer Johannes Klein” as named in the 2002 Czech Republic Ministry of Defence paper quoted, but the gunshots fired at him by the resistance agents all missed, except that, as in the Holocaust Encyclopedia article quoted, a “hand grenade” rolled toward Heydrich’s car succeeded in exploding on the ground and wounding him in the leg and lower back.

The “hand grenade” that wounded Heydrich was more precisely a “modified anti-tank grenade”, as in the following story of the assassination attempt:

“… Gabčík stepped in front of the vehicle and tried to open fire with his Sten submachine gun, but it jammed. Heydrich ordered his driver, SS-Oberscharführer Klein, to stop the car, then stood up to shoot Gabčík with his Luger pistol. Kubiš threw a modified anti-tank grenade (concealed in a briefcase) at the vehicle. Its fragments ripped through the car’s right rear bumper, embedding shrapnel and fibers from the upholstery in Heydrich’s body upon detonation. The grenade also injured Kubiš.

Following the explosion, Gabčík and Kubiš fired at Heydrich with their Colt M1903 pistols but failed to hit him, as they were shocked by the explosion as well. Heydrich staggered out of the car, apparently unaware of his shrapnel injuries, returned fire, and tried to chase Gabčík, but he soon collapsed. Klein returned from his abortive attempt to chase Kubiš, who fled the scene by bicycle. Now bleeding profusely, Heydrich ordered Klein to chase Gabčík on foot, saying, “Get that bastard!” Klein chased him into a butcher shop, where Gabčík shot him twice with his pistol, severely wounding him in the leg, and then escaped to a local safe house via tram. Gabčík and Kubiš didn’t know that Heydrich was badly wounded and were convinced the attack had failed.”

(Jewish Virtual Library, American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise)

As told above, after carrying out the attack the two resistance agents responsible, Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, were convinced that the assassination attempt was a failure.

In particular, I note that the agents’ shooting accuracies were so poor that only the last two shots eventually hit someone, far away from Heydrich – in the leg of Heydrich’s chauffeur Johannes Klein after Klein had chased Gabčík into a butcher shop.

Ironically, at the time Heydrich was called “Butcher of Prague” by the Czechoslovakians. (“Son of detested Nazi leader sparks outrage after announcing he wants to restore castle where ‘Butcher of Prague’ ruled”, by Allan Hall, March 28, 2011, Daily Mail)

The error-prone assassination of Reinhard Heydrich was the “only successful assassination” of a senior German Nazi leader in history:

“The attack on Heydrich would be the only successful assassination of a high-ranking Nazi functionary during the party’s 12-year rule.”

(“Reinhard Heydrich Biography: The First In-depth Look at a Nazi ‘God of Death’”, by Georg Bönisch, September 19, 2011, Spiegel Online)

But as already noted, it did not immediately kill or even mortally wound Heydrich. Rather, he died eight days later in the hospital.

After a surgery on the day he was wounded, performed by experienced German medical surgeons, Heydrich appeared to be recuperating in the hospital under German protection and under the medical care of Dr. Karl Gebhardt, the private physician of Heinrich Himmler, Heydrich’s superior Nazi security leader. However, on the seventh day while eating a meal, Heydrich suddenly fell into a coma and died the next day, June 4, due to blood poisoning as concluded by the official autopsy:

“… The patient was then transferred to the operating room and surgery was performed by thoracic surgeon Walter Dick and abdominal surgeon J. Hohlbaum, both experienced German practitioners. … The Czech personnel
were prohibited from entering the operating room or the floor
where Heydrich was taken after his operation [6].

… During the course of treatment Heydrich received several blood transfusions as well as anti-gangrene and anti-tetanus injections. Within two days the patient was recovering well; there is no record that postoperative X-rays were performed.

From this point, SS chief Heinrich Himmler’s private physician, Dr. Karl Gebhardt, an orthopedic surgeon from Berlin, was in charge. Gebhardt bypassed all the other surgeons, preventing the use of sulphonamide (Prontosil®*) when Heydrich’s temperature rose, and forbidding the transfer of the patient for re-operation at any other hospital [6]. The omission of treatment with Prontosil was particularly noteworthy since “the SS and Hitler insisted on believing that sulphonamides were a ‘miracle drug’ (Wundermittel) which could prevent all infections if only correctly administered” [1]. In the postoperative days, a gradual fever developed. On the seventh day the patient was able to sit up in bed to eat, but he collapsed suddenly and remained in a coma until the early hours of 4 June when he died. …

The official autopsy report by pathologists Herwig Hamperl and Gunther Weyrich, both professors at Prague University, determined the cause of Heydrich’s death to be “septicaemia due to virulent Bacteria that led to parenchymatous intoxication of the liver, kidney and myocardium” [7]. The management of Heydrich’s care and the autopsy findings have been disputed. …”

(“The Attempt on the Life of Reinhard Heydrich, Architect of the “Final Solution”: A Review of his Treatment and Autopsy”, by George M. Weisz MD FRACS MA and William R. Albury BA PhD, Volume 16, Number 4, April 2014, Israel Medical Association Journal)

As noted above, following the surgery Heydrich gradually developed a fever, probably due to Dr. Gebhardt’s preventing the use of sulphonamide, which Hitler and the Nazis considered a “miracle drug” that could prevent all infections. Gebhardt’s treatment approach was controversial, and the exact medical cause of Heydrich’s death has been disputed.

Some medical experts have suggested that Himmler, through his own personal physician, may have caused Heydrich’s death. This has been the conclusion of the above quoted review by Dr. George M. Weisz and Prof. William R. Albury, published in 2014; it cited the precedent of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath’s death at the hands of Hitler’s private physician Karl Brandt after an assassination attempt in 1938:

“In 1938, Ernst vom Rath, a diplomat at the German Embassy in Paris, was shot by a protesting Jewish adolescent. The medical attention that he received was supervised by Hitler’s private physician (Begleitarzt), Karl Brandt. The required treatment was withheld for political reasons. Indeed, his death was politicized in Germany and used as an opportunity to launch
a nationwide pogrom, known as Kristallnacht [2]. By acting in this way the leaders of the Third Reich sacrificed vom Rath, in accordance with the principle that Dr. Brandt later cited at his trial in Nuremberg, using him “in the interest of [Nazi] society.”

The present article reviews the surgical management of a much higher ranking officer of the Reich, SS ObergruppenfÜhrer Reinhard Heydrich (1904–42), who was attacked by partisans in Prague in 1942. The documented medical response to his injuries and the record of the autopsy reveal a number of parallels with the Rath case and raise the possibility of similar political interference in his medical treatment.

It is our conclusion that the cause of death was pulmonary embolism, originating in the pelvic plexus (or in the unexamined lower limbs), due to pulmonary insufficiency and to a multi-system septic failure. Since the autopsy investigation did not examine the head, the possibility of anoxic brain damage cannot be excluded.

In legal terms, the medical approach of the German doctors provided substandard medical care to one of their highest officers. …

It is well known that Himmler, as SS chief and Heydrich’s immediate superior, had begun to feel that his own position was threatened by the ruthless ability and repeated successes of the younger man, such as the pacification of Bohemia/Moravia. Could Himmler have taken advantage of the unexpected wounding of Heydrich by sending his physician Gebhardt to hasten the Reichsprotektor’s death?

The evidence from Heydrich’s medical treatment and autopsy suggests that Himmler may well have used Gebhardt as his instrument to dispose of a rival who Himmler feared would eventually supplant him. …”

(George M. Weisz MD FRACS MA and William R. Albury BA PhD, April 2014, Israel Medical Association Journal)

As above, previously in 1938 the Nazis had withheld necessary medical care for German diplomat Ernst von Rath who had been wounded by a Jewish assassin, in order to use his death to rally political support for launching Kristallnacht – Nazi Germany’s first nationwide violent anti-Jewish campaign, directed by Reinhard Heydrich on November 10, 1938, as earlier reviewed.

Thus, one can suspect that in May-June 1942 it may have become Heydrich’s own turn to fall victim to the Nazis’ premeditated medical malpractice – as per the medical opinions of experts like Dr. Weisz and Prof. Albury, quoted above.

In an earlier review, published in 2009, Dr. Ray J. Defalque and Prof. Amos J. Wright cited facts showing that after the attempted assassination Heydrich was mentally conscious and still physically abled to some degree, and appeared normal throughout the surgery:

“… While Klein pursued Gabèik, Heydrich, in severe pain, staggered back to the car and collapsed on the hood.

After 20 minutes of confusion, he was placed face down among cans of wax and polish in the rear of a passing commercial van and driven to Bulovka hospital, one and-a-half miles away. Bulovka, with 1,400 beds, was at the time the second largest Czech hospital.

Heydrich reached the Bulovka emergency room shortly after 11:00 a.m. and was registered under the number 12.555/42. Summoned by the emergency room nurse, Dr. Snadjr arrived at once and found Heydrich seated on the examining table, bare-chested, silent and aloof, profusely bleeding from his left lower back. While checking the injury, Dr. Snadjr had the nurse call Dr. W. Dick, the Sudeten German chief of surgery at Bulovka since 1940 and an experienced thoracic surgeon. …

Heydrich was taken to the radiology suite in a wheelchair but walked
unassisted to the X-Ray machine. The film showed a left pneumothorax, a fracture of the left eleventh rib, a diaphragmatic tear and a metal fragment in the spleen. The left kidney and spine were intact.

Told that he needed immediate surgery, Heydrich refused and insisted on a Berlin surgeon. Dr. Dick repeated that the operation was urgent and offered to call Professor J. Hohlbaum, the chairman of the Surgery Department at the nearby Charles V University. Dr. Hohlbaum was a Silesian German. Heydrich accepted after a few minutes of hesitation and Professor Hohlbaum was summoned. …

The operation started around noon and ended shortly after 1:00 p.m. Drs. Dick and Slalina had started scrubbing when Professor Hohlbaum walked in with two assistants. As he was ready to scrub, Dr. Hohlbaum noticed that in his haste he had forgotten his glasses and an aid was sent to fetch them. He told Dr. Dick to start the procedure and that he would assist him until he had his glasses. Dr. Mach gave the patient a transfusion of type A blood at the
beginning of the operation and another at the end, along with tetanus and gas gangrene antitoxins.

… Dr. Hohlbaum, now wearing his glasses, made an incision from sternum to
mid-abdomen. As he was reaching the umbilicus, Dr. Honek noticed that he was perspiring profusely.¹ Dr. Dick reacted at once, and in his usual quiet and courteous manner whispered, “Professor Hohlbaum, you are not well, allow me to take over.” He then extended the incision under the left costal margin and finished the procedure with Drs. Hohlbaum’s and Slalina’s assistance. … Heydrich tolerated the surgery well, with normal vital signs.”

(“The Puzzling Death of Reinhard Heydrich”, by Ray J. Defalque, M.D. and Amos J. Wright, M.L.S., Volume 27, Number 1, January 2009, Bulletin of Anesthesia History)

As told above, the actual surgery was performed not by the German surgeon whom Heydrich had agreed to, namely Professor Dr. J. Hohlbaum, because Hohlbaum acted nervous and also forgetful, but by the German surgeon Dr. W. Dick who had examined Heydrich and decided on an urgent surgery.

The anti-tank grenade damaging Heydrich’s car and causing his injuries had been modified in a way for it to be “easier to handle” – albeit with substantially reduced power:

“… The weapon was a powerful British number 73 anti-tank grenade, the lower two-thirds of which had been removed to make it lighter (1 lb.) and easier to handle (4 in.). The bottom of the remaining upper one-third had been sealed with adhesive tape and the whole body was wrapped in more tape. German experts judged its powerful explosive, polar ammon gelatin, to be dangerous to handle.¹⁰ ¹¹ …”

(Ray J. Defalque, M.D. and Amos J. Wright, M.L.S., January 2009, Bulletin of Anesthesia History)

Both the review by Dr. Weisz and Prof. Albury and the review by Dr. Defalque and Prof. Wright remarked on the disagreements between Hitler and Himmler over Heydrich’s medical treatments.

Weisz and Albury noted that Hitler’s “genuine dismay” over Heydrich’s death, with Hitler’s personal physician Dr. Theodor Morell accusing Himmler’s personal physician Dr. Gebhardt of “negligence”, led to Himmler ordering Dr. Gebhardt to conduct “barbaric medical experiments on concentration camp prisoners”:

“… A complicating factor for both Himmler and Gebhardt, however, was Hitler’s genuine dismay when he learned of Heydrich’s death. Worse still, Gebhardt was accused of negligence by Dr. Theodor Morell, Hitler’s personal physician (Leibarzt). Morell owned a factory that produced sulphonamides and argued that Gebhardt should have treated Heydrich with the drug. Gebhardt, on the other hand, insisted that sulphonamides were of little use and had not been required in Heydrich’s case.

To maintain his standing in Hitler’s eyes, Himmler ordered Gebhardt to demonstrate the correctness of his position, and so began Gebhardt’s barbaric medical experiments on concentration camp prisoners. Septic wounds were deliberately inflicted on male inmates at Sachsenhausen and then on female inmates, mostly Polish political prisoners, at Ravensbrück. Some of these victims were then treated with sulphonamides while others were not. …”

(George M. Weisz MD FRACS MA and William R. Albury BA PhD, April 2014, Israel Medical Association Journal)

Defalque and Wright described how Dr. Gebhardt had Dr. Morell from Heydrich’s medical care, Dr. Morell later complained to Himmler about Gebhardt’s “gross negligence” that “had caused Heydrich’s death”, and Himmler instead thanked and promoted Gebhardt:

“Himmler, at Hitler’s headquarters in Rastenburg (East Prussia) was immediately notified of the incident and ordered Dr. K. Gebhardt, his personal physician and professor of orthopedics in Berlin, to fly at once to Heydrich’s bedside. Gebhardt landed in Prague the evening of May 27, accompanied by his SS deputy, Dr. L. Stumpfegger, and the renowned Berlin surgeon F. Sauerbruch. Professor Sauerbruch had been Gebhardt’s teacher and was a close friend of the Heydrich family. Dr. Morell, Hitler’s physician, never came to Prague.² Gebhardt followed Heydrich closely and phoned Himmler twice a day to report on his patient’s progress. …

… At his 1947 trial, Gebhardt testified that he did not prescribe sulfonamides for Heydrich because of his medical training in Munich and his 1940 experience as a frontline surgeon had convinced him of their futility in gunshot wounds.¹⁵ ¹⁶ He had refused Morell’s offer to fly to Prague as well as his recommendation to try the new thiazole sulfonamides (e.g., ultrasept) in the production of which Morell had large financial interests.

Gebhardt added that Morell had later told Himmler that this gross negligence
had caused Heydrich’s death. This accusation had estranged him from his SS superior.

Gebhardt’s testimony, however, is contradicted by the warm letter of thanks that Himmler sent him on October 19, 1942, praising Heydrich’s surgeons and especially Gebhardt’s for easing his patient’s suffering.¹⁷ Over the following months Gebhardt was promoted to SS Major General and to “Supreme SS Physician” and was awarded the rare “Knight’s Cross with Diamonds.”¹⁵ At his trial, Gebhardt implied that he had accepted his superiors’ order to test sulfamides on concentration camp inmates partly to vindicate his treatment of Heydrich.”

(Ray J. Defalque, M.D. and Amos J. Wright, M.L.S., January 2009, Bulletin of Anesthesia History)

As in the above quote, after Heydrich’s death his superior Himmler seemed pleased that the doctors had eased this “patient’s suffering”.

If there had indeed been “gross negligence” in Reinhard Heydrich’s death on the part of the Nazis under Heinrich Himmler’s direction, it may not have been limited to, as Weisz and Albury suggested in their medical review quoted earlier, Himmler taking advantage of “the unexpected wounding of Heydrich” “to dispose of a rival”.

The Nazi security forces under Heydrich in Czechoslovakia had most likely been aware of a resistance assassination team in Prague, sent from Britain, and that Heydrich was at risk, because a secret radio-transmitted message from the Czechoslovakian local resistance to persuade the leadership in exile in Britain to abort the assassination of Heydrich, so as not to incur a severe reprisal by the German Nazis, had been intercepted by the Gestapo, i.e., the German Nazi secret police, two weeks before the assassination attempt:

“The home resistance movement’s representatives realised from the preparations of the paratroopers that they were trying to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich. Fearing a major reprisal, they decided to contact London through the LIBUŠE transmitter, with a dispatch warning not to continue with assassination plans. In an operation directed against the SILVER A group, the Gestapo intercepted one of these warnings on May 12, 1942: “From the preparations that Ota and Zdeněk are working on and the place where it is happening, we guess, despite their silence, that they’re preparing to assassinate H. This assassination would not help the Allies and would bring immense consequences upon our nation… we ask you to give an order through SILVER not to carry out the assassination. There is a danger of delay, issue the order immediately. If necessary, for international reasons, assassinate a local Quisling… the first choice would be E(manuel) M(oravec).””

(Michal Burian, Aleš Knížek, Jiří Rajlich and Eduard Stehlík, 2002, Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic)

Intriguingly, and fatefully, Nazi security protection for Heydrich was not beefed up despite the assassination threat the Gestapo discovered on May 12, before it materialized on May 27.

If Heydrich’s Nazi security boss Himmler had indeed harboured the idea of possibly disposing of this rival, as suggested in the medical experts’ recent reviews I have discussed, then under his direction the Gestapo might have withheld notifying Heydrich, even though he had authority over them, of the communication intercept signalling danger to him.

The “EM” in the intercepted radio message cited above, Emanuel Moravec, the substitute target of assassination suggested by the local resistance, was Minister of Education in the Czechoslovakian government collaborating with the Nazis and a favorite Czech official of Heydrich’s, even though prior to the German occupation Moravec had been a leading advocate of defending Czechoslovakia against Nazi Germany:

“On January 19, 1942, a new Protectorate government was named, replacing the old government (entirely according to Heydrich’s ideas), which was in effect non-functional from September 27, 1941, onwards. The reason behind the reorganization of the government was the destruction of the Protectorate’s autonomous administration. The number of ministries was reduced to seven. A single German minister in the Protectorate government, SS-Oberführer Walther Bertsch, directed a newly created key ministry of economy and labour. The greatest change to take place, apart from changes in personnel, was the establishment of the Office for People’s Enlightenment. The affairs of the press, theatre, literature, art, film and foreign tourism were subordinate to this office. The ministry, in turn, was subordinate to the newly named Minister of Education, Emanuel Moravec. This former Czechoslovak legionnaire and later General Staff Colonel and a professor of war history and strategy at the University of War Studies in Prague was – prior to Munich – the most ardent defender of fighting against Nazi Germany. After the occupation, however, he sided with the Nazis entirely and became a symbol of extreme collaboration. Moravec was, in Heydrich’s opinion, unusually well suited for collaboration. …”

(Michal Burian, Aleš Knížek, Jiří Rajlich and Eduard Stehlík, 2002, Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic)

One may wonder, had the Nazis beefed up security protection for Heydrich after intercepting the secret radio message referring to assassination, whether it might not have occurred to the Czechoslovakian Nazi-collaborator Emanuel Moravec instead of the leader of Nazi German occupation.

On the other hand, Reinhard Heydrich was such a self-confident man that, bolstered by the success of his pacification policy, he did not believe the Czechoslovakians would try to kill him, even once saying, “Why should my Czechs shoot at me?”:

“… he almost always rode without a bodyguard, confident that the cowed Czechs would never make an attempt on his life. “Why should my Czechs shoot at me?” Heydrich loftily responded when another Nazi official chided him for his recklessness. His chauffeur—a brawny six-foot, five-inch SS guard—was his only protector.”

(Lynne Olson, Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War, 2018, Random House)

Ironically, the musical son of a German composer, in his “pacification” and “Germanization” measures Reinhard Heydrich had personally and actively planned the establishment of “Prague Musical Weeks” as a new cultural tradition for the Czechoslovakian capital; and one day before his assassination he had announced a “reform” plan to educate all Czech youth, and that evening attended an extraordinary music performance featuring his favorite violin music by G. F. Handel and the Piano Concerto in C-minor by his father, Bruno Heydrich:

““Prague’s Musical Weeks” were to start a new cultural tradition, with Reinhard Heydrich himself planning the first opening of the event. He personally invited Protectorate celebrities to the Opening Concert.

On May 26, 1942, on the eve of the assassination, an extraordinary performance was given by the String Quartet of Arthur Bonhardt accompanied by the pianist Kurt Sanke. The highlight of this evening concert in Valdštejn Palace was the Piano Concerto in C-minor by composer Bruno Heydrich, the father of the Reich Protector.

One of the last photographs of Reinhard Heydrich. The Acting Reich Protector, only a few hours before the assassination, listening attentively to his favourite violin composition of G. F. Händel. …

On the same day, May 26, 1942, Heydrich was appointed to the Protectorate government and announced the establishment of a Curatorium for the Education of Youth. He had begun to plan setting up this organization as early as 1942. With the help of the Curatorium, all Czech youth between the ages of 10-18 were to be “reformed”. The Curatorium was subordinate to Minister of Education Moravec and inherited the gymnasiums of the Sokol organization.”

(Michal Burian, Aleš Knížek, Jiří Rajlich and Eduard Stehlík, 2002, Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic)

The human costs of Heydrich’s assassination, i.e., the “immense consequences upon our nation” that the Czechoslovakian local resistance had feared and communicated to the government in exile in Britain in the secret radio message quoted earlier, were indeed immense.

Infuriated, the Nazi supreme leader Adolf Hitler wanted to kill 10,000 Czechoslovakians as retaliation, but was persuaded not to by Heydrich’s deputy, Karl Hermann Frank:

“Heydrich’s assassination infuriated the Nazi leadership, particularly Adolf Hitler. The Führer demanded the murder of 10,000 Czechs in retaliation for the killing. He was dissuaded by Heydrich’s deputy, Karl Hermann Frank, the Higher SS and Police Leader in the Protectorate, Frank argued that such action might interfere with long-term plans for the region. …”

(Lidice, Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

In the end, over 13,000 Czechoslovakians were arrested and an estimated 5,000 people were killed by the German Nazis in revenge, in atrocious acts that included the killing of practically the entire team of resistance agents from Britain, and the destruction of two villages, Lidice and Ležáky, suspected of links to the agents:

“The assassination had immediate reprisals. More than 13,000 people were arrested, and 5,000 people were killed according to estimates.

A Gestapo report suggested the village Lidice was the hiding place of the assassins, but this was not true. Germans massacred the residents of Lidice on June 9, 1942. Some 199 men were executed, 195 women were sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp and 95 children taken prisoner. Most of the children died in concentration camps. The village of Ležáky was destroyed because a radio transmitter was found there.

The paratroopers took refuge in Karel Boromejsky Church near Karlovo náměstí. The Germans found out their location after one of the paratroopers, Karel Čurda, betrayed them.

Kubiš, Adolf Opálka, and Jaroslav Svarc were killed in the prayer loft after a two-hour gun battle. Gabčík, Josef Valcik, Josef Bublik and Jan Hruby committed suicide after fire brigade trucks started to flood the crypt.”

(“Heydrich assassination took place 75 years ago”, by Raymond Johnston, May 27, 2017, Prague.TV)

In a symbolic act of retaliation, the Lidice village was razed to the ground, turned into wheat fields and covered with “German” soil:

“NAZIS employed some 100 labourers for almost a year from mid 1942 to clear rubble, then shovel tonnes of “German” soil carted at least 200km into Czechoslovakia for wheat fields outside Prague.

The soil was laid over razed remains of Lidice, a village that until June 9, 1942 was home to about 503 people.

On that day 75 years ago, they bore the wrath of Hitler and his Nazi leadership for the death of German Reich protector Reinhard Heydrich…”

(“Death of ‘Butcher of Prague’ sparked Hitler to order destruction of entire Czech village at Lidice”, by Marea Donnelly, June 9, 2017, The Daily Telegraph)

The priests and lay leaders of the Karel Boromejsky Church in Prague, who let the resistance agents took refuge at the church after the assassination as described in the second last quote, and the Orthodox Bishop of Prague, were executed:

“Naturally, the cathedral priests and lay officers held responsible for harboring Heydrich’s killers were themselves executed. Bishop Gorazd, the Orthodox prelate of Prague, accepted responsibility in a bid to spare others, gaining Nazi torture and execution for himself, later deservedly declared a martyr by his church. His cathedral survived the war and is today a bullet-ridden memorial to the slain freedom fighters who died there and to their protectors.”

(“An Assassinated Nazi & a Church Martyr”, by Mark Tooley, August 18, 2016, Providence Journal)

Among the people executed in revenge was former Czechoslovakian Prime Minister Alois Eliáš, who as discussed earlier had been arrested and sentenced to death when Heydrich first arrived in Prague in 1941, but had not yet been executed:

“The last months of his life, the former Prime Minister spent in the prison in Pankrác. The execution was postponed and Eliáš had a status of a prominent prisoner. He managed to send several secret messages to his family. It was the death of somebody else which decided on the death of Alois Eliáš. Reinhard Heidrich was that person. After the assassination performed by parachutists dispatched from the Great Britain, the occupation authorities decided to vigorously frighten the Czech nation. Parts of that warning were also executions of number of condemned persons and former Prime Minister was among them. …”

(September 29, 2010, Government Information Centre, Government of the Czech Republic)

Among the 5,00o Czechoslovakians killed in revenge were 3,000 Jews, and some 300 of the family relatives of those who had helped the assassination agents:

“An estimated 5,000 Czechs paid for Heydrich’s death with their lives, including 3,000 Czech Jews who were immediately sent to Nazi death camps in occupied Poland. Eduard Stehlík is a historian for the Czech Army’s historical institute.

“The reprisals were truly terrible. Some 300 people were murdered because they were relatives of those who helped the commandoes. Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, who carried out the assassination, were certainly brave soldiers but they could have never achieved this without the help of these ordinary people.”

(“Czechs Mark 70th Anniversary of Heydrich Assassination”, by Jan Richter, May 28, 2012, Radio Praha)

The assassination of Heydrich also led to hardening resolves on the part of the German Nazis to accelerate the extermination of European Jews, i.e., the Final Solution, and its implementation in Poland was now named “Aktion Reinhard” – after Reinhard Heydrich:

“… Speaking on the day of Heydrich’s funeral, 9 June 1942, Himmler declared, in the context of a broader discussion of forced population movement, that the extermination of the European Jews would be completed within one year.³⁷ The final solution was accelerated in various directions thereafter, but it is unlikely that the assassination itself provided significant impetus beyond further strengthening the security rationale.³⁸ One thing Heydrich’s death did provide was a name for the continuing murder of the Jews of the Generalgouvernement: it was dubbed ‘Aktion Reinhard’ in his honour. …”

(Donald Bloxham, The Final Solution: A Genocide, 2009, Oxford University Press)

The “Generalgouvernement” in the above quote referred to central Poland, where the German Nazis planned to send Jews to work and eventually be exterminated:

“(General Government), territorial unit in Poland with its own administration, created by the Nazis on October 26, 1939. When the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, they split the country into three parts: the western third was annexed to the Third Reich; the eastern third was occupied by the Soviet Union; and the central third was made into the Generalgouvernement, a semi-independent unit which the Nazis intended to use as a place to do all their racial “dirty work.” The Generalgouvernement was to serve as a “racial dumping ground,” an endless supply of slave labor, and ultimately, as a site for the mass extermination of European Jewry.”

(“Generalgouvernement”, Shoah Resource Center, The International School for Holocaust Studies)

I should point out that, as per the above description, “Generalgouvernement” was a part of “the East” that Heydrich had envisioned in the Wannsee Protocol, discussed earlier, as the land to implement the Final Solution.

At the time of his death Heydrich was Interpol’s president – a job he had taken over after Otto Steinhäusl’s death in June 1940 as mentioned earlier:

“On June 4, 1942, ICPC President Reinhard Heydrich died and was provisionally replaced by Arthur Nebe …”

(Mathieu Deflem, 2002, International Journal of Comparative Sociology)

Thus, it was while as the Interpol president that the Nazi security police leader Reinhard Heydrich started death squads in June 1941, killing over one million Jews within two years as discussed earlier.

And it was also while as the Interpol president that Heydrich convened the Wannsee Conference in January 1942 to plan for the “Final Solution” to exterminate European Jews.

At the time of the Wannsee Conference, there was in fact indication that Heydrich might have envisioned a role for the Interpol in the Final Solution, as he had initially designated the Interpol headquarters as the Wannsee Conference venue:

“Wiesenthal and others have also claimed that the infamous conference at which Reinhard Heydrich and other Nazi officials discussed the practical aspects of the implementation of the “Final Solution” was held in the headquarters of the ICPC (Wiesenthal 1989:253). This is inaccurate. The Wannsee Conference, as the meeting has come to be known, was held on January 20, 1942, in a villa located at “Am Grossen Wannsee, No. 56-58.” However, the meeting was originally planned by Heydrich to be held “on December 9, 1941, at 12:00 p.m., in the headquarters of the International Criminal Police Commission, Berlin, Am Kleinen Wannsee No. 16” (Heydrich to Luther, in Friedman 1993). The planned meeting was postponed because of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and the American entry in World War II. There is no evidence to determine whether Heydrich had scheduled the meeting in the ICPC headquarters because he conceived of the extermination of European Jewry as a matter of international criminal police.”

(Mathieu Deflem, 2002, International Journal of Comparative Sociology)

As told above, roughly interpreted, Heydrich had scheduled to hold the Wannsee Conference in the Interpol headquarters located at the ‘Small Wannsee’ lake, but later changed the location to a villa located at the “Big Wannsee” lake.

However, the assertion in the above quoted passage that the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor led to the change of the conference’s time and location is inaccurate. The original meeting venue at the Interpol headquarters was first announced on November 29, and several days later on December 4 was changed to the villa that was a Nazi police guesthouse, still for the same scheduled December 9 date. In other words, the surprise international events  – the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor occurred on December 7, 1941 – postponed the conference but did not affect the venue:

“The invitations went out between 29 November and 1 December. The meeting, followed by a buffet, was to be held on 9 December at an address given as the ‘offices of Interpol, 16 Am Kleinen Wannsee’.³ A subsequent memo of 4 December altered the venue to an SS guesthouse, 56-58 Am Großen Wannsee.⁴ …”

(Mark Roseman, The Villa, The Lake, The Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution, 2003, Penguin Books)

It should be noted that even before Reinhard Heydrich’s rule, in 1938 when Nazi Germany annexed Austria and the International Criminal Police Commission fell under Nazi control, enforcing racial laws against ethnic minorities had already immediately become an official Interpol agenda:

“The annexation of Austria left little in the way of the nazification of the ICPC. Austrian police officials were either dismissed or allowed to remain in place when considered sufficiently loyal to the Nazis. For Oskar Dressler, Secretary General of the ICPC since 1923, the consequences of the “Anschluss” provided no main obstacles. Dressler cooperated with the Nazi-appointed ICPC President and as Editor of the ICPC periodical, which contributed to the growing prominence of Nazi viewpoints. Since 1938, the renamed periodical “Internationale Kriminalpolizei” (International Criminal Police) published articles on racial inferiority and crime, praiseworthy reviews of books on racial laws, and reports concerning preventive arrests …”

(Mathieu Deflem, 2002, International Journal of Comparative Sociology)

Nevertheless, the number of cases handled by the Interpol during the Nazi era was relatively small – compared to the mass detentions and executions carried out directly by the Nazis in Germany and in the Nazi-occupied countries – and so some history experts, such as Prof. Mathieu Deflem quoted above and here, have viewed the Interpol’s role in the Nazi crimes and atrocities as insignificant:

“… Several commentators have suggested that the Commission no longer functioned after the Anschluss of Austria in March 1938, or that at least the nations of the free world then ceased participating in the organization … Others, however, have argued that the Nazi regime took control of the ICPC with the express and consequential purpose of using the organization to further its own goals … This debate was additionally fueled when it was discovered in the early 1970s that Paul Dickopf, President of Interpol from 1968 until 1972, had been a member of the SS until 1943, when he fled to Switzerland to work for the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA … The Dickopf affair then also led to question the involvement of other police officials in the years before 1945. …

In 1975, when U.S. participation in Interpol was evaluated by Congress, the famous Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal declared that the ICPC had been used by the Nazis to track down fugitive criminals and force them to provide information on (fellow) Jews …

… Effective use of the ICPC headquarters to advance the nationalist agenda of Nazi rule is improbable because the files were few in number and could not be of much practical benefit, especially not relative to the extensive collections of the national police systems in the Nazi-occupied countries.⁹ Also, based on available evidence, it is unlikely that the ICPC achieved any of the Nazi-aspired continuity in investigative work or international cooperation, especially across the Atlantic …

9 Before the war, the ICPC headquarters contained less than 4,000 investigative … case files. And, although the number rose rather dramatically to 18,000 at war’s end …, it is still negligible relative to the files available to the Nazis through the occupation of Europe.”

(Mathieu Deflem, 2002, International Journal of Comparative Sociology)

Still, as the history relating to Reinhard Heydrich, a top Nazi security leader, architect of the “Final Solution” and president of the Interpol, that I have reviewed highlighted, nothing was impossible.

In particular, even the above-quoted opinion by Deflem, who viewed the number of cases handled by the Interpol during the Nazi era as “negligible”, noted that as late as of 1968-1972 the Interpol president, Paul Dickopf, was a person with a hidden Nazi past, once a member of the Nazi security apparatus before defecting to work for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services – the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency.

I note that Dickopf was the immediate predecessor to William Higgitt, the first Interpol president from Canada.

My long digression into several periods of the Interpol presidency in history has shown that, be it corruption at the top such as with recent Interpol presidents Jackie Selebi and Meng Hongwei, or political oppression such as in the era of German Nazi domination, especially under Interpol president Reinhard Heydrich, characters at the helm of the Interpol can be far more controversial than what the Canadian media reported in 1992 when RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster became its president and was later referred to in my May 2009 blog post as quoted earlier.

Thus, concerns relating to Interpol history could be, if it had indeed been taken into consideration, a rationale behind Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s announcing, in February 1994 only a few short months after winning power, the resignation of Norman Inkster from the helm of the RCMP, given that the prestigious Interpol presidency held by Inkster wasn’t necessarily as glorious as it might appear.

On the other hand, in my 2009 review I pointed out that – unless Inkster had indeed been involved in corrupt activities or in covering them up – the move, with the resulting premature loss of the Interpol presidency, could be viewed as Canada’s retreat from, or setback in, international political engagement, and that there were other signs of such a tendency with the new Chretien government:

“While Inkster’s resignation in 1994 was expected to give the Liberal government a fresh start in gun control at home, it also took place amid the Liberals’ retreat from its election promise of higher priority for international human rights, to focus on the economy and business; and as if that had not been enough, prime minister Chretien’s first official foreign visit – to Mexico instead of traditionally to the U.S. – in March 1994 was marred by the assassination by gunshot of Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio (of the Institutional Revolutionary Party that had ruled uninterruptedly for 65 years) just before Chretien’s arrival, by a large and angry mob shouting “out” while Chretien attempted but failed to pay respect to the body of the slain, and by a rare type of rebuttal of Chretien’s notion that Mexican democracy and Canadian democracy were just different types – from Subcomandante Marcos of the rebel Zapatista Army of National Liberation in a jungle interview in Chiapas, Mexico. 201

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As noted above, in March 1994 – the subsequent month after the announcement of Inkster’s RCMP resignation – Chretien broke a tradition by making Mexico, not the United States, the destination of a new Canadian prime minister’s first official foreign visit.

Here is the full press story I cited in 2009 that referred to Chretien’s breaking a tradition by not officially visiting the U.S. first, a terse report but one of the very few referring to the tradition breaking:

“(CP) – Prime Minister Jean Chretien will make an official visit to Mexico City on March 23 and 24.

The visit will be Chretien’s first official state visit to another country, an honor traditionally reserved for the United States.

Chretien will be travelling to Mexico with a full contigent of cabinet ministers, though who and how many was also not known. He will be received with full ceremony, including a state dinner.

Credit: CP”

(“PM picks Mexico for first visit”, February 24, 1994, The (Kitchener-Waterloo) Record)

At that point as Prime Minister for only a few months, Chretien had actually travelled to several leading Western countries and met their leaders, but none in an official-visit capacity:

“Prime Minister Jean Chretien makes his first official foreign visit this week when he travels to Mexico City to hobnob with Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and attend a Canadian trade fair.

Chretien has been outside Canada a handful of times since his October election victory. He met U.S. President Bill Clinton in Seattle in November, British Prime Minister John Major in London in January and French President Francois Mitterand later that month. But they were courtesy calls.

This one is different. Although the distinction of “official visit” may be lost on those not schooled in diplomatic niceties, it is significant to the Canadians and their Mexican hosts.

Its importance is also not lost on government critics, who complain the Liberals have downplayed human and democratic rights in Mexico in the quest for greater export sales.”

(“Trade and rights issues on Mexico visit”, by Shawn McCarthy, March 22, 1994, Toronto Star)

However, shockingly, as I noted in the last quote from my May 2009 post, Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which had ruled Mexico uninterruptedly for 65 years, was gunned down just before Chretien’s arrival, and an angry mob then prevented Chretien from paying respect to the slain.

Also as I noted, a well-known Mexican figure, Subcomandante Marcos of the rebel Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Chiapas, Mexico, publicly criticized Chretien’s notion of democracy.

I especially commented that, in this respect, the rights of the Mexican Mayan people enjoyed the support of Canadian native leaders:

“Subcomandante Marcos’s criticism of Chretien was voiced at a time when Canadian native leaders had been expressing support for more rights (including land-title rights) for the Mexican Mayans in light of swift acceptance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by the new Chretien government – an agreement that had been negotiated by the Mulroney government and had contributed to its unpopularity, and one that Chretien during the election campaign had talked about renegotiating. 202

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Despite such international political dimensions as Mexico and Chretien’s tradition-breaking diplomatic goodwill gesture, as also noted in the last two quotes from my May 2009 post the incoming Chretien government quickly turned its focus to “the economy and business”, illustrated by its “swift acceptance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)”.

Here are more details from a press article I cited in May 2009, showing the new Chretien government’s inability to renegotiate NAFTA with the U.S. government as Chretien had promised during the 1993 election campaign:

“During the federal election campaign, Prime Minister Jean Chretien said a Liberal government would “renegotiate” improvements to the 1989 Canada-U.S. free trade deal and the North American pact extending free trade to Mexico.

Yesterday, Chretien announced that Canada will proclaim the North American Free Trade Agreement by Jan. 1 without negotiating any changes to the two trade deals.

What he got from the Americans and Mexicans were add-ons, but none that added up to greater protection for Canada from U.S. harassment, critics charge.

Others, however, insist Chretien got what he could.

Maude Barlow, head of the nationalist Council of Canadians, said the most glaring retreats from Chretien’s campaign promises were on the energy and water fronts.

“Chretien is substituting meaningful changes to NAFTA’s energy and water provisions for empty ceremonial gestures,” Barlow said.

But Gordon Ritchie, former deputy chief negotiator of the Canada-U.S. deal, said Chretien got what was “politically possible” given Washington’s adamant refusal to reopen the free trade deals.

“It was a deft political move.”

Officials in Ottawa and Washington had agreed there is “absolutely nothing” in the North American or Canada-U.S. free trade agreements that require Canada to export bulk water to the United States.

So the Americans and Mexicans were only too happy to comply with Chretien’s request to clarify the issue in a joint agreement.

In Canada, Chretien can expect the most political flak over the energy issue.

The Liberal campaign Red Book, now the government’s political bible, said Canada must obtain “the same energy protection as Mexico” under a “renegotiated” North American pact.

The Liberals have always objected to provisions in the Canada-U.S. deal that require Canada to share energy supplies with the United States, even during a serious shortage, and which preclude Canada from charging Americans a higher price than it would Canadians if world oil prices soar.

When Mexico negotiated an exclusion from similar terms in the NAFTA energy provisions, Chretien said it was a blatant example of trade rules putting Canada on an unequal footing.

However, Chretien hit a made-in-America brick wall over reopening NAFTA’s energy section.

With the Americans unwilling to renegotiate the issue, Chretien issued a unilateral declaration to “clarify the limits of Canada’s obligations to export energy to the United States.””

(“Did Chretien get a good deal? PM caved in, critics say; others hail a ‘deft move’ on improving energy and water provisions in NAFTA”, by Jonathan Ferguson, December 3, 1993, Toronto Star)

In short as above, Chretien had wanted to renegotiate NAFTA but the U.S. government was unwilling to, so the Chretien government settled on making improvements on water and energy issues in the agreement: on water, Chretien’s demand did not contradict the agreement so the U.S. and Mexican governments agreed to additional clarifications; but on energy, his demand conflicted with the established arrangement between Canada and the U.S., and the Chretien government was able to only make a “unilateral declaration”.

I note that all of this “swift acceptance”, as I called it in 2009, had taken place by the end of 1993, with the Chretien Liberals having just won the election on October 25. Therefore, in this sense, when Chretien began his first official foreign visit to Mexico in March 1994, his government’s course had already been ‘set in stone’ for “the economy and business” in North America – namely, through the NAFTA free-trade framework negotiated by a previous government of an opposite political stripe.

The goal of making Mexico the country of Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s first official foreign visit, from the Canadian government’s perspective, was to highlight trade and NAFTA, even though the Mexican government hoped for it to be broader – as reported at the time:

“Mexico’s ambassador in Ottawa, Sandra Fuentes-Berain, says it is “very important that the Prime Minister has chosen Mexico as the first country to visit in this capacity.

“And I think the reason for his decision is the new relationship that has been established between Mexico and Canada that is, of course, somehow revamped by the signing of NAFTA but goes well beyond NAFTA.

“For Canada, a whole continent opens up in the south of the United States, starting with Mexico.”

Senior aide to Chretien Peter Donolo says that Chretien is making Mexico his first official visit to highlight the importance of NAFTA, which the Liberal government proclaimed into law just before the new year.

“Trade is really important to this government and to the Prime Minister in particular,” Donolo says. “He sees expanded Canadian trade as one of the main contributors to economic growth and jobs.”

So the visit is planned to coincide with Canada Expo ’94, one of the largest international trade shows Canada has ever mounted. The show will feature 450 Canadian companies and about 1,000 business people, representing industries such as automotive, telecommunications, food, environmental products and medical supplies.

Chretien will make a brief stop at the trade fair, while Trade Minister Roy MacLaren and Industry Minister John Manley will be front-and-centre there.”

(Shawn McCarthy, March 22, 1994, Toronto Star)

As reported above, Chretien’s visit was planned to coincide with Canada Expo ’94 in Mexico, featuring 450 Canadian companies and about 1,000 business people representing a broad spectre of Canadian industries.

But how would NAFTA really impact Mexico, the newcomer to the free trade that had been in place between Canada and the U.S. since 1989?

Here are some discussions from a press article that I cited in May 2009, that had appeared on October 16, 1993, i.e., nine days before the Chretien Liberals’ election victory:

“Until a decade ago, about the only thing that recommended Tijuana for a visit was cheap tequila and a taste of something exotic just 20 minutes away from downtown San Diego.

But in the early 1980s, foreign-based corporations began to take advantage of the maquiladora program that had been set up in the 1960s to allow companies to bring materials for assembly into the country duty-free, manufacture them and export them back again still without paying duty.

The allure was that labor was — and remains — cheap in Mexico. It was an experiment that laid the groundwork for President Carlos Salinas de Gortari to push for free trade.

Maquiladoras — assembly plants — have doubled Tijuana’s population in a decade and turned it into Mexico’s second richest city.

But the average salary here is $100 a week.

In September, two workers died in Calinor’s foam rubber plant. The men were using industrial solvents in an enclosed space without proper safety equipment. Fernando Briseno was 23. Armando Romero Meraz was 24. A third man, Hugo Javier Cardenas, was sent to hospital in critical condition.

In the suburban town of Chilpancingo, which sits below one of the large maquiladora areas, all of the wells are contaminated by runoff from various factories, including heavy metals from a lead smelter that has since been closed.

Women from that suburban slum have given birth to six anencephalic babies — without brains.

No one has been able to establish a link between the babies and the pollution here. But in Matamoros, where more anencephalic babies have been born, workers are suing their employers.

Last month, Canadian and U.S. trade unionists were detained by police for three hours after they met with workers who are trying to organize an independent union at the Plasticos Bajacal plant.

Last year, 531,689 Mexicans were apprehended by the 995 U.S. Border Patrol agents along the rugged 110-kilometre stretch between Tijuana and San Ysidro, Calif., just south of San Diego. An estimated one million
Mexicans cross illegally into California each year.

In Canada, NAFTA hasn’t caused the kind of sound or fury of the 1988 debate over the Canada-U.S. agreement. Trade Minister Tom Hockin calls it “an elaborate defence mechanism” for two reasons: The United States was determined to go ahead anyway, and Canada has already eliminated most tariffs on trade with Mexico, while Mexico has maintained theirs.

“We’re playing hockey without a goalkeeper and they have a goalkeeper,” Hockin said.

Although the Conservatives say NAFTA will create about 30,000 jobs in Canada, Reform party leader Preston Manning opposes NAFTA as it stands because there aren’t enough safeguards for Canadian jobs.

The Liberals’ NAFTA policy is fuzzy. At the beginning of the campaign, leader Jean Chretien had said he would renegotiate it. Now he says he’ll wait to see what the U.S. Congress does in its vote Nov. 17.

The New Democrats and the National party want the deal squashed. Their leaders point to the 450,000 jobs that have been lost because of the bilateral trade deal and say NAFTA will be worse.”

(“On the border: The free-trade deal is intended to improve the lot of Mexicans. But critics worry it will bring more poverty, pollution and health problems: Mexico: despite new industry and promises, old problems remain”, by Daphne Bramham, October 16, 1993, The Vancouver Sun)

As described above, there had been serious problems of environmental pollution and of lack of worker protection with the industrial plants set up by foreign companies in Mexico for its cheap labor; but when it came to trade with Mexico through the NAFTA agreement, Canada did nearly all it could to give Mexico an advantage, according to Trade Minister Tom Hockin of the Kim Campbell government; the smaller Canadian opposition parties all opposed NAFTA, and the leading opposition Chretien Liberals talked about renegotiating, but in the end would follow the U.S. Congress – other than adding some “declarations” to meet the Liberals’ perspectives as earlier discussed.

I should note that the NAFTA agreement had been negotiated under the Mulroney government in Canada and the George Bush administration in the U.S., whereas the Chretien government in Canada, as I have reviewed, assured its enactment on January 1, 1994. (“NAFTA negotiations: Timeline of rocky negotiations of the world’s largest free trade area”, by David Alire and Michael O’Boyle, September 1, 2017, Global News)

Ironically, just like the Canadian Chretien Liberals had wanted in 1993 during the election campaign, Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Mexico also wanted changes to NAFTA, in order to attain better protections and better future economic prospects for the indigenous Mayan people, here as reported on February 24, 1994, about a month before Chretien’s official visit to Mexico:

“The leader of the Zapatista National Liberation Army guerrillas in southern Mexico demanded changes Wednesday to the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying it is destroying indigenous peoples.

Subcomandante Marcos, on the third day of peace talks with the Mexican government, said the Zapatistas are also demanding political change at a national level.

As both sides began focusing on the Zapatistas’ specific demands, Marcos said NAFTA needs to be altered.

“There must be a side agreement that takes into account the indigenous people because, if not, they are going to destroy us without bullets,” he said.

“We are destined to disappear . . . How can we compete (with U.S. and Canadian farmers) when we can’t even compete with death?”

The Zapatistas said changes made to Mexico’s land-reform law under NAFTA will make it nearly impossible for indigenous peoples to become owners of land.”

(“Rebels want NAFTA changes”, February 24, 1994, Edmonton Journal)

The Zapatista uprising led by Subcomandante Marcos had in fact been prompted by the incoming NAFTA, and also by issues of serious human-rights abuses; it had begun on the same day as NAFTA’s start on New Year 1994, and met by “brutal response” from strong government forces that bombed these peasant rebels and killed hundreds; the new violent conflict posed new human-rights issues for the visiting Chretien who wanted to focus his attention on trade, especially Expo ’94, a $1.9-million exhibit of Canadian products that was the largest export trade fair the Canadian government had ever organized:

“When Canada and the United States included Mexico in their free-trade area at the end of 1993, the new partner was hailed for its vast economic potential and its attempts at political restructuring.

Since then the political system has been rocked by the uprising in the state of Chiapas and the economy has declined for two consecutive quarters.

That’s the environment that will greet Jean Chretien when he arrives in Mexico City on Wednesday for his first meeting as prime minister with President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

The ostensible reason for Chretien’s trip is to visit Expo ’94, a $1.9-million exhibit of Canadian products that the government claims is the largest export trade fair it has ever organized.

“The question before Mexico’s North American partners is whether they can support positive change toward greater democracy and respect for human rights, and if so, how?” a Library of Parliament Research Branch analysis of the Chiapas uprising concludes.

“Quite obviously all three parties to the NAFTA would have preferred a more auspicious backdrop to the beginning of the intergovernmental co-operation required for implementing the treaty.”

The uprising, which saw several towns occupied by armed rebels, began on New Year’s day in the poor southern state of Chiapas where Mexican economic reforms have brought hardship rather than improvement.

The brutal response of the Mexican government quickly undermined its repeated claims during the free-trade talks that the corner had been turned on human rights abuses.

More than 15,000 troops were brought in and bombs were dropped on the peasant rebels. Several hundred people – the exact number still isn’t clear – died before the government unilaterally declared a ceasefire and began conciliation talks.”

(“Political climate in Mexico is rocky as Chretien prepares to meet president”, by Ian Austen, March 21, 1994, The Gazette)

For the Chretien Liberals the Mexican violence, including what no doubt shocked Chretien personally in his first official foreign visit in late March, regardless of its political stripe highlighted the need for security, which would be reviewed by Solicitor General Herb Gray, RCMP Commissioner Inkster and Foreign Affairs Minister Andre Ouellet, with the focus on improving Prime Minister Chretien’s security without impeding his ‘people-oriented’ politics:

“To the Chretien Liberals who were shifting governing focus from human rights to trade, the concern from all this Mexican violence seemed to be security – in Canada there had already been similar angry crowd of unemployed construction workers in his hometown (riding) of Shawinigan shouting at Chretien and smashing a window of his constituency office – but on the other hand the security should not hinder a prime minister who took pride in being “close to the people”, according to solicitor general Herb Gray who would review the PM’s security arrangements with RCMP commissioner Norman Inkster and foreign affairs minister Andre Ouellet. 203

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Here from a press article I cited in May 2009, is what Chretien proudly said about his being “close to the people”, or being “a populist” as the press characterized it, all while Gray was very concerned about security:

“Solicitor-General Herb Gray has ordered a review of security arrangements for Jean Chretien after the prime minister was jostled by an emotional mob in Mexico this week.

“I was concerned by what I saw on television and also the photographs that appeared in the newspapers,” Gray told reporters Friday.

“I’m going to ask for a report on what happened there and I’m going to see if changes should be made in the (security) arrangements.”

Chretien was surrounded by thousands of angry mourners when he tried to enter a funeral home Thursday to pay his respects to assassinated Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio.

Wrapping up his Mexico trip on Friday, Chretien dismissed the incident as the price a politician pays for being a populist.

“I was close to the people. I didn’t feel in danger a minute.”

Gray said the incident might not have been as risky as it appeared on film. “It certainly looked troubling on television . . . (But) I was told that there were actually Mexican security people all around him.”

Although some RCMP security agents always travel with Chretien, security abroad is primarily the responsibility of the host country.

Still, Gray said he’ll review the arrangements with RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster and Foreign Affairs Minister Andre Ouellet. He would not reveal how many RCMP agents travel with Chretien or whether his security contingent has been reduced.

Noting that Chretien was also jostled last week by several hundred, angry, unemployed construction workers in his hometown of Shawinigan, Gray said such incidents can’t be avoided entirely.

“The prime minister’s the type of person who wants to be in touch with people and doesn’t believe his role should keep him away from people, wherever he goes.

“So there has to be a balance between security and his and our view of the role of the prime minister or a cabinet minister being in touch with people.””

(“PM’s security to be reviewed following incident in Mexico: Solicitor-general concerned after viewing TV footage, newspaper pictures”, by Joan Bryden, March 26, 1994, The Vancouver Sun)

As reported above, Chretien said, “I was close to the people. I didn’t feel in danger a minute”, whereas Solicitor General Gray said, “It certainly looked troubling on television”.

As mentioned in the last two quotes, even in Canada, of all places in Chretien’s own hometown, some low-level, politics-related violence was also demonstrated toward Chretien personally – by unemployed construction workers in his hometown of Shawinigan, Quebec.

But for Prime Minister Chretien and Justice Minister Allan Rock, the need for more security translated foremost to the need for stricter gun control – especially, I would add, when Chretien did not care as much about “Subcomandante Marcos” as the Canadian native leaders did – as I noted:

“Such could only add momentum to the gun-control drive being launched by justice minister Allan Rock, and prime minister Chretien personally announced on the last day of a high-profile Liberal party convention in mid-May in Ottawa that he would instruct Allan Rock to proceed with stricter gun-control legislation to be introduced in parliament in the fall, after the convention unanimously endorsed a resolution on tougher gun control – sponsored by the National Women’s Liberal Commission. 204””

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As above, in May 1994 when the Liberal Party convention was held in the national capital Ottawa, it unanimously endorsed a resolution sponsored by the National Women’s Liberal Commission calling for stricter gun control, and Chretien instructed Justice Minister Rock to introduce a legislation in the parliament in the fall of that year.

A few days later, when Chretien was attending a Liberal fundraiser at the convention centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, while hundreds of native demonstrators protested outside chanting “we want jobs”, there was a man carrying a crossbow and arrows who wanted to see the prime minister – a curious but serious incident that caught my attention while I was studying the press archives in 2009:

“Several days afterwards Chretien was at the Winnipeg convention centre attending a high-profile Liberal fundraiser, and there were not only around 200 native demonstrators outside chanting “We want jobs”, but also 29-year old Earl Kevin Jans wandering about in the convention centre and arrested for wanting to see the prime minister while carrying a pistol-like crossbow and three arrows205 – proof that a handgun is not always necessary, given the precedent that with crossbow and hunting arrow Montreal student and author Colin McGregor had killed his estranged wife Patricia Allen (a Revenue Canada lawyer and daughter of retired RCMP assistant commissioner George Allen), on November 13, 1991, i.e., one year before the Stan Wilbee and John Major events near the end of the Mulroney era, and nearly two years before the Chretien era began. 206

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As with the above, I made the point that the case of 29-year-old Earl Kevin Jans carrying a crossbow and three arrows looking for the prime minister served to remind others that guns were not always necessary to commit deadly violence, because there had been a high-profile precedent on November 13, 1991, when Montreal author Colin McGregor used such a weapon to kill his wife Patricia Allen, a Revenue Canada lawyer and daughter of retired RCMP assistant commissioner George Allen.

Here are more details from a press article I cited in May 2009 on the Jans incident that occurred on May 19, 1994:

“A man with a small crossbow entered the Winnipeg Convention Centre Thursday night shortly before Prime Minister Jean Chretien was to arrive for a speech.

Police say the man, who indicated he wanted to see the prime minister, was arrested on the second floor of the centre, carrying a pistol-grip bow and three small metal arrows.

Police and security staff descended on the man within minutes of entering the convention centre. RCMP in charge of security for the prime minister were also alerted.

The type of crossbow the man was carrying is about a foot long.

Earl Kevin Jans, 29, who gave his address as “Canada, the world,” was charged with carrying a weapon to a public meeting and possession of a dangerous weapon.”

(“Man with crossbow nabbed at PM’s speech”, May 21, 1994, The Gazette)

That was ambitious, that 29-year-old Earl Kevin Jans gave his address as “Canada, the world”.

Police noted that Jans carried the crossbow and arrows openly:

““He was wandering around with it quite openly — the darts in one hand and the bow in the other hand,” police spokesman Eric Turner said yesterday.”

(“Man disarmed before PM’s speech”, May 21, 1994, The Spectator)

With such a weapon in open display, Jans would quickly attract public attention and security response. In such manner, he probably only intended to make a point and ‘send a message’ to Prime Minister Chretien – at least that was my interpretation as in the last quote earlier from my May 2009 post.

But now, with the more detailed reviews I have conducted since after 2009 on the Airbus Affair and Canadian politics, as well as in my current article on the history of the Interpol presidency, some of the earlier-cited facts of these past Canadian incidents involving crossbow-and-arrow, namely Patricia Allen’s death in November 1991 and Earl Kevin Jans wanting to see Chretien in May 1994, appear more intriguing and concerning in the additional contexts.

First of all, in November 1991 the dead victim of the crossbow-and-arrow attack was a lawyer for Revenue Canada, the government agency managing taxation and in the process often dealing with matters of fraud and corruption – like Karlheinz Schreiber’s fraud case later in Germany.

Furthermore, this lawyer happened to be the daughter of a retired RCMP assistant commissioner, a former senior leader of the Canadian federal police responsible for investigating corruption, including possible corruption on the part of then Prime Minister Mulroney relating to Airbus commissions – although this particular criminal investigation had not been in full swing at the time and was not known to the public.

Now, with the information since coming to light about the Airbus Affair and the RCMP criminal investigation, could a murder like this have been an act of intimidation or retaliation against those in the government and the RCMP who might be uncovering something wrong?

Regarding this, any political facet would not be obvious due to the seemingly domestic nature of this 1991 murder: the attacker was the estranged husband and thus it was a case of domestic violence.

Publicly reported facts seem scant when it came to the professional work of Patricia Allen, or of her father George Allen.

A University of Ottawa philosophy graduate and 1987 McGill University law graduate, Patricia Allen worked at Revenue Canada as “an authority on the legal ramifications of the goods-and-services tax”; her estranged husband Colin McGregor was a 1987 McGill philosophy graduate and a reporter “always picking fights in print with various lobby groups”; the two were introduced in the summer of 1987 at the “plush lounge” of McGill’s graduate student building Thomson House. (“THE CROSSBOW KILLING; They were in love. She left him. Now she’s dead”, by Claude Arpin, November 23, 1991, The Gazette)

George Allen had worked for 35 years in the RCMP and retired in 1987 as the assistant commissioner in charge of organization and personnel, and had in January 1988 become “commissioner of Canada Elections”, “in charge of election law compliance and enforcement”. (“Bureaucracy’s pension problem haunts victim with nightmarish persistence”, by Frank Howard, January 15, 1988, The Ottawa Citizen; “No spending limit set for groups”, by Jes Odam, August 11, 1988, The Vancouver Sun; and, “George Allen”, December 20, 2005, Obituaries, Ottawa Citizen)

The basic facts gathered above did not appear directly related to the Airbus Affair per se, given that Patricia Allen’s specialty wasn’t income tax or property tax, and that George Allen had already retired from the RCMP and then started working at Elections Canada in the year of the Airbus sale of planes to Air Canada.

When it comes to the May 1994 Jans incident, with my latest review of Interpol history I notice two intriguing, albeit secondary coincidences.

Firstly, Earl Kevin Jans’s name bore some similarities to one of the two World War II Czechoslovakian resistance assassins of Interpol president Reinhard Heydrich, also in May in 1942, namely Jan Kubiš discussed earlier.

And secondly, when Earl Kevin Jans carried a crossbow and three arrows to want to see Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Norman Inkster was not only still the RCMP commissioner, albeit leaving – his departure would come in June – but also the Interpol president, undecided about stepping down but later quitting in September.

Whatever transpired in the Earl Kevin Jans incident, and whether or not Jans had been inspired by Jan Kubiš in history, no actual violence occurred – in contrast to the Patricia Allen case.

Still, it was a sign that not only violent protests but deadly violence could potentially get to the Canadian prime minister and not just to a political leader in a country much more violent than Canada that Chretien happened to visit.

In 2009 I noted a timing coincidence in Patricia Allen’s case, that her death occurred only several weeks before the second anniversary of the Montreal Massacre which had seen the shooting deaths of fourteen women at École Polytechnique, the University of Montreal’s engineering school, and that on the eve of that second anniversary the Mulroney government’s gun-control legislation, originally prompted by that tragedy, was approved by the Canadian parliament:

“Back in 1991 several weeks after Patricia Allen’s death, the Mulroney government’s weaker gun-control law that had been stimulated by the December 6, 1989 Montreal massacre – killing of 14 women at Ecole Polytechique (engineering school of the University of Montreal) by gunman Marc Lepine – passed the Senate on the eve of the massacre’s two-year anniversary (after it had passed the Commons earlier). 207

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

But again, the timing of Allen’s murder was incidental in this instance: since no gun was involved, her death did not inspire anything in gun control.

Nonetheless, there was a similarity that could relate Allen’s murder to the Montreal Massacre of December 6, 1989, though in some hazy sense. One of the women killed was Maryse Leclair, daughter of Montreal Police director of communications Pierre Leclair, who found her daughter’s body at the scene:

“As Pierre Leclair girds himself for the 10th anniversary of the massacre at École Polytechnique, he is coming to a sorrowful realization: The tragedy didn’t end when the crazed gunman stopped firing.

Mr. Leclair was head of communications for the Montreal Urban Community police when he reported for duty at the university on Dec. 6, 1989. He was standing outside the engineering building briefing reporters when he decided to gather information inside.

“Hold on, I’ll go see what’s happening and I’ll come back and see you,” he told them.

He knew his daughter was at the university that day delivering her term-end presentation. But with hundreds of students in the school, he wasn’t worried. Then, as Mr. Leclair slowly made his way through the university’s eerie hallways, the sickening scale of the carnage began to sink in.

In one room, he saw the bodies of six young women. In another, he saw a woman who had been shot through the glass of her office.

“I was getting more and more worried,” Mr. Leclair recalled.

Then he came to a classroom on the third floor. He looked inside and saw before him what no parent ever wants to behold.

“I saw my daughter on the ground. I recognized her right away. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to react. It was her.”

Maryse, 23, had been giving her presentation on a podium at the front of the class when she was shot. “She fell on the podium, crying, but she didn’t die. Maryse was crying out, ‘Help me, help me,’” her father said.

The gunman stalked the classroom, shooting three more women before returning to a moaning Maryse Leclair. He pulled out a knife from a sheath on his belt and stabbed her to death.

Maryse Leclair was the final victim. …”

(“The awful echoes of Marc Lépine”, by Ingrid Peritz, December 6, 2004/April 21, 2018, The Globe and Mail)

So as above, the public were told the grizzly tale of his daughter’s murder, by the heartbroken father ten years later, informing the public that his daughter had been the only victim not just shot but stabbed to death, and the final victim of the killer who then committed suicide.

Sadly, but ironically, Maryse Leclair could still be alive today had violence been committed only in its most commonly feared form, i.e., by guns.

Nonetheless, assessing what has been publicly reported it remains unclear to me whether, like the other victims, Maryse Leclair and her Montreal police-official father were strangers to the killer Marc Lépine. This is because the intelligent young man, a former reject by École Polytechnique and a failure at other schools and at the workplace, had for a time been a friend of Maryse Leclair’s cousin Dominique:

“… At age thirteen, sick of being called “Arab” and having to explain about his loathed Algerian father, Gamil Gharbi officially changed his name to Marc Lépine.

What remaining close relationships Marc had established perished in the summer of 1982, when his mother sold the family home in Pierrefonds and moved with her two children to a rented two-storey row house in the suburb of Saint-Laurent. Life at 2675 Marlborough Court had the advantage of being closer to St. Jude’s Hospital in Laval, where both Monique and Marc were employed; the former as a nursing director and the latter washing dishes in the hospital kitchen. By September, Marc had finished his summer job and was entering his first semester of a two-year CEGEP program in Pure Sciences at Saint-Laurent Junior College. …

Without the benefit of hindsight, in 1983 Marc Lépine seemed angelic compared to his sister, Nadia, whose habitual disobedience had landed her in a boarding school for troubled teens. Lépine was not sorry to see her go, For years she had constantly taunted him in front of his friends, exacting a devastating toll on his fragile self-esteem. Though Lépine had fared poorly in his fall 1982 term at CEGEP, by winter 1983 he had revitalized his academic performance, earning grades which ranged from the seventies to the nineties. His boyhood dream of entering the engineering program at École Polytechnique was now close to becoming a reality.

In the meantime, he continued to work part-time as a custodian at St. Jude’s Hospital, and was also responsible for serving meals to patients. Here his social shortcomings became increasingly evident. Considered weird and loud, Lépine was judged to be seeking attention. Though he made friends, he argued with them constantly, a trait which some found annoying. Nicknamed “James Bond” for his high IQ and puzzle-solving abilities, sadly Lépine lacked 007’s confidence and easy charm with the ladies. He would routinely take meals and breaks with female co-workers, but was stifled in his efforts to court them by his crippling shyness. …

When autumn of 1983 came, Lépine suddenly changed academic direction, dropping out in the middle of his two-year Pure Sciences program in favour of a three-year vocational trade program in Electronics Technology. He continued to achieve good grades, including an 82 in Industrial Electronics and an 87 in Control Systems. However, in both the school and the workplace, he was regarded as high-strung – a bundle of nerves who was always “in a hurry.” Lépine would often slam meal carts, spilling soup, which his co-workers interpreted as aggression…  Unsurprisingly, when Nadia returned to living at 2675 Marlborough in 1986, Lépine’s behaviour took a turn for the worse. With only nine courses left before graduating CEGEP in Electronics Technology, on January 31, 1986, the twenty-one-year-old simply stopped attending classes. He applied for the engineering program at École Polytechnique and was predictably rejected. …

Lépine’s habitual clumsiness resulted in him being transferred to the cafeteria at St. Jude’s, but the constant steam from the kitchen only worsened his repulsive acne. Fellow employees mocked him and refused to let him serve their meals. …

That summer, Lépine befriended nineteen-year-old Dominique Leclair, the daughter of the man who ran the hospital. “I was kind to him because he was so hyperactive and nervous,” Dominique recalled. “Nobody would talk to him at lunch or break time. . . . Everyone else tried to avoid him because he was a bit strange because of his shyness. …”¹³ Regarding his co-workers, she readily admitted, “They were mean.” If Lépine ever had any romantic interest in Dominique, she did not pick up on it. …

“I’ve asked a lot of girls out, but they have all refused,” he once confessed to her. “I know so many girls, but they won’t go out with me. I’m not good-looking. . . .” The two finally went their separately ways in September 1987, when Dominique returned to school. Lépine was fired from his job at the hospital and attended a CEGEP in Montmorency. Although he received a $2,400 severance package, he was infuriated. One witness remembers him threatening to go on a killing rampage that would culminate with his own death. In a chilling coincidence, the last victim of the Polytechnique massacre would turn out to be Dominique’s cousin Maryse. He had repaid her kindness with a lifetime of agony.”

(Lee Mellor, Rampage: Canadian Mass Murder and Spree Killing, 2013, Dundurn)

Ten years later recalling the sad history, rather than revealing any crime-solving insight into the horrific Canadian mass murder that claimed his daughter Maryse and her follow university women, the former communications director of the Montreal Police and still-grieving father Pierre Leclair spoke with mystique about his “theory”, which I interpret as of the ‘consecration of flesh’, that is, his daughter Maryse’s:

“The mystery of why Maryse was the only victim to be stabbed haunted Mr. Leclair for years. But he has come up with a theory over time, and it has nurtured his deep belief in gun control.

“He was forced to touch her,” he said. “With a bullet, there’s no contact with the person. But when you touch someone, you feel them, you feel their warmth.

“Maybe all of a sudden he realized the magnitude of what he’d done. It was as if he woke up.”

Maryse Leclair was the final victim. The killer uttered, “Oh, shit,” then turned his gun on himself.

Mr. Leclair, a solidly built man who speaks about his daughter with nervous intensity, said he’s decided to talk about her death after years of silence in the hope that something – he’s not sure what — will come of it. But events over the past 10 years haven’t been encouraging: Dunblane, Scotland; Littleton, Colo.; Taber, Alta.,; Honolulu — every other week, someone seems to go berserk and fire on innocent people.

“Ten years later, do incidents like this happen any less? No,” he said. “Its causes are still not settled. Did it happen because Mr. Lépine was deranged? Well there are still lots of deranged people out there. Was it because he was a misogynist? There are still others out there today, too.

“I’m not so sure we’ve learned anything.”

But Mr. Leclair, now the chief of police in the Quebec City suburb of Ste-Foy, is remarkably free of anger. He described the killer, the son of a brutally violent father, as a victim himself. And he spoke lovingly of his deceased daughter, finding solace in the memory of a determined young woman and good student in her final year in metallurgy who wanted to make it in a man’s field.”

(Ingrid Peritz, December 6, 2004/April 21, 2018, The Globe and Mail)

I suppose that in Mr. Leclair’s mind, the need for gun control was due not so much to the efficacy of guns as lethal weapon, but to the lack of close human touch in using such a weapon.

Leclair expressed indignation at not being able to reach the truth, and peace for more people, even after ten years. But in my view truth, or the science of something, cannot be reached if those who hold the keys to it are consumed by the piety of blood or preoccupied with the sacredness of prayer.

For a first question of a practical inquiry, could it not have been that Lépine knifed Maryse because she was unique to him, that in his murderous crime spree he knew exactly who she was?

While the two deaths share the common dimension of a police official as the victim’s father, in the case of Patricia Allen murder the seemingly incidental, indirect link between the killer and the only stabbed victim in the earlier École Polytechnique gun-shooting spree was replaced with a passionate romance turning sour and ending with a crossbow killing, also acted out in public view:

“Even in the beginning, Colin McGregor believed relationships between men and women were doomed to end in failure – sometimes, with what he called “a terribly cruel vengeance.”

Last week, the 30-year-old author of those chilling words was charged with the murder of his estranged wife, Patricia Allen, a 31-year-old lawyer.

Allen, who worked in Ottawa, was shot through the heart with a steel-tipped hunting arrow as she left her dentist’s office at 8:30 on the morning of Nov. 13. The 18-inch bolt had been fired at close range from a crossbow.

The last thing she saw was probably the massive stone facade of Christ Roi Church, across the street.

Her dentist later told Allen’s parents he was the last person to see her alive. He said she had been in a happy, optimistic mood when she left his downtown Ottawa offices.

It was 12 weeks since Allen had initiated legal-separation procedures against McGregor.

Five people witnessed the killing on Argyle St.

Minutes later, McGregor calmly walked through the main entrance of an Ottawa police station two blocks from the scene. He was interrogated for less than an hour, charged with first-degree murder and remanded to the Royal Ottawa Hospital for a 30-day psychiatric examination.

Inspector Ronald Lamothe, the Ottawa police officer in charge of the case, won’t discuss the evidence for fear of jeopardizing the trial’s outcome.

Lamothe refused to discuss the nature of items police seized in an apartment McGregor had rented on Chapel St. in downtown Ottawa.

He said McGregor drove a rented Dodge Shadow and parked it near Allen’s Toyota Tercel. The Dodge was later found abandoned at the scene.

McGregor, a graduate of Selwyn House, an exclusive Westmount school, moved into his low-rent Ottawa apartment after his wife changed the locks on her house and got an unlisted telephone number.

She lived on Prince Albert St., about 2 kilometres away.

Just landed promotion

The daughter of George Allen, a retired RCMP assistant commissioner, Patricia worked for Revenue Canada, where she was an authority on the legal ramifications of the goods-and-services tax.

“She loved tax,” one of her friends said, “but you had to pry it out of her that she worked for the dreaded GST branch.”

Allen, a witty and bright conversationalist, had recently landed an important promotion that put her in charge of five people.”

(Claude Arpin, November 23, 1991, The Gazette)

Before his relationship with and then marriage to Patricia Allen, there had been no sign that Colin McGregor, whose writings could be antagonistic, had any physical tendency toward violence:

“Ron Seltzer, publisher of the Downtowner, said McGregor joined his staff in 1985 after spending some time at a small weekly in Halifax.

“He was fine to work with,” Seltzer said.

He said he was shocked to hear that McGregor had been charged.

“I have no recollections of his having had a bad temper,” Seltzer added. “No incidents of desk-kicking to report.”

Brian Todd, now a political aide to Phil Edmonston, the New Democratic Party MP for Chambly, remembers that McGregor loved to debate issues.

“I knew him at McGill as a right-leaning contrarian” – someone who says black is white just for argument’s sake.

“He was a professional debunker, always picking fights in print with various lobby groups,” Todd said.

But McGregor didn’t seem a violent fellow “in any way,” he said.

Indeed, some of McGregor’s columns in the McGill Tribune show he had a keen sense of humor but was generally cynical. He was also a fairly accomplished writer.”

(Claude Arpin, November 23, 1991, The Gazette)

However, after they were introduced and their romance instantly blossomed, McGregor became extremely and obsessively possessive of Allen:

“In McGregor’s mind, unhappy endings weren’t unusual. He had lost his mother to cancer when he was only 12.

His views on relationships between men and women are contained in yellowing copies of the McGill Tribune, a weekly student newspaper for which he wrote while he attended McGill University, starting in 1982.

In a column on sex in the Nov. 2, 1982, issue, McGregor wrote:

“Most sex does not last forever. Relationships go wrong, they end up on the rocks, and often they do so with a terribly cruel vengeance. The vast majority of affairs on this planet have ended in that fashion. Failure. Heartbreak. Bad news.”

But it was love at first sight on that summer evening in 1987 when Allen and McGregor met.

Allen had effortlessly sailed through her third year of law school. McGregor, who had just got his BA in philosophy, had a job with the Montreal public-relations firm of Gervais, Gagnon, Frenette &Associes. He had just completed a year-long stint as a reporter with the Downtowner, a Montreal weekly newspaper.

Allen’s friends say she and McGregor were introduced by mutual acquaintances at Thomson House, a building for graduate students, located across from the law faculty on McTavish St.

The 10 male and female students who belonged to what they jokingly called the “rat pack and cat pack” liked to frequent the building’s plush lounge.

Pack members agreed to be interviewed on condition that their names not be used.

“We used to hang out there,” one of the women recalled. “One night Colin showed up and in a matter of weeks Patricia had him pegged as ‘Colin-the-man-I’m-going-to-marry-Gregor.’ It was as quick as that.”

Allen’s friends say she was lonely when McGregor arrived on the scene.

Allen’s family was in Ottawa and she lived in a downtown Montreal apartment. She had several close friends, but there was no man in her life.

But in the midst of it all, there were disquieting signs.

A woman friend remembered being at Allen’s apartment one evening before the two married.

“I swear I’m not exaggerating. In the space of three hours, he called 10 times. He wanted to be reassured she loved him.

“I found it sick. I thought nobody should call you that many times.”

Thane Burnett, a friend of McGregor, said Colin didn’t make friends easily.

“But when you were his friend, you were his friend for life.”

As the relationship progressed, Allen’s friends felt themselves shunted aside by McGregor’s growing possessiveness.

“I couldn’t even go to their home,” one woman said. “And whenever I called Pat, he’d be on the extension clicking the phone.”

McGregor was an incredible snob, she added.

“He wanted everyone to think he was upper crust and he didn’t want Pat to associate with anyone who wasn’t worthy.””

(Claude Arpin, November 23, 1991, The Gazette)

As reviewed earlier, the normal friendship between Marc Lépine and Dominique Leclair tapered off in September 1987 when Leclair returned to school after a summer at the hospital where her father was the boss, Lépine’s mother a manager and Lépine a worker; in timeline, that was soon after Colin McGregor and Patricia Allen becoming romantically involved in the summer of 1987, though the two cases were unrelated.

But the two pairs were heading in opposite directions, with McGregor and Allen’s relationship growing into a marriage a year later.

After their marriage, McGregor became financially dependent on Allen and then also fell off his career and education tracks; the predicaments led to quarrels between them and Allen’s decision to separate from McGregor, viewing McGregor as violent but not anticipating any violence toward her:

“McGregor moved to Ottawa at the end of 1987 to join the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada as media relations officer. It was a significant move up the corporate ladder for a young man who by all accounts was obsessed with impressing people. He held the post from January till the fall of 1988.

On Oct. 1, Allen and McGregor married.

After that, McGregor registered at Carleton University for the master’s degree program in public administration.

With Allen supporting him, McGregor attended classes on a part-time basis. And he quarrelled with his wife.

Lost track

Their next-door neighbor, Debbie Monette, told the Ottawa Sun:

“He would be yelling, saying he wanted to stay in school and she would be telling him he had to pull his own share.”

After the couple separated on Aug. 20, Allen lost track of McGregor.

“She couldn’t do anything with him, and he wouldn’t do anything for himself,” one of her friends said.

By the end of August, McGregor had dropped out of school and was unemployed.

“I asked her how he was supporting himself,” a friend said, “and she didn’t have a clue.”

If the marriage broke down, it was McGregor’s fault, the friend added.

“Pat was a very determined person. And when she married him she intended for it to work.”

One friend who was in touch with Allen three days before her death said she asked Patricia if she was afraid of McGregor.

“She thought he was violent, but she didn’t think he would hurt her,” the friend recalled.”

(Claude Arpin, November 23, 1991, The Gazette)

In a sense of irony, though, as I can perceive, the all-consuming romance between Colin McGregor and Patricia Allen and McGregor’s obsessive possession of Allen – in contrast to Marc Lépine’s persistent failures in intimate socialization and the numerous ridicules heaped on his personality in public settings – may have prevent the victimization of others when McGregor’s inner violence was eventually unleashed.

Perhaps not irrelevant to that contrast was the different choices of weapon for the murders, that a rather humble crossbow with arrow was sufficient for McGregor’s purpose.

The same choice of weapon clearly could not be adequate for Earl Kevin Jans several years later in May 1994 – at a security-protected public gathering where the prime minister was to be his target. But as I have commented earlier, that weapon’s real use may not have been Jans’s purpose.

By the early fall in 1994, several months after the Liberal Party convention that launched a stricter gun-control drive and the Earl Kevin Jans incident, both in May, there was still no action for gun control by the Chretien government on the legislative front.

Around that time in late August, Stevie Cameron’s book on corruption in the Mulroney government era, On The Take: Greed And Corruption In The Mulroney Years, was being eagerly anticipated, along with several other books on Canadian politics, including the second volume of Trudeau And Our Times, subtitled The Heroic Delusion:

“Fortunately for Chretien, by the fall of 1994 gun control would not be the only political issue stirring controversy with passion as Stevie Cameron’s major book exposing corruptions in the Mulroney years was scheduled for the same fall season; there were both excitement and nervousness awaiting for the upcoming fall books on Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney: 208

“Last year McClelland & Stewart’s big fall book was Pierre Trudeau’s own memoir, which sold more than 200,000 copies. This year it’s deja vu all over again, when M & S brings out the second volume of Trudeau And Our Times, by the Governor-General’s Award winning team of Christina McCall and Stephen Clarkson. Subtitled The Heroic Delusion, it takes up the former prime minister’s career after the ‘74 election. A hot political book, awaited with trepidation by some, is On The Take: Greed And Corruption In The Mulroney Years by Stevie Cameron (Macfarlane Walter & Ross). Another book that will make Conservatives uncomfortable is The Poisoned Chalice: How The Tories Self-Destructed by David McLaughlin (Dundurn)”.

208. Judy Stoffman, “New books season full of promise Excitement from CanLit favorites and newcomers”, August 31, 1994, Toronto Star

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As discussed earlier, investigating corruption on the part of former Prime Minister Mulroney was a part of the Chretien Liberal government’s law-and-order agenda, if not of the same high priority as stricter gun control. With Cameron’s new book coming out, both law-and-order issues were expected to enjoy public attention.

As noted earlier, around this time in September, former RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster, who had retired from the RCMP in June, also stepped down from the Interpol presidency.

Cameron’s book came out in late October 1994, and became an instant bestseller. However, even though it portrayed Mulroney as turning a blind eye to the corruption around him, disappointingly it showed little hard evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Mulroney himself, in the Airbus Affair in particular:

“In late October 1994 Stevie Cameron’s book on the Mulroney years came out and became an instant bestseller: it portrayed a damning picture of the greed, crime and corruption in the political circle associated with the Mulroney government, and of Mulroney turning a blind eye to the grease around him while living his extravagant lifestyle at the expenses of the party and the government; coming out around the anniversary of the Tories’ historic election debacle it served as a reminder how democracy could go wrong. 210

But Cameron presented little hard evidence Mulroney himself had done anything seriously crooked or criminally wrong: a story about a $4-million trust fund set up by some Montreal businessmen for Mulroney’s retirement was categorically denied by Mulroney and by Tory senator Marjorie LeBreton, while a brief section on the Airbus Affair went unnoticed by the media. 211

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

I noted that there may have been personal safety concerns on the part of the author, as well as on the part of some of those cited in the book, including a police informant:

“Nonetheless, controversies over risks of publicizing the Mulroney-era problems abounded: publisher Gary Ross went public about break-ins at the publishers’ offices attempting to steal Cameron’s manuscripts, Cameron was reported to have received intimidation through a family member, and a Vancouver man, Michael Lee Mitton, quoted in the book as a former fraudster in a sting operation for an RCMP investigation into the Mulroney government’s Mafia link, also told the media he feared for mob revenge on his life. 212

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Nevertheless, the RCMP announced that it was studying Cameron’s book, and Solicitor General Gray also discussed the subject:

“The RCMP also announced they were studying the book, much to the delight of solicitor general Herb Gray. 213

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As reviewed earlier, Mulroney later complained about “open season on Mulroney”, referring to this time, as quoted earlier, “Out comes (Stevie) Cameron’s book (On The Take), Herb Gray, the solicitor general, gives a copy of it to the commissioner of the RCMP, asking that he look into it.”

By November 1994, both of these major Chretien government law-and-order agendas were getting public attention. But just like Cameron’s new book lacking in evidence of personal corruption on the part of Mulroney, in the fall of 1994 the Chretien government was weakening its gun-control plan:

“While Cameron’s book was proving to be lacking hard material on Mulroney, around that time the Chretien government was retreating from a possible handgun ban due to opposition in the Liberal party to tougher gun control, and to stronger homosexual-rights protection; a universal gun registry, expanding from an existent one for handguns and restricted weapons, now became the main gun-control issue Chretien was stumping for, and even that did not appear assured. 214

214. Sarah Scott, “Rock mulls total ban on handguns”, September 22, 1994, The Gazette; Bob Cox, “Liberal MPs demand freedom: Promises of free votes have been forgotten”, October 11, 1994, The Record; and, Tim Harper, “Every gun will be registered Chretien vows”, October 22, 1994, Toronto Star

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As told above, by October 1994 there did not appear to be any gun ban in the Chretien government’s stricter gun-control legislation, which instead would primarily be an expansion of the existing gun registry on “handguns and restricted weapons” to cover all guns.

At this critical juncture, an unusual gun-shooting crime occurred in Vancouver in early November, and garnered nationwide public attention:

“At this juncture, a critical shot in the arm turned out to come from the shooting of an abortion doctor in Vancouver: while reading a Time magazine and waiting for breakfast at home Dr. Gary Romalis, a gynaecologist who performed abortions at the Vancouver General Hospital but who did not consider himself an abortion activist, was seriously wounded in the thigh by one of two AK-47 assault rifle shots  fired from the alley through the kitchen window on November 8, 1994. 215

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As told, the victim in this case, wounded in the leg by an AK-47 assault rifle bullet from outside his home kitchen window while he was reading a Time magazine, was gynaecologist Dr. Gary Romalis who performed abortions at the Vancouver General Hospital.

It was the first-ever shooting of an abortion doctor in Canada, and drew public condemnations from Prime Minister Chretien and British Columbia Premier Mike Harcourt; the public attention enabled Justice Minister Rock to rally support in the medical community for stricter gun control, and strengthen the proposed legislation to include a ban on military-style assault weapons:

“The shooting of an abortion doctor was the first of its kind in Canada – after several recent shootings that had killed two U.S. doctors – and it drew condemnations from prime minister Chretien and B.C. premier Mike Harcourt who were on an Asian trip in Shanghai, and got justice minister Allan Rock to rally the medical community to support tougher gun control; momentum from the public outcries contributed to the inclusion of a ban on military-type assault weapons in the gun-control measures unveiled by Rock on November 30, 1994 (a military-type assault weapon, Ruger Mini-14, had also been responsible for the deaths of the 14 women in the Montreal massacre in December 1989). 216

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As above, a military-type assault weapon had been used in the Montreal Massacre that killed fourteen women in December 1989 – but apparently the Mulroney government’s gun-control legislation two years later in 1991 did not include a ban on such weapons – and now with the wounding of Dr. Gary Romalis, again by such a weapon, a ban was added to the Chretien government’s new gun-control measures unveiled on November 30, 1994.

Here is some of what Prime Minister Chretien said on the eve of unveiling the new gun-control measures, referring to Dr. Romalis:

“Prime Minister Jean Chretien says the gun lobby won’t stop him from pushing through “the toughest gun control measures in Canadian history.”

Justice Minister Allan Rock will unveil a package of reforms in Parliament today “to crack down on criminals who have guns and to ban the kinds of weapons we have seen kill young students in Montreal and that seriously wounded a medical doctor in Vancouver a few weeks ago,” Chretien told a Liberal fundraiser last night at the Metro Convention Centre.

“I know that some in the gun lobby will scream when Allan introduces our gun control package,” he said. “But Canadians don’t want special interests to keep us from doing the right thing – in any area.

“And I pledge to the people of Canada that we will not let that happen.”

Although the reforms are to be unveiled today by Rock, Solicitor-General Herb Gray and Revenue Minister David Anderson, enabling legislation won’t be introduced until February.

The Prime Minister said last night Canadians want decent neighborhoods and safe streets.

“People here in Toronto and in communities across Canada are tired of all the guns on the streets – the violence, the murders,” he said. “They don’t want their communities to become combat zones like some American cities.””

(“PM vows not to yield to foes of gun control Canadians ‘tired of the violence, murders,’ he says”, by Rosemary Speirs, November 30, 1994, Toronto Star)

As quoted above, “the toughest gun control measures in Canadian history”, “to crackdown on criminals who have guns”, and “to ban the kinds of weapons we have seen kill young students in Montreal and that seriously wounded a medical doctor in Vancouver”, were among Chretien’s words. Chretien also referred to some American cities as “combat zones”, stating that people in Canada do not want their communities to become such.

Gun control appeared somewhat like a ‘blood sport’ in Canada, didn’t it?

But if it was any consolation, unlike the fourteen Montreal women slain in 1989, in 1994 Romalis was only shot in the leg – kind of like Interpol president Reinhard Heydrich’s driver Johannes Klein in 1942.

In my 2009 article I mentioned some interesting coincidences in my past political activism with Dr. Gary Romalis’s case. To make the presentation easy to understand they are summarized here in a list, as from my May 2009 post:

  1. When I started my political activism in November 1992, besides to media venues I also sent my press releases to the local Member of Parliament, Justice Minister Kim Campbell; though shot two years later in November 1994, Romalis had received threats during the Mulroney government era and complained to Justice Minister Kim Campbell.
  2. After my faxing documents to Campbell’s Vancouver constituency office on November 30, 1992, RCMP officers came to my apartment to suppress my activities; it was then exactly two years later on November 30, 1994, when Justice Minister Rock unveiled the Chretien government’s gun-control legislation that included a military-type assault weapons ban partly stimulated by the shooting of Romalis earlier that November in Vancouver.
  3. When RCMP officer Brian Cotton took me to a psychiatric assessment on November 30, 1992, he rejected my suggestion of going to the nearby Vancouver General Hospital for a “neutral” assessment, stating that it had been arranged at the hospital of the University of British Columbia; Dr. Romalis practised at the VGH.
  4. In subsequent occasions of being sent to psychiatric assessments and committals, the assessments at VGH were more favorable to me, and the release sooner, than at other institutions including UBC Hospital.
  5. In January 1993 when I was sent to my second psychiatric committal, through an arrangement by the prosecution with Judge William J. Kitchen, for the criminal charge of “harassing phone calls” from me to staff at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, I was supposed to be sent to the B.C. Forensic Psychiatric Institute, where persons with harder criminal offences were sent to – as mentioned earlier, later I was committed there in February 1994 when Chretien announced Inkster’s resignation from the RCMP – but a Vancouver police officer suggested that I get a referral from my family physician, Dr. James K. Lai, so I could be sent to the VGH instead; according to a personal-information disclosure I later obtained, on at least one occasion Dr. Lai stated his opinion that I was “very healthy”.
  6. Years later on July 11, 2000, Dr. Romalis was physically attacked a second time, by a man yielding a knife, and a caller to The Vancouver Sun claimed responsibility on behalf of the “Baby Liberation Army”; by this time Romalis was no longer with VGH but with the Seymour Medical Clinic headed by Dr. Lai, where he was attacked – it was my “former” medical clinic as I had left Vancouver in 1997 to work in the United States.

To further clarify Point #1 above, namely communicating to Justice Minister Kim Campbell during the Mulroney era, for his abortion work Dr. Romalis had been threatened in very physical manners:

“The threat of violence was not new to Dr. Romalis, who has been a gynecologist in the city for almost three decades. Anti-abortion advocates had previously demonstrated in front of his house and office, throwing roofing nails on his driveway and harassing him at the Vancouver General Hospital. Dr. Romalis had warned Kim Campbell of his concerns when she was federal justice minister, said one of his colleagues, Lynn Simpson.”

(“B.C. doctor hit by sniper Gynecologist who does abortions had received threatening call”, by Robert Matas and Miro Cernetig, November 9, 1994, The Globe and Mail)

About Point #6 above, namely Dr. Romalis working at my former medical clinic headed by my former doctor James K. Lai, when he was stabbed, here is what I wrote in 2009:

“In the New Millennium, Dr. Gary Romalis again received a threatening call though he was no longer based in Vancouver General Hospital, and was attacked with a knife and wounded on July 11, 2000 in the Seymour Medical Clinic where he worked. 220

If the reader has guessed again now you may be right: this time Dr. Romalis was a member of my (former) medical clinic chaired by my family physician Dr. James Lai; the day after the attack a phone call was placed to the Vancouver Sun newspaper on behalf of a “Baby Liberation Army” claiming responsibility 221 – but by the fall of 1997 I had left Vancouver and in 2000 I was working in Silicon Valley in California …”

(Part 5, May 27, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Neither of the two seriously violent attacks on Gary Romalis has ever been solved by the police. But, interestingly, the main suspect of the 1994 shooting was not a Canadian but American James C. Kopp, as I remarked in my 2009 article’s Part 6:

“American James C. Kopp, long-time anti-abortion activist serving a life sentence since 2007 for the 1998 murder of Amherst, N.Y. abortion doctor Barnett Slepian, is a main suspect in the 1994 shooting of Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) abortion doctor Gary Romalis; a Canadian warrant for Kopp was issued for the 1995 shooting of abortion doctor Hugh Short in Ancaster, Ontario, though the prosecution has recently decided to stay the charges; Kopp is also a main suspect in the 1997 shooting of abortion doctor Jack Fainman of Winnipeg.222

In the New York case, two anti-abortion activists harbouring and helping Kopp, Loretta Marra and Dennis Malvasi, received light penalties. 223

As previously discussed, the Romalis shooting incident in November 1994 turned the Canadian medical community into showing strong support for justice minister Allan Rock’s stricter gun-control legislation, which was unveiled on November 30, 1994 and included a ban on military-type weapons, one of which – an AK-47 – had been responsible for wounding Dr. Romalis.

There has been no press report of any identified suspect in the second, knife attack on Dr. Romalis in July 2000, which took place at my former medical clinic headed by my family physician Dr. James K. Lai, where Dr. Romalis practiced after retiring from the VGH.”

(“The myth of political vendetta in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Airbus Affair investigation, the politics of Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien, and some social undercurrents in Canada (Part 6)”, June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As above, James C. Kopp was an American who took out his military-style assault weapon and aimed it at abortion doctors in the U.S. as well as in Canada – convicted of killing a U.S. doctor and suspected of wounding three Canadian doctors.

I have always felt intrigue with the similarities in the names James K. Lai and James C. Kopp. But now with the review of Interpol history in this current article, it’s worth mentioning in light of the name similarities between Earl Kevin Jans, who brought a crossbow and arrows to want to see Prime Minister Chretien, several months before the shooting of Gary Romalis, and Reinhard Heydrich’s assassin Jan Kubiš in history.

As I wrote in June 2009, I also noted that the active shooting of abortion doctors had not ended but had, just in May 2009, claimed the life of Dr. George Tiller, an American peer of Dr. Romalis’s:

“But recently on May 31, 2009, only days after the Canadian charges were dropped against Kopp in the Dr. Short case, American abortion doctor George Tiller, who had previously been shot and wounded and who had lectured to abortion providers in Vancouver at the invitation of Dr. Romalis, was gunned down in the lobby of the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas, becoming the first dead doctor of anti-abortion violence in the U.S. after Kopp’s killing of Dr. Slepian; the main suspect, Scott Roeder, had been a member of an extreme Christian militia group, the Freeman movement. 224

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Nevertheless, I feel somewhat relieved that, though as painful and potentially as deadly, the second attack on Dr. Romalis used only a knife.

I don’t know if the Chretien government’s stricter gun ban deserved credit for the ‘curtailed’ choice of weapon against Dr. Romalis in the second attack in 2000, but I notice a different kind of similarity: while in March 1994 Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was gunned down just before Chretien’s official Mexican visit, two months later in Canada Earl Kevin Jans carried only crossbow-and-arrows; likewise, Dr. Romalis was shot when he was a doctor with Vancouver General Hospital, but later with my former physician Dr. Lai’s clinic he was only stabbed.

Returning to my review of the Chretien government’s stricter gun-control drive that received a boost of public support due to the shooting of Dr. Gary Romalis, the legislative process began in February 1995, on St. Valentine’s Day, which happened to have some relevant history in regard to gun violence, in the U.S. but also related to Canada:

“When the gun-control bill was officially put to the legislative process in February 1995, it was on St. Valentine’s Day, “known as the day of the St. Valentine’s Massacre”, noted John Perrochio, president of the Canadian Firearms Action Council, referring to a rival-gang slaughtering in 1929 Prohibition-era Chicago, in which the killers dressed as policemen, and behind which control of illegal liquor from Canada by the notorious gangster boss Al Capone was apparently a motivating factor. 225, 226, 227

226. The St. Valentine’s Day massacre in which gangsters believed to be from Al Capone’s organization dressed as policemen, lined up 7 members of a rival bootlegging gang at a Clark Street garage in Chicago and machine-gunned them to death, was never solved although Capone’s bodyguard and successor Anthony J. Accardo was thought to be responsible…

227. After 13 female engineering students and one female employee were gunned down at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, the media noted that it was twice as bad as the St. Valentine’s Day massacre; later the school’s student association president Alain Perrault chose the day before St. Valentine’s Day 1990 to unveil a gun-control petition signed by over 200,000 people, starting a campaign pushing Mulroney government’s justice minister Kim Campbell toward gun-control efforts…”

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Immediately, the legislation won praise from U.S. President Bill Clinton who happened to visit Canada and give a speech at the Canadian Parliament:

“The Chretien Liberal government’s gun-control bill immediately won praise from U.S. president Bill Clinton, whose own 1994 legislation on banning assault weapons had been lauded in Canada by Wendy Cukier, president of the Coalition for Gun Control, in the wake of the Dr. Romalis shooting in Vancouver; in a speech to the Canadian parliament, Clinton compared Canada’s move “to outlaw automatic weapons designed for killing and not hunting”, to universal healthcare Canada had – something Clinton had also tried to introduce in the United States but failed. 228

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Around the same time, the efforts to investigate possible corruption on the part of former Prime Minister Mulroney was getting into international action.

In January 1995, two RCMP officers, Sergeant Fraser Fiegenwald and Inspector Carl Gallant, visited Stevie Cameron to discuss her new book published in October 1994, and she recommended interviewing persons in Europe, who in her experience had been more helpful than the Canadian government and police; then in March, partly based on Cameron’s book, the CBC’s The Fifth Estate in Canada and the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and der Spiegel magazine in Germany reported Karlheinz Schreiber’s secret Airbus commissions and Swiss bank accounts for Canadian politicians:

“During that same spring of 1995, efforts by the media and by the RCMP to pursue former prime minister Brian Mulroney’s possible corruption were also expanding, following the October 1994 publication of Stevie Cameron’s book exposing Mulroney-era corruption. Cameron’s book had become not only a bestseller alongside books such as Open Secrets by Alice Munro, but a favorite Christmas gift. 231

In January, the press reported that author Peter C. Newman living in a “Kitsilano tower” in Vancouver was writing a revealing book on the Mulroney era to be published in September 1995, that Newman had collected materials from Mulroney himself and persons in his circle including Frank Moores and Fred Doucet, and also obtained “proof” about certain controversial episodes involving Mulroney in the late period of the Meech Lake accord …

Also in January, RCMP investigators Sergeant Fraser Fiegenwald and Inspector Carl Gallant visited Stevie Cameron after listening to her talking about her book on the CBC Radio program The House; they told her that in 1988 there had been a brief FBI investigation on the Airbus sale to Air Canada but that the Canadian government and police had been unwilling to cooperate; she told them in return her experience that interviewing people in Europe had been more helpful. 233

In March, CBC’s The Fifth Estate aired an episode on the Airbus story, alleging that Airbus Industrie paid secret commissions to Karlheinz Schreiber to smooth the 1988 sale of Airbus A320 planes to Air Canada, and that Swiss bank accounts were opened by Schreiber for Frank Moores and for an unidentified Canadian politician; part of the information aired came from Cameron’s file she had gathered for her book, and all of the materials in her file were also reported by the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and the der Spiegel magazine in Munich, Germany. 234

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As told above, in the beginning in 1988 there had been an U.S. FBI investigation into the Airbus sale to Air Canada. The Canadian government and police had been uncooperative until now when RCMP officers visited Cameron in early 1995.

On the gun-control front, the Chretien government’s legislation would eventually become law, but not before overcoming some unexpectedly strong oppositions in the Parliament through 1995.

The legislation needed to pass several votes in the lower chamber, the House of Commons, and similarly in the upper chamber, the Senate. In the House, Liberal internal dissents would take stern measures by Jean Chretien as the party leader to keep under control, which when I first reviewed in 2009 prompted comparisons of Chretien to other political party leaders and to Brian Mulroney in the past, as to whether Chretien acted less, rather than more, democratically in parliamentary politics. In the Senate,, the governing Liberal Party did not even have a majority.

The legislation easily won the first vote in the House in April 1995; but a large number of Liberal Members of Parliament, 49 of them, were purposely absent from the voting, causing serious concerns for Chretien:

“The size of the Liberal internal opposition was a concern for Jean Chretien: in the first vote in the House of Commons which the Liberals easily won, 3 Liberal MPs voted against the bill, 49 of the 177 majority Liberal MPs (in a parliament of around 300 MPs) were absent and as many as 30 of them stayed away to show their opposition…

Bob Speller, chair of the rural Liberal caucus who had advised rural Liberal MPs inclined to vote ‘no’ to skip the first vote instead, was reported as saying the 49 Liberal MPs who had not shown up for the first vote could vote ‘no’ in the final vote…”

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As the head counts in the above showed, if most of those 49 Liberal MPs absenting from the first vote, many of them from rural regions, were to vote “no” in the final vote, which they could, then the Liberal government’s majority 177 seats in a chamber of around 300 could fail to get the legislation through.

Immediately, Chretien enforced disciplines on the very few – only three – of Liberal MPs who voted “no” the first time, stripping them of all their parliamentary committee positions:

“… at a caucus meeting before the vote Chretien had warned his MPs to vote with the party, and after the vote he quickly stripped all parliamentary committee positions from the 3 Liberals Benoit Serre, Paul Steckle, and Rex Crawford who had voted no regardless – despite their claims that they represented the anti-gun-control sentiments of their rural riding constituents. 237

Chretien also planned to enforce party discipline in the same manner with the hate-crime bill protecting minority rights (including homosexual rights) that was being processed through the parliament in parallel to the gun-control bill.”

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As told above, Chretien would not accept the argument by any Liberal MP who voted “no” that his constituents were opposed to the gun-control legislation.

Also as above, at the time the Chretien government was also pursuing a hate-crime legislation to protect minority rights, and Chretien stood firm on requiring Liberal MPs to vote for this other legislation being pushed through in parallel to the gun-control bill.

The major opposition parties at the time were the separatist Bloc Quebecois and the Reform Party, the latter the main opponent to gun control:

“Like the Bloc Quebecois led by Tory-breakaway MP Lucien Bouchard taking many formerly Tory seats in Quebec, the Reform party formerly represented by only one MP Deborah Grey and led by party leader Preston Manning outside the parliament, took most of the western Canada rural ridings (particularly in Alberta) from the Tories in the 1993 election, also winning over 50 seats and just two fewer than Bloc Quebecois. 241 On conservative issues such as against gun control, the Reform party became the Liberals’ main opposition in the House of Commons – even though Reform had championed an anti-crime platform …”

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

But the Reform Party allowed its MPs to vote according to their constituents’ wishes and one of them, Stephen Harper, voted “yes” on the gun-control legislation in the first vote:

“Across the aisle from among the opposition Reform party, a lone MP (and future prime minister) Stephen Harper voted for the gun-control legislation in this first vote, as did one of the only two Tory MPs, Elsie Wayne. 240

… but the Reform party allowed its MPs to vote their constituents’ wishes …”

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As told in the above two quotes, in the 1993 election most of the past electoral support for Mulroney’s Tory party had gone to the two new parties, Bloc Quebecois and Reform Party; the old party by this time had only two MPs, one of whom, Elsie Wayne, voted for the legislation.

In my June 2009 post, I compared the way Chretien disciplined Liberal Party dissenters on gun-control in April 1995 to how B.C. Tory MP Stan Wilbee had faired in November 1992 after demanding a Tory party review of Mulroney’s leadership, concluding that Chretien seemed harsher, i.e., less democratic in this respect:

“Compared to the previously discussed case of Stan Wilbee in November 1992, i.e., the lone Tory MP publicly calling for a leadership review on Brian Mulroney and asked to resign his B.C. caucus chair by justice minister Kim Campbell, that Wilbee in the end not only retained the caucus chair and kept his chair at the Commons committee on health issues but also got to embark on leading a new parliamentary probe into the HIV-tainted blood-supply issue, Chretien’s measures in April 1995 seemed harsh.

Comparison to Mulroney – on lack of democracy within the party – was evident: it was acknowledged by Liberal party whip Don Boudria who had often criticized Mulroney for “muzzling independent thought” in the Tory caucus…”

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Nonetheless, Chretien probably felt strongly that his government’s stricter gun-control measures had the support of a majority of Canadians, given that polls had consistently shown support nationwide, especially for the universal gun registry:

“Since before the 1993 election polls had consistently showed that a majority of Canadians, including most Albertans, supported stricter gun control, including mandatory gun registration: nationally, support for a gun registry was 86% in September 1993, and by late May 1995 with the legislation near final vote it was still 71% and higher than support for the full bill at 64%. 242

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

However, among the Liberal MPs from rural regions, and from some influential persons and groups in the Canadian society, including the Canadian Medical Association that strongly supported the military-style assault weapons ban, there was considerable opposition to the universal gun registry:

“Despite the high poll numbers supporting it, besides the Reform party and the pro-gun groups there were other public shows of opposition to the gun-control bill.

One high-profile act of opposition came from Justice Jean-Claude Angers of the New Brunswick Court of Appeal, who wrote an open letter to prime minister Jean Chretien and the MPs, calling the gun-control proposal ”serious infringements of the rights to security and enjoyment of the person and to own property”; two law professors complained about his conduct to the Canadian Judicial Council, and Angers received a public reprimand from council chair, B.C. Chief Justice Allan McEachern, about his “highly partisan attack” on a proposal that could become law which he would often need to interpret and enforce…

Another high-profile act of opposition, that of backtracking from supporting, curiously came from the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), which had become a strong public supporter of gun control after the shooting of Dr. Gary Romalis in November 1994: the association still stood by its support for banning military-type assault weapons, one of which had wounded Dr. Romalis, but changed its position on the gun registry – also the main point of contention for the dissident rural Liberal MPs – and questioned its effectiveness for violent-crime reduction; the reversal caught justice minister Allan Rock by surprise, but the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians continued to support the gun registry. 244

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As told above, the Canadian Medical Association retracted its support for the gun registry, although the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians continued to support it.

Some of the concerns about the gun registry regarded penalties being potentially too harsh for people failing to register their guns, and Justice Minister Rock responded by suggesting some lighter alternatives:

“Within the notion of a universal gun registry a key point of contention was whether failure to register would be treated as a serious criminal offence or closer to a motor-vehicle registration violation; Allan Rock had earlier hinted at the possibility of a compromise, and after the CMA expressed to the Commons justice committee its new doubts on the gun registry, Rock suggested to the committee adding a category of lighter criminal penalties – outside of the Criminal Code – for some situations, and the committee quickly endorsed it. 245

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

The final House vote on the gun-control legislation came in June 1995. Leading up to the vote, Chretien continued to clamp down on Liberal dissents to try to ensure no internal revolt would happen.

Several days before the final vote, Liberal MP and justice committee chair Warren Allmand voted “no” on a budget-related bill, and Chretien moved to strip Allmand of his committee chair position; but Chretien’s disciplinary action hit a snag when Reform Party whip Jim Silye refused to give his signature, stating publicly that the Chretien government was no better than the Mulroney government when it came to “quashing internal dissent or rewarding friends with patronage”:

“… several days earlier there was also a lone Liberal no vote on the government’s budget-implementation bill, from justice committee chair Warren Allmand protesting budget cuts that reminded him of the Mulroney Tories’ cuts on spending for social programs…

After the budget vote in early June, Chretien had immediately moved to take Warren Allmand off his chair position at the justice committee, but unexpectedly Reform party whip Jim Silye refused to give his signature to expedite the removal, and also went public accusing the Chretien government of doing no better than the Mulroney government when it came to quashing internal dissent or rewarding friends with patronage. 250

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Jim Silye not only spoke his mind but acted accordingly as days later, despite being the opposition Reform Party whip, he announced that he would vote for the gun-control legislation because his constituents supported it even though he himself was opposed to it; Reform MPs Ted White and Ian McClelland also announced similarly:

“In early June prior to the final Commons vote after which the gun-control bill would be sent to the Senate if passed, the Liberals were bolstered by announcement of voting for the bill from 3 Reform MPs, Ted White, Ian McClelland and Jim Silye, who made their decisions based on polling their constituents; Jim Silye’s position was especially significant because he was the Reform party whip in charge of enforcing party line on MP votes, but the Reform party allowed its MPs to vote their constituents’ wishes and though Silye was opposed to the bill his constituents at the riding of Calgary Centre favoured it. 246

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

On the other hand, Stephen Harper who had been the lone Reform MP to vote “yes” in the first vote, now flip-flopped to a “no” in the final vote because his constituents, though showing 64% support for the legislation, showed 60% opposition to a potential 10-year jail penalty for failing to register guns:

“On the other hand Stephen Harper, MP for Calgary West who had been the lone Reformer voting for it in the first vote based on a poll of 64% constituent support, now would vote no because a second polling of his constituents showed that although most still supported the gun registry, 60% of them did not like a potential 10-year jail penalty still in there for failure to register. 247

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

On June 13, the gun-control legislation passed the final vote in the House, and on June 15 the hate-crime legislation did, both with the support of the Bloc Quebecois; the Liberal MPs largely followed the party line, though nine of them voted “no” on June 13 and four voted “no” on June 15:

“On June 13, the gun-control bill easily passed the Commons, with support from Bloc Quebecois; two day after, the hate-crime legislation also passed, with Bloc Quebecois support, ensuring tougher criminal penalties for crimes “motivated by hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability”. 248

The yes votes on gun-control from Jim Silye and the other two Reformers had been expected to compensate for the loss of votes from the 3 rural Liberal MPs who had voted no the first time, but the number of Liberal MPs casting final no vote increased to 9, and 4 other Liberal MPs voted no on the hate-crime bill…”

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

The three key votes in the first half of June 1995 came to a total of fourteen Liberal MPs – fifteen if counting Rex Crawford, who was absent due to illness but had voted “no” on the gun-control legislation in the first vote – disobeying party instructions, the highest number since the Chretien Liberals had come to power in November 1993:

“… that came to a total of 14 Liberal MPs who openly dissented on important votes – in fact 15 had MP Rex Crawford not suffered a heart attack and missed the final gun-control vote – and a record high of vote dissent since the Chretien government began in November 1993. 249

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Chretien’s uncompromising demand for loyalty in these votes led to criticism from Liberal MP Warren Allmand – his justice committee chair position Chretien had failed to take away as discussed earlier – that Chretien was less democratic than his leadership predecessor and old rival John Turner:

“Chretien was unfazed by the setback in demoting Warren Allmand, and unbending in demanding party loyalty. He praised the Liberal MPs who voted for the gun-control bill “against the very strong wishes of constituents who fiercely opposed the firearms law”, he declared that a vote against the government was a vote against him personally, and he told his MPs that if they did not follow the party line he might refuse to sign their nomination papers for the next election. 251

Warren Allmand countered that back in April 1988 when 22 Liberal MPs signed a letter asking then party leader (and Chretien’s rival) John Turner to resign, they did not receive any punishment, and many of the Liberal MPs who had opposed Turner were now in Chretien’s cabinet; Allmand said Chretien was going too far in demanding loyalty. 252

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

So, on these key legislative votes, under Jean Chretien the Liberal Party was less democratic than under former leader John Turner, than the opposition Reform Party and in some sense than the old Tory party under Brian Mulroney.

Moreover, Chretien’s rule enforced the party line not only on these key votes but on government legislation votes in general; in doing against the Liberal MPs’ constituency wishes, Chretien actually broke a written promise he had made for his party during the 1993 election:

“A public-relations problem for prime minister Chretien in his hard-line stand on loyalty within the party caucus was that it had been his election promise in 1993 as party leader – written in the Liberals’ election Red Book – to allow more free votes by Liberal MPs following their constituents’ wishes, but that afterwards no free vote was allowed on government legislations; there were many other unfulfilled Red Book promises such as, according to Warren Allmand, protecting spending that helped disadvantaged Canadians. 253

The 13 Liberal MPs dissenting on the gun-control or hate-crime legislation had won the 1993 election in their ridings with promises of parliamentary voting to reflect the constituents’ wishes, and had been hailed as heroes at the time; it had been a Liberal Red-Book promise but now in 1995 they were condemned as “trained seals” by the party. 254

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As told, those Liberal MPs who voted against the gun-control or hate-crime legislation did so to reflect their constituents’ wishes as they had promised during the 1993 election.

But Chretien was unfazed in enforcing the party line in disregard of his past electoral promise. After the summer recess when the Parliament reconvened in September 1995, committee memberships were assigned anew and Chretien demoted the Liberal MPs who had shown dissent on those key votes:

“… in absolute-control mode over his Liberal MPs, Chretien wasted no time when the parliament reopened on September 18 for its fall session, at which time committee memberships were assigned anew: Warren Allmand was stripped of his justice committee chair on a day that happened to be one day before his 63th birthday, a move seen as signalling the start of a lonely end for a veteran Liberal who had once been Chretien’s cabinet colleague under Pierre Trudeau – as the solicitor general who ended capital punishment – and who had just shepherded gun control through the justice committee but voted against the budget; Dan McTeague, an ambitious young Liberal MP who had voted against the hate-crime law, was transferred from the heritage committee to the obscure Library of Parliament committee; and rural Liberal caucus chair Bob Speller who had advised the dissident rural Liberal MPs to skip the first vote on gun control, and warned they might vote no in the end, was stripped of his agriculture committee chair. 260

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

A few years later in October 2000, former Liberal leader John Turner spoke out and praised the Canadian Alliance – the Reform Party with a new name – as being more democratic:

“John Turner in fact shared some of the other Liberals’ misgivings about Chretien’s intolerance of democratic debate or dissent, and he later would also start to speak about it, in October 2000 less than 3 weeks after the death of Pierre Trudeau whom both Turner and Chretien had wanted to succeed and Turner did in 1984; Turner even praised the opposition Canadian Alliance – the Reform party with a new name in 2000 – for being more democratic: 257

““The Alliance is debating the issues,” Mr. Turner said.

“Whether or not you agree with the result of the debate or even the scope of the debate or even the subject of the debate, they are debating the issues.

“They’re opening up the system. And I believe the system needs opening up – beginning with the democratization of Parliament.””

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

In relation to Turner’s opinion, quoted above, expressed right after former Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s passing, I remarked in 2009 that back in October 2000 Prime Minister Chretien had been more interested in winning a third electoral majority by capitalizing on Canadians’ sympathy for Trudeau:

“In October 2000 when Turner heaped the above praise on the Reform party as a subtle criticism of Chretien, Chretien had wasted no time – after the mourning was over for Pierre Trudeau who had passed away of prostate cancer – to announce that he would call an election in which his campaign would emphasize Trudeau’s legacy; although election speculations had been around before Trudeau’s death, some cynics opined that Chretien must have known for a while Trudeau had been gravely ill, and was so eager to make electoral history as to take the opportunity of Canadians’ sympathy over Trudeau’s death to get his third majority term – without other urgent issues calling a new election sooner than any majority leader in history but former Liberal prime minister Wilfred Laurier in 1911 – over the relative inexperience of the new Alliance leader Stockwell Day and the split of conservative votes between the Alliance and the Tories – the latter again led by Joe Clark. 258

Chretien would win his third majority handily on November 27, 2000, garnering 41% of the popular vote – highest of his 3 times. 259

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As noted above, Chretien did win a third majority government in 2000 with 41% of the popular vote, and that was the highest for the Liberal Party under his leadership.

It is worth noting that even though the total popular vote won each time in three consecutive elections was far below 50%, under Chretien’s leadership, the Liberals won House of Common seats in a majority of the ridings each time.

That kind of electoral outcomes might lead one to ponder the rules of parliamentary democracy as it was practiced in Canada.

In my June 2009 post, I discussed various opinions voiced by political commentators, among them William Thorsell, about party discipline and about the prime ministerial power in a majority government, expressed following the several important House votes in June 1995:

“At this point of record-high Chretien Liberal internal dissent, John English, historian and Liberal MP for Kitchener, believed party discipline to be important to national unity for a country as diverse as Canada, but Newfoundland Liberal MP George Baker suggested that the British model should be adopted in which government MPs, like opposition MPs, were allowed to question the government during the Question Period in the Commons; in contrast, the rightwing Reform party MPs, including leader Preston Manning, were during this time practicing free votes or at least freely discussing their opinions on the issue. 255

Some political commentators, e.g., William Thorsell, noted that the Canadian parliamentary system vested too much power in the prime minister of a majority government, more than any other industrialized democracy did in the government leader, and that in most Canadian political party constitutions the party leader’s authority could not be easily challenged unless a full party convention was held; they also noted that democratic rights and freedoms as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (crowning achievement of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau in the 1982 Canadian Constitution) as the only reduction of the political power of the government – and “the single most “Americanizing” event in Canadian history” according to some – merely put the power in the hands of court justices appointed by the prime minister. 256

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Here is some of what William Thorsell actually wrote in June 1995 that I cited in 2009:

“CANADA is among the most decentralized federations in the world, but Canada also has one of the world’s most centralized political power structures. A Canadian prime minister with a majority of seats enjoys more personal power than any elected leader among the industrialized democracies. We saw robust evidence this week in Jean Chretien’s military-style disciplinary threats against dissident members of his own parliamentary caucus. L’etat, c’est lui. This reflects several basic factors:

  • We conduct “first-past-the-post” elections in a multi-party system. A majority of seats is almost always delivered by a minority of votes – as small as 37 per cent in recent Ontario and Quebec elections. So Canadian democracy is based on the practice that the minority rules.
  • We govern through a parliamentary system that is unicameral in all the provinces, and where the appointed Senate in Ottawa exercises minimal authority over the elected House of Commons.
  • Membership in the cabinet exists entirely at the discretion of the prime minister or premier.
  • The rules and conventions in our legislatures enforce strict party discipline in an environment where free votes or the initiation of bills are discouraged. Government majorities on most committees ensure political control through all phases of legislation.
  • Most party constitutions require full party conventions to vote on a leader’s status before he or she can be ousted. As a result, parliamentary caucuses are neutered as immediate threats to the leader’s authority.

Other than public opinion (including the media), the only real check over Canadian first ministers comes from the courts, especially since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. The Charter has been described as the single most “Americanizing” event in Canadian history, which is to say that it is the only event that has structurally reduced the political power of the prime minister and premiers. It has done so not by distributing political power more broadly, but by enhancing the power of the appointed judiciary.


(“Freedom of expression gets short shrift in Canada’s parliamentary caucuses”,  by William Thorsell, June 17, 1995, The Globe and Mail)

As noted by Thorsell, the Canadian parliamentary system vested too much power in the prime minister of a majority government, whose authority as the governing party leader also could not be easily challenged within the party, while the constitutionally-protected democratic rights and freedoms were dependent on court justices who were appointed by the prime minister.

Thorsell thus characterized a Canadian government with the prime minister heading a parliamentary majority as “one of the world’s most centralized political power structures”.

In 1995 after the gun-control legislation passed the House of Commons in June, it headed for the Senate of Canada.

Recall as cited earlier, Reform Party whip Jim Silye had stated publicly that the Chretien government was no better than the Mulroney government when it came to “quashing internal dissent or rewarding friends with patronage”.

In this regard, having illustrated Prime Minister Chretien’s suppressing dissents within the Liberal caucus in the House, in my June 2009 post I then examined his government’s maneuvering in the Senate, including political appointments, or patronage, that in this case he viewed as needed to get the gun-control legislation through.

In Canada, senators have been appointed by the government, namely by the prime minister. At the time in 1995, a slim majority of the sitting senators had been appointed by the Mulroney government years ago – even though there were now only two elected MPs in Mulroney’s old party in the House – and these Tory Senators were unwilling to cooperate with the Chretien government on gun control; political opponents of the gun-control legislation, from various directions, wanted the Senate to block its passage or make substantial changes to weaken it, as I reviewed in 2009:

“The gun-control bill was now in the Senate for the parliamentary session of fall 1995. Canadian senators were not elected but appointed, and the Senate at this point was controlled by a slim majority of Tories appointed by Brian Mulroney years ago; it was predicted that it could be 1996 before the Senate would begin to consider the bill, or as Calgary Senator Ron Ghitter, the Tories’ designated person on the gun-control bill in the Senate, had put it while the bill was still in the Commons: 261

“It’s not like this is an issue of national urgency; that crime is going to stop the moment we have registration. Homicides aren’t increasing. The statistics do not show this registration is going to solve any crime problems”.

Opponents of the gun-control bill, noticing a gradual decline in the poll numbers for it even though a majority of Canadians still supported gun control, began to mount vigorous lobbying campaigns to have the Senate force the Liberal government to withdraw part of the bill or accept substantial changes to water it down; in addition to the gun-owner groups, the opponents included the powerful provincial governments of Ontario and the Prairies, i.e., Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and the governments of the Northern Territories, where there were large rural populations; they also included critics such as columnist David Frum who blasted the legislation for allowing justice minister’s discretion to exempt native people from gun-control requirements, and curiously the Assembly of First Nations representing the native people, who complained that mandatory gun registration would intrude on their traditional lifestyle of hunting protected by their constitutional and treaty rights, and that a ”back-door” exemption was not good enough for them. 262

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Because the Senate was not an elected body, it usually did not obstruct legislations arduously; and Tory party leader Jean Charest, one of the only two Tory MPs, struck a compromising tone in this case, promising only to use the Senate to make changes to the legislation and would not indefinitely obstruct its passage:

“But despite the sabre-rattling of the opponents who aimed to scuttle national gun registration in the Senate, few observers believed the demise of stricter gun control. One reason is that, being unelected – and labelled a “mixed blessing” on such issues by Reform party leader Preston Manning – the Senate usually did not dig in its heels to block legislations passed by the Commons, and with the Tories nearly wiped out in the Commons the Tory-controlled Senate did so only twice after the Chretien government took power: on a bill cancelling the Mulroney government’s privatization of Toronto Pearson Airport, which prevented the developers from going to court to sue for punitive damages, and on an election-boundaries bill which was viewed as thinly disguised gerrymandering in favor of the Liberals. 263

Moreover, Tory leader Jean Charest (who had lost to Kim Campbell in the 1993 leadership contest and then taken over after Campbell’s electoral defeat) was rather conciliatory on gun control: he was absent during the final Commons vote, and also stated that the Tory-controlled Senate would only propose changes to the bill to send it back to the Commons, and that if the Commons then rejected the changes the Senate would not block it further. 264

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

As told above, Charest was consistently willing to compromise, having himself already absented from the House’s final vote on the gun-control legislation, i.e., instead of voting against it.

Still, Chretien did not like to tolerate the prospect of a long, drawn-out parliamentary maneuvering, which could not only alter the legislation but also delay its passage long after 1995; he decided to fill all the vacancies there were in the Senate, 4 of them, with Liberal appointments on September 22, 1995:

“Still, the complexity of parliamentary maneuvers meant that the Senate could hold long public hearings on the matters, that any changes approved by the Senate would require re-examination and vote by the Commons where politics involving the rural MPs was always volatile, and that if the legislation could not be approved by both chambers during this fall session it might have to be reintroduced in a new session in 1996. 265

Several days after punishing some of the key Liberal MPs for straying from the party line, Chretien moved on Friday, September 22 to appoint 4 new Liberal senators – including 3 women for a record-high 23 women in the upper chamber – to fill the Senate to its full size of 104 and bring the total number of Liberals to 50 versus the Tories’ 51, with 3 independent senators leaning toward the Liberals. 266

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Very importantly as noted above, three of the four newly appointed Liberal Senators were female and the resulting total of 23 women in the Senate were a record high.

These might not be really “patronage” appointments but as above they were highly partisan, and now the fully-filled Senate had 50 Liberals vs. 51 Tories, with an additional 3 independents leaning toward the Liberals. Consequently, the Liberals were now in a better position to defeat Senate opponents of the gun-control legislation.

In 2009 I commented that the timing of the gun-control legislative process in the Senate was also entangled with the publicity of the Airbus Affair, namely the RCMP criminal investigation of former Tory prime minister Mulroney:

“Chretien’s appointment of new senators would eventually lead to passage of the gun-control legislation but not after several more months of bickering and maneuvering, including amid a heightened public atmosphere due to revelation of an RCMP Airbus Affair probe in which the Canadian government informed Swiss authorities former (Tory) prime minister Mulroney was being investigated for criminal activity.”

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Here I note that, more specifically as previously mentioned, the date of the Canadian Justice Department letter to the Swiss authorities to seek cooperation for the criminal investigation of Mulroney, in relations to Airbus commissions, was September 29, 1995 – exactly one week after all Senate vacancies were filled with Liberals for the gun-control legislation contest in the upper chamber.

In 2009 I did not quote any details from the press about the coincidental timings of the late-stage parliamentary maneuvering on gun control and the publicity of the RCMP criminal investigation of Mulroney. Here now are some passages from a news story on November 21, 1995 – with the gun-control legislation still in the Senate and the Airbus Affair publicity just started:

“WHAT DO you say when the former prime minister of the country sues the government he used to lead for $50 million for defamation of character?

You say you hope the RCMP checked the rumors out very carefully before naming Brian Mulroney as a possible suspect in the Airbus story.

If they did check, they could be on to the scandal of the century.

If they didn’t, the national police force will have disgraced itself even more. RCMP bumbling on the night when Jean Chretien’s wife faced an armed intruder at 24 Sussex will be nothing compared to this potential foul-up.

Chretien cancelled the Tory deal at Pearson airport in late 1993, partly to demonstrate he was in charge and the old ways were changing. He backed Rock’s gun-control bill to prove a Liberal government could deliver for Canadians. Both those matters still are hung up in the Senate, and the Prime Minister cannot prorogue Parliament and write a new Throne Speech until the old business is finished.

In this vacuum, Chretien and his cabinet are proving prone to errors, which is the real danger of Mulroney’s lawsuit. It, too, will drag on, becoming a problem for a Liberal government that had nothing at all to do with the 1988 Airbus purchase. When political problems drag, they have the potential, as we’ve seen in the Somalia inquiry, to do damage to sitting governments whose hands are clean but whose handling errs.

Tory Senator Marjorie LeBreton already is suggesting the RCMP’s Airbus investigation really is a Liberal witch hunt. She says Chretien’s government is seeking political revenge for the Tory senators’ stalls of the Pearson and gun-control bills.

It’s difficult to see why Liberals would want more revenge than that already inflicted by Canadian voters, who reduced the Tories to two seats. This smacks less of revenge than of bureaucratic error, either here or overseas,
which may yet hurt the Liberals along with Mulroney.”

(“Mulroney case holds danger for Liberals”, by Rosemary Speirs, November 21, 1995, Toronto Star)

As journalist Rosemary Speirs reported above, Tory Senator Marjorie LeBreton was alleging that the RCMP’s criminal investigation of Mulroney really was a “Liberal witch hunt”, and a “political revenge” for the Tory senators’ stalls of the Liberal government’s gun-control legislation and another legislation reversing the Mulroney government’s privatization of Toronto Pearson International Airport.

That was in November 1995 when the RCMP investigation of Mulroney had just become news. On the basis of newer allegations by Mr. Mulroney two years later in November 1997, quoted and discussed earlier, in my April 2009 post I did an analysis concluding that both stricter gun-control and investigating possible criminal corruption on the part of the former prime minister were important law-and-order agendas of the Chretien government from the start.

Thus, what coincided, and alleged as “revenge” by Tory Senator LeBreton publicly in November 1995 was only the timing, i.e., the timing of the onset of Airbus Affair publicity with the timing of the gun-control legislation’s stalls in the Senate – the stage had already been set by the Chretien government in September 1995 when it filled the Senate vacancies with Liberal appointments and had a letter sent out to Swiss authorities for the criminal investigation of Mulroney.

Nonetheless, in a blog post dated September 29, 2013, a part of of a later article in my blogging after 2009, I was able to show that Mr. Mulroney’s side, in connection to Karlheinz Schreiber, his friend at the time, was likely partly responsible for the public disclosure in November 1995 that he was the subject of an RCMP criminal investigation into Airbus commissions.

The first news stories about a criminal investigation into the Airbus commissions came on November 11-12, 1995, in Europe, without mentioning any Canadian politician by name; in the several days after, the Swiss and Canadian authorities, including the RCMP, confirmed the existence of an ongoing criminal investigation without naming any person being investigated:

“In the weekend of November 11-12, amid the Canadian media frenzies on Chretien residence break-in, French and Swiss media reported that the Swiss justice system was investigating alleged Airbus bribes funnelled into Swiss bank accounts, that unnamed Canadian political leaders received large commissions; RCMP confirmed it was evaluating “certain allegations” and had asked the Swiss for help, but wouldn’t give details until Tuesday…

The European reports were confirmed on November 13 by Swiss police spokesman Folco Galli and Swiss justice department spokesman Peter Lehmann, that Switzerland had received a September 29 request from Canada to look into certain Swiss bank accounts…

Frank Moores immediately denied everything…

On Tuesday, November 14, the lone RCMP investigator on the case, Sergeant Fraser Fiegenwald, did a media interview, stating he merely started with information from media reports; former senior officers Tim Quigley and Rod Stamler and former Commissioner Norman Inkster all confirmed RCMP had looked at allegations in 1989 but gave conflicting assessments of the seriousness; Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps confirmed a continuing RCMP investigation…


(“Team Canada female athletes disqualified from Commonwealth silver medal, jailed Chinese democracy activist awarded with Nobel peace prize, and others in between (Part 11) — when police statecraft runs political-scandal shows”, September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

I commented, in this September 29, 2013 post, that the Tory leaders after Mulroney, namely Kim Campbell and Jean Charest, had either distanced or was now distancing from a potential scandal related to the Airbus commissions and from Mr. Mulroney’s legacies, but again without mentioning Mulroney:

“Mulroney’s successor Kim Campbell had said Stevie Cameron’s book was “very interesting”, as earlier; now her successor, Progressive Conservative party leader Jean Charest, stated on November 14 he’s focused on the future, but admitted that the devastating 1993 election defeat leaving his party with only 2 MPs was “the opportunity for Canadians to voice their views on their party”

The current Tory leader decided not to stand by Brian Mulroney’s legacies.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

The first news story referring to Mr. Mulroney as being investigated by the RCMP came from reporter Philip Mathias of The Financial Post on November 18, 1995, who quoted from the September 29 Justice Department letter to the Swiss authorities:

“On November 14, 1995, the RCMP did not say if Mulroney was named in the September 29 Justice Department letter to the Swiss Authorities. That information came a few days later on November 18 when The Financial Post reporter Philip Mathias quoted from the letter (“Justice seeks evidence on Mulroney, Moores: Mulroney denies any connection with alleged payoffs over $1.8-billion Airbus deal”, by Philip Mathias, The Financial Post):

“In letters rogatory sent to Switzerland on Sept. 29, Justice Department senior counsel Kimberly Prost indicates Brian Mulroney received secret commissions from European manufacturers that did business with the government while he was in office.

The letter names French aircraft manufacturer Airbus Industrie SA and German arms manufacturer Thyssen AG. It concludes that there was a “persistent plot/conspiracy by Mr. Mulroney [and others] … who defrauded the Canadian government in the amount of millions of dollars.”

The Justice Department sent the 13-page demand to Switzerland, written in German, at the request of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.”

A “persistent plot/conspiracy by Mr. Mulroney” – serious accusations.

But according to Mathias, the letter contained no evidence against Mulroney other than what was in the CBC Fifth Estate broadcast in March, which hadn’t named Mulroney or provided evidence of Airbus commissions going into the alleged Swiss bank accounts:


(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

On that same day when the Justice Department letter was first quoted in the media as in the above, about a “persistent plot/conspiracy by Mr. Mulroney [and others] … who defrauded the Canadian government in the amount of millions of dollars”, lawyers representing Mulroney held a news conference to announce that Mr. Mulroney was filing a $50 million lawsuit against the Canadian government and several officials:

“In the September 29, 1995 Kimberly Prost letter, Mulroney was accused of “criminal activity” and “conspiracy”, but RCMP provided no concrete evidence, only asking the Swiss to help find it in Switzerland.

The Canadian government didn’t disclose contents of the letter, however The Financial Post’s quoting from it let Mulroney take the public-relations offensive and sue the government and RCMP for $50 million in damages (“Mulroney filing suit against feds, RCMP – Former prime minister will”, November 19, 1995, Times – Colonist):

““Any fair-minded person who knows what happened here will easily see that the rights of Mr. Mulroney and of his family have been gravely violated,” lawyer Harvey Yarosky told a news conference Saturday.

Mulroney is seeking $25 million in damages to his reputation and $25 million in punitive damages, said lawyer Gerald Tremblay. Any award for punitive damages will be given to charity, he added.

Yarosky said the allegations are ungrounded. “Mr. Mulroney categorically and unequivocally states that he had absolutely nothing to do with Air Canada’s decision to buy Airbus, nor did he receive a cent from anyone. He was simply not part of any conspiracy whatsoever.”

Another lawyer, Roger Tasse – a former deputy justice minister in Ottawa – said the Justice Department and RCMP even refused to listen to Mulroney’s side of the story when he offered to co-operate with them.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are the government of Canada; RCMP Commissioner Phil Murray; Sgt. Fraser Fiegenwald, the RCMP investigating officer; and Kimberly Prost, the Justice Department lawyer who sent the documents to Switzerland. …


(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As quoted above, RCMP Commissioner Phil Murray; investigator Sgt. Fraser Fiegenwald, and Justice Department lawyer Kimberly Prost who wrote the September 29 letter to the Swiss authorities, were named in Mulroney’s lawsuit.

Also as above, several lawyers for Mr. Mulroney, namely Harvey Yarosky, Gerald Tremblay and Roger Tasse, spoke at the November 18 news conference. Tremblay, as discussed in Part 2 of my current article, had represented legal maneuvering, during the 1992 Diane Wilhelmy Affair, attempting to suppress publicity critical of then Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa, which happened to be also critical of David Cameron, an Ontario government official and husband of anti-corruption journalist Stevie Cameron.

As earlier quoted from a November 21 news report by journalist Rosemary Speirs, Tory Senator LeBreton immediately made the allegation that the RCMP investigation of Mulroney was the Chretien government’s “political revenge for the Tory senators’ stalls of the Pearson and gun-control bills”.

Thus, the question of timing coincidence boils down to who had given journalist Philip Mathias a copy of the Justice Department September 29 letter which had named Mulroney, which Mathias then quoted in a news story on November 18, when Mulroney’s lawyers also held a news conference announcing a lawsuit against the government for damages to his reputation.

Subsequently in 1996, testimonies and disclosures in the court proceedings for Mulroney’s $50 million lawsuit revealed that Philip Mathias’s copy of the Justice Department letter was a copy of a German-to-English translation that Karlheinz Schreiber had ordered for Mulroney. Therefore, as I remarked, the source for the journalist Mathias was likely related to Schreiber, who had been given a German copy of the Canadian letter by the Swiss authorities, ordered an English translation for Mulroney in early November, and that version was the one cited by Mathias:

“Mulroney’s testimony in April would explain that he first heard the bad news from Schreiber, and that a quick English translation of the September 29 letter in German was done by Swiss law firm Blum & Partners for Schreiber (“Ottawa targets source of Mulroney story Documents in lawsuit argue leak based on translation prepared for former PM”, by Tu Thanh Ha, August 28, 1996, The Globe and Mail):

“The Financial Post and the reporter who wrote the story, Philip Mathias, say that they have no intention of revealing their source.

“It’s a futile line of inquiry,” Mr. Mathias said in an interview yesterday, maintaining that the documents he used to write his story did not come from “Mr. Mulroney or his entourage.”

When he was examined under oath in April, Mr. Mulroney explained that he first learned he was under investigation when Mr. Schreiber called him on Nov. 2, 1995.

Mr. Schreiber had been advised by the Swiss that transactions in his bank accounts would be suspended. He was also given a copy of the RCMP request, written in German.

Because Mr. Mulroney did not speak German, the two agreed to have the Swiss law firm Blum & Partners prepare a summarized translation, a copy of which Mr. Mulroney received within days.

Ottawa’s lawyers will argue that the government is not responsible for the fact that the issue became public because what appeared in the Nov. 18, 1995, issue of the Post wasn’t the RCMP letter but an unauthorized translation.

“The translation obtained by The Financial Post is not the English version of the request prepared and sent by the Justice Department to Swiss authorities on Sept. 29, 1995,” Ottawa’s filing says.

“Rather, it is identical to the Blum translation, made at the request of Mr. Schreiber and Mr. Mulroney.”

The filing adds: “The defendants will try to establish how the Blum translation ended up in the hands of Philip Mathias and The Financial Post.”

Mr. Mathias said he had a German version of the RCMP letter but not the official English version, forcing him to rely on an unofficial translation.”

It looked possible that Schreiber was the leak source, that in November 1995 when the Swiss police got on his trail he went for immediate publicity to drag Mulroney into the mud – better for himself and likely better for Mulroney.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As above, the Canadian government lawyers essentially argued that if Mulroney’s side had leaked the letter to the media then they were responsible for damages to Mr. Mulroney’s reputation.

As stated by Mr. Mulroney and cited in the above, he learned of the RCMP criminal investigation of him on November 2 when Schreiber phoned him, and the later-leaked German-English translated copy was then produced for him. If as Mathias stated as quoted in the above, that his source wasn’t “Mr. Mulroney or his entourage”, then it likely was related to Schreiber.

One week after the initial news of an RCMP criminal investigation of Mulroney and Mulroney’s legal counteroffensive of a $50 million lawsuit, on November 26 the Chretien government’s gun-control legislation passed the Senate – and thus clearing all Parliamentary hurdles – in a rather lopsided vote of 64 to 28:

“Senator Joyce Fairbairn wasn’t certain she’d won, but Senator Ron Ghitter had a gut feeling he’d lost.

Fairbairn, the Lethbridge Liberal, and Ghitter, the Calgary Conservative, had been working behind the scenes for days to convince colleagues to back their respective sides in last week’s crucial gun control vote.

The Senate’s public gallery was filled with mothers and friends of people killed in gun violence, sitting shoulder to shoulder next to representatives of law-abiding, albeit angry, gun owners.

And the two Alberta senators were among the main players.

Fairbairn, government house leader in the Senate, pressed for passage of the bill, while Ghitter fought for amendments he’d personally worked on for months.

A Tory victory would send the bill back to the House of Commons for further debate, and possibly its demise.

Most news media reported the bill passed easily by a margin of 64 to 28. …”

(“Senate vote was closer than it seemed”, by Sheldon Alberts, November 26, 1995, Calgary Herald)

Hence, while the news about Mr. Mulroney was bad on November 18, 1995, it came at a worse time, undermining the morale of the Senators of his old Tory party, most of whom appointed by him years ago, in fighting against the Liberal gun-control legislation.

Mr. Mulroney and his Airbus-connected business friend, Mr. Schreiber, had quite a lot to blame for that bad timing coincidence noted by Tory Senator LeBreton. But at the time, Mulroney’s mind had likely been preoccupied with launching the $50 million lawsuit for personal reputation damages.

Even worse in timing coincidence, at that time there had just been another incident potentially very violent and threatening to the lives of Prime Minister Chretien and his wife, in timeframe two or three days after Mulroney had learned, from Schreiber, of being the target of an RCMP criminal investigation.

As earlier quoted, in her November 21 story journalist Rosemary Speirs noted the Mulroney lawsuit timing coincidence also with a break-in at Prime Minister Chretien’s official residence not long before, and speculated that the RCMP could be mishandling both the criminal investigation of Mulroney and the protection of Chretien:

“WHAT DO you say when the former prime minister of the country sues the government he used to lead for $50 million for defamation of character?

You say you hope the RCMP checked the rumors out very carefully before naming Brian Mulroney as a possible suspect in the Airbus story.

If they did check, they could be on to the scandal of the century.

If they didn’t, the national police force will have disgraced itself even more. RCMP bumbling on the night when Jean Chretien’s wife faced an armed intruder at 24 Sussex will be nothing compared to this potential foul-up.”

Also as earlier quoted, in my September 2013 blog post I mentioned that the media publicity for the Airbus Affair started amid the “media frenzies” of the break-in incident:

“In the weekend of November 11-12, amid the Canadian media frenzies on Chretien residence break-in, French and Swiss media reported that the Swiss justice system was investigating alleged Airbus bribes funnelled into Swiss bank accounts, that unnamed Canadian political leaders received large commissions; …”

The intriguing timings of these politics-related events have never been publicly acknowledged by the Canadian government, or by the police, as of any significance.

The night-time break-in by a jackknife-wielding intruder at the official Prime Minister’s Residence occurred in the early morning of November 5, 1995, just as Chretien was to depart later that day for the funeral of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who had been assassinated the day before on November 4:

“… On November 4 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, and Chretien had to go to Israel for the funeral and proceed to other overseas visits…

In the wee hours of November 5, a knife-wielding intruder, 34-year-old Andre Dallaire from Quebec, slipped inside the Prime Minister’s residence and came face to face with Mrs. Aline Chretien, who quickly retreated to their bedroom, locked the doors and called RCMP guards, who took 10 minutes to arrive and arrest the man holding an open jackknife outside the main bedroom door (“PM says wife kept assailant out of bedroom; Couple waited up to 10 minutes for police arrival”, by Mike Blanchfield, November 6, 1995, The Ottawa Citizen):

““I would like to say that my wife did not panic,” Chretien said before boarding a plane to Israel for the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin.

“I think that I’m lucky that she was there. And I’m grateful.”

He was not awakened until Aline slammed the door shut and locked it after coming face-to-face with a man wearing glasses and a moustache. She also locked a second bedroom door.

“She called police right away and I could not believe what she was telling me,” he said. The Mounties arrested the man, who was carrying an open jackknife, after responding to the bedroom phone call “within six or 10 minutes, I don’t know,” Chretien added.

Police charged Andre Dallaire, 34, of the Montreal suburb of Longueuil, with several offences, including break and enter and possession of a weapon. He was to appear in court this morning.

Police in Longueuil said Dallaire is a convenience store worker whose family says he has a history of psychiatric problems. His family reported him missing on Wednesday.

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As Chretien acknowledged in the above, he was lucky that his wife reacted quickly, locked their bedroom doors and called the RCMP guards, who came and arrested the intruder.

After Rabin’s funeral, Chretien told reporters about his harrowing experience of grabbing an Inuit carving as a defence weapon, in the end not having to fight and noticing, after the intruder’s arrest, that it was “a good-looking guy”:

“Meeting reporters on his way from Rabin’s funeral to a British Commonwealth summit in Auckland, New Zealand, Chretien told a tale of grabbing an Inuit carving as weapon just in case, and maintaining his sense of humor (“PM grabbed carving to use as weapon Intruder ‘was six feet from my bed,’ Chretien says”, by David Vienneau, November 8, 1995, Toronto Star):

““He was about six feet away from my bed,” Chretien said in shedding more light on the 3 a.m. incident.

“It was good, in a way, that he had a knife. It was a good thing he didn’t have a gun. I probably would not have survived to wake up.”

Chretien had grabbed a soapstone carving of a bird and he was ready to defend his wife and himself if necessary.

“He’d have had a headache,” Chretien said.

“He was a good-looking guy but he had a strange look in his eyes,” Chretien said, explaining that while in his housecoat he went to see the individual after he had been handcuffed and arrested.”

A good-looking guy looking for a headache.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As Chretien reflected in the above, had the intruder had a gun instead of a knife, Chretien himself “probably would not have survived” – just like Rabin the day before.

That was one more intriguing timing coincidence, that the prime minister and his wife suddenly faced a knife-wielding man in their home, without their police security present, just before taking a trip to attend the funeral of an assassinated prime minister of a foreign country.

But that timing, namely immediately following Rabin’s assassination, could be purely coincidental. The intruder’s subsequent media interview did not suggest any Israeli or international link, who instead talked about his unhappiness with the Quebec separatists’ recent loss in a Quebec sovereignty referendum on October 30 – as I reviewed in September 2013:

“Chretien asserted that Quebec separatist verbal attacks on him during the referendum campaign might be to blame for a “deranged” intruder (“I felt my life was in danger during break-in: PM”, by Rob Carrick, November 8, 1995, The Gazette):

“Chretien drew a troubling parallel between the emotions unleashed in the Quebec referendum and the fanaticism that led to the assassination of Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin.

He mused about how he was called a “traitor” during the referendum campaign, just as Rabin was called a traitor by extremists who opposed the Israeli leader’s peace attempts in the Middle East.

“In my case, too, some adjectives were used that might have excited deranged minds.”

Chretien was in Jerusalem on Monday for the funeral of Rabin, who was assassinated by a gunman on Saturday.”

The Quebec separatist dimension was confirmed by Andre Dallaire in a media interview, who was held at Royal Ottawa Hospital undergoing psychiatric assessment, charged with attempted murder (“Sovereigntist leaders too tame — Dallaire”, November 15, 1995, Edmonton Journal):

““I didn’t vote (in the Oct. 30 referendum) because I am an independantist,” Andre Dallaire told the Toronto Sun in a phone interview from the Royal Ottawa Hospital, where he is being held for psychiatric assessment until his next court date.

Dallaire said he felt that Premier Jacques Parizeau’s Parti Quebecois should have moved more strongly toward founding a separate country.

“I am much better than Parizeau,” he said. “I would like an independent state like France or Germany.”

He faces charges of attempted murder, breaking and entering, being unlawfully in a dwelling and possession of a weapon.

But said he would be “very surprised” when he offers his explanation of events.

“I’ll speak the truth in the courtroom,” he said. “I am a gentle man and I am a good man.”

Dallaire will plead not guilty to the charge of attempting to kill the prime minister, his lawyer said Monday.

John Hale argued Dallaire did not have the intent to kill, nor did he take steps toward committing murder.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As above, Dallaire’s lawyer argued that he did not have the “intent to kill”.

The Canadian police and justice system apparently agreed that Dallaire did not pose a serious threat to Chretien and his wife; even though he was then convicted of the serious charge of “attempted murder”, Dallaire was declared “not criminally responsible” due to “Paranoid Schizophrenia”, and soon was even allowed to live in the same neighborhood where Chretien’s family lived, i.e., to live not far from the prime minister’s residence he had broken into:

“Later in June 1996 Andre Dallaire was found guilty of attempted murder but declared not criminally responsible due to “Paranoid Schizophrenia”, and Chretien told the media he was satisfied with the outcome (“No jail time for intruder who wanted to kill Chretien”, by Leonard Stern, June 29, 1996, and, “Chretien satisfied with verdict on break-in”, June 30, 1996, Edmonton Journal).

By the spring of 1998 Dallaire had become a neighbor of the Chretiens, living in a house a few blocks away, and it was fine with RCMP (“Sussex Drive intruder now PM’s neighbor”, April 18, 1998, Star – Phoenix):

““We don’t see any more problems with Mr. Dallaire,” said Sgt. Andre Guertin, adding that Dallaire understands he cannot come within 500 metres of the prime minister.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

The second last quote above cited Dallaire as saying in November 1995 that he would offer his explanation of events and “speak the truth in the courtroom”. However, when I reviewed the press archives in 2009, I did not find further substantial information about Dallaire’s motives.

The last quote above reported that Dallaire was declared as suffering from “Paranoid Schizophrenia” during his trial in 1996. That could be a reason further press coverage of his thinking was limited.

My own personal experience in the 1990s in political activism, discussed earlier, demonstrated that the police and the justice system could use mental health as a means to suppress certain things from becoming public.

For Chretien, the timing coincidence with Rabin’s assassination must have made the break-in incident especially eerie, given a previous assassination timing coincidence he had experienced in March 1994, reviewed earlier, that just before his arrival in Mexico for his first official foreign visit the Mexican ruling party presidential candidate was assassinated and then Chretien was prevented by an angry mob from paying respect to the slain:

“Safety for the leader of the peaceful Canada was so easily breached just as he was going to pay tribute to the assassinated Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin – worse than Chretien’s 1994 visit to Mexico when the ruling party’s presidential candidate was assassinated, which I commented on in May 2009 …:

“… prime minister Chretien’s first official foreign visit – to Mexico instead of traditionally to the U.S. – in March 1994 was marred by the assassination by gunshot of Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio (of the Institutional Revolutionary Party that had ruled uninterruptedly for 65 years) just before Chretien’s arrival, by a large and angry mob shouting “out” while Chretien attempted but failed to pay respect to the body of the slain…”


(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

The following press story in March 1994 indicated that Chretien might have already arrived in Mexico when the assassination occurred on that same day of March 23, and a scheduled next-day meeting with Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari was then cancelled:

“Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party was shot twice Wednesday during a campaign appearance in the border city of Tijuana.

An official at the Tijuana General Hospital said Colosio had been successfully operated on for the abdominal wound and was undergoing surgery for the head wounds. The bullet entered his brain behind the left ear and exited.

Hospital officials described Colosio’s condition as ‘extremely delicate.’

President Carlos Salinas de Gortari called the shooting ‘a vile act,’ describing Colosio as a ‘good, noble man who was seeking to serve others and his country.’

Salinas canceled a planned meeting Thursday with Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who arrived in Mexico earlier Wednesday on a three-day official visit.”

(“Mexican presidential candidate shot during campaign”, March 23, 1994, United Press International)

I guess the Mexican government would have postponed Chretien’s official visit had he not already arrived in, or at least departed Canada for, Mexico.

The second-time coincidence in November 1995 was much scarier because this time Chretien was specifically targeted in his home, without his venturing into the atmosphere of an emotional crowd.

Also, the November 1995 break-in incident was at least the second time that Chretien was threatened with a deadly weapon, albeit not a gun, in Canada – after a May 1994 incident at the Winnipeg convention centre when Earl Kevin Jans, carrying a crossbow and arrows, wanted to see him as discussed earlier.

Even if these offenders were not deadly serious, I would think that there were reasons for them to make gestures of potentially deadly violence toward the prime minister of the country.

I have mentioned earlier that the break-in incident happened only two or three days after Mulroney had learned from Schreiber, on November 2, that he was under an RCMP criminal investigation.

There was a more specific timing relation between the two events. Several hours before the break-in at Chretien’s residence, Mulroney’s legal team had made its first move, with lawyer Roger Tasse phoning Justice Minister Allan Rock at home to discuss about the RCMP investigation, as I connected these two threads of events in a blog post on January 26, 2014:

“In the Airbus Affair, on November 4 only hours before the intrusion at Chretien’s residence, Brian Mulroney’s side made its first contact with the government regarding the criminal investigation, with Mulroney lawyer Roger Tasse phoning Justice Minister Allan Rock.

On behalf of Mulroney, Tasse called Justice Minister Allan Rock at home the night of November 4, Rock did not want to discuss the issue and early next morning Chretien’s residence was broken into – so conspicuous, ‘God forbid’.”

(“Team Canada female athletes disqualified from Commonwealth silver medal, jailed Chinese democracy activist awarded with Nobel peace prize, and others in between (Part 12) — when the elites follow the powers”, January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

It was, at least in the timing, “so conspicuous” as I said above; but no actual link between the two has been publicly known as far as I am aware.

As earlier quoted from my September 2013 blog post, referring to the first new conference by Mulroney’s lawyers, Harvey Yarosky, Gerald Tremblay and Roger Tasse, on November 18, 1995, that announced Mulroney’s $50 million lawsuit against the government, Tasse was “a former justice minister in Ottawa”:

“Another lawyer, Roger Tasse – a former deputy justice minister in Ottawa – said the Justice Department and RCMP even refused to listen to Mulroney’s side of the story when he offered to co-operate with them.”

In the above, Tasse probably referred to his phone call to Justice Minister Rock a few hours before Chretien’s residence was broken into, as when the Justice Department refused to listen to him.

Obviously, a former deputy justice minister would have been familiar with the the inner workings of the government, and would be a good person to make contact with the sitting justice minister in November 1995 on behalf of Mulroney.

But Tasse was not the typical former deputy justice minister: he had been the deputy justice minister under Jean Chretien, the justice minister in the government of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and had also been a partner of Chretien’s in private law practice.

As I reviewed in January 2014, a few days after a legal settlement was reached between Mulroney and the Chretien government in January 1997, the above key facts about his lawyer Roger Tasse were proudly discussed by Mulroney’s side in a press story:

“A few days after the legal settlement, an “insider” story from former Mulroney aide L. Ian MacDonald detailed Mulroney’s friendship with Tremblay and revealed “significant” reasons why Yarosky and Tasse had also been hired (“Mulroney’s fight for honor: ‘This is about my place in history,’ former PM tells law partner”, by L. Ian MacDonald, January 11, 1997, The Gazette):

“At a table by the bar of Le Mas des Oliviers, a legendary Montreal hangout of lawyers and pols, Brian Mulroney was finishing a long lunch on Thursday afternoon in the company of Gerald Tremblay, lead counsel in his libel action against the federal government.

“We’ve had a lot of meals together in the last 14 months,” Mulroney said, “and lots of them have had funny moments, and their share of laughter, but none of them have been joyous. This is joyous.”

The former prime minister took a sip of tea, and leaned back in his chair. “Life is good again,” he said. “Life is good.”

Tremblay is chairman of McCarthy Tetrault in Quebec, and its rainmaker. …

… Mulroney was the leader of his own Dream Team, composed of Tremblay and his colleague Jacques Jeansonne, noted Montreal civil-rights attorney Harvey Yarosky and, significantly in Ottawa, former deputy justice minister Roger Tasse, later a partner in the private practice of Jean Chretien, who had been his minister at the justice department.”

Aha, in November 1995 when faced with a criminal investigation, Brian Mulroney suddenly saw the need for “civil rights” and Yarosky was hired; and Tasse was hired because he had been not only Chretien’s deputy minister at the Justice Department but also Chretien’s law partner in private practice!

Mr. Mulroney certainly knew the value of the inside track in his “Dream Team”. But did the Canadian public really think in November 1995 that Mulroney could lose his legal battle against the government with a close associate of Prime Minister Chretien on his side?

Most of the public likely weren’t aware of that fact. In the major press archives from the Airbus Affair period before the legal settlement I can find only one mention of a law partner of Tasse’s, and it wasn’t Chretien…

So the public was only told that Mulroney lawyer Roger Tasse had been deputy justice minister, a lead civil servant position, under Chretien but was otherwise a law partner of Mulroney-era solicitor general – minister overseeing RCMP – James Kelleher.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As I remarked above, through the duration of Mulroney’s lawsuit against the government and Tasse acting as a lawyer for him, the Canadian media did not mention the special relationship Tasse had previously had with Prime Minister Chretien in private law practice.

There were a few caveats about the private law practice of Chretien and Tasse in Ottawa during the first half of the Mulroney era when John Turner was the Liberal leader, as I reviewed and quoted from the press archives:

“Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau stepped down in 1984, handing the reign to John Turner, who was soon defeated in a September election by new Tory leader Brian Mulroney. Despite announcing retirement from active politics in 1986, Jean Chretien was regarded as the most popular politician in Canada…

… Prior to political retirement he had returned to law practice, lured Roger Tasse away from the government to his Toronto-based law firm Lang, Michener, Cranston, Farquharson and Wright, and had Tasse and his own political organizer Eddie Goldenberg open a branch in Ottawa for him – not to leave all the spotlights to Mulroney’s circle…

By 1988, before the November election, some of the Tory lawyers in Ottawa were feeling pessimistic, but the law office of Chretien, Tasse and Goldenberg were doing extremely well, as Stevie Cameron noted (“PEOPLE WATCH Ottawa’s Tory pastures not lush enough for some big law firms”, by Stevie Cameron, March 17, 1988, The Globe and Mail):

“It will be a sad day tomorrow for Weir and Foulds. After nearly four years of trying to make a go of it, the big Toronto-based law firm is closing its Ottawa office.

Weir and Foulds is one of a dozen law firms with excellent Conservative connections that opened Ottawa offices after the Mulroney Government came to office in September, 1984. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s close friend, Toronto lawyer Sam Wakim, joined Weir and Foulds with a handsome dowry: an estimated $200,000 worth of annual business from the Export Development Corp. Frisky with its good fortune, Weir and Foulds hired two lawyers from Gowling and Henderson, the Ottawa firm that had handled the EDC business, and set up shop in Ottawa.

The EDC business was not enough, however, and the firm did not grow the way it had hoped. It was not alone; Toronto firms Goodman and Carr and Lyons Arbus and Goodman (which had hired Maureen McTeer, the wife of External Affairs Minister Joe Clark) closed their Ottawa offices; so did Calgary’s Burnet Duckworth and Palmer. The Calgary firm also has a Clark connection; Mr. Clark’s brother Peter is a senior partner.

… To get an idea how lucrative Government work can be, just look at the money the Government spends helping native groups with their legal bills. In British Columbia, the Gitksan and Wet’suwet’en bands have launched a land claims test case in the B.C. Supreme Court and the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has allocated $4.7-million over three years to help them pay for legal work and research. These bands are using B.C. lawyers, but many other bands have hired lawyers based in Ottawa. The best known is former Liberal justice minister Jean Chretien, a partner at Lang Michener Lash Johnston.

In fact, a mention of Mr. Chretien irks many of the ambitious newcomers to Ottawa because his firm is doing so well. Lang Michener’s Ottawa office opened in 1985 with three partners and has mushroomed to 25 with a broad base of tax, banking and regulatory work. Envious Tories generally consider Lang Michener a Liberal firm because of the presence of Mr. Chretien and his former executive assistant Edward Goldenberg, but they brought in Roger Tasse, former deputy minister of justice, who has never stated his political affiliations, and managing partner Kent Plumley is a well-known local Tory.”

As a matter of fact, the Ottawa law office led by Chretien and Tasse did so well that it was dubbed a “Liberal government-in-waiting” in July 1988, with at least 10 of their lawyers recruited from the big law firm Gowling Henderson – even when their own firm Lang Michener Lash Johnson’s Toronto head office was engulfed in a scandal of fraudulent immigration schemes for Hong Kong clients…


(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As one can see in the above, in 1986 the Liberal Jean Chretien, temporarily retired from politics, was the most popular politician in Canada; and yet his law practice with his former government deputy Roger Tasse employed a well-known Tory, Kent Plumley, as their managing partner, and was so successful in the Mulroney era’s national capital when even some Tory-inclined law firms – in particular some with close links to Mulroney government minister, former Prime Minister Joe Clark – weren’t, that it raised eyebrows in Ottawa and drew the scrutinizing attention of anti-corruption journalist Stevie Cameron.

In 1987 Tasse also became a legal adviser of Prime Minister Mulroney’s on constitutional law issues – that in a sense set the stage for his later serving as Mulroney’s private lawyer in the Airbus Affair lawsuit – as I reviewed in 2014:

“The opening section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states, concerning the limits of rights and freedoms:

1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

The phrase “as can be demonstrably justified” was said to be the “brainchild” of deputy justice minister Roger Tasse, one of the 1982 Constitution’s architects working under Justice Minister Jean Chretien in the Pierre Trudeau government…

Since 1987 Roger Tasse had also become a legal adviser for Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who was keen at citing the talent and record of someone so distinguished in constitutional law to help him pass the 1987 Meech Lake constitutional accord mentioned in Part 7 (“The Lost Clause: PMO tries to shift blame”, by Paul Gessell, June 10, 1990, The Ottawa Citizen):

“Tasse wrote much of the 1982 Constitution when Pierre Trudeau was prime minister and Jean Chretien the justice minister.

Tasse later became Chretien’s law partner.

But that did not stop Mulroney from turning to him in his hour of need.

“Roger Tasse’s views satisfied prime minister Trudeau in 1982,” Mulroney told a Conservative caucus meeting May 4 in Mont-Tremblant, Que.

“His assurances satisfied Prime Minister Mulroney in 1987 and I hope they will assist in satisfying any doubts some premiers may still have in 1990.””

Mulroney showed his political smart using Roger Tasse’s constitutional-law statue to pressure the provincial premiers and his own Tory caucus to go along with his constitutional accord.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

But the cosiness with the Tories in the private law practice of Chretien and Tasse wasn’t even the most delicate caveat in the complicated links between Chretien and Mulroney. That, as I summarized in January 2014, was in the family and business coalesced around Canadian billionaire Paul Demarais and his Power Corporation:

“But it was an even closer “private family affair”when it came to Mulroney, Tasse, Chretien and his Desmarais in-laws. In May 1995 amid the Power DirectTV controversy, the media aired some of it, including that Mulroney was a legal counsel for the Desmarais family’s Power Corp., and that when Chretien was justice minister his future son-in-law worked for him (“Desmarais never far from PM’s office”, by Paul Gessell, May 2, 1995, The Ottawa Citizen):

“One of the few constants in Canadian politics is that regardless of who is prime minister, Paul Desmarais is never far away.

These connections include the marriage of Desmarais’ son and right-hand man, Andre, to Chretien’s daughter France. Andre, when still courting France, even worked as press secretary in the early 1980s to then justice minister Jean Chretien.

Ian MacDonald, a Mulroney friend and biographer, described Desmarais as “Mulroney’s mentor in the business world.” Desmarais’ biographer, Dave Greber, calls Mulroney “an old Desmarais protege.”

Mulroney, now in political retirement, is a hired gun, lobbyist, legal counsel and trophy director for several big corporations, including Power Corp.”

Deputy justice minister Roger Tasse was there, in Andre Desmarais’s courtship of France Chretien by working as press secretary for Justice Minister Jean Chretien.

So “the fix” was even more in, more of a “private family affair”: in November 1995 Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s in-law Paul Desmarais’s old friend and protege, Desmarais family company legal counsel, namely former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, was being investigated by RCMP for possible corruption; and Roger Tasse, an old Justice Department friend of both Chretien and his son-in-law Andre Desmarais, and old mentor and partner of Chretien in law, was made available as a lawyer for Mulroney to deal with RCMP and the Chretien government.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

Additionally, the patronage and influence of Demarais and his Power Corp. in the political world went beyond Mulroney and Chretien:

“With Mulroney unhesitant to throw mud or worse at anyone, the omnipresence of Paul Desmarais’s political patronages would be good enough for most politicians to keep mum (“Desmarais never far from PM’s office”, by Paul Gessell, May 2, 1995, The Ottawa Citizen):


Back in 1981, Jim Coutts was Pierre Trudeau’s principal secretary and chief confidant. Coutts made headlines in April that year by accompanying Desmarais on a Power Corp. jet to Washington for a “social” weekend.

The socializing included a round of golf, a theatrical performance at the Kennedy Centre, guest bedrooms at the home of Canada’s ambassador to the United States, Peter Towe, and an embassy dinner party with a guest list including George Bush, vice-president at the time, and several other Washington high rollers.

Desmarais pays attention to leadership campaigns. One of his top executives, John Rae, played a key role in both of Chretien’s campaigns to become Liberal leader. John Rae, by the way, is the brother of Ontario’s New Democratic Party premier, Bob Rae.

When Chretien retires and a leadership convention is held to replace him, chances are Desmarais will be on hand. Finance Minister Paul Martin could quite possibly be Chretien’s successor. And who taught Martin how to succeed in business? None other than his former employer, Paul Desmarais.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As cited above, the Chretien government’s finance minister Paul Martin in 1995, touted as a possible Chretien successor, had been employed by Desmarais.  As discussed earlier Martin, later a leadership rival, in 2003 would indeed succeed Chretien as Liberal leader and prime minister.

As I reviewed in January 2014, these were pertinent matters back in November 1995 when a key lawyer for one side, handling a legal dispute for former Prime Minister Mulroney against Prime Minister Chretien’s government, was also a close personal confidante of the other side.

Unfortunately, these important relevant facts were not mentioned by the media or by the politicians during the period of Mulroney’s libel lawsuit proceedings against the Chretien government but were in essence avoided, as I noted and lamented:

“… in June 1995 – I note that Paul Palango had published an article on June 1 denouncing the inaction of the Chretien government and the RCMP on the Airbus commissions issue – Tasse was recruited to the law firm Gowling, Strathy and Henderson, as quoted earlier a big law firm Tasse and Chretien had “pirated” 10 lawyers from to their “Liberal government-in-waiting” …

As reviewed and discussed, the Canadian media knew of Roger Tasse’s history inside and out but kept silent during the Airbus Affair, identifying him only as a former deputy justice minister under Chretien, and otherwise a law partner of former Mulroney government solicitor general James Kelleher – not noting that it was barely 6 months at Gowling, Strathy and Henderson …

I can imagine the media countering my criticisms about its selective reporting along official lines, by pointing out that the media’s first role was to report what others said, that most of the political and legal elites knew of Tasse’s backgrounds and yet they, especially the opposition parties in Parliament, did not sound any alarm in November 1995.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As described in the above in 2014, my review of the press archives shows that, specifically, during the time of Mulroney’s libel lawsuit the media reported his lawyer Roger Tasse’s as a former deputy justice minister under Chretien in the Trudeau government and a law partner of former Mulroney government solicitor general James Kelleher, government minister overseeing the RCMP – even though Tasse had only worked at Kelleher’s law firm for about 6 months since June 1995, but had previously been a close law partner of Chretien’s for several years.

In other words, the Canadian media may have knowingly turned a blind eye to a probable conflict-of-interest situation in the Chretien government’s handling of the lawsuit by Mulroney over the RCMP criminal investigation of him.

To present a fuller picture by taking into account pertinent and important facts that were not given necessary attention in the Airbus Affair, is the reason why in my current review of my first year of blogging in 2009 I have gone beyond the scope of my decade-ago article on Canadian politics, and have been discussing, quite extensively, some of my reviews and analyses in my later blog posts in 2013 and 2014.

In particular, these pertinent and important facts provide strong evidence for why after many years of a criminal investigation the RCMP found no sufficient evidence against former Prime Minister Mulroney and why, as I asserted in my blog post on April 29, 2009, quoted earlier, that still did not substantiate Mr. Mulroney’s innocence because “neither the RCMP nor the Liberal government of Jean Chretien … really went after Mr. Mulroney”:

“… Yet, as have been previously shown, neither the RCMP nor the Liberal government of Jean Chretien during its 10-year tenure from 1993 to 2003 really went after Mr. Mulroney: in public they were merely reacting to, and maintaining a continuing interest in, issues in the Airbus Affair as brought forward by members of a left-leaning Canadian media – particularly by Stevie Cameron and the CBC’s The Fifth Estate – and supported by those in the federal government system opposed to Mr. Mulroney’s rightwing agendas.”

The above was one of the core themes of my 2009 article on Canadian politics.

Now, what I reviewed and presented in 2013-2014, namely the delicate and complicated links between Chretien and Mulroney, by way of mutual and close relationships the two had to some influential and powerful Canadians, and the fact that Mulroney masterfully utilized some of these key links for his libel lawsuit in 1995-1997 against the Chretien government, provides additional strong evidence that, and an explanation why, under Mr. Chretien the Canadian government was unlikely to rigorously pursue Mr. Mulroney’s misdeeds, if any, because the outcome could embarrass the politically active Prime Minister Chretien as much as the already retired Mr. Mulroney.

As I also showed in 2013-2014, during Mulroney’s lawsuit from November 1995 to January 1997 the media, and even the opposition politicians, knowingly and carefully kept silent about these links.

In my above-quoted comment in 2009, I criticized the RCMP in the same breath as I did the Chretien government, about their not pursuing Mr. Mulroney’s possible wrongdoing vigorously. My study posted in 2013-2014 also provided additional strong evidence in this regard.

The RCMP being the federal police agency, its criminal investigation was supposed to be conducted independently of the government leadership. What I uncovered and presented in 2013 and 2014 were not so much about the investigation of Mr. Mulroney per se, but more generally biases on the part of the RCMP – in favoring Prime Minister Mulroney when Mulroney was in power, and then in acting as a thorn in the side of Prime Minister Chretien when the criminal investigation of Mulroney became more serious.

In particular, media reports following the Andre Dallaire break-in incident clearly pointed to the RCMP’s negligence, very likely wilful, that allowed the incident to happen as it did in early November 1995, here I elaborate on what I reviewed in 2013-2014.

Above all, security at the Prime Minister’s residence was extremely lax. Most of the several RCMP officers stationed on the ground, outside the house, had not received training for VIP protection; and they treated warning signals of intrusion as anomalies, as a result allowing the intruder plenty of time to try and finally break into the house undetected, as I reviewed in my September 2013 post:

“According to RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell, the intruder was on the house ground for possibly 45 minutes total; Assistant Commissioner Wayne Martel in charge of VIP security would now conduct an internal inquiry…

According to Dianne Rinehart’s news report quoted earlier, RCMP guards at Chretien’s residence were not those protecting his travel security, but regular cops:


RCMP officers who guard 24 Sussex Drive are members of a detachment assigned to protect the residences of the prime minister and governor general.

They do not receive intensive training given to the RCMP’s protective service, whose members accompany Chretien when he travels, Inspector Jean St-Cyr said.”

In fact, Andre Dallaire tripped an alarm but it was ignored by RCMP guards, who thought it was an animal. With a rock he failed to break the front door, succeeding later at a west-side door, and he even waved at the surveillance cameras, surprised by the lack of police response…


(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

Then during the incident when Mrs. Aline Chretien, after locking the bedroom doors, phoned the RCMP guards in urgency about an armed intruder in the house, the guards merely surrounded the house, not rushing in as required:

“It was immediately disclosed that RCMP officers did not follow the standard procedure to rush into the house, but surrounded it outside for 6-7 minutes…”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

It turned out that the RCMP guards had never been inside the house, and they were waiting for their unit commander, stationed at another guard post at the Governor General’s residence, to come over and enter the house alone to confront the intruder, as I reviewed in my January 2014 post:

“… the house ground was guarded by several RCMP Special Constables and Constables, the lowest-ranked members in the force and they, along with guards at the Governor General’s residence and at the Prime Minister’s summer residence outside Ottawa, were together led by a Corporal, at just one rank above, posted at the GG’s residence. Most of the officers guarding the Chretien residence had no training in VIP protection, and none had been inside the house.

When Mrs. Chretien phoned them about an intruder the onsite guards simply surrounded the house and called for help, until the corporal arrived and entered by himself to make an arrest. Fortunately, the 34-year-old intruder Andre Dallaire, a convenience store worker from Longueuil, a suburb of Montreal, Quebec, did not try to break into the bedroom or fight the police.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

If, say, the frontline officers guarding Chretien’s residence did their duty in a ragtag manner, then the senior supervising officers acted like off-duty, or worse, in managing the crisis, and their prior records in policing had been awful.

Firstly, as I noted in my September 2013 post, the senior RCMP officer in charge of VIP protection, Chief Superintendent Al Rivard, had a poor recent prior record of responding to crisis at that job:

“Well, while Capital Ottawa residents were no doubt stunned by what happened so close to the Chretiens, I wonder how many were aware that the security of all top government officials and diplomats had been C/Supt. Al Rivard’s responsibility, and a few months earlier when a homemade bomb had made it into a government office tower, Rivard admitted he was in the dark (“1,800 civil servants flee bomb”, May 25, 1995, Toronto Star):

“Questions about security in federal buildings were raised yesterday after a homemade bomb was smuggled into a Department of Indian Affairs office Tuesday.

Nearly 1,800 bureaucrats were forced to flee their desks around 4 p.m. after a man carried the bomb to the ninth floor of the 28-storey tower.

Police later arrested a man from Kuujjuaq, Que., and charged him with illegal possession and use of explosives and mischief.

Pierre Claude Dufresne, 41, entered no plea in a Hull courtroom yesterday and was remanded in custody.

Sergeant Yves Martel of Hull police said federal security is generally the responsibility of the RCMP and security branches of individual departments.

Several RCMP officers – including a senior officer in charge of protecting the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and diplomats – were surprised to learn of the attack.

“If I’m not informed, I can’t comment on that,” said Chief Superintendent Al Rivard, commander of the protective operations branch of the RCMP.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As told above, federal security was the RCMP’s responsibility and yet when a homemade bomb was smuggled into a Department of Indian Affairs office on May 24, 1995, it was the Hull municipal police that handled the incident while Rivard admitted he was “not informed”.

Secondly, learning of C/Supt. Rivard’s gravely dismal prior record working in the province of New Brunswick would make it hard for anyone to believe that he could even have been put in charge of VIP protection.

With a force of over one hundred police officers led by then Superintendent Rivard, it took seven months to hunt down an escaped killer, Allan Legere, in 1989, with Legere hiding in the area of the police search and murdering four more people, and later even writing to the media to taunt Rivard and the RCMP:

“Why Al Rivard had been given that job looks like a mystery given a grave failure in his past record that people in the province of New Brunswick probably all knew. In New Brunswick in 1989, then Superintendent Rivard leading over 100 officers took 7 months to capture escaped killer Allan Legere who was hiding near them in the woods of the Miramichi region, and Legere killed 4 more people during that time and later taunted Rivard in a letter to the media (“Legere says he was never far from police while on the run”, December 10, 1989, Toronto Star):

“Convicted killer Allan Legere – a suspect in four brutal murders – boasts he was never farther than a shout away from police during his seven months as a fugitive.

“All it would take is one good sweep of the forest,” Legere claims in an eight-page handwritten letter sent from his prison cell in Renous, N.B.

Legere, who escaped from a Moncton, N.B., hospital in May, was recaptured two weeks ago after one of the biggest manhunts in Canadian history. …

In the seven months that followed Legere’s escape, fear and terror grew along the Miramichi River and many residents took to sleeping with firearms at their bedside.

A native of the area, Legere quickly became a prime suspect in four murders that occurred while he was at large. An elderly storeowner, two sisters and a priest were viciously beaten.

In his letter, Legere shows just how closely he followed the news by refuting claims about him and mocking police comments.

“I’ve noticed that RCMP Rivard calls me chicken, etc.,” Legere wrote, referring to comments by Superintendent Al Rivard. “But do tell me, if I am so chicken and dumb, why couldn’t over 100 of Canada’s finest, with dogs, and SWAT teams find little ol’ moi? Hmmmm? . . . They are not the Sergeant Prestons of bygone years.””

Chief Superintendent Al Rivard had been a glaring hole in security, a human-safety disaster waiting to happen. Luckily in Canada’s capital in November 1995, it got to the very top without bloodshed – unlike what happened to Yitzhak Rabin in Israel.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

It had been “a human-safety disaster waiting to happen”, as I gasped above, wondering why Rivard was later entrusted with protecting Canadian government leaders and foreign diplomats.

Thirdly, as I noted, immediately following the break-in at Chretien’s residence, Chief Superintendent Rivard, a subordinate officer Inspector Jean Dube and a superior officer, RCMP “A” Division commanding officer Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell, all failed to act in an acceptable manner, with none attending the incident site or making immediate remedy to increase security for Prime Minister Chretien and his wife:

“Security holes also existed in the systemic ‘acting up’ manner of the RCMP senior officers, not just Al Rivard, shown the night of the Dallaire intrusion (“Break-in probe reaches RCMP brass; One senior officer already suspended, sources say”, by Tim Harper, November 17, 1995, Toronto Star):

“The sources told The Star that one member of a senior management quartet, Inspector Jean Dube, has already been suspended.

But the sources say the probe could be extended to include Chief Superintendent Al Rivard; McConnell, the commanding officer of the RCMP’s A Division; and an unnamed superintendent in charge of Chretien’s bodyguards.

All must bear some responsibility for the snafu that night, the source said, for not taking charge at 24 Sussex but instead going to RCMP headquarters.

Dube is the easiest target because he is the lowest-ranking among the four senior officers.

McConnell, as the ranking officer, should have told his subordinate Rivard to get to Sussex Dr. as quickly as possible the night of the break-in, sources say.

Instead, he called to the site and reported Dube was on his way.

But Dube was at least two hours away – even though he was supposed to be within easy response time of 24 Sussex Dr.

Rivard received a call at 3:30 a.m. after the suspect was arrested. He was expected to be at 24 Sussex and call bodyguards to the site to have the Chretiens escorted from the home, sources said.

He stayed at headquarters instead.

“Security had been breached,” a source said. “It’s basic. You don’t leave VIPs on unsecured premises.

“Who knew if there were other people on the grounds? Who knew if a bomb had been planted? That’s one of the first things they teach you at VIP protection.”


Rivard’s spotty record in New Brunswick could be a reason McConnell didn’t call him but the more junior Jean Dube, when told of the intrusion. Dube was 2 hours away while on call, and Rivard when notified afterwards went to the headquarters instead, and so the Chretiens’ security wasn’t immediately beefed up.

But why didn’t McConnell attend the scene himself then?

He went to the RCMP headquarters “to oversee damage control”. …”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

In addition to Rivard, Dube and McConnell, the above-quoted news story mentioned “an unnamed superintendent in charge of Chretien’s bodyguards”, as failing in their duty that night.

That superintendent was probably Claude Sweeney, who was in the process of retiring, “taking a government buyout”, according to another news story:

“RCMP management took actions to suspend 4 officers onsite that night, and reassigned 3 of their supervisors, as A/Comm. Bryan McConnell announced…

But the media learned 2 of the 4 onsite officers were of the lowest rank, “special constables”, and the reassigned supervisors were already on their way out in pre-planned downsizing (“Mounties’ transfer not tied to break-in; Downsizing explains move at 24 Sussex”, by Leonard Stern, November 16, 1995, The Ottawa Citizen):

“Two of the four Mounties on duty that night were special constables, the lowest rank in the force and the one with the least training.

But the three officers — Supt. Claude Sweeney, Insp. Jean Dube and Staff Sgt. Frank Trottier — knew before the break-in that their positions were being eliminated.

Several sources say that, earlier this year, McConnell was involved with a report recommending that Sweeney’s position be downgraded to inspector, and that those of Dube and Trottier be eliminated.

Sweeney is taking a government buyout. Dube is the operations officer in the executive and diplomatic protection section. Trottier is in charge of the detachment that includes the prime minister’s and governor general’s residences. Dube and Trottier said questions should be directed to McConnell.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As quoted above, the immediate supervisor of the RCMP guards was Staff Sgt. Frank Trottier, the detachment commander.

Finally, whoever the senior officers on 24-hour call the early morning of November 5, they did not answer their cellphones and, as a result, the lowly-ranked and inexperienced guards improvised the way they did dealing with the intrusion:

“Meeting reporters on his way from Rabin’s funeral to a British Commonwealth summit in Auckland, New Zealand, Chretien told a tale of grabbing an Inuit carving as weapon just in case, and maintaining his sense of humor…

Art’s role in this was not only a sculpture as weapon but one RCMP guard being from the famous Musical Ride (“PM’s RCMP guard called unqualified; One officer culled from Musical Ride, none had special training, Reform says”, November 9, 1995, The Globe and Mail):

“Now Reform Party House Leader Deborah Gray has offered a possible explanation for the grave security lapse. Based on a tip that apparently came from inside the force, Ms. Gray said yesterday the three officers on duty on Saturday night were inexperienced, had no special training in security work and one of them “was culled from The Musical Ride.”

Possibly he was waiting for his horse to circle the house before riding to the rescue, she said. Possibly he was waiting for orders from one of the three senior officers who were supposed to be on 24-hour call that night, but according to Ms. Gray, did not answer their cellular telephones.


(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

The appalling performance, or behavior if one can put it that way, by both the frontline and supervising RCMP officers responding to the break-in at Prime Minister Chretien’s residence in November 1995 was especially concerning in light of the revelations afterwards that woeful inadequacy of security for that official residence had been a problem known to, and proposed improvements refused by, the RCMP or the Prime Minister’s Office since 1989:

“Canadian Police Association president Neal Jessop sent a letter to Solicitor General Herb Gray, listing a litany of security problems at the prime minister’s residence and requesting an independent review (“Review of break-in at PM’s home demanded; Full story of incident needed, police association says in letter to Solicitor-General”, November 16, 1995, The Globe and Mail):

“People are not being told the full story of what led to the security breach, Canadian Police Association president Neal Jessop says in a letter to Solicitor-General Herb Gray.

The association says it has heard that:

  • TV monitors for the security camera system may have been low-quality, providing a picture so poor the officers could not tell the difference between a Mountie and an intruder;
  • Officers responsible for security had never been allowed in the house before that night and were therefore unfamiliar with the layout;
  • On-site security staff had submitted four reports since 1989 that recommended upgrading security at the residence, but all were ignored or refused by RCMP management or the Prime Minister’s Office.


(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As above, at least four reports recommending security upgrades had been submitted by on-site security staff since 1989, to no avail.

Before the November 1995 break-in, there had been the assassination of Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio in March 1994 as Chretien arrived for an official visit and the Mexican crowd’s hostility toward the visiting Chretien who tried to pay tribute, an incident that caused the concern of solicitor general Herb gray, and then the incident of a man with a crossbow and arrows looking for Chretien in May 1994, both incidents, reviewed earlier, were raised by the media in November 1995 in light of the break-in and quoted in my September 2013 blog post.

Then in July 1995, a man actually entered the ground of the Prime Minister’s residence before he was discovered by the RCMP:

“At the Prime Minister’s residence the security hole was in the back of the house ground, a fact the RCMP knew since escaped killer Allan Legere’s era: Andre Dallaire likely entered the ground from there, a scenario alerted to in a 1989 RCMP report and in 1995 after a July 28 incident when a man “wandered onto” the ground from the back …”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

Here are more details from a December 1995 news story that I cited in September 2013 about that prior breach of security on July 28, 1995, exposing the area behind the house as a security blind spot:

“An RCMP officer warned a supervisor about a security gap at 24 Sussex Drive months before a knife-wielding intruder broke into the prime minister’s house.

The Canadian Press has also learned that a 1989 RCMP report recommended sweeping improvements to security at 24 Sussex. But it appears only some of the changes were made.

“The level of security at the back of the residence is very low,” says a classified report.

“The likelihood of someone trespassing on the property from the rear is high. The consequences of this could range from insignificant to extremely serious, depending upon the intentions of the intruder(s).”

A man broke into 24 Sussex early on Nov. 5.

Other documents show that a few months earlier, on July 28, a Mountie apprehended a man who wandered onto the grounds from behind the house. No charges were laid.

But one constable involved said in a three-page report to a superior, S.Sgt. Frank Trottier, that “this incident has identified a blind area” in the RCMP’s closed-circuit TV — or CCTV — surveillance.

“This area has no CCTV coverage,” says the constable’s report. “A camera in this area would probably assist in coverage.”

Copies may also have gone to other RCMP officials.

Sgt. Andre Guertin, an RCMP official, said Tuesday the July incident was included in an overall review of security conducted after last month’s break-in.

But as recently as this month, RCMP supervisors were unsure whether the constable’s warning had been followed up.

An urgent Dec. 8 memo from Supt. Carl Gallant to an RCMP inspector says: “Please pursue the paper trail on this matter with a view to presenting me with a report as to whether or not the appropriate follow-up was conducted by all members involved.”

An RCMP briefing note to the solicitor general, dated the same day, says the force “is reviewing this matter to determine what action was taken as a result of this intervention by the constable.”

The 22-page 1989 report said the ground-level doors and windows of the residence did not offer much security.”

(“Report cited security flaws before Chretien break-in: The area behind 24 Sussex Drive lacked closed-circuit TV cameras, creating a blind spot, an unnamed officer reported”, by Jim Bronskill, December 20, 1995, The Vancouver Sun)

As told above, on December 8 over a month after the break-in, Superintendent Carl Gallant suddenly sent an “urgent” memo to find out if the security blind spot exposed back in July had been properly dealt with.

With several incidents threatening Chretien or raising concern about inadequate security for him in only about two years since he had become the prime minister, the RCMP management’s apparent apathy, as described above, was troubling; and when a break-in was actually carried out by a knife-wielding man, the RCMP guards and management, as reviewed, did not seem to respond with a sense of emergency and seriousness that the lives of the prime minister and his wife might be in danger. They were clearly negligent.

As I have said earlier, my review in 2013-2014 showed that the RCMP negligence in this case was “very likely wilful”.

No doubt the fact that an officer with a gravely dismal prior record like Chief Superintendent Al Rivard’s was even put in charge of VIP protection influenced my thinking; but the conclusion of ‘wilfulness’ came foremost from my review of the conduct and prior record of Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell – as quoted earlier the highest ranked of the senior officers criticised in the media for their mishandling of the break-in incident.

A/Commissioner McConnell’s response to media questioning in that afternoon after the break-in showed that, as the commanding officer of the RCMP “A” Division responsible for the security of the Capital Ottawa region, he exemplified the belief, or attitude, that there was no real violence toward Chretien and his family:

“On the day after the intrusion, A/Comm. McConnell seemed very matter-of-fact in explaining the RCMP response (“RCMP admit delay in response; Officers secured house before heading for Chretiens’ room”, by Shawn McCarthy, November 7, 1995, Toronto Star):

“Responding to a reporter’s suggestion that the Chretiens could have been murdered, McConnell seemed to downplay the danger.

“The individual was in the house; there’s no question about that. The individual was armed, the individual did not attempt to get into the private quarters,” he said.”

Rational calculations of a veteran cop deciding whether to pull the trigger, whoever it was to protect, or it seemed.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

See, if one followed McConnell’s logic, then back in May 1994 when a man with a crossbow and arrows looked for Chretien at a convention center, the RCMP probably assessed that had he meant real harm he would have gone to an outdoor event where the prime minister met people outside; then in July 1995 when a man wandered onto the ground of the prime minister’s residence, the RCMP probably assessed that had he meant harm he would have carried a weapon; and now, a man wielding a knife broke open a door, got inside the house and came face-to-face with Mrs. Chretien, McConnell said “the individual did not attempt to get into the private quarters” – but that was because Mrs. Chretien ran back into the bedroom and locked its doors.

Had Andre Dallaire broken a bedroom door and entered as well, what would Bryan McConnell’s reasoning be then, that the individual did not actually stab Mr. or Mrs. Chretien? Arguing to the last moment about a doomsday scenario not really happening could be too late for anybody’s protection.

As it had turned out in the early days of my political activism, after my faxing documents to local MP Kim Campbell and RCMP officers taking me to a psychiatric committal at UBC hospital on November 30, 1992, my press releases and a cover note to Campbell found their way to Solicitor General Doug Lewis, and in January 1993 an RCMP British Columbia “E” Division’s reply to me acknowledged receiving a complaint by me, at the internal directive of Assistant Commissioner J. W. B. McConnell, RCMP director of enforcement services.

A/Commissioner J. W. B. McConnell defined my documents as a complaint about RCMP’s role in arresting me in a prior academic dispute at UBC, and thus, from my perspective, excluded the issues about Prime Minister Mulroney that I raised in my press releases and in the note to Ms. Campbell. Later in my blogging I discussed this issue in a post on March 25, 2012, and then in the January 2014 post extensively cited earlier, of the same multipart article.

Here are some of what I recalled in March 2012:

“I had never sent any complaint to the Solicitor General who supervised the RCMP, about the July 2 arrest or anything else.

The only things I had sent to the Canadian political high level had all been sent to local Member of Parliament Kim Campbell.

First was the fax on November 30, where the cover note was about my accusations on Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s conduct in the Charlottetown constitutional process and on forthcoming retaliatory political persecution against me…

Then while in psychiatric committal I sent another letter to Kim Campbell complaining also about the RCMP-led psychiatric committal as political persecution, which may have also addressed her as Justice Minister, but this second letter is not among RCMP’s or any organization’s disclosures I have been given so far.

It was quite possible that Campbell forwarded my documents to Solicitor General as a complaint from me, but given that the only RCMP-disclosure copy, received at Campbell’s office, was likely RCMP-processed on November 30, 1992, the person who provided them to Solicitor General could have been inside RCMP.

But as A/Comm. McConnell’s letter specified clearly, my complaint was defined only as about my July 2 arrest, even though the attached documents criticized UBC Computer Science Head Maria Klawe much more than RCMP, and most importantly the overwhelming amount of contents were criticisms about Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s leadership conduct, including about upcoming political persecution against me.”

(“Team Canada female athletes disqualified from Commonwealth silver medal, jailed Chinese democracy activist awarded with Nobel peace prize, and others in between (Part 6) — when law and justice reinforce the authorities”, March 25, 2012, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

So in my later review in January 2014, I set out to determine that the Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell handling the Chretien residence break-in incident was most likely the same as J. W. B. McConnell – an RCMP leader with a bias in favor of Brian Mulroney.

Firstly, the RCMP director of enforcement services had also been reported in the press as Bryan McConnell:

“In press archives there is an October 2, 1991 reference to the RCMP director of enforcement services as Bryan McConnell, about tackling a serial rapist case…

So J. W. B. McConnell was also named Bryan McConnell.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

Secondly, the RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell who was commanding officer of the “A” Division in November 1995 responsible for security of the Capital Ottawa region, by February 1997 had retired from the RCMP and become the executive director of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, as I reviewed in September 2013:

“It was A/Comm. McConnell’s turn to be let go, again quietly, but it was ‘coincidentally’ marked in the records of the Parliament of Canada (“EVIDENCE Sub-Committee on the DRAFT REGULATIONS ON FIREARMS of the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affair”, Chairman: Russell MacLellan, Meeting No. 13, February 4, 1997, House of Commons, Parliament of Canada):

The Chairman: We’re ready now to resume our hearings on the proposed regulations under the Firearms Act.

I want to welcome this afternoon our witnesses from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. We have with us Chief Brian Ford from the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Police Service; Mr. N.G. Beauchesne, legal adviser to the law amendments committee; and Mr. Bryan McConnell, the executive director of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

Chief Ford:

I’m also pleased to introduce Mr. Bryan McConnell, who is the new executive director of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Mr. McConnell is a former assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was commander of the A division here in the national capital, and has now assumed duties as the executive director of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police here in Ottawa.


Merely weeks after the Mulroney legal settlement Bryan McConnell was no longer policing the nation’s capital and was out of the RCMP, “not in the true democratic sense”, but chosen by the chiefs nationwide to coordinate police matters across the entire Canada.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

And thirdly, in an online copy of the 2002-2003 membership directory of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, I found one and only one Bryan McConnell: J. W. Bryan McConnell; given that a former executive director of the organization should be among its members, and there was only one such name in the directory and it also perfectly matched that of the former RCMP director of enforcement services, the most likely conclusion is that they were the same person:

“But Assistant Commissioner J. W. B. McConnell has in fact identified himself as “J. W. Bryan McConnell” in the directory of the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs. In Part 7 I have cited CACP’s 2002-2003 membership directory to identify RCMP officer P. M. Cummins as “Patrick Cummins”. But after my posting of Part 11 critical of RCMP “A” Division commander Bryan McConnell’s roles in handling the Jean Chretien residence intrusion and the Airbus Affair criminal investigation, the CACP website document has become inaccessible to the public. So here is my downloaded copy, which shows there was one and only one McConnell in that year’s directory: “J. W. Bryan McConnell”.

Given that the former RCMP “A” Division commander Bryan McConnell became CACP Executive Director in early 1997, there was no reason in 2002-03 for that Bryan McConnell not to be in the membership directory if he was alive; and the only McConnell in the directory was “J. W. Bryan McConnell”, i.e., J. W. B. McConnell, the person who in January 1993 directed that the press releases and cover note I had faxed to MP Kim Campbell be treated as a complaint only about low-level RCMP members at UBC, not about Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

So the conclusions are: the two Bryan McConnell’s were almost without a doubt the same person, and it was no coincidence that in my case in January 1993, and then in the Airbus Affair criminal investigation in 1995-97, Mulroney was craftily let off the hook by Assistant Commissioner J. W. B. McConnell, or Bryan McConnell; the threat of violence against Prime Minister Jean Chretien through the November 1995 residence intrusion might have also been tolerated by McConnell.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As noted above, my own experience, in political activism criticising former Prime Minister Mulroney’s leadership, with an RCMP decision directed by J. W. B. McConnell already gave me a sense of RCMP bias in favor of Mulroney, i.e., before my studying the Chretien residence break-in incident.

In the above two quotes, I noted that McConnell became the CACP executive director, leaving the RCMP, right after the January 1997 legal settlement in Mulroney’s lawsuit against the government and the RCMP over the criminal investigation of him. The timing was very interesting because as the “A” Division commander, McConnell had supervised not only security of the Capital Ottawa region, in particular of Prime Minister Chretien’s residence, but also the criminal investigation of Mulroney, as RCMP Commissioner Philip Murray’s spokesman, Sgt. Andre Guertin, stated in January 1997 that it had not been the commissioner but the “ranking officer” in the “A” Division who was responsible for the controversial letter to Swiss authorities:

“In January 1997 when the Mulroney lawsuit reached settlement and the media criticized RCMP Commissioner Philip Murray’s performance, his spokesman Sgt. Guertin responded by saying, without naming McConnell, that the responsibility for the letter to the Swiss police had not been in Murray’s hands but in the “A” Division’s, as quoted in Part 11:

“His spokesperson, Sgt. Andre Guertin, said Murray cannot be expected to take a hands-on approach to every criminal investigation undertaken by the force.

Guertin later said the letter never made it to RCMP headquarters and the ranking officer to sign off on the accusatory missive would have been in Ottawa’s A Division, someone between chief investigator Sgt. Fraser Fiegenwald and deputy commissioner Frank Palmer.”

Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell’s departure from RCMP soon after the Mulroney lawsuit settlement, by February 1997 as in Part 11, suggested a link to the Airbus Affair, much like the reassignment of Chief Superintendent Al Rivard away from VIP security the day after the Chretien residence intrusion in November 1995 – Rivard had been his subordinate.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As quoted in the above, according to Sgt. Guertin, “the letter never made it to RCMP headquarters and the ranking officer to sign off on the accusatory missive would have been in Ottawa’s A Division, someone between chief investigator Sgt. Fraser Fiegenwald and deputy commissioner Frank Palmer”.

Deputy Commissioner Frank Palmer cited above was an RCMP leader in rank just under Commissioner Murray in the RCMP headquarters, and above Assistant Commissioner McConnell commanding the “A” Division.

That dual responsibilities shouldered by the RCMP “A” Division for both high-profile events in the fall of 1995 were also reflected by the facts that Inspector Carl Gallant had been one of the RCMP officers visiting investigative journalist Stevie Cameron in January to discuss her book on Mulroney-era corruption, and then in December Superintendent Carl Gallant – most likely the same person, given the uncommon name – sent out an urgent memo to inquire about a past security blind spot at Chretien’s residence.

As quoted earlier, in November 1995 journalist Rosemary Speirs exclaimed about possible RCMP incompetence in both cases:

“WHAT DO you say when the former prime minister of the country sues the government he used to lead for $50 million for defamation of character?

You say you hope the RCMP checked the rumors out very carefully before naming Brian Mulroney as a possible suspect in the Airbus story.

If they didn’t, the national police force will have disgraced itself even more. RCMP bumbling on the night when Jean Chretien’s wife faced an armed intruder at 24 Sussex will be nothing compared to this potential foul-up.”

However, my assertion is that the mishandling in each case worked in Mulroney’s favor, putting Chretien’s life at risk while giving Mulroney a better chance in suing the government – this dual responsibilities were especially troubling when that RCMP “A” Division was commanded by Bryan McConnell who had had a role in restraining my activism regarding Mulroney’s leadership conduct:

“Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell’s departure from RCMP soon after the Mulroney lawsuit settlement, by February 1997 as in Part 11, suggested a link to the Airbus Affair, much like the reassignment of Chief Superintendent Al Rivard away from VIP security the day after the Chretien residence intrusion in November 1995 – Rivard had been his subordinate.

If so, i.e., McConnell’s departure was a result of his bad performance during the Chretien residence intrusion and in supervising the Mulroney criminal investigation, as he appeared to have bungled it in each case, then his new appointment as Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police – as in Part 11 recorded in Parliament of Canada records – was a subtle but more troubling sign, namely a vote of confidence in McConnell by the police chiefs across Canada, to have him as an executive in charge for them.

In Part 11 I have pointed out that letting low-level officers be in charge in both cases actually favored Mulroney over Chretien, because when security was lax an armed intruder got through and nearly harmed Mr. & Mrs. Chretien, whereas when a criminal investigation was lax the suspect, i.e., Mr. Mulroney, got away with a government apology and payments for his lawyers.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

Moreover, my experience in political activism also suggests that in Deputy Commissioner Palmer, Assistant Commissioner McConnell had a superior in the RCMP headquarters who likely acquiesced with his ways.

That is because back in January 1993 when Commissioner McConnell, then RCMP director of enforcement services, sent a directive to the B.C. “E” Division about my complaint, excluding my criticisms of Mulroney from its scope, that internal letter was sent to the attention of the “E” Division officer in charge of criminal operations, that happened to be Assistant Commissioner Frank Palmer, with a lawyer pedigree and a prior history of stern attitude toward activism, as I reviewed in a blog post dated April 30, 2012:

“The “RCMP assistant commissioner for B.C. Frank Palmer” talking about “great paranoia at the beginning” wasn’t exactly RCMP’s top leader in British Columbia. Nonetheless, A/Comm. Palmer was in charge of Criminal Operations at “E” Division in B.C., i.e., the officer to whose attention my complaint was directed before forwarded to a subordinate, C/Supt. P. M. Cummins.

RCMP personal-information disclosures so far have not revealed if he acted oppressively on my case, but Frank Palmer had a law degree so was qualified to handle legal situations, and had been known for a hint of “McCarthyism” since the 1970s, intimidating people on behalf of RCMP…

So back in 1977 when Canadians were passionate about investigating RCMP wrongdoing and Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau appointed a royal commission to do so, Canadian Civil Liberties Association counsel Alan Borovoy wanted to prosecute it as crime, and Tory MP Elmer MacKay – father of today’s Defence Minister Peter MacKay and friend of Airbus Affair businessman Karlheinz Schreiber as in Part 1 – wanted parliamentary committee investigations, whereas RCMP Sgt. Frank Palmer wanted to open people’s mail to see if they were foreign spies.”

(“Team Canada female athletes disqualified from Commonwealth silver medal, jailed Chinese democracy activist awarded with Nobel peace prize, and others in between (Part 7) — when legal and judicial prudence means the powerful is right”, April 30, 2012, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

Palmer was promoted to become the RCMP’s second-in-command when Commissioner Norman Inkster retired in June 1994, which I noted in a blog post dated October 26, 2012:

“Upon Inkster’s retirement The Vancouver Sun instead reported a June 24 RCMP announcement, that Assistant Commissioner Frank Palmer of B.C.’s “E” Division was promoted to Ottawa to fill Comm. Murray’s previous job of second-in-command (“Senior B.C. Mountie promoted to Ottawa”, June 25, 1994, The Vancouver Sun).”

(“Team Canada female athletes disqualified from Commonwealth silver medal, jailed Chinese democracy activist awarded with Nobel peace prize, and others in between (Part 9) — when individual activism ranks at oblivion”, October 26, 2012, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, later in January 1997 it was under Deputy Commissioner Frank Palmer’s supervision that the RCMP lost a court decision in the legal process defending against Mulroney’s lawsuit, and the Chretien government immediately settled with Mulroney, offering him an apology and paying his legal expenses, as I reviewed in my September 29, 2013 post:

“But the government defence for the lawsuit proposed an unusual legal step, one that RCMP would find intrusive for their police investigation. Government lawyers asked and received court approval, despite initial objection from Mulroney’s side, that Swiss police lawyer Pascal Gossin, responsible for handling the Kimberly Prost letter, take part in the trial to explain how the Swiss worked …

Mulroney’s lawyers decided to swamp Gossin with many questions, 100 of them; RCMP found it too much for the criminal investigation, and like Commissioner Philip Murray had said invoking the Canada Evidence Act if necessary, Deputy Commissioner Frank Palmer – a lawyer himself – filed RCMP objection to 8 of them, citing international law enforcement “confidentiality” …

Mulroney’s spokesman Luc Lavoie noticed the difference:

“Mr. Lavoie said it is obvious that a serious rift has developed between the Justice Department and the RCMP in their defence of the libel action.”

Merely days before the trial’s start, the government’s hope of winning the lawsuit was dashed by Federal Court of Canada’s decision in favor of Mulroney’s appeal against the RCMP objection to 8 of the questions for Pascal Gossin, and by what Mulroney had suspected in his April testimony, that RCMP might have leaked something – Sgt. Fiegenwald had told a reporter Mulroney was named in the letter before The Financial Post quoted from the Schreiber-Mulroney translation on November 18, 1995 …

An expensive hoax perhaps. Mulroney’s legal expenses could be $2 million, but Allan Rock’s friend, lawyer Harvey Strosberg was elated (“Taxpayers on hook for $2 million”, by Sarah Scott, January 7, 1997, The Windsor Star):

“Justice Minister Allan Rock is exonerated in the deal, said Strosberg, a longtime friend of Rock who was asked by Rock last spring to help in the defence.”

From the start it was to Mulroney’s advantage to take the offensive with a libel lawsuit, but there were indications that RCMP also provoked Mulroney to do so; in other words, RCMP likely also wanted a media circus focused on an unprecedented lawsuit by an ex-Prime Minister against the government, thus avoiding a harder criminal investigation the German police did in contrast.


(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

With the facts and evidence reviewed in several blog posts, in January 2014 my reasoning thus reached the question of whether the RCMP intentionally, or ‘wilfully’ as I have asserted earlier, did what they did in relation to politics of “Brian Mulroney versus Jean Chretien” – putting Chretien’s safety at risk and going easy on Mulroney in the Airbus Affair:

“In Part 11 I have pointed out that letting low-level officers be in charge in both cases actually favored Mulroney over Chretien, because when security was lax an armed intruder got through and nearly harmed Mr. & Mrs. Chretien, whereas when a criminal investigation was lax the suspect, i.e., Mr. Mulroney, got away with a government apology and payments for his lawyers.

A deeper question that needs answering is whether the RCMP mishandlings were intentional, and whether they indeed had to do with ‘Brian Mulroney versus Jean Chretien’.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

In my January 2014 post, my review of historical press coverage of politics prior to my activism which began in 1992, revealed that RCMP senior officer J. W. B. McConnell had had a bias in favor of then Prime Minister Mulroney dating back to the 1980s.

J. W. B. McConnell was sometimes also referred to as “Brian McConnell”, particularly when he was in charge of RCMP criminal operations in Quebec, in 1990 and prior:

“One fact that is clear is that J. W. B. McConnell was previously the RCMP officer in charge of criminal operations in Quebec, based in Montreal, cited in that name in April 1990 on the case of Cpl. Michel Boyer, a member of the RCMP national security investigations section charged with 2 counts of corruption, one of drug trafficking and 9 of breach of trust…

Besides in The Ottawa Citizen, for this case “Chief Supt. J. W. B. McConnell” was also cited in The Gazette

But my search of the newspaper archives led to the spectre of a possibly different type of “mistaken identity”.

I found only one article referring to J. W. B. McConnell as “Bryan McConnell”, quoted earlier about a serial rapist in 1991 when he was RCMP director of enforcement services – J. W. B. McConnell as in his January 6, 1993 internal letter I obtained via personal-information disclosure.

On the other hand, many newspaper articles in 1989 had referred to the RCMP officer in charge of criminal operations, or criminal investigations, in Montreal as “Brian McConnell”.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

The “many newspaper articles” referring to “Brian McConnell”, mentioned above, reported on what became known as the ‘Richard Grise affair’, that was probably the most significant political affair during the Mulroney government era and possibly the biggest scandal relating to Mr. Mulroney prior to the Airbus Affair in November 1995.

In brief, in mid-November 1988 during an RCMP criminal investigation of Richard Grise, a Member of Parliament in Mulroney’s governing party, Chief Superintendent Brian McConnell made the decision of delaying the execution of search warrants against Grise until after the November 21 election, a decision RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster was unaware of until finding out a year later and publicly admitting it on November 21, 1989, making it an instant major scandal:

“Recall as in Part 9, in 1989 Richard Grise, a Member of Parliament in Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s Tory party quit the parliament and pleaded guilty to 11 corruption charges, but other fraud charges against him lingered until June 1994 when RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster was about to retire.

The story had been much worse for RCMP back in November-December 1989, when Inkster had to admit that timing of the Richard Grise affair had been delayed by RCMP to avoid the November 1988 federal election (“Mounties stalled raid on MP’s office until after election”, by Patrick Doyle, November 21, 1989, Toronto Star):

“The Mounties intentionally delayed a probe of a Quebec Tory MP suspected of fraud until after last year’s federal election, RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster admitted today.

Until today the RCMP insisted that it was simply coincidence that search warrants were delayed until the day after the Nov.21 election.

Grise was re-elected in that election, but resigned May 30 after pleading guilty of fraud and breach of trust. He was sentenced to one day in jail and a $20,000 fine.”

It was the fault of Chief Superintendent “Brian” McConnell, who decided to postpone a warrant search of Grise for a corruption complaint first filed in the summer, until after the November 21 election so as not to be “unfair” (“Probe of MP delayed until election over”, November 21, 1989, The Vancouver Sun):

“Inkster had told the Commons justice committee last summer that the timing of the investigation of Grise – who later pleaded guilty to 11 charges of fraud and breach of trust and resigned from the House – was purely coincidental.

But Inkster said today that he had been misinformed by aides.

The commissioner said that Chief Supt. Brian McConnell, head of criminal investigations in Montreal, made a decision to delay the execution of search warrants in the case until Nov. 22, 1988, the day after the election.

The commissioner said he just found out last night and had not yet had a chance to speak to McConnell and ask him to explain his action.

But he indicated that it appeared the Montreal officer acted on the mistaken belief it would be unfair for the investigation to become public during the election campaign.

Allegations against Grise were raised in the summer of 1988 by Phil Edmondston, a New Democrat candidate who lost the Chambly riding south of Montreal to Grise.

Inkster, testifying on a range of issues, said he is not aware of any improper political influence by the government in any RCMP investigations.”

McConnell explained that the decision came up on November 14, a week before the election, because RCMP investigators asked him on that day (“Brass OK’d delaying probe, says Mountie”, by Graham Parley, November 22, 1989, The Ottawa Citizen):

“McConnell said investigators told him on Nov. 14, a week before the election, that they planned to obtain search warrants in both the Hamelin and Grise investigations.

The chief superintendent said he was convinced there was no urgency and “proceeding with these searches less than one week before the federal election could have harmed a number of innocent people, including many having nothing to do with the investigations.””

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As noted above, the complainant against Grise’s corruption activity was a political opponent contesting his parliamentary seat, New Democratic Party candidate Phil Edmonston, who had filed the complaint in August 1988.

It turned out that Prime Minister Mulroney’s principal secretary Peter White had sent a letter to the RCMP about a week before McConnell’s decision on November 14 to postpone the warrant searches, and about two weeks before the November 21 election. Opposition politicians cried foul, accusing the RCMP of playing politics:

“Back in June 1989 Inkster told a parliamentary committee that Mulroney’s principal secretary Peter White had sent a letter to RCMP on November 8 – about a week before McConnell’s decision to postpone the warrant search (“Mountie put off Grise raid to avoid influencing vote”, by William Marsden, November 22, 1989, The Gazette):

“The RCMP received a letter from Peter White, Mulroney’s principal secretary, on Nov. 8, 1988, which discussed accusations against Grise and Hamelin involving an alleged unemployment insurance paycheque scam, Inkster acknowledged to the committee in June.

Inkster refused at the time to make public the letter because, he said, it involved a case still before the courts.

Grise’s complainant Phil Edmonston, New Democrat Party candidate who had filed the complaint in August 1988, called the investigation delay a betrayal by RCMP:

“Allegations against Grise were originally brought to the RCMP in August 1988 by his main opponent in Chambly, New Democratic Party candidate Phil Edmonston. Grise won the election by about 8,000 votes.

Edmonston said in an interview yesterday that he felt “betrayed” by the RCMP decision to delay the searches until after the election.

“They (the RCMP) changed the normal routine for political reasons,” he said. “You are supposed to have blinders in an investigation. You are not there to be affected by outside things.””

Opposition Liberal leader John Turner – not yet Jean Chretien at that time – asked the Mulroney government what was in the PMO letter (“PM aide’s statement to Mounties queried”, by Jim Brown, November 23, 1989, The Vancouver Sun):


Chief Supt. Brian McConnell, the officer who made the decision, has said he feared that carrying out searches during the campaign would have “improperly affected the electoral process.”

Turner rejected that explanation in the Commons, saying “the public interest demands prompt and impartial investigations . . . whether or not there’s an election on.”

Noting that McConnell’s decision came just after the Mounties received White’s document, Turner demanded: “What was in that document?””

Turner viewed it as a part of a wider pattern of government misusing RCMP for political purposes…


(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

The RCMP explained that the letter from the Prime Minister’s principal secretary had helped police prosecute Richard Grise:

“RCMP scoffed at the “big fuss over nothing”, explaining that the info from Peter White had helped police prosecute Richard Grise (“PM’s aide’s letter helped RCMP probe of Grise”, by William Marsden, November 29, 1989, The Gazette):

“Referring to repeated demands in the House of Commons that the government make public the letter, one RCMP source said: “It’s a big fuss over nothing.”

A memorandum from the prime minister’s office obtained by The Gazette shows that White initially sent his written statement Nov. 7, 1988, to Ward Elcock, former assistant secretary in the Privy Council and now deputy clerk of intelligence and security. Elcock in turn gave it to then RCMP assistant commissioner Rod Stamler on Nov. 8, 1988, who relayed it that same day to RCMP investigators in Montreal.

The investigators then interviewed White.

Police sources said the essential facts of White’s statement were revealed in four police affidavits that accompanied requests for search warrants for Grise’s home and offices in Longueuil and Ottawa.

According to the affidavits, White told police that Grise confessed he was “worried because he thought he had been implicated in some improprieties in 1985 and 1986.”

White also told the RCMP in his statement that Grise said Hamelin was implicated with him “in contractual arrangements between Grise and a woman connected with Hamelin.” About a week earlier, the woman had alleged to police that Grise and Hamelin had used her to commit fraud.

The warrants also state that Grise confessed that a company called “Les Consultants Sorig International Inc. was involved in the improprieties.” Grise was the president of this company.

White’s statement was used to support demands for four search warrants obtained Nov. 21, 1988, and Jan. 16, 1989.

Timing of the Nov. 21 warrant became an issue in Ottawa last week when RCMP Chief Supt. Brian McConnell said he delayed the execution of the warrant until after the election.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As indicated in a press article quoted above, White’s letter, dated November 7, 1988, had not been sent directly to the RCMP but through Ward Elcock, who at the time had been assistant secretary in the Privy Council but when the scandal broke in November 1989 was deputy clerk of intelligence and security of the Council – a job timeline that can be independently verified (“Ward Elcock”, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa)

Analyzing the sequence and timings of the relevant 1988 events, I concluded that it likely had been Mulroney himself who delayed giving the incriminating info to the RCMP until two weeks before the election, and McConnell in turn delayed the police searches until after the election:

“In a nutshell, Grise confessed to Mulroney’s office about “improprieties” in business practice, and that info was relayed to RCMP which, in turn, decided to prosecute the case only after the election.

To be fair, RCMP did get a concession from Mulroney’s side. However, it wasn’t clear when the RCMP request for info was first made for a complaint filed in August, that it took the PMO until just 2 weeks before the November 21 election to reply.

My guess is that Prime Minister Mulroney wouldn’t risk incurring public condemnation by dragging the matter to post-election but also wouldn’t want to give the political oppositions an election opportunity, so the incriminating info was given to RCMP with a very short, 2-week window of time, and C/Supt. Brian McConnell was there to let the time run out.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

The delay was critical because at two weeks before the election, opposition Liberal leader John Turner was leading in a major nationwide polling, and so new corruption revelations about this Mulroney party politician, Richard Grise, could have sustained the temporary Liberal lead toward a majority victory instead of the loss that actually occurred. But McConnell stressed, a year later, that it had been his decision without interference from politicians, and approved by an RCMP superior in Ottawa, Assistant Commissioner Marcel Coutu:

“C/Supt. Brian McConnell nearly contradicted Inkster, stating that he had informed superiors in RCMP headquarters ahead of time and received approval. On an official visit in the Soviet Union, Mulroney asserted that no one should even question RCMP’s independence on a matter like this (“Probe delay was okayed, Mountie says”, by Stephen Bindman, November 22, 1989, The Vancouver Sun):

“… McConnell told Southam News he informed assistant commissioner Marcel Coutu last Nov. 14, the same day he decided to postpone the search.

“I made my decision and then I advised Ottawa of a decision I had already taken,” McConnell said in an interview.

“The decision was accepted at that time. The decision was made, the searches were delayed and that was that.”

“The RCMP is an independent agency run by an independent career officer,” Mulroney said.

“It is a profound disservice by the opposition to even suggest anything to the contrary.”

Mulroney is on an official visit to the Soviet Union.”

McConnell disclosed that the investigation delay in November 1988 also applied to Tory politician Joseph Hamelin…

Commissioner Inkster reacted to McConnell’s explanation by saying that he had not been informed (“Mountie put off Grise raid to avoid influencing vote”, by William Marsden, November 22, 1989, The Gazette):

“McConnell said he immediately relayed his decision to Marcel Coutu, acting deputy commissioner of criminal investigations in Ottawa. He said Coutu told him “he had no problem” with the delay.

Informed later of McConnell’s comments, Inkster said: “This is news to me.””

McConnell reassured that no politician had tried to contact him about the matter:

“Yesterday, McConnell told The Gazette he was never contacted by any political official during the Grise and Hamelin investigations.

He said he made the decision to delay the searches at a meeting with chief investigating officer Yves Berube and two senior officers.

He said everyone at the meeting agreed “nothing would be lost to delay the searches for a few days.”

“But, on the other hand, proceeding with those searches in less than one week before a federal election … perhaps could have influenced the election on a local and national level,” McConnell said.”

Brian McConnell was right that the Tory corruption bad news at that time “could have influenced the election on a local and national level”; two weeks before the election, a major national poll had shown that the opposition Liberal party would win a majority (“Business worry: Can Mulroney win election and save free trade?”, by Larry Walsh, November 21, 1988, Toronto Star):

“The Toronto stock market tumbled more than 75 points in one day after a Gallup poll released two weeks ago showed the Liberals had enough support to win a majority government if the election were held then.”

Instead, Mulroney won his second majority in a row…”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

C/Supt. Brian McConnell made the decision in November 1988 and RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster did not know until a year later; but as McConnell explained as quoted above, a superior in the RCMP headquarters did accept his decision at the time.

Did it not look like the same situation again in 1995 when the Justice Department letter to the Swiss authorities for the criminal investigation of Mulroney was approved at the “A” Division and RCMP Commissioner Philip Murray had no role in it? From my vantage point knowing the RCMP’s earlier handling my political activism, I would think that the RCMP second-in-command, Deputy Commissioner Frank Palmer noted earlier, likely was informed of, and accepted, what the “A” Division did under McConnell in this regard.

Thus, as represented by J. W. B. McConnell, certain RCMP bias in favor of Mulroney dated back to the Prime Minister Mulroney era and lasted to well into the Prime Minister Chretien era; and in the Chretien era there was also, in addition, negligence in the security for Chretien and his wife.

I should note an interesting closeness in timeline, that the Richard Grise affair became major national news starting on November 21, 1989, with Chief Superintendent Brian McConnell, the Montreal-based senior officer in charge of RCMP criminal operations in Quebec, as a central figure in the highly political controversy, and about two weeks later on December 6 the Montreal Massacre occurred.

Nevertheless, as reviewed earlier, that mass murder took place within the jurisdiction of the Montreal Police and was handled by that municipal police force.

Reading my current review to this point, a serious reader could become very sceptical that in November 1995 the Canadian media did not even question it, i.e., if the Assistant Commissioner McConnell speaking for the RCMP over the Chretien residence intrusion might not be the controversial Chief Superintendent McConnell of the Richard Grise affair in 1988-1989.

But why should the media question, when the earlier one had been “Brian” and the recent one was “Bryan”?

At first, I was quite taken aback when I verified the two senior RCMP figures to be most likely the same person, that in November 1995 the media didn’t even have a healthy degree of scepticism as to do some fact-checking and questioning.

But then I thought about that, two weeks after the Chretien residence incident when the RCMP criminal investigation of Mulroney became news and Roger Tasse, a former close friend and private law partner of Chretien’s showed up in public as one of the top lawyers for Mulroney’s lawsuit against the Chretien government and the RCMP, the media did not bother to say anything about that history of Tasse’s even though it had been reported in the past.

So, the problem might not be the lack of fact-checking, but rather, that the Canadian media was not as free-reporting as it seemed. And if so, the “Brian” vs. “Bryan” difference in the names of these two seemingly different senior officers as presented by the RCMP was convenient for those in the media who chose not to take the risk of finding out and reporting the truth.

In fact, I noted in January 2014 that while in the 1989 Richard Grise affair McConnell was always reported in the press as “Brian”, on the 1995 Chretien residence incident there were two press reports I found, both in The Globe and Mail newspaper, that used the name “Brian”, instead of “Bryan”:

But the second time some in the media likely knew “Bryan” McConnell was “Brian” McConnell. As noted in Part 11, amid the intense media coverage of the Chretien residence break-in in late 1995, The Globe and Mail referred to Assistant Commissioner McConnell as “Brian”, twice, in a November 17 report by Hugh Winsor, and in the following year-end summary of annual events, about who’s hot and who’s not (“Here’s looking at who’s hot, who’s not; Brian Tobin, who raised up turbots by their fingernails; ticked off taxpayers; the humbled Montreal Canadiens; a feisty British Columbia: These are among the year’s newsmakers as compiled by The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau staff”, December 30, 1995, The Globe and Mail):

“Really hot – Aline Chretien, who remains calm and collected, locking doors and phoning police.

Cold – RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brian McConnell, who as head of A Division is responsible for 24 Sussex Dr. security, went to RCMP headquarters to oversee damage control rather than to the Prime Minister’s residence to oversee security.”

Mrs. Chretien’s bravery when confronted by the armed intruder earned her a “really hot” accolade, while “Brian” McConnell wasn’t even “not”, but “cold”.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As I had noted in an earlier post of the same multipart article as the above, dated November 22, 2010, “The Globe and Mail… had long considered itself “Canada’s National Newspaper””. (“Team Canada female athletes disqualified from Commonwealth silver medal, jailed Chinese democracy activist awarded with Nobel peace prize, and others in between (Part 2) – when violence is politically organized”, November 22, 2010, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

So when such a most venerable and influential Canadian media venue reported Bryan McConnell, the leading RCMP officer handling an unprecedented incident dangerous to the prime minister’s life, as Brian McConnell, chances would be that this media venue knew about this person also by the other name.

In this case, I found that The Globe and Mail had itself in 1988 done something similar to C/Supt. Brian McConnell; the newspaper had a news story to report on the Richard Grise corruption matter, but decided to postpone it until after the November 21 election:

“If some at The Globe and Mail knew Brian McConnell of 1988-89 and Bryan McConnell were the same person, then they likely were aware of things worse than reported to the public.

If so, then it had to do with the fact that back in November 1988 The Globe and Mail had acted the same way as C/Supt. Brian McConnell in the Richard Grise affair, delaying reporting until after the November 21 election. Paul Palango described in his book, Above the Law: The Crooks, the Politicians, the Mounties, and Rod Stamler, published by McClelland & Stewart in 1994 over a year before November 1995:

“… During the days leading up to the election, the Economic Crime police were investigating the case of Tory backbencher Richard Grise. On November 15 – six days before the election – investigators in Montreal determined that there was enough evidence to seek a search warrant against Grise for fraud and breach of trust involving his duties as a parliamentarian. At the time, most of the RCMP brass, including [assistant commissioner Rod] Stamler, were out of the office, Jensen and Inkster in Thailand at an Interpol meeting. The assistant commissioner sitting in for Jensen that day, Marcel Coutu, decided to sit on the application for a search warrant until November 21, the day of the election. Jensen didn’t learn about Coutu’s decision until two weeks after the election.

The fear of being accused of political interference on the one hand, and of angering or embarrassing the Mulroney government on the other, seemed to extend to the media, as well. The Globe and Mail, which had been in the forefront of writing about the petty and not-so-petty corruptions of the Tories, had its own Grise story ready for publication prior to the election. However, after much internal wrangling, the paper made the decision to hold off until after the election, on the grounds that it didn’t want to influence unduly the outcome of the campaign in Grise’s riding by providing an unfair advantage to his opponents.”

Unfortunately, in his 1994 book Paul Palango neglected to refresh his readers the name of RCMP officer Brian McConnell from the 1988 events.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As I remarked above, author Paul Palango’s book on corruption in the Mulroney era and the RCMP, which mentioned the Richard Grise affair as well as The Globe and Mail’s similar decision to postpone action until after the November 1988 election, did not even mention McConnell; it was published in 1994, i.e., not that long before the events of November 1995, and had it done so could have refreshed its readership about that controversial RCMP figure.

And so, as I opined above, some in the media “likely were aware of things worse than reported to the public”.

Besides RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell of November 1995 being the same person as Chief Superintendent Brian McConnell of the Richard Grise affair in 1988-1989, an intriguing sign of something worse, more complex and unexplained in the break-in incident at Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s residence, was in a key background of the intruder Andre Dallaire that matched the Richard Grise affair.

In 1988 Richard Grise was a Mulroney government party Member of Parliament based in Longueuil, Quebec, where his office was searched by the RCMP, here as reported in a The Gazette news story dated November 29, 1989, previously quoted from my January 26, 2014 post:


Police sources said the essential facts of White’s statement were revealed in four police affidavits that accompanied requests for search warrants for Grise’s home and offices in Longueuil and Ottawa.


In November 1995 right after the Chretien residence break-in, the media reported that the intruder Andre Dallaire was a convenience store worker in Longueuil, Quebec, with a psychiatric history and recently reported missing by his family, here as reported in a The Ottawa Citizen news story dated November 6, 1995, previously quoted from my September 29, 2013 post:


Police charged Andre Dallaire, 34, of the Montreal suburb of Longueuil, with several offences, including break and enter and possession of a weapon. He was to appear in court this morning.

Police in Longueuil said Dallaire is a convenience store worker whose family says he has a history of psychiatric problems. His family reported him missing on Wednesday.


So, this armed intruder who came out of nowhere was actually from the town of the Richard Grise affair fame, when the RCMP commanding officer supervising both the Airbus Affair criminal investigation of Mulroney and the security of Capital Ottawa and especially Prime Minister Chretien’s residence, had previously in the Richard Grise affair favored Prime Minister Mulroney.

Was Andre Dallaire really a “paranoid schizophrenic”, or he knew, and got into, some things that others didn’t?

While one needs not be too ‘conspiracy theory’-minded, this case is a good example showing that one cannot always count on the police to solve a crime, because the police might have something to hide.

J. W. B. McConnell’s RCMP history may have been even more elaborate.

In my January 26, 2014 blog post, I pieced together some facts previously reported in the media before November 1995, on some “worse” things in crime and policing that were revealing about McConnell – outside of the Chretien residence break-in incident and the Airbus Affair.

Here, I discuss some of the key facts presented in that blog post.

First of all, McConnell’s intriguing key RCMP history timeline was most likely more than Brain McConnell in Montreal and then Bryan McConnell in Ottawa.

In the archives of press coverage there was an RCMP Inspector Bryan McConnell in 1982-1986, whose duties ranged from prosecuting misappropriation of government funds to heading RCMP’s National Capital drug squad; that was prior to the 1988-1990 press reports of Chief Superintendent Brian McConnell and J. W. B. McConnell in Quebec, and then the press appearances of Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell in Ottawa from 1991 onward. There was no overlap of times in these different McConnell appearances to indicate the presence of more than one person.

Since Quebec was Prime Minister Mulroney’s home region and Montreal his main power base, who had won his first election in 1984, my view is that Bryan McConnell’s move from the national capital to Quebec, with a rapid rise in his RCMP rank before Mulroney’s 1988 second election campaign and with his handling of related corruption politics as Brian McConnell, and then his return to the national capital after the Richard Grise affair and into the leadership echelon of the RCMP as Bryan McConnell again, together provide a fuller picture of McConnell’s RCMP role playing politics in favor of Mulroney.

Secondly, in supervising RCMP criminal work dealing with street-level crimes in Ottawa, including drug trafficking, Insp. McConnell had grossly under-reported to the media the severity of certain crimes, thus giving the public a false sense of what the RCMP were dealing with.

Some of the street-level crimes involved “Allan” Strong, originally from Cantley, Quebec, a man wanted in 1986 by McConnell’s Ottawa RCMP drug squad for trafficking “the amphetamine speed”, who had sold some to an undercover agent and then disappeared out of the RCMP’s reach, according to McConnell telling the media.

But Allan Strong was actually a leader of the infamous Montreal West End Gang, and a fugitive from Canada living in Florida and wanted for a murder there in 1985, and was eventually arrested in the Netherlands in 1993, as reported in other media stories.

In my January 2014 post, I quoted the December 1986 news story that cited Inspector Bryan McConnell about Allan Strong wanted for trafficking “an estimated $75,000 worth of the amphetamine speed”:

“One of the suspects who slipped out of RCMP’s arm in 1986 was 40-year-old Allan Strong of Cantley, Quebec, who according to Inspector Bryan McConnell had sold a pound of the narcotic stimulant “amphetamine speed” to an RCMP undercover agent but when RCMP looked for him again Strong had disappeared (“Police want Cantley man on drug charges”, by Ian MacLeod, December 15, 1986, The Ottawa Citizen):

“Crime Stoppers is appealing for public help in finding a former Cantley, Que. man named in an RCMP warrant for trafficking in an estimated $75,000 worth of the amphetamine speed.

RCMP Insp. Bryan McConnell, head of the force’s national capital drug squad, says an undercover agent bought about one pound of the narcotic stimulant from a man in the summer of 1984.

Police say they were planning to make another purchase from the man later in an attempt to catch other people suspected of working with him, when he disappeared.

Wanted is Allan Strong, 40. He is five foot, 11 inches, about 240 pounds, with brown hair and eyes and possibly a moustache. He has a heart-shaped tattoo on his upper left arm.

Since the arrest warrant was issued, McConnell said Strong is reported to have been seen in the Ottawa and Montreal areas.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

In a glaring contrast, here is a May 1992 news story cited in my January 2014 post, about a U.S. trial on drug smuggling into the United States by the Montreal gang, referring to the scope of the gang’s drug trafficking as, “more than 10,000 kilograms of cocaine and more than 300 tonnes of marijuana from 1975 to 1991 into the United States”, also mentioning a 1985 murder for which an Allan Strong was a fugitive:

“Lawyers for one of Montreal’s most notorious mobsters, Alan (the Weasel) Ross, announced yesterday they will present no evidence in their client’s defence.

After three weeks of fast-track testimony from a parade of more than 100 prosecution witnesses, defence lawyer Robert Sheketoff told U.S. federal judge Maurice Paul he would not be calling any witnesses.

Jurors will be considering testimony by Ross’s former associates that, among other things, Ross smuggled 6,000 kilograms of cocaine in one shipment through the Port of Montreal.

The close of the government’s case brought to an end one of the most complex investigations ever worked on by the Montreal Urban Community police in conjunction with law-enforcement agencies in the United States.

“Nowhere will you find a case where law enforcement from so many places has got together with one common goal,” Det.-Sgt. Michel Amyot, of the MUC anti-gang squad, said outside the courtroom.

His partner, Det.-Sgt. Kevin McGarr, noted that 11 law-enforcement agencies took part in the investigation.

These included the RCMP, Surete du Quebec, FBI, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the U.S. Marshal Service, and police from the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.

Amyot said that while he has always believed Ross was involved in criminal activities that were international in scope, this case has suggested enormous quantities of drugs have been smuggled since 1975.

Ross is charged with leading a continuing criminal enterprise that imported more than 10,000 kilograms of cocaine and more than 300 tonnes of marijuana from 1975 to 1991 into the United States.

If he is convicted, he could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

He is also awaiting trial on the murder of associate David Singer in Florida in 1985. Florida practices capital punishment.

Allan Strong, who is also alleged to have taken part in the murder, is a fugitive.


(“Lawyers to offer no evidence in Ross’s defence”, by William Marsden, May 13, 1992, The Gazette)

Wow, really ‘day and night’, what McConnell said of Allan Strong and what the Allan Strong in this Montreal gang was involved in!

But where is the evidence that the two Allan Strongs were the same person?

I could not find any in the press archives; however, I found a crucial piece of it in a more recently published, 2011 book on the Montreal West End Gang:

“In most likelihood Allan Strong was no longer in Canada, but had fled to Florida in the United States and had already been a murderer, as told in writer D’Arcy O’Connor’s 2011 book, Montreal’s Irish Mafia: The True Story of the Infamous West End Gang (March 2011, John Wiley & Sons):

“Following the murders of Ryan and Phillips, Singer, now living in Pompano Beach, Florida, was the next witness targeted for elimination. On May 12, 1985, he was found shot dead at the age of thirty-one with three .38-caliber bullets to his head and chest, his body sprawled across the back seat of a stolen car that had been abandoned in Tigertail Like Park in Dania, Florida, just south of Fort Lauderdale.

Two days before his body was found, Singer had been “taken for a ride” in the stolen car by two West End Gang hoods, Allan Strong and Raymond Desfosses. Their mission, which allegedly was ordered by Alan Ross, was to get rid of the first-hand witness to the murder of  Eddie Phillips.

Strong, who also went under the Aliases of Jean-Guy Trepanier and Yvan-Jacques Rousseau, was originally from Cantley, Quebec. He’d been serving a 10-year sentence for armed robbery at the Cowansville penitentiary until his escape on May 9, 1973. He was next arrested, at the age of twenty-seven, during a gun battle with police following an aborted Montreal bank robbery on March 15, 1974, during which an innocent bystander was shot and killed by a stray bullet. His accomplices were William Lydon, twenty-nine, and William White, twenty-three, both of whom were prison escapees from the Massachusetts Correctional Institute. After his release in 1984, Strong became an international drug trafficker with ties to Colombia’s Cali cartel, and was second in command to Alan Ross, who had taken over as leader of the West End Gang following Ryan’s assassination. Shortly after that, Strong fled to Florida.”

The place of origin and age of the two Allan Strongs’ were so alike I would have to think they were the same person. A big-time Montreal West End Gang leader and murderer had slipped out from under his watch, and RCMP Inspector Bryan McConnell wanted the public to think it was only about some stimulant drug.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

In short, both McConnell’s “amphetamine speed” dealer Allan Strong and the Montreal West End Gang’s No. 2 leader and wanted murderer Allan Strong were originally from Cantley, Quebec, and were of about the same age as reported, one at 40 in December 1986 according to Insp. McConnell quoted earlier, and the other at 27 in March 1974 as in the above.

Though not unquestionably conclusive, this evidence is very convincing.

That was horrible! The No. 2 leader of one of Montreal’s most notorious gangs, a former convicted armed robber and gun battler with police resulting in a bystander death, and an international drug trafficker with ties to Colombia’s Cali cartel, after his 1984 prison release escaped the RCMP’s watch; and looking for this dangerous man in December 1986, who by this time had murdered another gang member in May 1985, Insp. Bryan McConnell told the media it was a person wanted by the police for selling some “amphetamine speed”.

And thirdly, regarding “worse” things in crime and policing that were revealing of McConnell, the Allan Strong case was also an instance in which the person was reported in the media by different versions of his given name, “Allan” or “Alain” depending on the story, with the result of misleading others – just like McConnell himself as “Brian” or “Bryan”.

This misrepresentation, as described next, is perhaps a piece of potentially incriminating evidence, given certain RCMP involvement with the Montreal West End Gang, that Assistant Commissioner McConnell by this time in 1992-1993, possibly again resorted to the ‘different name’ gimmick to avoid media scrutiny into his role in certain RCMP misconduct.

The crisis-like situation arose in December 1992, when RCMP Inspector Claude Savoie committed suicide in his office, at a time when he was under investigation for having leaked police information to the Montreal West End Gang, and was to be the subject of a CBC The Fifth Estate investigative story:

“Then starting on December 22, 1992, the murder suspect was reported as “Alain Strong” in the media, with the reported suicide of RCMP Inspector Claude Savoie – an underling of A/Comm. McConnell – while under investigation for ties to the West End Gang (“RCMP ex-drug-squad head kills self; Thought to have links to Allan (Weasel) Ross”, by William Marsden, Mike Boone, Eddie Collister and Charles Lewis, December 22, 1992, The Gazette):

“The assistant director of the RCMP’s criminal-intelligence service in Ottawa, who killed himself in his office yesterday, was under investigation for leaking information to a former Montreal crime boss.

Inspector Claude Savoie, 49, who was head of the Montreal drug squad from 1989 to 1991 before being transferred to the intelligence department in Ottawa, shot himself with his service pistol at 9:15 a.m., the RCMP said.

Savoie was alone in his office at the time and all indications point to suicide, Ottawa coroner James Dickson confirmed.

One source said Savoie had been under investigation for a year for leaking information to convicted drug dealer Allan (The Weasel) Ross, former head of Montreal’s West End Gang. But the official RCMP statement said the investigation was several months old.

Savoie shot himself a day before the CBC current-affairs show, the Fifth Estate, was about to air a segment on Ross and the West End Gang.

It also airs a widely held belief that Ross was never prosecuted in Canada because he had high-placed informants within Canadian police departments.

The Fifth Estate reports private meetings between Ross and Savoie at a downtown restaurant and in the offices of Ross’s lawyer, Sidney Leithman, who was murdered in 1990.

The report, titled The Weasel, was ready for broadcast when producer Julian Sher heard about Savoie’s suicide.

The RCMP would not allow the Fifth Estate to interview Savoie on camera and would not authorize anyone to discuss the Ross case which, Sher was told, was still under RCMP investigation.

Ross’s main pilot was veteran U.S. smuggler Bert Gordon. …

Gordon and another Ross associate, Alain Strong, were supposed to handle the shipment when it arrived. (Strong, also known as Jean- Guy Trepanier, is a fugitive charged in the U.S. with the Singer slaying and with drug dealing.) But the shipment was seized by Portuguese police and U.S. narcotics agents.”

The ‘name change’ to Alain Strong had the effect that future media publicity would not be linked to the Allan Strong that had slipped out of Insp. Bryan McConnell’s grip in 1986.

What other reason could it be? J. W. B. McConnell’s loyal lieutenant in Montreal, promoted to follow him to RCMP national headquarters I presume, had helped a big-time gang leader escape?

Quite possibly.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

The above news story on RCMP Insp. Claude Savoie’s cosiness with the infamous Montreal criminal and international drug-trafficking gang did not mention McConnell. But as above, it reported “a widely held belief” that the West End Gang leader Allan Ross was never prosecuted in Canada because he had “high-placed informants within Canadian police departments”.

Was it not already evidence more than “belief”, that, as reviewed earlier, back in December 1986 Insp. McConnell minimized to the media the seriousness of the fugitive his RCMP drug squad was looking for, Allan Strong who sold “about one pound” of “amphetamine speed”, not disclosing that the fugitive was the Number 2 leader of the Montreal West End Gang under Allan (The Weasel)Ross?

But now in what had become national news in December 1992 with an investigative story by the CBC’s The Fifth Estate and with Insp. Savoie’s unexpected death, “Allan” Strong was reported as “Alain” Strong as in the above-quoted news story; as a result, the public would not link the person to the one A/Commissioner McConnell had dealt with back in December 1986.

As told in the above, Savoie had been head of the RCMP Montreal drug squad in 1989-1991 before his transfer to Ottawa, and was assistant director of RCMP criminal-intelligence service when he died; while it is unclear if in Ottawa Savoie worked under McConnell, director of enforcement services, it is obvious that back in 1989-1990 Savoie had been an “underling” – as I called him in the above quote – of Chief Superintendent Brian McConnell in charge of criminal operations in Montreal.

The public never knew that Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell, later of the Prime Minister Chretien residence break-in publicity in November 1995, was the same as the Chief Superintendent Brian McConnell in the 1988-1989 Richard Grise affair protecting the electoral prospect of Prime Minister Mulroney’s party.

However, in the press archives there was a The Ottawa Citizen story dated December 15, 1986, quoted earlier from my January 2014 post, reporting that RCMP Inspector Bryan McConnell wanted to arrest “amphetamine speed” dealer Allan Strong, who somehow disappeared.

Now, if the media’s investigative effort expanded further from December 1992, it could go beyond the relationship between Insp. Claude Savoie and the Montreal West End Gang, and into the roles of even more, and more senior, RCMP persons in that regard, such as by this time Assistant Commissioner McConnell.

But then in December 1992 the West End Gang’s No.2 leader Allan Strong became known to the media as “Alain” Strong, obviously not “Allan” Strong, just like later in November 1995 “Bryan” McConnell not “Brian” McConnell, the media presumably would not make any connection between the two.

“Worse” things really had happened, as later the media reported in February 1994 when “Alain” Strong was arrested in Europe, that “between 1988 and 1991” – thus under C/Supt. Brian McConnell’s watch in Montreal most of the time – Insp. Savoie leaked criminal investigation information to and received $200,000 payment from the West End Gang:

“Alain Strong was eventually arrested in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in February 1994 after a 3-year search, and RCMP was reportedly anxious to learn from him more about the dead Claude Savoie (“Police manhunt nabs suspected drug dealer; Three-year search by RCMP, MUC police ends with arrest in Amsterdam”, by William Marsden, February 16, 1994, The Gazette):

“The RCMP also are eager to talk to Strong about the corruption of police officers and specifically Inspector Claude Savoie, former head of the RCMP’s Montreal drug squad who committed suicide in 1992.

The RCMP says Savoie received about $200,000 between 1988 and 1991 from the West End Gang for information about police investigations.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

The RCMP Quebec regional drug squad boss had it both ways.

As quoted above from a Montreal The Gazette story dated February 16, 1994, it was “the corruption of police officers and specifically Inspector Claude Savoie” – presumably not Insp. Savoie alone, but he was already dead.

Just days before in early February 1994, RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster’s resignation was announced by Prime Minister Chretien, and at the time the media reported a comment by Inkster about low points in his tenure, referring to Savoie’s suicide as one of them, here as previously quoted from my October 2012 post:

“Among the low points, Inkster said, was the political storm he created on Parliament Hill in 1989 when he revealed more than a dozen MPs and senators were under RCMP investigation.

Another was last year’s suicide of Insp. Claude Savoie, who was under investigation for leaking information to a Montreal drug kingpin.

“We will never know why he chose to be his own judge and jury. It was a very sad point for all members. We all suffer and we all lose a little bit if one of our own gets into that sort of difficulty.””

On a personal note, I noticed that Claude Savoie’s suicide on December 21, 1992, occurred on the same day when I was released from my very first psychiatric committal, that had begun on November 30 when I had faxed documents to local MP and Justice Minister Kim Campbell and within a few hours RCMP officer Brian Cotton and another had come to take me to UBC hospital:

“At the time of the Savoie suicide story before Christmas 1992 I had just been discharged from my first psychiatric committal, on December 21 – the day of Claude Savoie’s death – as in Part 6, having been taken to UBC Hospital on November 30 by RCMP Sgt. Brian Cotton. A/Comm. McConnell’s internal letter forwarding my complaint to “E” Division would not be issued until January 6, 1993, and none of the The Vancouver Sun articles on the Savoie story mentioned Alain Strong…”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

I should note that, in my case, I wasn’t let go by UBC hospital but by an independent mental-health review panel, which ordered my release after a hearing on the day of December 21. In the same multipart article as the above, I discussed some of that history in my blog post dated March 25, 2012, noting that the supervising psychiatrist, Dr. Laura Chapman, opposed my release even though there was no real medical symptom of a psychiatric illness:


A delayed Review Panel hearing was held on December 21 and the decision was for my discharge. Psychiatrist Dr. Laura Chapman prepared a discharge report, which contained interesting details.

The evidence in it showed that I was in fact quite normal:

“Feng was quite cooperative and reasonably accessible. He had quite a forthright manner and talked with great conviction about his concerns of corruption in the government and the university. There were no abnormalities of speech, eye contact, or psychomotor activity. … As mentioned, he expressed persecutory delusional ideas for which there was no evidence in reality. There was no perceptual disturbance and he had minimal insight and somewhat impaired judgment.”


(March 25, 2012, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As discussed earlier, soon on January 6, 1993, A/Commissioner J. W. B. McConnell sent a directive to the British Columbia “E” Division, specifying the documents I had sent to Kim Campbell and forwarded to Solicitor General Doug Lewis as only a complaint about RCMP in regard to academic politics at UBC.

When the Chretien residence intrusion occurred in November 1995, the prior record of Chief Superintendent Al Rivard, as previously discussed, was unsettling, that despite his inability leading a 100-strong police force to search for an escaped killer during a period of seven months in 1989, resulting in four more deaths, Rivard was given the responsibility of protecting the safety of Canadian government leaders and foreign diplomats and was in that role at the time of the Chretien residence break-in.

On the other hand, the prior record of Assistant Commissioner J. W. B. McConnell was so much more masterfully and deceptively crafted, both at a political level and at a criminal-operations level, such that, whatever he had been up to – while some within the RCMP under him, such as Inspector Claude Savoie, had been up to not good – by November 1995 he was entrusted with the security of the Capital Ottawa region, including with handling the Chretien residence break-in incident and supervising the criminal investigation of Mulroney.

Therefore, it was most likely not a coincidence that the armed breach at Prime Minister Chretien’s residence could, and did, happen, whether or not one agrees with my use of the word “wilful” to describe the RCMP negligence.

Earlier, I have discussed a prior violent threat against Prime Minister Chretien, in May 1994 by Earl Kevin Jans who openly carried a crossbow and arrows wanting to see Chretien at a Liberal fundraiser at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, and also reviewed a high-profile deadly crossbow-and arrow precedent, namely the November 1991 crossbow killing of Revenue Canada lawyer Patricia Allen by her estranged husband Colin McGregor, where Allen happened to be the daughter of retired RCMP Assistant Commissioner George Allen.

As earlier reviewed, the Patricia Allen murder was known as a case of domestic violence, without apparent links to a possible corruption matter like the Airbus Affair because her professional specialty was on the Goods-and-Services Tax, not income tax or property tax that would be more relevant to criminal fraud cases such as Karlheinz Schreiber’s, and her father George Allen had already retired from the RCMP in 1987 and become Commissioner of Canada Elections in January 1988 – the year the Airbus sale to Air Canada was made that would result in around $20 million commissions privately distributed by Schreiber, a figure previously cited.

Now, in light of the fact that electoral politics had been a matter of contention between then Prime Minister Mulroney and the opposition parties in the November 1988 election, in the form of the “Richard Grise affair” that became public a year later in November 1989, I would have to consider if the Patricia Allen murder had a political dimension, given that her father was at the time a top Elections Canada official, “in charge of election law compliance and enforcement” as quoted earlier.

Elections Canada was and is the independent and non-partisan parliamentary agency administering federal elections. (“The Role and Structure of Elections Canada”, Elections Canada)

A 1988 press article cited earlier about George Allen’s role at Elections Canada mentioned prosecution of “collusion” in electoral advertising as a part of it:

“Anti-abortionists, right-wingers, free-trade advocates and any other special interest groups will be allowed to spend any amount they like to support or oppose candidates in the upcoming federal election, Canada’s chief electoral
officer said Wednesday.

And the money will not be counted as spending by either candidates or parties, he added.

Jean-Marc Hamel said in a Vancouver interview the ruling is based on an Alberta court case deemed applicable across the country.

George Allen, Elections Canada commissioner in charge of election law compliance and enforcement, said it has been reported already that the right-wing National Citizens Coalition has raised $250,000 to oppose the New
Democratic Party.

He said he expects spending also from anti-abortionists and those for or against free trade with the U.S.

He said any complaints of spending by third-party groups will be investigated with a view to prosecution if any collusion or connection with candidates or parties is indicated.”

(Jes Odam, August 11, 1988, The Vancouver Sun)

As told above, even though a new Alberta court ruling allowed any special interest group to spend as much as it wanted on advertisements supporting or opposing an electoral candidate, they could do so only independently of the candidate – or would be considered in “collusion” and could face prosecution according to Commissioner Allen.

Clearly, if any of the opposition parties or politicians brought the “Richard Grise affair” matter to Elections Canada, the agency would likely have had to review and investigate any illegal or unlawful aspects of it, i.e., whether the RCMP “colluded” with the Prime Minister’s Office in delaying a corruption investigation for an election, and George Allen would have been the top official supervising the review and investigation.

With that scenario in mind, here I note a curious similarity between former RCMP Assistant Commissioner J. W. B. McConnell and former RCMP Assistant Commissioner George Allen: for McConnell, sometime in 1986-1988 he was transferred from Ottawa to Montreal, promoted from Inspector in charge of the Capital Region drug squad to Chief Superintendent in charge of criminal operations in Quebec, such that he was there to make decisions when the Richard Grise corruption case came up before the November 1988 election; and for Allen, he retired from the RCMP in 1987 and became Commissioner of Canada Elections in early 1988, such that he was the official in charge of enforcing the election rules when the November 1988 election arrived.

Given what McConnell then did in favor of Prime Minister Mulroney for that election, I would not be too optimistic about how Allen had gotten there and what he would do in a similar political situation.

Indeed, in the press archives the Elections Canada cases George Allen was known for handling and prosecuting, in the aftermath of the November 1988 election, showed consistent favors for Prime Minister Mulroney and members of his party but little or no tolerance for members of the opposition parties.

In late November 1989, about a week after the Richard Grise affair had become news, there was another controversy reported by the media, about leaked Elections Canada internal memos that showed George Allen forgiving several November 1988 election over-spending violations committed by senior Tory MPs who were government officials, including Prime Minister Mulroney:

“Elections Canada did not investigate two Quebec Conservative MPs even though internal memos leaked to the news media allege they overspent their legal limit in the Nov. 21, 1988, general election.

George Allen, Commissioner for Elections Canada, said he did not order an investigation because he did not have a case that would stand up in court.

Yesterday the Quebec daily newspaper Le Soleil reported that it had obtained an exchange of internal memos from the officials at Elections Canada which examined the election spending reports of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Transport Minister Benoit Bouchard – who was reported as being $9,244.59 above his limit – and Pierre Vincent, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Finance, who was reported as being $6,763.14 above his limit.

The director of Election Financing, Frederick (Bud) Slattery, whose staff is responsible for examining the election spending reports of every candidate, wrote to Mr. Allen that Mr. Mulroney was $739.33 above his limit.

Mr. Allen interpreted the controversial election law in another way and by his figuring Mr. Mulroney came in at $614 under his limit of $53,942.95. Mr. Mulroney told reporters yesterday that the Elections Canada report had completely absolved him of any wrongdoing.

The memos are authentic, Mr. Allen confirmed in an interview yesterday.”

(“Allegations of overspending not probed by elections body”, by Richard Cleroux, November 28, 1989, The Globe and Mail)

So you see, with Chief Superintendent McConnell ‘guarding the scene’ ahead of time and Commissioner Allen ‘whitewashing’ it afterwards, Prime Minister Mulroney could do no wrong but win the November 1988 election flawlessly.

Furthermore, the reasons Allen cited for his decisions on Mulroney’s case were especially favorable, compared to on the cases of Transport Minister Benoit Bouchard and Pierre Vincent, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Finance.

Allen redid the official analysis and concluded that Mulroney’s $739.33 overspending, as discovered by the director of Election Financing Frederick (Bud) Slattery, was actually still $614 under limit; in other words, there was nothing wrong at all with Prime Minister Mulroney.

In the other two cases, Allen did not disagree with the conclusions of other Elections Canada officials but decided not to prosecute because he felt the agency could not win the cases in court.

So no need to even try in court, if Commissioner of Canada Elections George Allen decided that the cases could not be won.

But would Commissioner Allen be as generous when the offenders were from the opposition parties? Not at all, but quite the opposite.

Soon it was announced that four other MPs were under investigation for violations in the November 1988 election and one of them, a Liberal MP, would be prosecuted; Allen felt obliged to enforce the law despite admitting that, “there was no chance of getting a conviction”:

“Angry MPs have summoned Canada’s elections commissioner to explain why he ordered charges against a Liberal member.

A special committee of the Commons studying MPs’ duties and privileges will cross-examine George Allen on Tuesday about the charge laid against Montreal MP David Berger.

The committee will also ask whether three other MPs under investigation for alleged infractions of the Canada Elections Act will be charged.

Allen told the committee Jan. 17 that “there was no chance of getting a conviction” against four MPs under investigation for Elections Act violations. He based the comment on a recent Alberta court ruling which acquitted candidates charged under the act.

But despite the court setbacks, Allen said he is obliged to enforce the law, and declared MPs won’t get any special favors from him.

“Some of them seem to think there should be another set of rules for members of Parliament,” he said in an interview. “If that’s what they’re saying, I think they’re wrong.”

The Alberta case, now under appeal, involved the advertising blackout period before an election.

Berger has been charged under the same blackout provision. He is to appear in Quebec Superior Court March 1.”

(“MPs angered by charge; Elections commissioner summoned before committee”, by Iain Hunter, February 2, 1990, The Ottawa Citizen)

As above, identities of the other three MPs were not disclosed because they were not charged. But it was revealing to know that the MP charged, David Berger, was an opposition Liberal.

David Berger at first pleaded “not guilty” to the criminal charges of violating the Canada Elections Act. (“ACROSS CANADA MP pleads not guilty to Elections Act charges”, March 2, 1990, The Globe and Mail)

Nevertheless, eventually Berger changed his pleas to “guilty”, and he received an absolute discharge by the judge:

“St. Henri-Westmount Liberal MP David Berger received an absolute discharge after pleading guilty yesterday to three charges of contravening the Canada Elections Act.

The charges stemmed from three advertisements placed in local weekly newspapers at the start of the 1988 federal election campaign before the permitted date.

Quebec Court Judge Jean-Charles Hamelin said a royal commission is reviewing the law under which Berger was charged, and such technical infractions may be removed from the Criminal Code. He noted the advertisments were placed without Berger’s knowledge by a campaign worker.”

(“MP Berger gets absolute discharge”, June 16, 1990, The Gazette)

As above, the Quebec judge, Jean-Charles Hamelin, noted that the law was being reviewed by a royal commission and so in the future such “technical infractions” – placing electoral advertisement too early, in this case done by a campaign worker without Berger’s knowledge – might not be treated as criminal.

In any case, George Allen’s rigorous prosecution of Liberal MP David Berger succeeded in winning a “guilty” plea from Berger for Elections Canada, even though Allen had publicly stated that “there was no chance of getting a conviction”.

As in the February 2, 1990 The Ottawa Citizen story quoted above, Allen had discussed Berger’s case in the context of a similar violation in Alberta where the court had ruled in favor of the person being prosecuted; still, Allen continued to appeal that case to the higher court.

That case was against an opposition Reform party candidate, Ken Copithorne; Allen acknowledged publicly that the offence was “a relatively silly thing”, but still emphasized that the electoral candidates had an “absolute liability” under the law:

“The acquittal of a Reform Party candidate charged with federal campaign violations is being appealed by Canada’s elections commissioner.

Ken Copithorne, Reform candidate in Macleod in the Nov. 21, 1988, election, was found not guilty of violating the Canada Elections Act in provincial court in High River last fall.

But an appeal has been set for a hearing before the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench on May 3, says Copithorne’s lawyer, John Davison of Calgary.

The Reform candidate was charged with violating the advertising blackout in the early stages of the 1988 campaign. His supporters had bought an ad in the Nanton Times to publicize a meeting.

The judge found the candidate couldn’t be held responsible for actions of his supporters that he was unaware of.

The case has caused a stir on a House committee examining MPs’ duties and privileges. Committee members were upset that MPs remain under investigation for similar actions after the Alberta judge issued the acquittal.

The committee has asked Elections Commissioner George Allen to appear before it next week to explain why a charge was laid against Montreal Liberal MP David Berger for an apparently similar blackout violation.

Allen told the committee on Jan. 17 that the charge against Copithorne was “for a relatively silly thing, really.

“The party knew there was a blackout period. The candidate knew . . . . The official agent knew. All the top brass knew. But they did not tell the person in a particular area who was responsible for publicity.”

Yet the act is written so that there is an “absolute liability” of candidates, and they must be held responsible for the actions of their supporters, Allen said.”

(“Elections boss appeals acquittal of Reformer”, by Geoff White, February 3, 1990, Calgary Herald)

The several cases reviewed above, namely the cases of Progressive Conservative MPs and government officials Brian Mulroney, Benoit Bouchard and Pierre Vincent, Liberal MP David Berger and Reform candidate Ken Copithorne, are what I have found in the major press archives directly reflecting George Allen’s handling of the November 1988 election rule-violation cases.

Commissioner Allen’s unrelenting prosecution of an opposition Liberal MP and an opposition Reform candidate stood in sharp contrast to his decision not to prosecute two Mulroney government senior MPs and government officials, not to mention his ‘altering’ official Elections Canada analysis in a way such that Prime Minister Mulroney’s violation wasn’t wrong at all.

When it comes to the November 1988 election-related Richard Grise affair, I have not found any press coverage or public information on whether the affair was scrutinized by Elections Canada.

Given the enforcement record of the Commissioner of Canada Elections at the time as reviewed above, namely that no one in Mulroney’s governing party was prosecuted for violations in the election, I seriously doubt that anything would have been done if the matter was indeed raised to Elections Canada – especially when the matter involved not only a Tory government MP as well as Prime Minister Mulroney’s principal secretary, but also senior RCMP officers like Brian McConnell who were George Allen’s former colleagues.

Regardless of the truth, when Colin McGregor killed Patricia Allen with a crossbow-and-arrow several years later in November 1991, his mind was filled likely not only with rage against his wife but also fury about her father’s stand – whatever that might be – on the Richard Grise affair, as a Montreal The Gazette news story extensively quoted earlier in reviewing the incident, written by Claude Arpin and dated November 23, 1991, contained some intriguingly revealing information:

“Brian Todd, now a political aide to Phil Edmonston, the New Democratic Party MP for Chambly, remembers that McGregor loved to debate issues.

“I knew him at McGill as a right-leaning contrarian” – someone who says black is white just for argument’s sake.

“He was a professional debunker, always picking fights in print with various lobby groups,” Todd said.

But McGregor didn’t seem a violent fellow “in any way,” he said.”

Wow! One of the persons interviewed by the media in the wake of the savage and heartless murder, who had known the killer Colin McGregor since the McGill university days and gave the media some insightful info about the killer’s personality and professional profile, was at the time of the incident a political aide to Phil Edmonston, “the New Democratic Party MP for Chambly”.

As discussed and quoted earlier about the Richard Grise affair, the corruption complaint against Tory MP Grise was filed by his “main opponent in Chambly, New Democratic Party candidate Phil Edmonston”, in August 1988; subsequently, Grise won the November 21 election, but later due to the RCMP prosecution resigned on May 30, 1989, “after pleading guilty of fraud and breach of trust”.

So by November 1991, the complainant Edmonston had won that parliamentary seat vacated by Grise and was the MP.

Given that McGregor, as described by his acquaintance Brian Todd, was a fierce debater and prolific reporter of politics-related issues, that this acquaintance who had known him well and spoke to the media in considerable details about him was now Edmonston’s political aide, and that the father of his estranged wife whom he had just murdered was the top Elections Canada official “in charge of election law compliance and enforcement”, almost without a doubt the Grise affair issue had been an issue of discussion between McGregor and his old acquaintance Todd, and very likely an issue of debate between McGregor and his father-in-law.

Why then, did the media not investigate such possible political facets to the Patricia Allen murder?

I notice that the detailed The Gazette story I have quoted did not refer to George Allen as an Elections Canada official, only “a retired RCMP assistant commissioner”.

Perhaps in November 1991 the media, just like around the time of the November 1988 election and later in the publicities of the Chretien residence intrusion and the Airbus Affair in November 1995 as I have reviewed, pointedly avoided certain sensitive political matters.

Another news story, written by Mike Blanchfield and published on several newspapers two days after the murder, i.e., days earlier than the above-quoted story, mentioned George Allen also as “former chairman of Canada Elections”:

“Patricia Allen graduated from law school the intellectual superior of her peers, and moved on to a life of emotional degradation, and finally death.

Allen, 31, was shot to death with a crossbow on an Ottawa street Wednesday morning. Her estranged husband, Colin McGregor, 30, has been charged with first-degree murder.

Her friends say there was nothing that could have prevented the fate she met on Argyle Street.

“We can’t come to terms with this. It is so violent and so brutal,” said Cheryl Buckley, a Montreal lawyer who graduated from McGill University law school in 1988 with Allen. “One friend cried for four hours. We’re all having a hard time.”

“None of us could keep up with her. She was brilliant,” said Janet Henchey, another classmate who is now a Toronto lawyer.

Allen graduated at the top of her class in 1988, winning the Caron Prize for the highest achievement in civil law courses.

But Henchey and Buckley said Allen’s life took a downturn when she married in the summer of 1988. It marked the beginning of degradation and emotional abuse. She planned to get a divorce, but delayed leaving until a few months ago in an effort to convince her husband that a separation was the best thing.

“The marriage was a nightmare from the beginning,” said Henchey. “I’m sure we would have all broken down after the treatment . . . it was mental cruelty.”

Allen was the daughter of George Allen, a retired RCMP assistant commissioner and former chairman of Canada Elections.

Allen and her husband separated Aug. 20, said Sgt. Robert Campbell, an Ottawa police homicide detective.”

(“Brilliant woman, brutal death”, by Mike Blanchfield, November 15, 1991, The Ottawa Citizen)

That was a misquote of George Allen’s job title, as “chairman” rather than “commissioner” of Canada Elections. But the word “former” suggested that by mid-November 1991 he had left that job, although, unlike with his former RCMP title, it was not described as “retired”.

Or perhaps not quite “retired” yet, but definitely on the way out if not already out, because in a later, year 2000 document of Elections Canada I find the term of George M. Allen described as “1988-1991”, and his successor Raymond A. Landry’s starting date as April 13, 1992. (“SPECIAL INVESTIGATORS’ MANUAL”, June 2000, Commissioner of Canada Elections)

Whether it was already “former” in November 1991, the year 1991 was a very sad ‘double ending’ for retired RCMP assistant commissioner George Allen, i.e., end of his job and end of his daughter’s life!

It was actually a ‘triple ending’ but in a broader sense, i.e., also in relation to the RCMP.

In history before George Allen, the first Commissioner of Canada Elections, then called Commissioner of Election Expenses, was John P. Dewis, 1974-1976, appointed directly from his position as Assistant Chief Electoral Officer of Canada; Dewis was succeeded by Joseph Gorman, 1976-1987, a former RCMP assistant commissioner with 33 years of RCMP service, similar to his successor Allen, 1988-1991, a former RCMP assistant commissioner with 35 years of RCMP service. After Allen, his successor Raymond Landry continued in that capacity as of the time of the above-cited Elections Canada document in year 2000; but Landry was not known for any RCMP background, but as a former University of Ottawa law professor and Dean, and a former Canadian Superintendent of Bankruptcy. (“Election Law Takes Effect”, by Peter Lloyd, August 1, 1974, Winnipeg Free Press; “Special Voting Rules, SOR/78-148, CANADA ELECTIONS ACT”, February 14, 1978, Government of Canada; “M. RAYMOND LANDRY, C.M., LL.L.”, Order of Canada, The Governor General of Canada; “Compliance Agreements as an Alternative Enforcement Mechanism in Canada’s Federal Election Law”, by David M. Brock, June 1-4, 2005, Paper for Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meetings, Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities; December 20, 2005, Obituaries, Ottawa Citizen; “Joseph Gorman, November 16, 1920 –”, August 24, 2011, Ottawa Citizen; and, “Obituaries”, October 2, 2011, Ottawa Citizen)

Hence, the end of Allen’s short term of only three years – longer only than the term of the very first person in history at this position and much shorter than the terms of the others – also ended a long period spanning most of this position’s history up to that point, when former senior RCMP officers were appointed as Commissioner of Canada Elections.

Unfortunately, as I have reviewed, George Allen’s flawed record as Commissioner of Canada Elections coincided with his being the last former RCMP assistant commissioner to serve in that role.

And as reviewed, it was also a sorrowful end for George Allen personally, losing his intellectually brilliant lawyer daughter Patricia to murder in the year his job ended, and in circumstances that may have been related to his possible mishandling of election violations.

In a delicate contrast to George Allen, who passed away at 71 according to his obituary of December 20, 2005 cited above, his predecessor Joseph Gorman, who lived to 90 as per his obituary of August 24, 2011 cited above, had earned a unique distinction in RCMP protective service for Royal and preeminent visitors to Canada, such as none other than Queen Elizabeth the Monarch and also French President Charles de Gaulle, during the historically glorious times of the 1960s:

“Gorman, a former assistant RCMP commissioner, was one of the bodyguards for the Queen on her visits to Canada, in 1964 and 1967, Canada’s Centennial Year. It’s believed that he so impressed Buckingham Palace on the Queen’s Royal visit in 1964 that they asked for him again for her 1967 visit.

“My father would never say a word, he was pretty tight-lipped,” said his daughter Lucy Gorman. She said the family learned about the special request only after the Queen’s visits.

“But I’m sure it is true because other people spoke about it afterwards,” she said.

She said her father enjoyed shadowing Queen Elizabeth and expressed great admiration for her, but French president Charles de Gaulle was another matter. The French president caused a diplomatic stir in 1967 when from the balcony of Montreal City Hall he shouted the famous words: “Vive le Quebec libre” to the large crowd.

“He had much more trouble with Charles de Gaulle,” said Gorman, about her father’s time with the RCMP in the ’60s during the time of the Quiet Revolution in Quebec.”

(October 2, 2011, The Ottawa Citizen)

Another retired RCMP assistant commissioner who passed away in a December and in his 70s, like George Allen, was none other than J. W. B. McConnell, who along with Allen had been a highly-positioned protector of Prime Minister Mulroney for the 1988 election, and who died recently in December 2017 at 74:

“MCCONNELL, Bryan Ass’t Commissioner RCMP (ret) The McConnell family is saddened to announce the passing of Bryan on Friday, December 22, 2017 at the age of 74. … Bryan has left a legacy of family, community and service before self. From his first RCMP post in Penticton where he met Beverly, Bryan quickly rose through the ranks to his final position as Assistant Commissioner and Commanding Officer at ‘A Div’ in Ottawa. After retirement, Bryan became the Executive Director for the CACP where he continued to have an impact on policing across Canada. …”

(“Bryan McConnell”, December 22, 2017, Obituaries, Ottawa Citizen)

For the proud Royal Canadian Mounted Police, not all ended well.

But as my current review has illustrated, the Canadian media tended to appear oblivious to what really happened with the RCMP – perhaps other than on the case of Inspector Claude Savoie, who then suddenly died just when the media got to a major gang story he was in.

When the Chretien government took over power in late 1993, the records of the RCMP senior officers who would be responsible for his security, as I have reviewed Chief Superintendent Al Rivard and Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell especially, including their handlings of various law-enforcement situations, must have been known among the RCMP top management, and thus would, or at least should, not be a secret to the new government leadership – at least not to Prime Minister Chretien, a former justice minister.

Therefore, it is unclear why Chretien tolerated such a unfriendly security arrangement before the residence break-in scare – especially in light of the Earl Kevin Jans incident prior, that would be a reminder about the Patricia Allen murder.

But how Chretien responded to the break-in incident and its aftermath showed a ‘pacifist’, or perhaps even ‘appeasing’, posture toward the real and potential antagonists.

A revealing moment of Chretien trying to handle the personal crisis situation in the early morning of November 5, 1995, was told by Chretien himself, here as reported by journalist David Vienneau in a November 8 Toronto Star story, earlier quoted from my September 2013 post:

““He was about six feet away from my bed,” Chretien said in shedding more light on the 3 a.m. incident.

Chretien had grabbed a soapstone carving of a bird and he was ready to defend his wife and himself if necessary.

“He’d have had a headache,” Chretien said.

“He was a good-looking guy but he had a strange look in his eyes,” Chretien said, explaining that while in his housecoat he went to see the individual after he had been handcuffed and arrested.”

As told, Chretien had taken up an art sculpture as defence weapon in case the knife-wielding intruder broke into the bedroom, but after the intruder was arrested and handcuffed Chretien went to “see the individual” and later said to  reporters, “he was a good-looking guy …”.

Rather than expressing outrage for the violent threat to the personal safety of him and his wife, and denunciation befitting his statue as the country’s leader, Chretien made a personal gesture to calm the situation and not escalate any animosity on the part of the intruder. It should be considered a ‘pacifist’ gesture compatible with, at the governing level, his government’s ongoing legislative efforts to ban military-style assault weapons and institute stricter gun control.

But there was a historical context to Chretien’s joke of “a good-looking guy”, here as discussed in my September 2013 post:

“In the wee hours of November 5, a knife-wielding intruder, 34-year-old Andre Dallaire from Quebec, slipped inside the Prime Minister’s residence and came face to face with Mrs. Aline Chretien, who quickly retreated to their bedroom, locked the doors and called RCMP guards, who took 10 minutes to arrive and arrest the man holding an open jackknife outside the main bedroom door (“PM says wife kept assailant out of bedroom; Couple waited up to 10 minutes for police arrival”, by Mike Blanchfield, November 6, 1995, The Ottawa Citizen):


One former resident, Margaret Kemper, the ex-wife of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, said it didn’t surprise her to hear someone had got inside the house without being detected.

“I can see it happening easily. There are all kinds of ways to get into the house,” she said Sunday, recounting that, in 1969, a woman got into the house without the RCMP knowing about it. Trudeau, she said, found the woman locked in his bedroom closet.

Kemper, who married Trudeau in 1971 and separated from him in 1977, speculated the intruder got into the house through either a side door or a door at the rear of the house. …


As Pierre Trudeau’s ex-wife Margaret Kemper said, an undetected intrusion at 24 Sussex Drive had happened before but that intruder meant romance with Trudeau.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As told, an intrusion had taken place when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his wife Margaret lived there but that intruder, a woman, went to hide in Trudeau’s bedroom closet waiting for romance.

Perhaps, given the Chretien government’s parallel legislative efforts to also bring in an anti-hate crime law to protect minority rights, including homosexual rights, Chretien’s joke to the reporters could be interpreted as intimating that this man could have been looking for him for a sexual tryst – “a good-looking guy” being quite complimentary in a homosexual-friendly context.

On the other hand, when this intruding man had held “an open jackknife” in his hand, the “good-looking guy” flattery might just be beyond ‘pacifist’ but on the ‘appeasist’, namely appeasing, side – with or without the homosexual intimation.

Dealing with the RCMP’s lax security for his residence, Chretien took a similarly non-confrontational approach, expecting his security to be adequately improved but otherwise conciliatory toward the police force regardless of malfeasances there might have been in their negligence, as my review of the follow-up events would show, as described below.

After the incident, there were some serious complaints by an RCMP employee representative about the RCMP senior management’s handling afterwards:

“RCMP management took actions to suspend 4 officers onsite that night, and reassigned 3 of their supervisors, as A/Comm. Bryan McConnell announced…

An RCMP employee representative, Staff Sergeant Joe Brennan, complained that the disciplinary actions favored the senior officers…

Criticisms of RCMP management by S/Sgt. Joe Brennan, “the elected staff representative for A Division”, prompted RCMP “A” Division commander, A/Comm. Bryan McConnell, to issue a formal statement that the 3 supervisors’ transfers were taking place 4 months sooner due to the incident; but Brennan still felt the onsite junior cops shouldn’t be blamed (“RCMP boss disputes Mountie’s version of disciplinary action; Assistant commissioner admits reassigned supervisors’ jobs were to be abolished but says severe punishment was in ending positions early”, by Hugh Winsor, November 17, 1995, The Globe and Mail):

“Assistant Commissioner Brian McConnell, commander of the RCMP’s A Division, which includes responsibility for security at 24 Sussex Drive, issued a statement yesterday disputing an accusation from a Mountie employee suggesting that the force has been fibbing about disciplinary measures taken.

When he announced last week that four officers on duty at 24 Sussex Drive had been suspended and three of their supervisors had been reassigned, Mr. McConnell said the reassignments were made “because supervisors must be accountable for the actions of their units.” He also said the action taken was severe, “but given the serious errors of judgment that led to the incident, I believe these actions are justified.” But yesterday, following Staff Sgt. Brennan’s intervention, Mr. McConnell admitted the three supervisory positions were being abolished on April 1 as part of an overall restructuring of A Division that had been decided before the break-in. But he said the reassignments had been moved ahead by four months as a direct result of the incident at the Prime Minister’s residence.

Staff Sgt. Brennan is the elected staff representative for A Division, responsible for taking members’ grievances to senior management and acting as an advocate on staff relations’ matters. RCMP members are not allowed to have a union.

He has interviewed the four suspended officers and analyzed past security assessments and the picture he presents of what happened at the Prime Minister’s residence is quite different from that painted in earlier reports.


According to S/Sgt. Brennan, the RCMP corporal in charge onsite went in and made the arrest on his own within 4 minutes, not 7-10 minutes.

A day later an RCMP decision was made to suspend one of the 3 supervisors, to upgrade security equipment and to require all guards to have VIP training (“Fallout from break-in moves through ranks: Senior mountie suspended over breach of security at prime minister’s residence”, by Leonard Stern, November 18, 1995, The Vancouver Sun):

“At Friday’s news conference, the RCMP announced that one of the senior officers now has been suspended indefinitely with pay. Insp. Cindy Villeneuve also said that the four junior members have been given an additional seven days to prepare their explanations.

Brennan believes the four junior members were partly vindicated Friday when the RCMP said that the electronic monitoring equipment at 24 Sussex has been upgraded and that all Mounties posted at the house will now receive specialized VIP training.

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As above, an open disagreement emerged on November 16 between “A” Division commander Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell and “A” Division elected staff representative Staff Sergeant Joe Brennan, over the disciplinary measures against the junior versus senior officers.

S/Sgt. Brennan’s criticisms led to an RCMP announcement of security personnel improvement on November 17, most likely a decision by the RCMP leadership, that included not only the reassignment of some senior officers such as C/Supt. Al Rivard as in the above, but also the transfer of security supervision for Chretien’s residences away from the “A” Division – commanded by Bryan McConnell – and to the national headquarters; immediately on November 18, Chretien expressed satisfaction with the changes and announced, “There’s no need for a public inquiry into that matter”:

“The latest remedies and policy changes were likely from “A” Division commander’s superiors, as the changes upgraded the Prime Minister’s residence security to VIP-protection level and RCMP headquarters’ direct supervision:

“The RCMP announced tighter security measures Friday for the prime minister:

* Security for prime minister and his residences (24 Sussex Drive and nearby Harrington Lake) put under one unit, reporting to national headquarters.

* Levels of supervision reduced to three from five, shortening chain of command.

* RCMP responsible for PM’s personal protection now guard residences on rotating basis.

* Unit to be comprised of Mounties with specialized VIP training.


Now Chretien’s security everywhere was overseen by A/Comm. Wayne Martel, presumably.

The next day at an Asia Pacific summit in Osaka, Japan, Chretien said the RCMP was now doing enough and a public inquiry was not needed (“Chretien rejects inquiry into security breach”, by Les Whittington, November 19, 1995, The Ottawa Citizen):

““There’s no need for a public inquiry into that matter. The RCMP is responsible for security at 24 Sussex and they apparently are changing the procedures and the equipment and it’s for them to decide.”

Chretien made the statement in Osaka, Japan, where the prime minister and leaders of 17 other countries are giving formal approval today to an agreement that is to significantly reduce trade barriers in the Asia-Pacific region over the next 20 years.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

Without initiating any measure to uncover and resolve problems in the RCMP that let this violent security breach and nearly violent personal encounter happen, Chretien made the gesture of personally thanking the RCMP corporal who had come over from the Governor General’s residence and acted alone to arrest the armed intruder:

“Rather than ordering an inquiry, Chretien personally thanked the RCMP corporal in charge that night as it became known that the corporal had come over from the Governor General’s residence to arrest the intruder, within 4 minutes and with no help – an incredibly heroic tale in a debacle (“Mountie thanked by PM, brass told”, by Tim Harper, November 24, 1995, Toronto Star):

“An RCMP corporal facing dismissal from the force was personally thanked by Jean Chretien for thwarting a potential attack on the Prime Minister and his wife earlier this month, according to information provided to his superiors.

The information was given to RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell by Staff-Sergeant Joe Brennan yesterday. It was contained in a written submission in an attempt to have the corporal’s suspension lifted.

According to Brennan’s investigation, the corporal was in charge of three security operations that night – 24 Sussex, the Governor-General’s residence and the Prime Minister’s summer home at Harrington Lake, Que.

He was at the Governor-General’s when alerted to the break-in. The staff association says he entered the premises and made the arrest without waiting for back-up.

The staff association alleges the four senior officers erred that night and none came to the scene to take charge.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

The November 24 news story by Tim Harper, quoted in the above, showed that Chretien did not go through the RCMP senior management to express his gratitude to the corporal, and the “A” Division commander, A/Commissioner Bryan McConnell, was informed of Chretien’s gesture only later by the employee representative, S/Sgt. Joe Brennan, as evidence of the corporal’s good conduct in a bid to end his suspension reprimand.

In doing so, the politically active Prime Minister Chretien opted for a ‘people-oriented’ populist gesture praising the heroism of an exemplary junior police officer, as a stand-in for accountability, i.e., not dealing with the negligence shown by almost everyone else responsible for security, as I commented:

“How low and how sad had the RCMP sunk to in this saga: a Corporal, ranked just above Constables, was put in charge of protecting all head-of-state and head-of-government official residences; and when the intrusion occurred he had to go from one place to another, enter an unfamiliar place and make the arrest, while the special and regular constables under him didn’t follow and his superiors wouldn’t bother to show up.”

(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

Of course, to Prime Minister Chretien’s expressed satisfaction, RCMP security measures for him and his wife had just been improved as described earlier. However, accountability would have been meant, at least in its objective, to improve security not only for the leader but for the country.

Nevertheless, other major stories in the news by this time, November 17-19 as reviewed earlier, namely coming out of the RCMP criminal investigation of former Prime Minister Mulroney over possible Airbus sale kickbacks, and Mulroney’s legal counteraction suing the government and RCMP, were taking Chretien’s Liberal populism to a magical new height – without most of the public even being aware that one of Mulroney’s top lawyers in the media spotlight for his lawsuit, Roger Tasse, was actually Prime Minister Chretien’s long-time close friend and former private law partner.

Thus, as I have shown, the more detailed reviews and analyses I have conducted and posted after 2009, particularly from 2012 to 2014, were able to validate major issues about the Airbus Affair and possible corruption of former Prime Minister Mulroney, first studied during my first year of blogging in 2009, and place them in broader political and longer historical contexts – including the history of political contests between Mulroney’s Progressive Conservative party on the political right and the Liberal and New Democratic parties on the left, as well as certain political roles the Royal Canadian Mounted Police played.

In particular, with some elaboration in my current review, a number of links I have analyzed since 2009 about several incidents of violence, especially the crossbow-and-arrow murder of Patricia Allen and the knife-armed intrusion of Prime Minister Chretien’s residence, revealed that it was a real possibility violence and violent threat had been involved in relation with politics in the Mulroney and Chretien eras – including the politics of the Airbus Affair and of the criminal investigation of Mulroney.

I especially reasoned as follows in my January 2014 post, about the RCMP’s possible, critical role in relation to the links I uncovered between the criminal investigation of Mulroney and the break-in at Chretien’s residence:

“In the Airbus Affair, on November 4 only hours before the intrusion at Chretien’s residence, Brian Mulroney’s side made its first contact with the government regarding the criminal investigation, with Mulroney lawyer Roger Tasse phoning Justice Minister Allan Rock.

Such simultaneous timing would normally have been unrelated, but in this instance it appeared conspicuous and suggestive of a possible connection, for several reasons.

Firstly, Mulroney’s Tory party and Chretien’s Liberal party had been the only governing contenders and the main political foes in Canadian history, Mulroney’s party under Kim Campbell had been nearly wiped out by Chretien’s party in the 1993 election, and now the Airbus Affair criminal investigation and the Prime Minister’s residence intrusion mutually targeted the two men personally.

Secondly, by letting low-level personnel be in charge with the Chretien residence security and with the Mulroney criminal investigation, RCMP left rooms for confusions and incidents while maintaining deniability by senior management.

The RCMP spokesman Sgt. Guertin who said in 1998 that the freed Dallaire understood he could not come within 500 metres of the prime minister, had been RCMP Commissioner Philip Murray’s spokesman in early 1997 regarding the legal settlement with Mulroney in the Airbus Affair. That could be a subtle indication that in the intrusion case the RCMP’s highest level knew what RCMP was dealing with, that the probability of real violence was low; when a little intimidation of Chretien was tolerated, Mulroney could be a beneficiary.

And thirdly, the two cases appeared conspicuously related because, as I have identified in Part 11, there was one RCMP senior leader figure likely responsible for supervising both events, and when the residence break-in occurred in the early morning of November 5 he chose to oversee “damage control”, i.e., public relations, rather than the Chretiens’ safety: then RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bryan McConnell, commanding officer of the Capital Ottawa “A” Division with jurisdiction for guarding the Prime Minister’s residence and for the Airbus Affair criminal investigation.”

(January 26, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

That and more having been illustrated, I should acknowledge that my past reviews and analyses have not really dug into the international dimensions of these high-profile Canadian events of political relevance.

In particular, the recurring theme that worse political violence in which foreign political leaders were gunned down coincided in timing with something about Jean Chretien the Canadian prime minister, is not yet understood.

These included, as previously discussed: the assassination of Mexican ruling party presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio on March 23, 1994, the day when Chretien arrived in Mexico for his first official foreign visit, and Chretien then encountered an emotional mob when trying to pay tribute at the funeral home; and Andre Dallaire’s knife-armed break-in of Chretien’s residence in the early-morning darkness of November 5, 1995, after Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had been assassinated the day before and Chretien would leave for the funeral later that day.

The expansion in my current review, on the history of the International Criminal Police Organization and some of its former presidents, first touched on by me in 2009 regarding the November 1992 ascent of RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster to the leadership of international policing at a time when I was starting my activism in Canadian politics and Prime Minister Mulroney was maneuvering to protect his rule and legacies, has come across a small, seemingly random, coincidence between violent assassination in foreign land and violent threat in Canada: the name of the man carrying a crossbow and three arrows looking for Prime Minister Chretien in May 1994, Earl Kevin Jans, had some similarities to that of Jan Kubiš, one of the heroic Czechoslovakian resistance agents attempting to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, German Nazi police leader, overseer of “Germanization” in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia and president of the Nazi-controlled Interpol, in May 1942.

If Jans’s name is taken as a ‘hint’, i.e., someone of his name might have been inspired or stimulated by that part of history, then Commissioner Inkster’s unfinished Interpol presidency, which he left in September 1994 less than two years into an elected 4-year term, after the Chretien Liberals’ trouncing of the former Mulroney ruling party under Kim Campbell in an October 1993 election and Prime Minister Chretien’s announcing in February 1994 his RCMP resignation to take effect in June, may have been a result of relevant politics.

As already reviewed, in November 1992 when Inkster was acclaimed Interpol president after the opposing candidate proposed by China withdrew in favor of him, the Canadian media mentioned some controversial Interpol history in reporting Inkster’s ascent, citing RCMP Inspector Claude Sweeney, head of Interpol’s Canadian branch, here as quoted earlier:

“Imagine what kind of clout in the international law-and-order arena the new Chretien government would lose with the departure of RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster, whose Interpol appointment had been praised by the RCMP as “a great honour for Canada” and for the RCMP, even if within the RCMP there were different opinions about the Interpol: while Inspector Claude Sweeney, head of Interpol’s Canadian branch, was enthusiastic about the benefit of computerized information hook-up in the plan, others pointed to examples of concern, such as in Venezuela where Interpol was expected to help track dissidents as criminals, or former Interpol drugs committee chairman Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian leader indicted in 1988 in the United States on narcotics charges, or former Interpol president Jolly Bugarin, crony of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, widely accused of a cover-up in the killing of Marcos opponent Benigno Aquino in 1983. 173

As told, in November 1992 the RCMP praised Inkster’s new Interpol presidency as “a great honour for Canada” and Insp. Claude Sweeney was enthusiastic about computerized information the Interpol would bring about, but others expressed caution due to certain Interpol history involving oppression, narcotics and corruption.

Here are more of the details of the RCMP’s praises about Inkster’s elevation to the top of international policing and Insp. Sweeney’s enthusiasm about the Interpol, from the news story I had cited in my May 27, 2009 blog post:

“The election of Mr. Inkster, who will continue to head the RCMP, came by acclamation at Interpol’s 61st general assembly in Senegal, where 124 of the 158 member states were represented.

“It’s a great honour for Canada, for the RCMP and for Commissioner Inkster,” said RCMP Inspector Yves Juteau, who co-ordinated Interpol’s 59th general assembly in Ottawa two years ago. “And it’s testimony to the credibility of all three.”

Solicitor-General Doug Lewis praised Mr. Inkster as “an outstanding police officer whose expertise and experience will be of benefit to police forces around the world.”

Contrary to popular myth, Interpol – an acronym for International Criminal Police Organization – does not conduct investigations or make arrests. Rather, its approximately $100-million budget provides an international information conduit from its base in Lyon.

… Mr. Inkster will work closely with Interpol’s secretary-general, Raymond Kendall of Britain.

Mr. Kendall has been candid about Interpol, which dates back to 1914. Three years ago, he told an international policing symposium in Kentucky that “it’s difficult to get even two countries to exchange information on an agency basis.” As an example, he cited the trouble that investigators had in tracing the route of the handgun used in the assassination attempt against the Pope in 1980. The gun had been bought and sold in several countries.

Many of those obstacles may disappear next year when a computerized linkup is to connect Interpol members, not only to the approximately 260 staff members in Lyon, but to each other. Written material, fingerprints, pictures of suspects and a host of other data will be available at the push of a button.

RCMP Inspector Claude Sweeney, whose staff of 35 work at Interpol’s Canadian branch in Ottawa, is enthusiastic about the hookup, which he hopes will happen by April. “It’s going to make a big difference.” About 12,000 requests for information currently flow back and forth between Ottawa and Lyon every year, compared with a million-plus checks between U.S. and Canadian police computers.

What may not alter, however, is a widespread wariness about dropping too much data into the Interpol pool, police say.

Insp. Sweeney agreed. “There’s concern all the time, so it’s done on a need-to-know basis.” In some instances, he said, a member will communicate directly with a particular country, or with a select few, bypassing Interpol.

At other times, Insp. Sweeney said, the RCMP will make inquiries through one of its own officers scattered in 18 countries around the world.”

(“Inkster acclaimed as Interpol head; RCMP leader takes over troubled agency trying to combat global crime”, by Timothy Appleby, November 11, 1992, The Globe and Mail)

As reported above, Inkster was acclaimed Interpol president at the organization’s 61st general assembly in Senegal where 124 of the 158 member states attended, and his ascent was praised by RCMP Inspector Yves Juteau who had coordinated Interpol’s 59th general assembly hosted by Canada in Ottawa, and by Solicitor General Doug Lewis, the Canadian government official overseeing the RCMP.

Also as described above, the Interpol did not practise law enforcement but was the official venue of information sharing and exchange for police agencies around the world. Its secretary-general, Raymond Kendall, had previously remarked that it was difficult for police agencies to exchange information directly due to the international nature of certain activities: e.g., the gun used in the 1980 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II had been bought and sold in several countries.

It was in this context that Insp. Claude Sweeney, who headed Canada’s Interpol branch of 35 staff members, expressed his enthusiasm about the computerized information hookup in the works with the Interpol, that would allow law-enforcement data such as “written material, fingerprints, pictures of suspects”, etc., to be made available to Interpol members around the world “at the push of a button”.

“It’s going to make a big difference”, as Insp. Sweeney said.

In my review of the Chretien residence intrusion incident, as previously quoted from my September 29, 2013 post, there was an “unnamed superintendent in charge of Chretien’s bodyguards”, who was one of the senior RCMP officers failing to fulfill their duties the night of the break-in:

“Security holes also existed in the systemic ‘acting up’ manner of the RCMP senior officers, not just Al Rivard, shown the night of the Dallaire intrusion (“Break-in probe reaches RCMP brass; One senior officer already suspended, sources say”, by Tim Harper, November 17, 1995, Toronto Star):

“The sources told The Star that one member of a senior management quartet, Inspector Jean Dube, has already been suspended.

But the sources say the probe could be extended to include Chief Superintendent Al Rivard; McConnell, the commanding officer of the RCMP’s A Division; and an unnamed superintendent in charge of Chretien’s bodyguards.

All must bear some responsibility for the snafu that night, the source said, for not taking charge at 24 Sussex but instead going to RCMP headquarters.

As previously quoted from my same blog post, that “unnamed superintendent” was Claude Sweeney according to a different news story:

“RCMP management took actions to suspend 4 officers onsite that night, and reassigned 3 of their supervisors, as A/Comm. Bryan McConnell announced…

But the media learned 2 of the 4 onsite officers were of the lowest rank, “special constables”, and the reassigned supervisors were already on their way out in pre-planned downsizing (“Mounties’ transfer not tied to break-in; Downsizing explains move at 24 Sussex”, by Leonard Stern, November 16, 1995, The Ottawa Citizen):

“Two of the four Mounties on duty that night were special constables, the lowest rank in the force and the one with the least training.

But the three officers — Supt. Claude Sweeney, Insp. Jean Dube and Staff Sgt. Frank Trottier — knew before the break-in that their positions were being eliminated.

Several sources say that, earlier this year, McConnell was involved with a report recommending that Sweeney’s position be downgraded to inspector, and that those of Dube and Trottier be eliminated.

Sweeney is taking a government buyout. …”

Now, the intriguing question is: was Superintendent Claude Sweeney in charge of Chretien’s bodyguards in November 1995 the same person as Inspector Claude Sweeney heading the Canadian Interpol branch in November 1992?

I did not know and am still not sure. Unlike with Al Rivard, whose name was rare and so most likely unique among the senior management of the RCMP, or with Brian, J. W. B. or Bryan McConnell, whose name history I was able to trace through the press archives, I have not found sufficient information to determine whether the two Claude Sweeneys were the same person.

As a result, I have not included more discussions of Claude Sweeney in my reviews, that is, until now.

Now that I have reviewed old Interpol history with Reinhard Heydrich as president, and noticed that the man using crossbow-and-arrow as a gesture of potential violence toward Prime Minister Chretien in 1994, Earl Kevin Jans, had name similarities to one of Heydrich’s assassins, Jan Kubiš in 1942, I can at least guess that there may have been an Interpol-related facet in the break-in incident, and therefore, there is a real possibility that the two Claude Sweeneys were the same RCMP officer.

If that’s true, then besides Al Rivard who epitomized lack of diligence and lack of competence on the part of the RCMP, and J. W. B. McConnell who epitomized certain hidden political, and perhaps even criminal, agendas within the RCMP, there was Claude Sweeney who most likely symbolized the unhappiness of those RCMP members who saw that Chretien’s takeover of the government led to the premature loss of “a great honour for Canada, for the RCMP and for Commissioner Inkster”.

For Sweeney personally, his Interpol involvement went beyond involving with the 59th general assembly in Ottawa in 1990 and helping the organization modernize, and dated back to his working at the Interpol headquarters in the mid-1980s when Norman Inkster was still Deputy Commissioner of the RCMP:

“History compounds its image problem: Interpol was once Nazi-controlled. It later refused to hunt war criminals.

Until recent years, it has been in a technological backwater. Many of the organization’s files at its European headquarters had to be retrieved manually by clerks stationed in front of antiquated rotating storage racks. Morse code is still the only way to communicate with some of the agency’s more far-flung outposts, from Addis Ababa to Yaounde. …

As a result, Interpol has had to modernize quickly to survive. It recently built a multi-million-dollar headquarters in Lyon, France, automated and updated its data-processing and communications network, formed an anti-terrorist unit and trimmed its two million-odd criminal files to 250,000 — more than half of those related to drug traffickers  and money launderers.

And the 67-year-old agency, a co-operative comprising representatives of 150 national police forces, is struggling to get police to flex the long arm of the law in a world where criminals increasingly operate on a planetary scale.

“We’ve been going to all the police colleges in Canada to demystify the organization,” says RCMP Supt. Claude Sweeney, chief of Interpol Canada’s operations. …

About 500 members of the world’s most elite constabulary, including first-time observers from the Soviet Union and Poland, will come to Ottawa in late September for a week-long Interpol general assembly at the city’s Congress Centre and the Government Conference Centre. Planning for the assembly is being handled by a special task force at RCMP headquarters. A similar, but much smaller, gathering was held here in 1971.

The issues delegates will debate are expected to help chart the destiny of the global police body, as well as bolster Canada’s already prestigious image in the international police community.

“Interpol’s potential is tremendous,” says Sweeney.

While the organization’s aura of international intrigue is somewhat misleading, it has survived some momentous incidents.

In 1986, members of the French extreme leftist group, Direct Action, attacked Interpol’s former headquarters in St. Cloud, a Paris suburb, where Sweeney was then working as head of organizational development.

The building was sprayed with bullets, injuring one police officer, and a powerful bomb was detonated on the floor above Sweeney’s office.

Although no one was inside the office at the time, the bomb blew a large hole in the cement and steel-reinforced ceiling.

Days earlier, RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster, then deputy commissioner of criminal operations for the RCMP, had been standing in the same spot during a visit.”

(“Interpol: Dealing with an identity crisis”, by Ian MacLeod, June 18, 1990, The Ottawa Citizen)

Remarkably as told above, when Claude Sweeney was the head of organizational development at then Interpol headquarters in St. Cloud in the suburb of Paris, there was a French extreme leftist group Direct Action attack, and a bomb blew a large hole in the ceiling at a spot where Inkster had stood in a visit days before.

As I had commented in 2009, quoted earlier, the RCMP resignation of Inkster in 1994 and the subsequent loss of the Interpol presidency for Canada was merely a part of the Chretien Liberals’ retreat from parts of the international arena:

“While Inkster’s resignation in 1994 was expected to give the Liberal government a fresh start in gun control at home, it also took place amid the Liberals’ retreat from its election promise of higher priority for international human rights, to focus on the economy and business…”

In contrast to Supt. Claude Sweeney’s long and significant service improving Interpol and Canada’s “prestigious image in the international police community”, as quoted from the 1990 news story above on the Interpol, in November 1995 – if it was indeed the same Claude Sweeney – he found himself at the critical job of supervising the bodyguards of Prime Minister Jean Chretien, a recently elected, ‘people-oriented’ populist political leader within Canada.

Somehow, Sweeney wasn’t that enamoured by his latest uniquely “prestigious” and all-important job, and as previously discussed was “taking a government buyout”, i.e., taking incentivized early retirement.

So imagine, for whatever reasons, that some of these senior RCMP officers found themselves facing an unpleasant scenario of “direct action” – to borrow the terminology of the French militant group Sweeney had had experience with in 1986 in St. Cloud, France – namely that certain figures wanted to give Prime Minister Chretien a lesson in Canada, a much more peaceful country. In that scenario, from his professional perspective Sweeney might not be that dead set against it – if real personal harm did not occur to the Chretiens.

But could Sweeney be really confident in such a scenario, with his many RCMP years focused on the modest number of files going through the Interpol system compared to the huge number of crimes the Canadian police regularly handled? For instance, if an underling of Assistant Commissioner McConnell knew of some local “amphetamine speed” seller wanting “direct action”, could Superintendent Sweeney let him pass?

The above question is not a far-fetched imagination, considering that Yigal Amir, who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, just one day before the Chretien residence intrusion, was a Israeli political extremist with security intelligence links, and that as reviewed earlier Andre Dallaire professed to be an hardline Quebec separatist. (“Israeli security services under scrutiny after Rabin’s death”, by Walter Rodgers, November 21, 1995, CNN)

Therefore, whatever the real truth, in the early morning of November 5, 1995, Prime Minister Chretien found his best protection to be his wife Aline who, when confronted by a knife-wielding intruder, quickly retreated into the bedroom, locked the doors from inside and phoned security, as later The Globe and Mail complimented her while chiding McConnell, quoted earlier:

“Really hot – Aline Chretien, who remains calm and collected, locking doors and phoning police.

Cold – RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brian McConnell, who as head of A Division is responsible for 24 Sussex Dr. security, went to RCMP headquarters to oversee damage control rather than to the Prime Minister’s residence to oversee security.”

A very relevant truth, emerging from my reviews and analyses up to this point, could be that the unwillingness on the part of the Chretien government to get to the bottom of the Airbus Affair, through the RCMP criminal investigation of Mulroney, had been a major factor for Canada’s premature loss of “a great honour for Canada, for the RCMP and for Commissioner Inkster”.

As earlier reviewed, when his departure from the RCMP was announced in February 1994, Inkster hoped that he might not have to relinquish the Interpol presidency, and planned to discuss “with his replacement as commissioner and the world body’s executive” about the prospect of staying on, but then he quit in September; I have also noted that the previous Interpol president from Canada, William Higgitt, served out the remainder of his 4-year Interpol presidency after retiring from the RCMP in the early 1970s; and I have commented on the timing of Inkster’s Interpol resignation, that Stevie Cameron’s book on corruption in the Mulroney era, with some discussion on the Airbus Affair, was coming out in October 1994.

Now imagine that former RCMP Commissioner Inkster had continued as Interpol president to the end of his elected term in late 1996; and in September 1995, instead of sending a letter directly to the Swiss authorities requesting cooperation to investigate “criminal activities” on the part of Mr. Brian Mulroney, the former Canadian Prime Minister who had promoted Inkster to the RCMP’s helm and helped his ascent to the Interpol’s helm, the Canadian government and the RCMP had sent the letter through the Interpol, and the information had been quickly communicated and become “available at the push of a button” – as quoted earlier, about the modernized international police information exchange, from a November 11, 1992 The Globe and Mail story reporting on Inkster’s acclamation as the Interpol president.

Or would the Canadian government and the RCMP have done as above?

As reported, Canadian police worried – and no doubt persons in criminal activities worried even more – and Inspector Claude Sweeney agreed with their concerns, as earlier quoted:

“What may not alter, however, is a widespread wariness about dropping too much data into the Interpol pool, police say.

Insp. Sweeney agreed. “There’s concern all the time, so it’s done on a need-to-know basis.” In some instances, he said, a member will communicate directly with a particular country, or with a select few, bypassing Interpol.”

So, Canada might just bypass Interpol on the Mulroney file in any case, with or without Inkster at its helm at the time, as the Canadian government in fact did, sending the letter to only “a particular country”, the very select and prestigious Switzerland.

But had Inkster been at Interpol’s helm at the time, bypassing the organization most likely would have drawn international criticisms for him and the Canadian government, that the Canadian guidance for modernization of the Interpol would not apply to this important Canadian police criminal case, and that neither would the new Chretien government leadership’s ‘people-oriented’ populism apply in this instance.

In a less optimistic scenario, this could even turn Inkster’s tenure at Interpol into a failure by public perception, especially considering that he had been promoted to the top by Mr. Mulroney. Alternatively, the Chretien government could delay its major law-and-order agendas for a significant period of time, i.e., from 1994 to the end of Inkster’s normal 4-year term at the Interpol in late 1996, and endure lost political momentum and growing public doubts wondering why the new government did not take major steps on law and order.

Hence, Inkster’s 1994 departure from the helm of not only the RCMP but also the Interpol preempted potential international and domestic political and public-relations problems for the Chretien government – as long as all was quiet, i.e., the Canadian media did not dig deeper into his departure, which as it turned out the media did not, almost not reporting his Interpol departure at all.

The remaining two years of Inkster’s term, 1994-1996, was then taken over by Swedish police commissioner and Interpol vice president Björn Eriksson, who was a former budget director of the Swedish Ministry of Finance, former head of the Swedish Customs Service and of the Swedish Coast Guard, and former Chairman of the World Customs Organization. After successfully completing the job left early by Inkster, Eriksson became the first-ever Honorary President of the Interpol. (“Björn Eriksson (civil servant)”, Wikipedia)

What a ‘greater honor’ for Sweden and Björn Eriksson that Canada and Norman Inkster did not get, what a stellar prior record of accomplishments Mr. Eriksson had that could have been a help in the investigation of Mr. Mulroney’s “criminal activities”, and what a ‘quitter’ Mr. Inkster was!

Nevertheless, Canadians may argue that in Mulroney’s case the Interpol did not really matter because Karlheinz Schreiber had funnelled the Airbus commissions through a specific bank in a specific country, Switzerland, to which the Canadian government did send a letter to request investigative assistance.

That was what the media spotlights focused on in November 1995, and also in the years afterwards when it came to the Airbus Affair. But that was only because the media dutifully focused on the RCMP investigation.

Not unlike the gun used to shoot Pope John Paul II, Schreiber was actually a widely travelled international businessman and international arms dealer, i.e., operating in quite a few countries, and Mulroney’s close circle of friends also travelled internationally in pursue of opportunities.

The following review of the broader international links to the Airbus Affair is from my September 29, 2013 post, citing reports on German investigations into Schreiber and his activities, particularly surrounding commissions for the sale of German armoured carriers to Saudi Arabia during the 1990-91 Gulf War:

“German police targeted Schreiber directly. A December 1995 search at his home found a list related to Airbus money, with personal identities coded; police then searched the homes of several prominent figures connected to Schreiber (“Schreiber called target of $40-million bribery probe: German tax officials investigating businessman with Airbus links, newspaper says”, by William Marsden, May 12, 1996, The Gazette):

“German tax authorities are investigating German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber for what they claim is a spectacular kickback and tax evasion scheme involving more than $40 million in bribes to important German and Canadian political figures, according to a German newspaper.

The RCMP and German investigations were sparked by information from Pelossi that Schreiber had paid commissions to German and Canadian politicians through bank accounts in Liechtenstein, Panama and Switzerland.

The newspaper claims Schreiber was a member of a close circle of friends connected to the late Franz-Josef Strauss, the former flamboyant German defence minister, premier of Bavaria and chairman of the board of Airbus.

The paper claims his commissions were funneled through three companies: ATG Investments in Panama, Kensington-Anstadt and International Aircraft Leasing (IAL), both in Liechtenstein.

Investigators raided the residence of Holger Pfahl, 53, a former state secretary in Germany’s defence ministry and leader of the secret service. He is suspected of receiving about $3.5 million in bribes from ATG in Panama.


Pfahls was jailed for $2.5 million bribes taken, and taxes unpaid, for the sale of Thyssen armoured carriers to Saudi Arabia during the 1990-91 Gulf War, a project initiated by then German Chancellor Helmut Kohl at the behest of then U.S. Secretary of State James Baker…

Executed by Pfahls in a swap, 36 out-of-stock Fuchs-type tanks in German army service were shipped to the Saudis on the Thyssen company’s promise of 36 new ones for the army later; for the 226 million DM deal, Thyssen was paid 446 million DM by Saudi Arabia, an astonishing 220 million DM of it as commissions – far above the typical 10% – from which Pfahls got a share via Karlheinz Schreiber (“Pfahls/ Kiep/ Luethje/ Weyrauch”, Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, The World Bank):

“Thyssen paid 24.4 million DM into a Swiss account with the Swiss Bank Corporation held by Schreiber’s Panama registered firm “ATG”.””

An important facet of the Pfahls story is the Panamanian link, that his bribes received via the Swiss Bank Corporation came from Schreiber’s company ATG in Panama.

Not until after the 1995-97 Airbus Affair dominated by Mulroney’s lawsuit was over that it was disclosed to the public through Stevie Cameron’s 1998 book Blue Trust: The Author, the Lawyer, His Wife and Her Money, that while Mulroney was Prime Minister, Bruce Verchere, a board director of Swiss Bank Corp., was his financial trustee and lawyer, and that Verchere also had a company in Panama – I have commented in Part 8 that it looked like “an extravagant spy tale”.

As Stevie Cameron explained, Verchere had moved money from Panama to Switzerland for his family and for some clients…


(September 29, 2013, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

As reviewed above, Schreiber’s international companies were based in Liechtenstein and Panama, with some of the bank accounts in Switzerland; and Mulroney’s financial trustee and lawyer Bruce Verchere also had a company in Panama, and moved money from there to Switzerland.

As above, the German arms sale of 36 Fuchs-type tanks in German army service to Saudi Arabia, for which Schreiber distributed commissions, had been initiated by U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl during the 1990-1991 Gulf War, a subject previously discussed in Part 1 of my current article – in the context of that war’s origin and the controversial involvement of an underling of Secretary Baker, Canadian-born U.S. diplomat and senior Arabist April Catherine Glaspie.

Also as above, the German government and justice system then investigated the arms deal and prosecuted the related financial crimes accordingly, and Holger Pfahl, former German state secretary for defence and head of the secret service, was found guilty and jailed for taking bribes.

In contrast, in the Airbus Affair the Canadian government and RCMP wrote a letter to Switzerland, only, and then Mr. Mulroney’s libel lawsuit took more of the spotlights.

As already reviewed, in the end the RCMP did not even uncover the $300,000 cash Schreiber gave Mulroney – unrelated to Airbus commissions according to Schreiber – from one of his Swiss bank accounts.

Like the Airbus Affair, the German prosecution of Holger Pfahl was discussed from the start of my political blogging, in the Notes of my first blog post reviewing Canadian politics, dated February 20, 2009, about its timing proximate to the passing of my father and also Mulroney’s friend Frank Moores. The reference to the deaths was partially quoted in Part 2 of my current review, and here now is the reference to Pfahl:

“21. The time around the liver-cancer death of Mr. Frank Moores and the announcement of Justice John Major’s retirement would happen to be also a very difficult time in my personal life: … The several days around my father’s death were also turbulent in Canadian and international human affairs of relevant interest: three days prior on August 7 Peter Jennings, ABC News anchor and probably the most recognizable Canadian in the world, who had just celebrated his 67thbirthday on July 29, died of lung cancer; one day prior on August 9 Dana Reeve, widow of ‘Superman’ actor Christopher Reeve who had died of paralysis from a 1995 horse-riding accident, announced her recent lung-cancer diagnosis as well despite being a non-smoker (she would died of it in March 2006); and two days afterward on August 12 Ludwig-Holger Pfahls, former head of West German domestic intelligence and junior defence minister under Chancellor Helmut Kohl, was sentenced to jail for accepting bribes from Karlheinz Schreiber in an arms sale to Saudi Arabia during the 1991 Gulf War, after being on the lam from authorities for several years in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Madrid, Montreal and Paris, and despite court testimonies in favor of him from former Chancellor Kohl and former German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher…”

(February 20, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Of the various international subjects broached in my current review, the Interpol dimension seemed to have the most direct relevance to the Canadian incidents involving Earl Kevin Jans and Andre Dallaire, i.e., hostile violent threats toward Prime Minister Chretien, that were likely partly related to the Chretien government’s handling of Inkster’s Interpol position. In particular, the Interpol facet probably factored into Dallaire’s act of intrusion into Chretien’s residence, and its timing – barely a day after Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in Israel, and only hours after Mulroney’s lawyer Roger Tasse phoned Justice Minister Allan Rock at home over the RCMP criminal investigation of Mulroney.

Nonetheless, I should point out that the Interpol dimension as I have reviewed did not seem to exhibit clear relevance to the harder violence in foreign countries, or their timings. In particular, it has not shed light on whether the timings of Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio’s assassination and Chretien’s arrival in Mexico for his first official foreign visit were related.

I have not studied the harder topics in-depth. Still, here I would comment further on some of the Mexican sentiments noted in my May 2009 blog post, when I wrote, as previously quoted:

“… prime minister Chretien’s first official foreign visit – to Mexico instead of traditionally to the U.S. – in March 1994 was marred by the assassination by gunshot of Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio (of the Institutional Revolutionary Party that had ruled uninterruptedly for 65 years) just before Chretien’s arrival, by a large and angry mob shouting “out” while Chretien attempted but failed to pay respect to the body of the slain, and by a rare type of rebuttal of Chretien’s notion that Mexican democracy and Canadian democracy were just different types – from Subcomandante Marcos of the rebel Zapatista Army of National Liberation in a jungle interview in Chiapas, Mexico. 201

Instead of officially visiting the United States first as new Canadian prime ministers had traditionally done, Chretien chose Mexico, which I note was and still is a Third-World developing country, and so he had good reasons to anticipate friendliness toward him by his hosts.

But to his shock no doubt, Chretien’s visit ran into an assassination of a top Mexican leader, then for his mourning gesture he was instead booted out by an angry crowd, and his notion of democracy was also criticized, through the media, by the Mexican rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

Here are further details from the press report I cited on the Mexican funeral home crowd’s hostility toward Chretien and his Canadian entourage:

“Prime Minister Jean Chretien was jostled and driven away from a funeral home by a mob of angry Mexicans yesterday as he attempted to pay his respects to slain presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio.

The Prime Minister, on a three-day visit to Mexico, was confronted by thousands of angry and mourning Mexicans when he tried to view Colosio’s body in a gesture of sympathy.

Chretien tried to bypass a giant lineup and was rebuffed by the emotional crowd.

“Out, out, out,” some in the crowd shouted as Chretien’s entourage pushed through a packed hallway.

The Prime Minister finally retreated, shaken but unharmed, without reaching the coffin.

A Canadian Press photographer, Fred Chartrand, was knocked to the ground but was unhurt except for a scraped knee.

Chretien’s aides said they had expected more Mexican security at the funeral home.”

(“PM jostled by Mexican mourners: Angry crowd mobs Chretien at funeral home”, by Shawn McCarthy, March 25, 1994, Toronto Star)

As told, it was a crowd of thousands of angry and emotional mourners who shouted “Out, out, out” and blocked Chretien’s entourage from getting past a hallway to reach the dead, and Canadian Press photographer Fred Chartrand was knocked to the ground and suffered a craped knee.

I would imagine that Chretien was only one of many government and foreign dignitaries who showed up at the funeral home to mourn the dead without waiting in the long line. But why were the Mexicans especially hostile toward the Canadian leader who skipped the United States to visit them, even knocking to the ground Fred Chartrand, a photographer in his entourage?

And here are further details from the press report I cited on Subcomandante Marcos’s criticisms, even ridicules, of Chretien’s notion of democracy, after Chretien’s Mexican visit when Marcos met the media in the rebels’ jungle base:

“Mexican guerrilla leader Subcomandante Marcos wants Prime Minister Jean Chretien to explain what democracy means in Canada, and why he thinks it should be different in Mexico.

And he says Canadian politicians and business people who think trade and human rights can be separated are sitting on a “time bomb” that will blow up in their faces.

Marcos, who believes Mexico is on the brink of civil war, led the rebel Zapatista Army of National Liberation in a New Year’s Day uprising against the government in the southern state of Chiapas.

He made the comments in a jungle interview last week after being told of recent remarks by Chretien in Mexico City. The prime minister was there to meet with President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and to promote Canadian business in the wake of the recent North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and the U.S.

Chretien’s comments came shortly after the assassination of presidential election frontrunner Luis Donaldo Colosio. Colosio represented the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRI), which has ruled Mexico for the past 65 years.

Chretien said Canada cant do much to ensure the August elections are clean. “They have a democracy that is not our type of democracy in many ways,” he said.

In the jungle, Marcos asked: “How many kinds of democracy are there? (That) is my question to the prime minister.

“Democracy that looks like democracy but is not democracy? That is democracy in Mexico: It looks like democracy but nobody believes in it.”

He laughed, and added: “I love the political people.

“Democracy means government of the people for the people by the people


(“Marcos has a few words for Chretien”, April 16, 1994, The Vancouver Sun)

In reference to Subcomandante Marcos’s remarks, I would comment that my reviews reveal Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien to have understood the importance of people in a democracy: that is why he worked masterfully to cultivate his ‘people-oriented’ populist image.

In this sense, Chretien’s statement, that Canada couldn’t do much to ensure Mexican elections were clean because the Mexicans “have a democracy that is not our type of democracy in many ways”, in my view could be a tacit admission, i.e., a concession to the Mexican ways of thinking, that while as the leader of Canadian democracy he was much more ‘pacifist’, even he would not be that easy when it invovled the interests of his political party or of his own, be it political, economic, financial or family-related – facets that my current review has touched on.

Whatever Chretien’s ‘maverick’ thinking was to attain political populism, his straying away from the Canadian tradition of keeping a uniquely close relationship with the United States could be another factor underlying some of the violent threats displayed toward him that I have reviewed.

There were some press materials, published in the Winnipeg Free Press following the May 1994 crossbow-and-arrows threat incident, that, for whatever reasons, I have not found in the main press archives I utilized, the ProQuest Canadian Major Dailies and Canadian Newsstream, and were thus missed in my 2009 review of Canadian politics and are only now coming to light from my standpoint.

Earl Kevin Jans, the man who openly carried the unusual but deadly weapon to the Winnipeg convention centre wanting to see Prime Minister Chretien, claimed that he was linked to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, here as in the May 21, 1994 Winnipeg Free Press article in its entirety:

“A psychiatric examination has been ordered after a man carried a crossbow to a speech by Prime Minister Chretien and claimed a connection with the Central Intelligence Agency.

A man with a crossbow was arrested Thursday at the Winnipeg Convention Centre before Chretien arrived to speak at a Liberal party fundraiser.

“‘When the CIA finds out police are holding me you’ll find out how many laws you’ve broken’,” Crown attorney Janice LeMaistre said the man told police.

Yesterday morning, as LeMaistre sought a psychiatric exam for Earl Kevin Jans, 29, Jans beseeched provincial court Judge Charles Newcombe to dial a long-distance phone number and ask for James Olson, who would put him through to a Col. Masterson.

When a reporter dialled the number, a Virginia-based CIA switchboard operator answered.

Seconds later, James Olson came on the line.

“I have no idea how he would have gotten my number and name,” said Olson, who wouldn’t say what position he holds in the American spy organization. Olson said he has no idea who Jans is. He would not say if he knew a Col. Masterson.

“Our phone number isn’t hard to get,” David French, a CIA spokesman said later. “We don’t confirm or deny employment here to reporters. But I can tell you, we’ve been used this way before by people of sound or unsound mind.”

Newcombe ordered Jans to see a psychiatrist and appear in court again next week.

LeMaistre said Jans first came to police attention when a man began harassing Premier Gary Filmon’s assistants two weeks ago.

The Crown said a man phoned the RCMP, warning them to stay away from the legislature because “something big was going to happen,” and claimed he had plastic explosives. Jans, of no fixed address, is charged with possessing a dangerous weapon and carrying a weapon to a public meeting.”

(“Crossbow toter claims link to CIA; judge orders a psychiatric exam”, by Kevin Roliason, May 21, 1994, Winnipeg Free Press)

At first glance, Jans’s claim appeared a tall tale, pleading with the judge to call a long-distance phone number that would connect to CIA persons; and the Crown prosecution sought a psychiatric exam for him.

That could be a reason why the above storyline did not seem to get reported by the rest of the major Canadian newspapers, even though the date of this story, May 21, was the same as the other news stories I have earlier quoted – from the Montreal Gazette and the Hamilton Spectator – reporting on the Jans incident of May 19.

Inspecting the above reported facts carefully, I would infer that when Jans gave the judge a phone number claiming it to be a CIA number at which a “James Olson” could be reached who could redirect to a “Col. Masterson”, verification of these pieces of information would mean a degree of credibility for his claim: it would mean that Jans had at least some indirect links to the CIA, even if they might not be as important as he claimed – after all, how else could such information come to his mind?

Indeed, as reported above, when a reporter dialled that phone number the call reached a Virginia, U.S.-based CIA switchboard operator and “seconds later, James Olson came on the line”.

However, when reached at that CIA phone number Olson refused to say if he knew a “Col. Masterson”, and so only two of the three pieces of information Jans had given to the judge were verified. Olson also said he had no idea who Jans was and how Jans had gotten his name and phone number.

If Olson was truthful, then Jans probably had some link to the CIA that was only indirect, in my reasoning: the information was probably passed on to Jans indirectly, such as through a network of persons where some had direct CIA connections and some were helping Jans; as a result, the CIA person Jans cited to prove his own credibility did not know who he was.

On the other hand, denying knowledge of someone or something must be quite common for those in the intelligence arena I would imagine, and so some of Jans’s direct connections could actually be involved with that agency.

As noted earlier, the Earl Kevin Jans incident and the Andre Dallaire incident involved, and probably had intended to be, threats of violence rather than actual violence, and thus were likely meant to ‘send a message’ to Prime Minister Chretien. Therefore, one can deduce that whoever initiated furnishing the CIA information to Jans had a purpose of ‘sending a message’ in mind.

A prior incident cited in the above-quoted story also corroborated a send-a-message scenario: Jans had recently harassed Manitoba Premier Gary Filmon’s assistants, and phoned the RCMP to warned them to “stay away” from the provincial legislature because “something big was going to happen”, claiming to possess plastic explosives; but the story did not report any real explosives found, and most importantly, had Jans wanted to launch a real attack he likely would not have warned the police beforehand, or would not have carried the crossbow and arrows in open view – as discussed earlier – while seeking to see Chretien.

An interesting piece of the puzzle would have been who James Olson was within the CIA organization, which he refused to disclose. My guess is that Olson wasn’t an unimportant person, given that he and Col. Masterson were very important to Jans’s efforts at the Manitoba provincial court to prove his credibility, and the Colonel rank is a senior one in the military.

Currently known to the public there is a high-profile former CIA officer of the name Pearl Kevin Jans had raised, James M. Olson, a Professor of The Practice at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, who has the following descriptions of his former CIA work in his online academic resume:

“Born in Le Mars, Iowa. B.A. (mathematics and economics), University of Iowa. J.D. (international law), University of Iowa. Member of Iowa Bar. U.S. Navy (attained rank of Lieutenant Commander, USNR).

Career officer in the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency, serving mostly overseas in clandestine operations. Served as Chief of Counterintelligence at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Overseas assignments in the U.S.S.R., Austria, and Mexico. Foreign languages: French, German, Russian, and Spanish.

Recipient of the Intelligence Medal of Merit, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the Counterintelligence Excellence Medal, the Donovan Award, and several distinguished achievement awards. Awarded the Silver Star Award at the Bush School for excellence in teaching.

Experience in international affairs, economics, trade negotiations, intelligence support to the military and the law enforcement community, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, counternarcotics, and technical collection systems; senior intelligence advisor to several U.S. ambassadors; extensive liaison with the State Department, Treasury Department, FBI, Pentagon, NSC, NSA, DEA, INS, and U.S. Congress.”

(“James M. Olson”, by James Olson, Professor of The Practice, The Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University)

As in the above, Prof. James Olson’s resume described his CIA time as “serving mostly overseas in clandestine operations”, listing only one job at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia: “Served as Chief of Counterintelligence at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia.”

Oh my gosh! Could it have been the CIA Chief of Counterintelligence James M. Olson that the Winnipeg Free Press reporter reached in May 1994, dialling a phone number and asking for James Olson as demanded by the arrested Earl Kevin Jans?

Prof. Olson’s resume did not provide a job timeline on when he held the Chief of Counterintelligence position at the CIA headquarters.

In a newly published book by him, James M. Olson mentioned a general timeframe of his “active duty in the CIA”, which was, “in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s”:

“… When I was on active duty in the CIA in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, I had no illusions about the nature of our main counterintelligence adversary. The KGB (which translates as “Committee for State Security”) was a ruthless and vicious organization that oppressed its own people, crushed religion, sent political dissidents to gulags or psychiatric hospitals, and killed its enemies.¹”

(James M. Olson, To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence, 2019, Georgetown University Press)

The 1990s were the senior years of this James Olson’s active CIA duty. Thus, the most distinguished CIA job on his academic resume, “Chief of Counterintelligence”, likely fell into this period – a potential match with Jans’s James Olson.

As an aside, I comment that, in the above quote from his book, Prof. Olson pointed to psychiatric hospitals as one of the main tools of oppression by the KGB against political dissidents in the former Soviet Union, and that interestingly in my Canadian political activism I was also sent to psychiatric committals, as earlier discussed, except that each time the independent mental-health review mechanism allowed me to get released before long.

Prof. Olson’s resume outlined the time when he began teaching, which in my inference would likely be when he moved out of “active duty in the CIA”. It was 1997-2000:

“Senior faculty member at the Joint Military Intelligence College, Washington, D.C, 1997; taught courses on counterintelligence and military intelligence.

Assigned by the CIA to the George Bush School of Government and Public Service in College Station, Texas, as an officer-in-residence in December 1997. Teaching courses on Cold War Intelligence, U.S. National Security, and International Crisis Management. Frequent guest lecturer at other courses, conferences, and symposia. Appointed a permanent faculty member of the Bush School in August 2000.

Author of “The Ten Commandments of Counterintelligence” and “Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying.””

(James Olson, Professor of The Practice, The Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University)

As above, in August 2000 Prof. Olson became a permanent faculty member of the Bush School at Texas A&M University. So, his departure from active CIA duty would have been no later than 2000.

Also as above, Olson began teaching in 1997 at the Joint Military Intelligence College as a senior faculty member, and in December of that year became an officer-in-residence at the Bush School. Because Chief of Counterintelligence was unquestionably a key CIA executive position, when he started his teaching faculty role Olson likely was moving out of real counterintelligence work.

1997 was about three years past May 1994, the time of the Earl Kevin Jans incident. James M. Olson should normally be at the top of his active CIA career, i.e., working as Chief of Counterintelligence at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, shortly before moving on to his teaching career. The question is if he had reached his highest point in May 1994.

“The Ten Commandments of Counterintelligence”, a publication by Prof. Olson listed in his academic resume quoted above, stated that he had been appointed to that position in 1991:

“When I joined the CIA, one of my first interim assignments was with the old CI Staff.  I found it fascinating.  I was assigned to write a history of the Rote Kapelle, the Soviet espionage network in Nazi-occupied Western Europe during World War II.

With its expanded computer power, NSA was breaking out the actual messages sent between the NKVD center in Moscow and the clandestine radios of the various cells in Western Europe.  Incredibly, these messages came to me.

There I was, a brand new junior officer, literally the first person in the CIA to see the day-to-day traffic from these life-and-death operations.  I was deeply affected by the fear, heroism, and drama in these messages.  Above all, I felt privileged to have been given such an opportunity.

Building on an earlier study of the Rote Kapelle by the CI Staff, I completed a draft several months later that incorporated the new material.  To my great surprise, this study was well received by my immediate superiors, and I was told that I was to be rewarded with a personal interview and congratulations from James Jesus Angleton, the legendary head of the CI Staff from 1954 to 1974.

I nervously briefed Angleton on my study, and he listened without interrupting, just nodding from time to time.  When I finished, he methodically attacked every one of my conclusions.  Didn’t I know the traffic was a deception?  Hadn’t it occurred to me that Leopold Trepper, the leader of the Rote Kapelle, was a German double?  He went on and on, getting further and further out.

Even I, as a brand new officer, could tell that this great mind, this CI genius, had lost it.  I thought he was around the bend.  It was one of the most bizarre experiences of my career.

When the meeting was over, I was glad to get out of there, and I vowed to myself that I would never go anywhere near CI again.  I did not keep that vow.  In my overseas assignments with the Agency, I found myself drawn toward Soviet CI operations.  Nothing seemed to quicken my pulse more, and I was delighted when I was called back to Headquarters in 1989 to join the new Counterintelligence Center (CIC) as Ted Price’s deputy.  When Ted moved upstairs in early 1991 to become the Associate Deputy Director for Operations, I was named chief of the Center.

Today, many years after that initial disagreeable encounter with CI, I find it hard to believe that it is actually my picture on the wall of the CIC conference room at CIA Headquarters, where the photos of all former CIA counterintelligence chiefs are displayed.  There I am, number seven in a row that begins with Angleton.”

(“The Ten Commandments of Counterintelligence: A Never-Ending Necessity”, by James M. Olson, Fall-Winter 2001, Studies in Intelligence, Center for the Study of Intelligence, United States Central Intelligence Agency)

As recalled by James M. Olson in the CIA publication above, he was the 7th Chief of Counterintelligence in CIA’s history, appointed in early 1991, after he had become Deputy Chief in 1989 helping then Chief Ted Price start the new Counterintelligence Center; as Olson recalled, back when he first joined the CIA it was called the Counterintelligence Staff, and his early unpleasant experience with the first Chief in history, James Jesus Angleton, led to his leaving the CI field until returning in 1989.

The facts pieced together thus far suggest that, almost surely, James M. Olson was the CIA’s Chief of Counterintelligence in Langley, Virginia in May 1994, at the time of the Earl Kevin Jans incident.

The critical question here is if the CIA person James Olson whose phone number Jans provided to the court after his arrest was James M. Olson.

In my assessment, there is a real likelihood, and I would think it was a fairly high one, that Jans’s James Olson was someone at a quite senior level within the CIA like James M. Olson: Jans implored Manitoba provincial court Judge Charles Newcombe to dial that phone number – not the reporter, who then dialled on his/her own initiative – and ask for James Olson, stating that Olson would put him through to Col. Masterson; the caller was supposed to be an important senior person, namely a court judge, and the end person to be reached was also a senior figure, of the Colonel rank in the U.S. military, and so the specific person in-between was very likely also a senior figure, either Counterintelligence Chief James M. Olson or another James Olson of a considerably senior role in the CIA.

If Jans’s James Olson was indeed James M. Olson, then the fact itself was intriguing, that someone of his senior CIA position would come to answer when the Winnipeg Free Press reporter phoned: the call reached an CIA switchboard operator first, and so Olson had the option of personally taking or not taking the call; now, if as he asserted he had no idea who Jans was and what it was about, he likely would not have answered such a call from a newspaper reporter; as the original news story quoted earlier suggested, such media enquiries normally would be forwarded to a CIA public-relations person, in this case CIA spokesman David French who spoke with the reporter later.

So, the scenario of CIA Chief of Counterintelligence James M. Olson taking the phone call from a newspaper reporter at a Canadian courtroom would put into doubt his denial of knowing anything about Earl Kevin Jans, and raise the question of what kind of ‘message’ he was sending through such a seemingly unintentional and almost unnoticed appearance.

According to Prof. Olson’s academic resume quoted earlier, he had spent most of his CIA career “overseas in clandestine operations”. For someone of his background, Olson must have known well in May 1994 that a CIA connection channel to anyone in Canada, a foreign country, was “clandestine” and should not be easily admitted to the media; hence, the CIA Counterintelligence Chief’s answering a phone call and having a conversation with the Canadian reporter, even though Olson did not disclose his CIA position at the time, would itself be a ‘message’ of seriousness meant for Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien – if that was a main objective of the Earl Kevin Jans incident.

An irony of the above serious and quite probable scenario, in my view, is that the CIA used a “clandestine”, intelligence operation-like incident to send a “counterintelligence” reminder to the Canadian government. It was, if only in principle, a threat of potentially deadly violence to a foreign leader, and so I would guess that the CIA apparatus treated what concerned them on Chretien’s part as at least a serious intelligence threat to them.

Within the scopes of my 2009 review and my current review, a logical inference would be, if the Jans incident indeed involved a CIA gesture, that it was related to Chretien’s official foreign-visit initiative to befriend Mexico in a manner downgrading Canada’s traditional special relationship with the United States, to do with the concern that it could lead to some hostile elements in Mexico gaining a foothold in Canada – such as through the NAFTA mechanism – which enjoyed much better access to the U.S. than Mexico did.

However, something else Jans said to police, reported in the original Winnipeg Free Press story quoted earlier, suggested that it could be about more: “When the CIA finds out police are holding me you’ll find out how many laws you’ve broken”.

It was clearly appropriate police response to arrest Jans when he carried a weapon to want to see the prime minister. So, Jans’s accusing the police of breaking “many laws” raised the spectre of whether he was “of a sound or unsound mind”, a phrase coined by CIA spokesman David French, quoted earlier.

But Jans could, alternatively, be referring to something broader and prior to his threatening action, such as, ‘the CIA would tell you that you have broken many laws of the CIA’s concerns’.

That would have been about the new Chretien government’s policies more generally than with respect to Mexico, most of which have not been covered in depth, if at all, by my reviews.

But in May 1994 the Chretien government had been in power for less than seven months since the late October 1993 election. So how many laws could it have already broken?

On the other hand, as has been noted in various contexts in my current review, in 1994 Jean Chretien already had a long and distinguished prior history working in the government, particularly as the justice minister under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

I note that compared to the Mulroney government, both the Trudeau government before and the Chretien government after have shown to be more independent of U.S. interests. In March 1994 when Chretien was going to Mexico instead of the U.S. for his first official foreign visit, the Canadian parliament led by the majority Chretien Liberals was also launching a broad review of Canadian foreign policy, “the most comprehensive review since Pierre Trudeau”, aiming for Canada to be “more active, independent, internationalist” in foreign affairs:

“How does Canada protect its interests in the new world disorder? That’s the key question as Ottawa launches a sweeping review of our foreign policy, as well as defence and aid programs.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s Liberals are making good on their election pledge to chart a “more active, independent, internationalist” role in foreign affairs – by consulting with the public.

Canadians will get a chance to air their views on how best to:

* Safeguard our cultural, economic and territorial sovereignty.

* Define our political ties with other countries and regions.

* Shape our armed forces.

* Organize foreign aid.

* Promote global security.

Two special parliamentary committees, one on foreign affairs and aid, the other on defence, will travel the country over the summer, and report their findings in the fall.

The public should make itself heard. The issues are too important to be left to the entrenched interests in the defence, foreign affairs and aid communities. This, after all, is the most comprehensive review since Pierre Trudeau struck an independent policy by cutting our military presence in Europe and recognizing China.

Foreign policy: In addressing the perennial question of Canada-U.S. relations, we need to debate what policies can best preserve Canada’s culture, social programs and industry, as well as our territorial sovereignty.

Abroad, we need to ensure that our promotion of global security through democracy, good government and human rights is consistent and not sacrificed for either trade or powerful lobbies at home. And, going beyond our traditional links to the U.S. and Europe, we need to forge closer ties to Latin America, Asia and the former Soviet states.

Defence: Is NORAD, the Canada-U.S. defence pact, still relevant? And what should be our role in NATO, now that we’re pulling our forces out of Germany? Do we need to maintain an army, navy and air force ready for a major shooting war? Does defence need $11.5 billion a year in this post-Cold War world?


(“How does Canada protect its interests in the new world . . .”, March 18, 1994, Toronto Star)

As characterized above, it was “the most comprehensive review since Pierre Trudeau struck an independent policy by cutting our military presence in Europe and recognizing China”.

Though Jean Chretien hadn’t supervised foreign policy in the Pierre Trudeau government, when it came to Trudeau’s China policy the Canadian business tycoon Paul Desmarais had played a leading role in the business arena; even the marriage of of his son Andre, then Justice Minister Chretien’s press secretary as discussed earlier, to Chretien’s daughter France had the blessing of, among others, the Chinese officialdom as I reviewed in a blog post dated June 7, 2014:

“There should be no question that the rise of China’s economic reform leader Deng Xiaoping after the 1976 deaths of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, and the corresponding China trade impetus from the Canadian business community with Paul Desmarais as a prominent leader – founding chairman of the Canada China Business Council in 1978 as in Part 12 – had much to do with the real trade growth that was good for Canada.

But as the Chinese said to the visiting Pierre Trudeau in 1973, “most-favoured-nation” trade status was “possible only when one had the desire”. That kind of desire must not lie only within the business community but be shared by the political circles as well.

Indeed, from an early stage the Chinese Communist officialdom invested high hopes in Paul Desmarais’s patronage of the Canadian politicians.

In Part 12, the in-law relationship between Desmarais and Jean Chretien has been shown to be at the center of intricate Canadian political events during the 1990s. In fact, when that relationship was first forged in 1981, there was media talk of a “new political dynasty” (“THE OTTAWA SCENE Wedding may found new dynasty”, January 26, 1981, The Globe and Mail):

“An early contender for Ottawa’s marriage of the year, and perhaps even the start of a new political dynasty, takes place on May 23 when Andre Desmarais, younger son of Power Corp. chairman Paul Desmarais and press secretary to Justice Minister Jean Chretien, marries the boss’s only daughter, France. The marriage links the families of two of French Canada’s most conspicuous achievers – Jean Chretien, the “petit gars de Shawinigan” who has held a series of top Cabinet posts and may yet climb to the top job, and Paul Desmarais, who went from a small Sudbury bus company and built one of the country’s giant conglomerates.

Andre, the second Desmarais son to work briefly in Mr. Chretien’s Cabinet office, had hoped to keep the engagement and wedding quiet, so there has been no formal announcement. But proud papa Jean is letting word slip out whenever he can. Andre plans to quit his job as press secretary after the wedding. It wouldn’t do to have to call the minister “Dad.””

As the report disclosed, Andre was but the second of Paul Desmarais’s sons sent to work at Justice Minister Chretien’s office, and he was the lucky one winning the hand of France, the political boss’s only daughter.

China was there, too, represented by one of only 3 foreign ambassadors to Canada – from Morocco, Venezuela and China – at the wedding of Andre Desmarais and France Chretien, a glamorous event attended by 320 guests (“Desmarais newlyweds honeymoon in Europe”, by Zena Cherry, May 29, 1981, The Globe and Mail):


It was a black-tie 5:30 ceremony in the Notre-Dame Roman Catholic Cathedral in Ottawa and the officiant was the Very Rev. Georges-Henri Levesque of Montreal.

Maureen Forrester sang Meine Glaubiges Herzen by Bach, Ave Maria by Bach-Gounod, Agnus Dei by Georges Bizet and Notre Pere by Malotte.

There were 320 guests, including three Ambassadors to Canada: Nourreddine Hasnaoui from Morocco; Francisco Paparoni of Venezuela and Wang Tung from China. Also two former U.S. ambassadors, James Atkins, who was in Saudi Arabia, and Thomas Enders, former ambassador to Canada.

(“Team Canada female athletes disqualified from Commonwealth silver medal, jailed Chinese democracy activist awarded with Nobel peace prize, and others in between (Part 13) — when power politics angles for monopoly”, June 7, 2014, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

With the above broader contexts brought into the picture, I can say that the Earl Kevin Jans case, about a crossbow-and-arrows threat displayed in public intended for Chretien, may have indeed involved certain reactions on the part of the U.S. CIA apparatus to Chretien’s independent foreign policy streak, concerned that it could weaken the dominant position of the U.S. and its close allies in the world.

That CIA-link possibility was probed to some degree, albeit in a very limited context, by the Winnipeg Free Press as reported in its May 21, 1994 story quoted earlier.

However, I have not seen the potential CIA-link storyline in the Jans incident news coverage by other major Canadian press venues, and so I would conclude that, probably due to lack of interest since it appeared like the bravados of a local ‘weirdo’ in Winnipeg, one who not only had no explosives that he had bragged to police about but walked around with only a crossbow and arrows – not even a gun that could have made him a trendier news topic given the Chretien government’s new gun-control initiative.

Whether the reasons were like I speculate, the fact that the major media venues outside Winnipeg did not pick up the CIA-link storyline was in rather odd contrast to what some of them had reported four years earlier in May 1990, a ridiculously minor story about Earl Kevin Jans and his pitbull terrier:

“WINNIPEG (CP) — A Winnipeg man has been charged with theft after a pitbull terrier was taken from the city pound.

Earl Kevin Jans, 25, was charged with theft under $1,000 after his pitbull disappeared after a Sunday visit.

The two apparently scaled a two-metre fence topped with barbed wire. Jans was arrested Monday night.

Hector will be destroyed if a June 15 appeal is denied. In September, a provincial judge ordered the dog killed, a month after he bit a man’s cheek. The man required plastic surgery.

The pound is reviewing its policy of allowing owners to exercise condemned dogs.

Credit: CP”

(“Owner charged in pitbull’s pound-break”, May 30, 1990, The Ottawa Citizen)

In addition to the Ottawa Citizen story fully quoted as above, the Montreal Gazette also did a similar story on the same day of May 30, 1990.

Uh oh! Jans’s nasty dog had bitten a man’s cheek, been condemned to death by a Manitoba provincial court judge and then helped by Jans to escape, and it was news-worthy for the major newspapers in Ottawa and Montreal, but not Jans’s talking about his CIA connection four years later.

A sad early omen, wasn’t it? Back in May 1990, Brian Mulroney was still the prime minister, and Patricia Allen of Capital Ottawa and Montreal was still alive and well, not yet falling victim to the November 1991 crossbow-and-arrow murder, which then became a deadly precedent to the May 1994 Earl Kevin Jans threat to Jean Chretien.

I would question why the Winnipeg Free Press story of May 21, 1994, with a seemingly unbelievable claim of CIA connection but not without some decent circumstantial substantiation by Jans, not of broader national reader interest than his act of rescuing his condemned pitbull terrier.

Regardless, even this Winnipeg Free Press story may have omitted a key piece of what Earl Kevin Jans said, presumably, I would guess, after the reporter called the CIA phone number brought up by Jans in court and reached a CIA person named James Olson, but not a Col. Masterson about whom Olson refused to disclose anything.

The intriguing missing information was later mentioned in that newspaper in a much less noticeable way. The Manitoba provincial court apparently decided that Jans had a psychiatric problem, or “unsound mind” in CIA spokesman David French’s words as previously quoted, and he was sent to a psychiatric committal. Months later in January 1995, Winnipeg Free Press columnist Gordon Sinclair, Jr. reported the missing piece of detail:

“Now, some memorable words about the most important local story of Crime and punishment, Winnipeg style.

“When the CIA finds out police are holding me you’ll find out how many laws you’ve broken.” – Psychiatric patient Earl Kevin Jans after telling police he took a crossbow to the Convention Centre because he was under orders from the American military to arrest Prime Minister Chretien.”

(“Now, a few words about justice”, by Gordon Sinclair, Jr., January 2, 1995, Winnipeg Free Press)

Aha! It had not been the CIA apparatus but the American military, hence a “Col. Masterson”, presumably acting with CIA information and assistance, that wanted to “arrest Prime Minister Chretien”.

That would mean, if Jans wasn’t insane, that from the U.S. military’s point of view some of what Chretien had done posed an armed violent threat, on a military scale, to the United States.

That would be an incredibly tall tale indeed, given my current review so far indicating that Chretien was very much a ‘pacifist’ in his approach to potentially violent conflicts – as I have commented several times – even if his independent foreign policy streak could potentially weaken the unity of the U.S. and its close allies.

But, as I have also noted, some of Chretien’s ‘pacifist’ gestures in his efforts striving to become an even greater political “populist”, or sometimes just to avoid more danger, exhibited a tendency toward ‘appeasement’.

Maybe, just maybe, could that cause potential problems involving violent-conflict threats for others?

Consider the case of the Andre Dallaire intrusion into Chretien’s official residence, about which I have commented that Chretien reacted more than “pacifist” but “appeasist” in his later words describing Dallaire to reporters, “He was a good-looking guy but he had a strange look in his eyes”.

A pacifist more likely would have said, ‘he did not look like a bad person …’. The praise “good-looking guy” from the Prime Minister, on the other hand, could really increase the offender’s sense of confidence while decreasing the offender’s particular aggression toward Chretien who turned out to be so ‘nice’ to him.

Consider another case discussed earlier, where the officially visiting Chretien unexpectedly encountered an “emotional mob” at a funeral home blocking him from paying respect to the assassinated Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio; afterwards, Solicitor General Herb Gray expressed concern to the media and stated he would review Chretien’s security arrangements with RCMP commissioner Norman Inkster and foreign minister Andre Ouellet; but a rather cheeky Chretien said, “I was close to the people. I didn’t feel in danger a minute.”

No doubt Chretien enjoyed being a populist close to the people, but in practice was there not a difference whether the people around him were angry towards him? Of course there was, and that was why Chretien and his entourage then retreated from the funeral home without succeeding in paying proper tribute.

If Chretien really believed it was about being “close to the people” and thus feeling safe regardless of the crowd’s attitudes, then he was lucky to be in Mexico for only a few days of visiting – unlike the Mexican politicians, including Colosio who had been alive and “close to the people” in his presidential political campaign just one or two days ago.

While the two cases above reflected Chretien’s attitude using political populism as a way forward and out of danger, to the point of appeasing those showing threats, hostility or angers toward him, the political positions he took in March 1994 on democracy in Mexico, amidst violence, was a much more major case and illustrated his taking the same tack at the foreign policy level.

As reviewed earlier, in March 1994 in Mexico City explaining why Canada could not ensure the Mexican election to be clean, Chretien said, “They have a democracy that is not our type of democracy in many ways”, which then drew scolding questioning from Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatista rebels, “How many kinds of democracy are there? (That) is my question to the prime minister.”

Indeed, for a country where elections had not led to a change of the ruling political party for 65 years by that time, where the ongoing presidential election was marred by extreme violence that Chretien had just had a close encounter with, and where serious human-rights problems persisted as shown by the heavy government forces response to the Zapatista uprising, killing hundreds of poor peasants of indigenous Mayan heritage, Chretien’s simply calling Mexico’s political system another “type of democracy” compromised a great deal in the principles of democracy.

No doubt, the Canadian government’s interests in trade with Mexico were very important as evidenced by, discussed earlier, the $1.9 million Canada Expo ’94 in Mexico, “the largest export trade fair” organized by the Canadian government. But I would reason that as the leader of Canada, Jean Chretien’s motive in making the above-noted controversial statement was in politics more than in trade per se.

As reviewed earlier, a prime objective of the Chretien Liberals in foreign policy was for Canada to take a “more active, independent, internationalist” role in foreign affairs. Therefore, as the leader of the Canadian democracy, Chretien’s showing a generous stance accepting Mexico’s political system as another “type of democracy” could potentially propel him to the rank of an “internationalist” leader of democracy.

In fact, in his Mexico visit Chretien expressed an independent foreign policy desire to his hosts, emphasizing their differences from the Americans:

“Prime Minister Jean Chretien used every opportunity he could during a three-day trade-promotion tour to tell Mexicans that they share with Canadians a certain wariness about dealings with the United States.

Mexico and Canada can pull together as a counterweight to their enormous U.S. neighbour in trying to improve the functioning of the North American free-trade agreement, Mr. Chretien said at a news conference before his departure for an Easter-week holiday break in the Caribbean.

“There is always the problem that the very friendly Americans are so big,” he said.

The fact that Canadians haven’t had bad relations with Mexico, in contrast with sometimes hostile Mexican-U.S. relations, may well be an advantage for Canadians trying to do business in this growing market, he said.

“When I have an advantage, I will use it. . . . We’ve decided to be aggressive.”

A senior aide to the Prime Minister said Mr. Chretien pressed Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari hard on three possible business deals to help reduce the huge trade imbalance that favours Mexico by a 4-to-1 ratio. Mr. Chretien wanted the President’s support for the sale of Canadian de Havilland Dash 8 aircraft to Aeromexico, the Mexican flag carrier; the opening of an equipment and technology purchasing office in Calgary by Pemex, the state oil company; and the purchase of nuclear fuel from Saskatchewan for a power reactor. The fuel sale can go ahead if the Mexican government signs safeguard agreements to guarantee that the spent uranium will not be used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Chretien was greeted at city hall yesterday morning by municipal officials, who complained that their city has major problems with air pollution and street crime. He then laid a wreath at a national monument.

Even the wreath-laying ceremony provided symbolic punctuation to Mr. Chretien’s message about the importance for Mexicans to remember Canadians are different from Americans.

The monument commemorates a low point in U.S.-Mexican relations, a battle in 1847 between American invaders and Mexican patriots. During the battle, a group of children jumped to their deaths from a castle wall rather than surrender.

Mr. Chretien drew attention several times to the French fact in Canada, which distinguishes Canadians from Americans. He joked yesterday that maybe it is common “Latin blood” that helped him get on so well with his Mexican hosts.

It might also have been that he said exactly the right things in public to bolster the prestige of a Mexican government that has been shaken by the assassination of Mr. Colosio.

Mr. Chretien said that he is sure Mexicans will come through this tragic period of mourning renewed and that Mexican political and economic reforms will not be turned back.

The Prime Minister said he raised the issue of human rights with Mr. Salinas, particularly the rights of aboriginal insurgents in the poor southern state of Chiapas. The Zapatista rebels staged an uprising in January to coincide with the implementation of NAFTA, but have since negotiated a peace agreement with the central government that includes promises of improved economic and social conditions.

Mr. Chretien seemed satisfied with what Mr. Salinas had to say about the government’s efforts to assist the aboriginal people.

He said he offered to send Canadian observers to monitor the Mexican election in August, but received no response to the offer. Allegations of vote fraud have been a hallmark of Mexican elections.


(“PM calls for united front with Mexico: Both countries need each other to deal with U.S., Chretien says”, by Jeff Sallot, March 26, 1994, The Globe and Mail)

One can determine from what he said and did as above, that if he could Prime Minister Chretien would not mind to have his Canada displace, or at least counterbalance, the U.S. in an international role; even the select Canadian technologies and materials he tried hard personally to market to Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari illustrated the competitiveness.

Of course it was very business and trade minded; but being politically friendly with Mexico in its self-image as well as its reality, diplomatically saying what he had to say and graciously accepting his Mexican hosts’ replies, was Chretien’s approach to forge closer bilateral relations independent of the U.S.

Jean Chretien’s diplomatic adventure to Mexico as the new Canadian prime minister at the beginning of the NAFTA era demonstrated that he was interested in and capable of charting “more active, independent, internationalist” foreign policy courses, moving Canada to not only becoming more independent of the United States but also acting as an “internationalist” counterweight to the U.S. if that worked to Canada’s interests.

In doing so, Chretien showed that as the national leader he was willing to be not only an active political populist but more “aggressive” than a ‘pacifist’ type, to flex his muscles in an independent way, and to appease internationally those in political realities very dissimilar to Canada’s – especially those with common “Latin blood” as he said jokingly in Mexico.

Nonetheless, the Mexico visit example, and other cases studied within the scopes of my blogging and reviews since 2009, have not revealed any obvious indication of Prime Minister Chretien and his Liberal government in active, independent and internationalist foreign policy adventures that posed, implied or could lead to military-level armed-conflict threats to the United States – presumably threats by some of the foreign or international players in the adventures.

Hence, what Earl Kevin Jans alleged in May 1994 was the U.S. military’s intent to arrest Jean Chretien, if the CIA and U.S. military connections he claimed indeed had some credibility, remains an intriguing mystery from the perspectives of my analyses in my blogging on politics thus far.

Given that Chretien and the Liberal government, and Canada in general, were largely ‘pacifist’ rather than a cause of international conflicts, whether certain foreign policy adventures ‘appeased’ and abetted the violent-conflict intent on the part of others is more of the issue here, and is relevant also in relation to the history of Nazism and the Second World War, particularly Nazi Germany’s conquer of Czechoslovakia, that my current review has touched upon.

In the history of modern democracy, the best-recognized example of “appeasement” to international aggression was Britain’s diplomacy toward Nazi Germany during the 1930s prior to World War II:

Chamberlain, Hitler, Churchill, and the Road to War
By Tim Bouverie

Three months after Hitler came to power in Germany, the British ambassador in Berlin dispatched a prescient 5,000-word report to London. Having just read “Mein Kampf,” Sir Horace Rumbold correctly saw the book as Hitler’s master plan for the conquest of Europe. To his superiors, Rumbold outlined how the German leader planned to pick off countries one by one, all the while promising that his latest victim would be his last.

In “Appeasement,” Tim Bouverie notes that Rumbold’s April 1933 dispatch caused a momentary stir in the Foreign Office. But the ambassador’s warning, like later admonitions from Winston Churchill and others, made no dent in the British government’s unflagging commitment to come to terms with Hitler, no matter the consequences.

Bouverie, a former British television journalist, offers few fresh details or insights into Britain’s disastrous appeasement policy — a subject that has been exhaustively mined in a plethora of previous books. Nonetheless, living as we do in an era with uncomfortable parallels to the political turmoil of the 1930s, “Appeasement” is valuable as an exploration of the often catastrophic consequences of failing to stand up to threats to freedom, whether at home or abroad. Particularly timely is the book’s examination of Neville Chamberlain. It highlights the dangers to a democracy of a leader who comes to power knowing little or nothing about foreign policy, yet imagines himself an expert and bypasses the other branches of government to further his aims.

Throughout his minutely detailed survey, Bouverie rightly rejects the arguments of revisionist historians who claim that Britain’s lack of military preparedness, as well as the strength of pacifist public opinion, justified its determination to offer repeated concessions to Hitler. In fact, from the early 1930s, British leaders, fearful of further damaging their Depression-afflicted economy, fought to keep military spending to a minimum. They then used the country’s military deficiencies as an excuse to turn a blind eye to Germany’s increasing aggression and explosive rearmament, a flagrant violation of the 1919 Versailles Treaty.”

(“Neville Chamberlain: A Failed Leader in a Time of Crisis”, by Lynne Olson, June 10, 2019, The New York Times)

As summarized above, from the early 1930s on British leaders, fearful of further damaging their Great Depression-afflicted economy, kept military spending to a minimum and then used Britain’s military deficiencies as an excuse to turn a blind eye to Nazi Germany’s increasing aggression and explosive rearmament.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain practiced the appeasement policy  personally and publicly, reaching its climax with the Munich Agreement of September 30, 1938, proclaimed by him as “peace for our time”, that forced Czechoslovakia to accept the Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler’s demand of ceding the Sudetenland, an ethnic German region, to Germany; subsequently in only six months, Germany broke the agreement and occupied the entire Czechoslovakia:

On 30 September 1938, Germany, Britain, France and Italy reached a settlement that permitted German annexation of the Sudetenland in western Czechoslovakia. The area contained about three million people of German origin and in May 1938 it became known that Hitler and his generals planned to occupy the country.

The Czechoslovak government hoped that Britain and France would come to its assistance in the event of an invasion, but British Prime Minister Chamberlain was intent on averting war. Between 15 and 30 September he made three trips to Germany to see Hitler. The final one in Munich resulted in large swathes of Czechoslovakia coming under Nazi rule. Britain and France would not support any Czech resistance.

Returning from Munich, Chamberlain told an excited crowd at Heston Airport, ‘It is peace for our time’, and waved the agreement he had signed with Hitler. This was the climax of the appeasement policy. Six months later, Hitler reneged on his promises and ordered his armies to march into Prague. Within a year, Britain and France were at war with Germany.

(“The Munich Agreement – archive, September 1938”, September 21, 2018, The Guardian)

As described above, the Czechoslovakian government had hoped that Britain and France would come to its assistance in the event of a German invasion, but Chamberlain was intent on averting war.

In timeline, the September 1938 Munich Agreement came after Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria in March, and before the widespread anti-Jewish Kristallnacht campaign in November when the violence also occurred in the annexed Sudetenland – both other events discussed earlier.

Most notably, the agreement by Britain and France with Germany – and Italy – was a betrayal of the only democracy in Eastern Europe, a nation willing and ready, and in fact mobilized its army, to defend itself against Nazi German military aggression:

“Although Britain’s appeasement toward Germany began before Chamberlain became prime minister in 1937, he was its high priest throughout. As chancellor of the Exchequer for most of the 1930s, he oversaw the government’s strict budgetary limits on rearmament. According to one associate, Chamberlain, a former businessman who had spent two years as mayor of Birmingham, thought of Europe as simply “a bigger Birmingham.” He convinced himself that if he dealt with Hitler in a “practical and businesslike” way, he could convince the Führer of the efficacy of peace and bring him to heel.

Chamberlain clung to that delusion even as Hitler annexed Austria in March 1938 and, two months later, demanded that Czechoslovakia, Eastern Europe’s only democracy, surrender the Sudetenland, a vital area containing most of the country’s formidable defense fortifications and major centers of industry. Czechoslovakia refused and mobilized its highly trained, well-equipped army to counter a German invasion; France, which had a military treaty with the Czechs, did the same.

But when Chamberlain refused to join the French premier, Édouard Daladier, in confronting Hitler, Daladier fell into line. At the Munich conference in September 1938, the British and French leaders strong-armed the Czechs to give in to German demands. In defense of his betrayal of a fellow democracy, Chamberlain, like later defenders of appeasement, argued that Britain was not ready to fight a major war at the time. True enough, but as Bouverie points out, neither was Germany. When asked at his postwar trial whether German forces could have defeated a united front of Britain, France and Czechoslovakia in 1938, Gen. Alfred Jodl, chief of the German Army, replied, “It was out of the question.””

(Lynne Olson, June 10, 2019, The New York Times)

As has been reviewed in the context of Interpol history, later during World War II the courageous and proud Czechoslovakian resistance achieved a remarkable feat that no others accomplished, namely assassinating a senior German Nazi leader, Interpol president Reinhard Heydrich.

In pursuing his appeasement policy, Chamberlain forced the government to go along, used his Conservative majority to crush dissent in the British Parliament, and pressured the media to follow the government line and keep the British public in the dark:

“In his handling of the Sudetenland crisis, Chamberlain steamrollered his own government just as he had the Czechs. The prime minister did not inform his cabinet or seek its approval before making plans to negotiate personally with Hitler — an action that flouted the conventions of the British governmental system. Nor did he ever consult Parliament.

For his part, Hitler took advantage of the year after Munich to accelerate his country’s rearmament. Urged by members of his government to do the same, Chamberlain retorted, “But don’t you see, I have brought back peace.”

The British people, meanwhile, knew virtually nothing about the deplorable state of British rearmament or their government’s behind-the-scenes activities. Using tactics that have striking resonance today, Chamberlain and his men badgered the BBC and newspapers to follow the government’s lead on appeasement, restricted journalists’ access to government sources and claimed that critics of Chamberlain’s policies were disloyal to him and to Britain. Most of the news media did what the prime minister demanded. The BBC barred Winston Churchill and other opponents of appeasement from the airwaves, while newspaper editors refused to print articles on Britain’s unpreparedness and letters to the editor critical of the government’s concessions to Germany.

Bolstered by his Conservative Party’s huge majority in the House of Commons, Chamberlain also worked to crush dissent in Parliament. “To question his authority was treason: to deny his inspiration was almost blasphemy,” recalled Harold Macmillan, the future prime minister and one of a small band of Conservative M.P.s who, like Churchill, strongly opposed appeasement. The Conservative Party, in its efforts to silence Chamberlain’s parliamentary opponents, was “even stronger than the Nazi party machine,” a member of Chamberlain’s cabinet commented. “It may have a different aim, but it is similarly callous and ruthless.””

(Lynne Olson, June 10, 2019, The New York Times)

Even after Germany’s full occupation of Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain continued with a passive defence policy until the start of Western Europe’s full fall to Nazi Germany when he then resigned:

“When Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939, Chamberlain had no choice but to declare war against Germany, but he remained committed to finding a peaceful way out. During the next seven months of “phony war,” there was little sense of national emergency in the country. Britain launched no military offensives against Germany, nor did it show much interest in mobilization.

In April 1940, however, Germany invaded Norway and Denmark, and Chamberlain’s campaign of secrecy and misinformation finally rebounded on him. Caught off guard by the surprise attacks, the British government scrambled to dispatch troops to aid the Norwegians. Barely two weeks later, Chamberlain made a stunning admission to Parliament and the nation: The badly armed and equipped British forces had been routed by the enemy and were being evacuated from Norway.

On May 10, Chamberlain resigned and Winston Churchill became prime minister. That same day, Hitler launched his blitzkrieg of Western Europe. …”

(Lynne Olson, June 10, 2019, The New York Times)

Clearly, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s “more active, independent, internationalist” foreign policy approach cannot be easily compared to the historic British diplomatic failure under Neville Chamberlain, for at least two reasons: there were no apparent signs of Chretien appeasing a foreign or international entity in regard to it military strength and aggression toward Canada, or toward the United States for that matter, whatever the Earl Kevin Jans intrigue might be related to in this context; on the other hand, Chretien had thoughtfully planned foreign policy objectives, beyond merely peace like in Chamberlain’s imagination and beyond Chretien’s own acts of populism, as rationalization where standards of democracy might be compromised – compromised they were even in Canadian parliamentary politics under Chretien as earlier reviewed.

Another significant example of “appeasement”, which has been discussed at considerable length in Part 1 of my current article, was the conduct of April Catherine Glaspie, the Canadian-born American diplomat and senior Arabist whose conveyance of continuing U.S. noninterventionism in Arab-Arab conflicts to Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, in the face of massive Iraqi military mobilisation against Kuwait, emboldened Hussein to carry out his objective of conquering Kuwait.

In the case of Kuwait-Iraq conflict, though, the American diplomacy was conducted in private and therefore unknown to the public, until nearly two months later after Iraqi forces had completed the occupation of Kuwait, when a Iraqi government transcript of the Glaspie-Hussein meeting was supplied to the American media and published.

Hopefully, future information disclosures by governments, agency and institutions may shed light on the relevance, with respect to Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his Liberal government relating to possible violent-conflict threats to the United States, of any CIA and U.S. military connections in the Earl Kevin Jans intrigue in May 1994 in Winnipeg, Canada.

Returning to my review of the Chretien government’s domestic law-and-order legislative efforts, as earlier noted that about a week after the RCMP criminal investigation of former Prime Minister Mulroney became news in November 1995, the stricter gun-control legislation passed the Senate in a lopsided vote of 64 to 28.

Also noted earlier, Jean Charest, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party that by this time had only two MPs but still more Senators – most of them appointed by Mulroney – than the Liberal Party, had said they would try to make some changes to the legislation.

The Tory senators did make a real attempt to make amendments to the legislation, failing in a tight vote of 53 to 46, before many of them then followed the unelected Senate’s tradition and voted for the legislation already passed by the House, here as from a press story cited earlier describing the political intrigues:

“Senator Joyce Fairbairn wasn’t certain she’d won, but Senator Ron Ghitter had a gut feeling he’d lost.

Fairbairn, the Lethbridge Liberal, and Ghitter, the Calgary Conservative, had been working behind the scenes for days to convince colleagues to back their respective sides in last week’s crucial gun control vote.

Most news media reported the bill passed easily by a margin of 64 to 28. True, but those reports are deceiving, because there was more than one vote that night.

The real vote, on the proposed Conservative amendments, was held moments earlier and was much closer. The Conservatives lost narrowly, 53 to 46.

“In some calculations, even two or three days before, it looked like it could be a tie,” Fairbairn admits. “Until the vote was actually called, I wasn’t certain.”

So what turned the tide?

Ghitter tips his hat to Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Justice Minister Allan Rock, who used personal influence to persuade Liberal and Tory senators.

“Some of our senators were getting calls from Rock. I know of some senators who got called by Chretien,” says Ghitter. “There was a full-court press on.”

The Senate, on paper, is almost evenly divided between Grits and Tories.

The Tories now have 51, the Liberals 50, and there are three independents.

The Liberals managed in the final hours to sway the few undecided Tories and to get as many people in their own Senate seats as possible, Ghitter says.

“One of the Liberal senators, I’d never seen before. They dragged everybody out that they could.”

Liberal insiders suggest the Tory loss had less to do with Liberal pressure than internal bickering in the Conservative caucus.

Ghitter was shocked when Senator Gerald Beaudoin voted against the Tory amendments. Beaudoin is chairman of the Senate’s legal and constitutional committee and had worked with Ghitter on the amendments.

“(Beaudoin) was in favor of them,” Ghitter says.

“It was disappointing that the chairman of a Senate committee — who tabled the report and signed the report — votes against it. I don’t know why.”

Beaudoin said his conscience told him to support the bill unamended.

The Liberals were missing only one senator for the vote — Calgary Senator Earl Hastings, who is recuperating from an illness.

The Tories had three absentees, including 89-year-old John Michael Macdonald, the Senate’s oldest member.

Seven Tories ultimately voted the Liberal position, but only four Liberals broke ranks and voted with the Conservative majority.

Four of the renegade Tories were from Quebec and three others were women. “I don’t think (the women) had a sense or understanding of the other side of the gun culture issue that’s out there and had a natural abhorrence to guns, which I understand,” Ghitter says. “From the Quebec point of view, I still think the (1989 L’Ecole Polytechnique) tragedy in Montreal has a strong impact.”

Once the amendments were defeated, the lopsided final vote was inevitable. It reflects the general belief among senators that they should not veto legislation approved by the elected members of the House of Commons.

“If four people on our side had voted differently, we would have won the amendments,” says Ghitter who “didn’t shed any tears” over the loss. He does not own a gun, but he does not believe the bill — particularly its requirement for universal registration — will help reduce crime.”

(Sheldon Alberts, November 26, 1995, Calgary Herald)

As discussed earlier, among the Liberal MPs in the House of Commons there was serious internal dissent, especially from MPs representing rural regions, over the gun-control legislation. As above, so was there Liberal internal dissent in the Senate vote on Tory amendments, with four Liberals voting for them.

What made the difference for the Liberals, as described above, was their winning over seven Tory Senators who had been emotionally affected by the 1989 Montreal Massacre – four from Quebec and three additional women – with intense persuasion including by Chretien and Justice Minister Rock personally.

As a result, the four Senators appointed by Chretien back in September to fill all Senate vacancies with Liberals, three of them women as earlier discussed, turned out to be only an insurance, i.e., not necessarily needed in the vote tally of 53-46 defeating the Tory amendments.

In my June 2009 post reviewing this part of history on the Chretien government’s gun-control legislative work, I then certain prior history in the Mulroney era, when the table had been set the other way round between the Tories and the Liberals.

In 1988 and 1990, the Liberal Senate majority previously appointed by Pierre Trudeau fought hard to block the Mulroney government’s legislations on Canada-U.S. free trade and on the Goods and Services Tax:

“In September 1995 Prime Minister Chretien did not think unelected senators should thwart the will of the elected government, but in recent history it had been the Liberals, under John Turner in 1988 and Chretien in 1990, who used the Senate controlled by Trudeau appointees to ferociously block the 1988 U.S.-Canada free trade pact and the 1990 Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill that would replace the old manufacturers’ tax with a national sales tax. 267

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

The problem in 1990 when Chretien was the opposition Liberal leader, as I commented in 2009, was that he and his Liberals were not so much against the GST but playing politics against it to gain electoral popularity; that prompted Prime Minister Mulroney to not only fill all the Senate vacancies with Tories, but invoke a rare rule to get the British Monarch’s approval for him to appoint eight extra ones to ‘overload’ the Senate, at a wrong time as his government was considering constitutional reform of the Senate; then after their 1993 election victory, the Chretien Liberals just kept the GST despite their prior fight against it and their promise to abolish or replace it:

“When Chretien was contesting the Liberal leadership in early 1990 he was noncommittal on the GST, believing that some sort of national consumption tax would not be bad; but later in the year when the prospect presented to him that the tax was unpopular and he might be able to use the Senate to block it to force prime minister Mulroney to call an election, something Turner had done in 1988 with the free-trade bill, Chretien led his Senators down that path – with Mulroney the one railing against “the undemocratic practice of appointed senators thwarting the will of the elected government” but his popularity low after recent failure of the Meech Lake constitutional accord. 268

With only two years into his second majority term and low poll numbers, Mulroney did not want an election; instead, he abandoned the prudence of leaving vacant Senate seats untouched while pursuing Senate reform – the Meech Lake accord would have required Senate appointments be made from lists of candidates submitted by the provincial governments although the candidates need not be elected – and over several weeks added 15 new senators to fill the Senate to its full size of 104. 269

At that point in late September 1990 it was still a Liberal-controlled Senate, so Mulroney invoked a never used section of the Constitution to ‘overload’ the Senate, namely getting approval from the Constitutional Monarch to add 8 more senators for a majority in an oversized Senate, in order to break the logjam between the elected Commons and the unelected Senate; the PM’s wish was readily granted by Queen Elizabeth II via Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn, even though the last time when prime minister Alexander MacKenzie requested in 1874 it was denied by Queen Victoria. 270

Indeed, after the Senate fight the Liberals never put forth a plan to deal with the GST, until January 28, 1993 when Chretien said Canadians had to wait till after he won power to find out how he would replace it; subsequently during that election year Chretien or someone under him would float an idea or two from time to time as if a real change might be in the works. 276

After the 1993 election Chretien talked about replacing the GST for several years, and then told others he liked the tax. 277

In 1996 deputy prime minister Sheila Copps, the Liberal MP who in 1990 had put the most pressure on Chretien to fight the GST, resigned and ran for her MP seat one more time in a by-election to make up for her brash 1993 promise to abolish the GST or quit. 278

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

The purpose of comparing the two historical periods of Senate legislative fights, in the Mulroney era and then in the Chretien era, as I have done is to highlight its being cycles of heightened political maneuvering that, at each turn, justified the governing party’s cramming the Senate with its partisan, if not patronage, appointees.

In 2009 concluding my review of these partisan Senate appointments in history, at the start of Part 7 of my article on Canadian politics I marvelled at the exemplary record of British Columbia Tory MP Stan Wilbee in speaking his mind publicly, whose opposition to Mulroney’s leadership in late 1992 had significantly influenced the press releases I sent out to begin my political activism as previously reviewed.

Two years earlier in 1990, Wilbee had spoken out against a controversial Senate patronage appointment by Mulroney:

“When Mulroney appointed 15 senators during August-September 1990 on his way to acquire a Tory majority in the Senate in order to defeat Liberal resistance to his unpopular GST bill, in typical Mulroney style some of his patronage appointments caused not just controversies but outrage.

Leading the patronage controversies was the appointment of then Nova Scotia premier John Buchanan, (not because Buchanan was the first-ever sitting provincial premier to be appointed senator but) because the Buchanan government was under active RCMP investigation for his alleged accepting kickbacks and giving government work to his friends. 279

One politician who came out strongly against Mulroney on the Buchanan appointment was, surprisingly, rookie Tory MP Stan Wilbee – two years before his 1992 leadership-review call when by that time he would be B.C. Tory caucus chair and chair of the Commons committee on health issues (as previously discussed). Wilbee said in 1990: 280

“… this (Buchanan’s appointment) is a flouting of a tradition of Canadian government and just a throwback to the days of (former Liberal prime minister Pierre Elliott) Trudeau, who had complete disregard for the people of Canada.”

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Aha! taking into account Wilbee’s view expressed in 1990, quoted above, the partisan cycles of Senate appointments went back further in history, to the Pierre Trudeau era.

Wilbee then announced that he would quit the Tory party and become an independent, but he was personally persuaded to stay as a Tory by Prime Minister Mulroney; despite that, as already reviewed, two years later Wilbee publicly demanded a party leadership review:

“Prior to attending a Tory caucus meeting in September 1990, Wilbee had announced he was ready to quit the party over the Buchanan issue and sit in the Commons as an independent; but Mulroney held a meeting with him and Wilbee backed down, stating that he realized the difficulty of getting re-elected as an independent and that he could be more effective working within the Tory caucus.281

So by the time when I got involved in the issue of Mulroney’s leadership in November 1992, being a B.C. MP and a medical doctor Stan Wilbee was actually sitting in pretty good parliamentary positions, albeit outside the government, considering his previous, highly publicized intent to quit the Tory party; and he was for a second time speaking out against Mulroney (not counting his opposition of the 1992 Charlottetown constitutional accord).”

(June 26, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

Dr. Stan Wilbee was a good parliamentarian, and a good medical doctor – as was Dr. Gary Romalis who refused to be intimidated into abandoning the work he believed in as earlier discussed, and so, in that relation, was my physician Dr. James K. Lai.

After 2009, in my later multipart article expanding my review of the Airbus Affair and Canadian politics, extensively quoted earlier, I also discussed more issues related to and details about my political activism.

In particular, in a blog post dated July 6, 2012, cited earlier, I recalled a meeting I was given with an elected politician and British Columbia provincial cabinet minister. It was in August 1993 with B.C. Advanced Education Minister Thomas Perry, also a medical doctor, to discuss some academic politics and my grievances on some management issues with the University of British Columbia, where I had been a faculty member:

“In August prior to meeting UBC law students at OASIS, I had been given a meeting with Tom Perry, New Democrat Member of B.C. Legislature and Minister of Advanced Education, in whose Vancouver-Little Mountain riding my former apartment was located.

In my 1992 UBC internal grievance I had raised the spectre of taking it to “the Office of the Minister of Advanced Education of British Columbia”; then at the end of July 1993 I read a news story that prompted me to do so, when Minister Perry also happened to be local MLA. The story reported an open disagreement and dispute between Advanced Education Minister Tom Perry and UBC President David Strangway over the setup of a UBC research institute, a project Strangway alleged had been killed by B.C. government “with the stroke of a pen” …

Tom Perry, and Hedy Fry who would defeat Kim Campbell as federal MP, were medical doctors as was Stan Wilbee, former Tory MP for Delta whose challenge of Mulroney’s continuing leadership I had highlighted in my November 1992 press releases discussed in Part 6.

Dr. Perry was kind enough to meet with me and listen to my presentation on the documents I provided him, most of which I had sent to former MP Kim Campbell in November-December 1992.

Elected in 1989, after our meeting Perry would soon lose his Minister of Advanced Education job in a September cabinet shuffle by Premier Mike Harcourt, and would retire from electoral politics altogether in 1996 – with a few other NDP MLAs including Harcourt himself… By this later time Maria Klawe was already UBC Vice President as mentioned in Part 4.

After Hedy Fry’s defeat of Campbell in October, in November 1993 I also sent the documents to Dr. Fry’s constituency office.

No known positive result has come out of these political lobbying efforts by me.

On the other hand as in Part 5, in 2004 Jean Chretien, Maria Klawe and Brian Mulroney’s in-law, Harper’s Magazine editor Lewis Lapham, all received honorary degrees at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, with Klawe on June 4.”

(July 6, 2012, Feng Gao’s Blog – Reflections on Events of Interest)

The UBC Vice President Maria Klawe mentioned above was my former boss with whom I had disputes in academic politics about her management, before I got into Canadian political issues regarding then Prime Minister Mulroney. The above multipart blog article, started in 2010, discussed some details of that earlier academic politics which in 2009 I had not focused on.

Dr. Tom Perry, the B.C. Advanced Education Minister who met with me and listened to my grievances was, in fact, the only elected politician who bothered to do so in my experience of political activism in the 1990s. But no result came out of it, he soon lost his cabinet position and left electoral politics in 1996.

In contrast, as cited above, Maria Klawe who had been the UBC Computer Science Department head at the time of our dispute in 1992 became a vice president in 1995, and later in the same year of 2004 she, Jean Chretien and Brian Mulroney’s in-law Lewis Lapham received honorary degrees from Canada’s Queen’s University in Kingston.

But there was some intriguing prior history about Dr. Perry, the B.C. elected politician and cabinet minister whom I met in August 1993; he had been a UBC faculty member and medical doctor at UBC hospital, entered electoral politics for the New Democratic Party in 1989 to win the B.C. legislative seat vacated by none other than Kim Campbell, formerly a provincial conservative Social Credit politician who had just moved to federal politics and become a Mulroney government cabinet minister:

“In upper-middle-class Point Grey, which had been a Social Credit stronghold from 1975 until the NDP’s Darlene Marzari captured one of its two seats in the 1986 provincial election, Dr. Thomas Perry, 37, polled more than twice the votes of Socred Michael Levy. The seat had belonged to Socred Kim Campbell, who ran successfully as a Conservative in the Nov. 21 federal election and is now minister of state for Indian affairs and northern development. In the industrial, working-class riding of Nanaimo, a University of Victoria graduate student of history, Jan Pullinger, 42, defeated Socred Larry McNabb by more than 5,000 votes to hold the seat vacated by New Democrat David Stupich, elected on Nov. 21 as the MP for NanaimoCowichan. Perry, an attending physician at Vancouver’s University Hospital and lecturer at the University of British Columbia, said that the byelections were part of a trend. Said the father of two: “It will culminate in the defeat of the Social Credit government, which is perhaps the most incompetent, most corrupt and dishonest, and the least compassionate government this wonderful province has ever seen.””

(“A New Democrat sweep: Byelection losses feed B.C. Socred dismay”, by Hal Quinn, March 27, 1989, Maclean’s)

That was interesting, wasn’t it? As already reviewed, Ms. Campbell was the first elected politician whom I brought my political activist issues to, in November 1992 but, RCMP officers came instead to take me to UBC hospital for a psychiatric committal; then months later, it was the elected politician from the political opposite who had taken over Campbell’s provincial legislative seat,  who held a meeting with me.

Also interesting was the fact that, after retiring from politics, Dr. Perry returned to teaching medicine at UBC but not practising medicine at UBC hospital as before; instead, he now practised medicine at Vancouver General Hospital, i.e., where Dr. Gary Romalis did. Here is a short profile of Dr. Thomas Perry in the press in July 2013, mentioning his history as a Member of Legislative Assembly and cabinet minister, as well as a one-year Canadian Medical Research Council fellowship with which he studied at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden:

“Thomas Perry Jr., M.D., FRCP

Chair, education working group

• Clinical assistant professor, department of medicine, UBC

• Clinical pharmacologist, general internist, Vancouver Hospital

• One year Medical Research Council fellowship to study metabolism of tricyclic antidepressants at the Karolinska Institute’s department of clinical pharmacology in Stockholm, Sweden.

• Practice focuses on pharmacological treatment of chronic pain and high blood pressure.

• Involved in many of the TI drug-review letters sent to doctors.

• NDP MLA from 1989 to 1996, serving as advanced education, training and technology minister.”

(“The lead researchers and scientists at the Therapeutics Initiative”, July 12, 2013, The Vancouver Sun)

Ironically, as indicated by his profile above, after leaving politics, back at UBC Dr. Perry was only an assistant professor not unlike what I had been, where the president was David Strangway whom he had publicly disputed, and where Maria Klawe was a vice president.

Like Dr. Stan Wilbee, Dr. Tom Perry was a good parliamentarian and a good medical doctor with whom my political activism had some connections to.

As reviewed earlier, in April 1995 when the Chretien Liberal government’s gun-control legislation was put to the first vote in the House of Commons, there was a lone “yes” vote from the opposition Reform Party by MP Stephen Harper on the basis of his constituents’ wishes; but Harper later cast a “no” in the final vote in June 1995, on the ground that though most of his constituents supported the legislation, a majority did not like a potential 10-year penalty in it for failure to register guns.

Here are more details of what Harper said in the House of Commons on June 12, 1995, on the eve of the final vote, regarding his constituents’ and his own concerns about universal gun registration:

“It is my intention to oppose the bill at report stage and at final reading unless substantive amendments are made. I have mentioned before that in the last election I made certain commitments to represent Calgary West in the House of Commons and to do so on the basis of Reform principles and policies. All Reformers ran on those principles.

Among those principles and policies is a commitment to ascertain the views of our constituents and to vote those views where they can be ascertained. Specifically, on moral issues and on the issue of gun control, I have made a particular commitment to discover and to vote the wishes of my constituents. I have followed a process in attempting to do that.

While some elements of the bill remain strongly supported by the population I should say that both my householder survey and the scientific survey I have conducted have indicated that there is still broad support for the general principles of the bill. However there are some very severe concerns about specific matters, about some of the penalties for non-registration, the confiscatory elements of the legislation and the cost concerns.

From my own personal standpoint I believe there are elements of gun control and specifically of this bill that could be helpful. The government has over reached in a number of areas of the bill and it is unfortunate that we cannot get a more modest package.

My own feeling, having talked to many people in my riding about this, people who own guns and do not own guns, people who are for the bill and who are against the bill, gun owners who are for and gun owners who are against, non-gun owners who are for the bill and non-gun owners who are against it, is that there is a fairly broad consensus on the kind of gun and crime control that is needed.

Many citizens would be more than willing to register their weapons and co-operate with police if they felt that in so doing this would affirm the legitimacy and respect for their responsibly used property rights and for responsible gun ownership.

Unfortunately there has been a pattern of legislation in the past decade where registration has been followed by increased regulation, ultimately by restriction, prohibition and then by confiscation, often without compensation. This has led to fears that some may say are unfounded but which do have their grounding in people’s experience with gun laws.

I will be the first to admit that it is very difficult to measure public opinion on this bill. Certainly when this bill was originally brought before the House my constituents were overwhelmingly in favour of its general direction. There has been a shift in public opinion. That shift has been away. The fact of the matter is that no clear consensus now exists for many of the measures in this bill. I will be supporting a wide range of the amendments to the bill, and if those amendments are not adopted I will oppose the bill on the final vote.”

(“Debates (Hansard)”, June 12, 1995, House of Commons Canada)

As quoted, Harper had pledged that on gun control his vote would reflect “the wishes of his constituents”, which I note was a reason he had voted “yes” in the first vote because “when this bill was originally brought before the House my constituents were overwhelmingly in favour of its general direction”.

But Harper noted that as it evolved, there was no longer “clear consensus” for many parts of the bill, and the shift of public opinion was away from supporting the bill.

On the basis of the above reasons as he explained, for the final vote Harper would take into account more of his view on universal gun registration, stating that there had been increasingly restrictive legislated rules on guns in the past decade, “where registration has been followed by increased regulation, ultimately by restriction, prohibition and then by confiscation, often without compensation”, which caused “fears” among gun owners for the latest gun-control measures.

Harper concluded that the government had “over reached in a number of areas of the bill”,  and declared that “I will be supporting a wide range of the amendments to the bill, and if those amendments are not adopted I will oppose the bill on the final vote.”

Certain particular statements Harper made, “I believe there are elements of gun control and specifically of this bill that could be helpful”, and, “it is unfortunate that we cannot get a more modest package”, clearly showed that he was not against gun registration in principle.

As reviewed in Part 2 of my current article, by the early 2000s Harper was leader of the Canadian Alliance and in 2009 at the height of the Mulroney-Schreiber Affair he was the prime minister.

So, did the Harper government propose changes, i.e., belated amendments in a sense, to address those concerns Harper expressed in June 1995? Harper could do this so that he and his constituents, much larger as he now led a Conservative national government, could support some of the “helpful” “elements” of gun registration.

I commented in April 2009 that, by that time, there was indeed a cost overrun with the universal gun registry – a concern, as in the quote above, Harper had expressed back in June 1995:

“Time and again in the surveys in this blog article, the controversy about the long and fruitless RCMP Airbus Affair investigation has come down not to why it took so long when the RCMP found nothing incriminating, but to why it took so long with the RCMP not disclosing what it really did or found. The investigation appeared to have run its course in the same vein as the Liberal gun-control drive: initially in 1994 then justice minister Allan Rock wanted a full handgun ban, but by 1995 it became only a gun registry, and by 2007 the running cost of the national registration topped $2 billion. 168

(Part 4, April 29, 2009, Feng Gao’s Space: Analysis of Current Affairs, Politics and History)

But to answer my own question earlier, no, Prime Minister Harper did not introduce modifications so that gun control would become acceptable as he viewed it in June 1995.

Rather, it was now Harper’s turn to “over reach” – to borrow his old words – by simply undoing the entire Chretien government gun registration, here as reported in a February 15, 2012 news story just hours before the deciding House vote on ending the universal gun registry:

“Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told reporters Wednesday, hours before the vote, that the government’s actions are long overdue.

“It does nothing to help put an end to gun crimes, nor has it saved one Canadian life,” he said.

“It criminalizes hard-working and law-abiding citizens such as farmers and sport shooters, and it has been a billion-dollar boondoggle left to us by the previous Liberal government.”

Meanwhile, opposition MPs and supporters of the registry are expected to say the government’s actions are a step backwards, because the registry has been useful in keeping the country’s streets safe.

Bill C-19, the Ending the Long Gun Registry Act, is guaranteed to pass through the House of Commons, thanks to the Conservative government’s majority, but more political wrangling is expected to follow.

Gun control has been ferociously debated in Canada for decades, particularly since the Montreal massacre of 1989, when a gunman shot and killed 14 women with a rifle. This event prompted the Liberal government of Jean Chretien to tighten gun controls and create Canada’s first mandatory long-gun registry in 1995.

Hunters and sport shooters reviled the registry, and dismantling it became a central plank of Reform, and later, Conservative party policy.

The Harper Conservatives now have a commanding majority in the Senate, so while Liberal senators may succeed in slowing down the passage of C-19, it will ultimately pass.

According to Bill C-19, all data pertaining to non-restricted firearms will be deleted.”

(“Conservatives and enthusiasts cheer the end of the long-gun registry”, by Jeff Davis, February 15, 2012, National Post)

As above, the universal gun registry brought in by the Chretien government was sometimes called the “long-gun registry”, because prior to it there had been a registry for handguns and restricted weapons, as mentioned earlier. It was the Chretien government’s expansion of registration, i.e., for the long guns, that would be terminated by the Harper government, and the existing registry data on these firearms would be deleted.

One can call it a further step of a public-opinion“shift”, “away” from gun control, that the “scientific” Harper had observed in June 1995 and spoken about; or call it “a step backwards” as the opposition MPs, no doubt the Liberals included, now asserted in February 2012.

From my vantage point of observation, it was another public flip-flop by Mr. Harper on gun control, the first time in 1995 from the only ‘dove’ among Reform parliamentary opposition ‘hawks’ against universal gun registration to a moderate opponent willing to accept some elements of it, and now the second time further to the Conservative government leader set to fully dismantle the expanded registration.

In any case, one of the Chretien Liberal government’s major achievements on law and order as earlier reviewed, and indeed of the Chretien era overall, would be abolished and no longer.

I should note that any legislation needed to pass the Senate, and back in late November 1995 the Chretien Liberals had been in power for only two years whereas in February 2012 the Harper Conservatives had been in power for six years, thus having had plenty more time to appoint partisan, i.e., Conservative senators.

Therefore, one can compare the news story quoted above to the news story dated November 26, 1995, quoted earlier: Harper had a “commanding majority in the Senate”, in contrast to the tireless work of persuasion the Chretien government had had to do to eventually win over, from among the Tory senators, four Quebecers and three more women who had emotional memories of the 1989 Montreal Massacre.

As reviewed and commented on earlier about the Canadian political system, a parliamentary majority commanded by a prime minister less committed to democratic practice made all things easier for the government’s objectives.

But there was always the court, and so legal recourses, in a democratic system with the rule of law.

In this case, the province of Quebec wanted to create its own gun registry. The federal government was set to destroy all old records for firearms that no longer needed registration, the Quebec government legally challenged that decision but ultimately lost in the Supreme Court of Canada; and this time, even more emotionally symbolic than in the Senate in November 1995, all Supreme Court Justices from Quebec dissented on the decision that sided with the federal government:

“By a 5-4 margin, the Supreme Court upheld an earlier Quebec Court of Appeal ruling that sided with the government on its controversial decision to abolish the federal registry for long guns in 2011.

In a dramatic show of solidarity, all three Quebec judges on the Supreme Court — Clement Gascon, Richard Wagner and Louis LeBel — put their names on a dissenting opinion.

With Ontario’s Rosalie Abella concurring, the minority of four upheld the legal right of the provinces to make laws in relation to property and civil rights.

They lost to the majority, which ruled that the order to destroy the data was a lawful exercise of Parliament’s legislative power to make criminal law under the Constitution.

“In our view, the decision to dismantle the long-gun registry and destroy the data that it contains is a policy choice that Parliament was constitutionally entitled to make,” wrote Thomas Cromwell and Andromache Karakastanis for the majority, a group that included Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin.

The Harper government abolished the registry for long guns in 2011 as part of a long-standing campaign promise — a controversial political move that also emphasized Canada’s rural-urban divide.

The federal government ordered the provinces to destroy all the data they collected for the registry, something the Quebec government challenged in the courts.

The issue of firearm registration is a political hot potato for the Harper Conservatives, who see rural long-gun gun owners as a core political base.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently created a stir when he said guns provide “a certain level of security” to rural residents who live far from police stations.

The Liberal government created the gun registry in 1998 in response to the murder of 14 women at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique in 1989. They were targeted by a gunman because of their gender.”

(“Supreme Court rules Ottawa can destroy Quebec’s gun registry data”, The Canadian Press, March 27, 2015, The Record)

As cited above, Harper’s comment seemed to suggest, though the press story did not interpret it that way, that for rural residents living in remote places, the guns that they had that the government and police did not know about could make them feel more secure.

Studying the list of Supreme Court of Canada judicial appointments and retirements, I can determine that by the time of the above final court decision in March 2015 on Quebec’s challenge of the federal government’s order to destroy gun registry data, Prime Minister Harper had appointed seven of the nine sitting justices on the high court – starting with Justice Marshall Rothstein in March 2006 and ending with Justice Suzanne Côté in Decmeber 2014 – including three from Quebec but the last of them replacing the recently retired Justice Louis LeBel who had already been involved in this legal case as reported above. (“Current and Former Judges”, Supreme Court of Canada)

Thus, the four non-Quebecers appointed by Harper, together with Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, were exactly the court majority protecting the Harper government’s right to not only abolish the long-gun registry but destroy all existent data.

That was a perfect example showing that, as reviewed earlier, when the judiciary was also appointed by the prime minister the Canadian political system was, in political commentator William Thorsell’s words, “one of the world’s most centralized political power structures”.

All wasn’t lost, though, in this case. It turned out that during that time, the Canadian Information Commissioner was conducting a related investigation, and copies of the gun registry data as it existed on April 3, 2015, were provided courtesy of the RCMP and the Harper government; after the end of the Harper era, under a Liberal government – of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre Trudeau – it was disclosed that those copies were being utilized for that particular, limited purpose; pro-gun groups expressed their outrage against the RCMP:

“Canada’s gun registry isn’t gone after all.

Despite a clear vote in Parliament to destroy it, despite a Supreme Court ruling that it could be destroyed and despite assurances from politicians and top bureaucrats – including a senior Mountie – that the data was all destroyed, it turns out there are two copies left of the Quebec portion of the registry.

Questions about the existence of backup copies of the registry surfaced last week after Liberal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale tabled a bill that would give the Quebec government all the records that existed from the registry on April 3, 2015. The bill would also allow the Information Commissioner to review the records in order to settle an outstanding claim.

Goodale’s press secretary, Scott Bardsley, confirmed to me via email that two copies of the registry still exist all thanks to Harper era Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney.

“Under the previous administration, a complete copy of Canadian Firearms Information System (CFIS) from April 3, 2015 was maintained by the RCMP in a secure location due to an investigation by the Information Commissioner into an Access to Information request received in March 2012,” Bardsley said.

Another copy, this one just containing the Quebec gun registry records requested by the Information Commissioner is kept under seal by the court while the case is being heard.

Groups representing gun owners are furious.

Canada’s National Firearms Association, which is suing to block a Quebec registry, said this goes against a law passed by Parliament.

“It is disturbing that the records of the Quebec portion of the firearms registry have remained intact despite the clear will of Parliament to have them destroyed,” president Sheldon Clare of the NFA said.

“It is outrageous that this type of behaviour by the RCMP is tolerated in a modern democracy,” said Tony Bernardo of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.”

(“The gun registry still exists, despite a vote to destroy it”, by Brian Lilley, June 15, 2017, Toronto Sun)

Well, a hardline prime minister who had once claimed to be a moderate could still show courtesy deferment to the democratic system.

In regard to the other major law-and-order issue of the Chretien Liberal government that I have reviewed, namely the investigation of possible corrupt, criminal activities on the part of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, as discussed in Part 2 of my current article, in 2008 Prime Minister Harper ordered the first-ever public inquiry into matters of a former or sitting prime minister, over Mulroney’s business dealings with Karlheinz Schreiber, which officially concluded that Mr. Mulroney’s conduct had been “inappropriate”.

Small that it was, or to borrow Harper’s old words, “a more modest package”, the verdict of “inappropriate” prime-ministerial conduct should stand the test of time following a long and fruitless criminal investigation under the Chretien government lasting many years into Mulroney and Airbus money.

I should also note that, at the time of Justice Jeffrey J. Oliphant’s 2009-2010 inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber Affair, Harper had only a government of a parliamentary minority, and its stability was sometimes shaky; but as discussed in Part 2, Prime Minister Harper found Dr. David Johnston, President of the University of Waterloo, to advise him on the scope of the inquiry, it worked for him and Johnston was later appointed as the next Governor General of Canada.

Right after becoming the new Governor General, Dr. Johnston spoke with the media about his relationship with Prime Minister Harper:

“Canada’s new Governor General says he needs to foster a certain compatibility with the prime minister in order to fulfil his duties.

For David Johnston, the governor general is not a referee who makes calls on every play in the game, he says, but a thoughtful, apolitical adviser with a keen appreciation for Canada’s political history.

In order for his advice to be heard and heeded, he says he needs to maintain a solid relationship with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“It does require a rapport of a kind, between the prime minister and the cabinet and the governor general,” Johnston said in a wide-ranging interview at Rideau Hall Wednesday.

Harper’s decision to prorogue Parliament rather than face certain defeat of his government in December 2008 compelled former governor general Michaelle Jean to make a precedent-setting decision that led to the survival of the Conservative government a scant few weeks after it had been elected to a minority mandate.

Johnston was installed as the Queen’s representative in Canada last Friday. He was most recently the president of the University of Waterloo, and has spent most of his adult life in academia.

The 69-year-old was friendly and relaxed while chatting in a small, formal sitting room in Rideau Hall for his first interview with print media on Wednesday. He made frequent references to his main sources of inspiration: his family and his books.

Johnston was selected by a committee of constitutional experts chosen by the prime minister – a new process meant to ensure the viceregal is not directly beholden to the country’s top politician.

Still, Johnston has worked close to Harper in the past. The prime minister named him to define the terms of the politically charged inquiry into Brian Mulroney’s relationship with German businessman Karlheinz Schreiber – terms that many observers argue were favourable to the Conservatives.

With his long list of academic accomplishments, his youth spent playing hockey, his background in law and his contacts in government, Johnston might be exceedingly well-prepared for the life of a viceregal.”

(“‘Not a referee, but a thoughtful, apolitical adviser’: Governor General opens up about his plans for his new role to the media”, by Heather Scoffield, October 7, 2010, The Record)

As above, Johnston considered the governor general to be “a thoughtful, apolitical adviser with a keen appreciation for Canada’s political history”, emphasizing that “he needs to maintain a solid relationship with Prime Minister Stephen Harper”, but many observers argued that the terms he had defined for the Oliphant inquiry were “favourable to the Conservatives”.

The most notable fact about Dr. Johnston’s recommended terms for the Oliphant inquiry being favourable to Mr. Mulroney and the Harper government, as discussed in Part 2, was the exclusion of the much more serious Airbus Affair from the scope of the inquiry, leaving its focus on the modest Mulroney-Schreiber Affair.

Dr. David Johnston was an accomplished legal academic with a “thoughtful” and “favourable” sense of modesty, and a talented hockey player, albeit not a medical doctor.

(Continuing to Next Part)

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Who could have murdered billionaire Barry Sherman and wife Honey, two of Canada’s leading philanthropists? – Part 2: antagonists in the family and community circles


(Continued from Part 1)

Of the brand-name pharmaceutical companies that have tussled with businessman Barry Sherman and his generic drug maker Apotex, Canada’s largest pharmaceutical company, the Canadian company Deprenyl Research stood out in my review in Part 1 for the reasons that their conflicts highlighted the aggressive competitiveness of Sherman and Apotex in wrestling market share from a small Canadian company – as opposed to from international Big Pharma as in the public-relations image Sherman and Apotex carefully projected.

The case of Deprenyl Research stood out also because of the unique predicament and character of its owner, Dr. Morton Shulman, a former Ontario provincial Chief Coroner, member of the legislature and media personality, and Parkinson’s disease sufferer who used the drug deprenyl, obtained its Canadian rights and started the company to sell it under the name Eldepryl. Shulman engaged in very public, but ultimately futile, personal and legal struggles to try to fend off the aggressive drive by Sherman to take the deprenyl market through a much cheaper generic version developed by Apotex.

As cited in Part 1, Shulman became so critical of Sherman that he once described Sherman as, “the only person I have ever met with no redeeming features whatsoever”, cited from an April 2018 Maclean’s magazine article investigating the unsolved December 2017 double murder of Sherman and his wife.

That comment was in fact made in a media interview in the early 1990s in relation to Shulman’s dispute with Sherman, here quoted from a news story not long after:

“Sherman contends that the Eldepryl rights held by Deprenyl Research Ltd., the company Shulman founded in 1987, are invalid. Sherman expects federal approval early this year to sell his copycat version.

Shulman, having retired from Deprenyl Research, has had to resort to guerrilla tactics to get back at Sherman. When writing prescriptions last year he began to specify that Apotex medicines could not be used to fill them. Apotex sued for $1 million for defamation. Shulman then modified his manoeuvre so that his prescriptions could be filled only by brand-name or drugs made by Apotex’s rival, Novopharm. But Shulman quit doing even that because of the lawsuit. While a recent settlement forbids him to talk about Sherman, he made his feelings clear in an earlier interview. “Barry Sherman,” he said, “is the only person I’ve ever met with no redeeming features.””

(“A hard pill to swallow”, by Rob McKenzie, February 1994, Canadian Business)

Shulman also hurled an even more demeaning expression at Sherman, referring to Barry Sherman’s initials:

“Just ask Morton Shulman, the Toronto multimillionaire physician, investor and drug entrepreneur. He has viewed Sherman as the sum of his initials since tangling with him over Eldepryl, a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Shulman, who suffers from the illness, bought the Canadian rights from the the patent-holder in Hungary seven years ago. Sherman wants to copy it. “Let me tell you why I’m upset,” Shulman said last year. “I took five years of my life to bring this drug in. Saved my life, saved the lives of tens of thousands of others. And then this son of a bitch comes along.””

(Rob McKenzie, February 1994, Canadian Business)

Now, while the notion of Sherman having “no redeeming features” was personally offensive but understandable – as reviewed in Part 1, in his drive to take the deprenyl market Sherman made aggressive threats to Shulman and escalated the dispute in manners that were degrading toward Shulman – the “son of a bitch” invective, for someone of Shulman’s cultural creed and social achievements – both he and Sherman were distinguished members of the Jewish community and the Canadian society – was rather off-base.

Barry Sherman, in fact, had a shy and reserved personality since childhood, in contrast to his aggressiveness in business. Joel Ulster, a friend from his high school days who at Sherman’s funeral in December 2017 called himself Sherman’s “oldest friend” as in Part 1, had known it well and talked about it decades ago in 1992:

““It’s always been remarkable for me to see him speaking in public or in business, because socially he’s so much different,” said Joel Ulster, Sherman’s oldest and closest friend. The two met in high school.

Sherman, the younger of two children, was born in 1942 in Toronto and grew up near Bathurst north of St. Clair.

His parents wanted to call him Barry, but thinking that didn’t sound formal enough, registered his name as Bernard.

“He was shy. That’s still true of him today. He’s always very intense, hard-working, highly focused, the most intelligent person I’ve ever come across,” Ulster said in an interview.

And other acquaintances confirm that the same Barry Sherman who now regularly bites the heads off government bureaucrats will show up at a party and stand by himself, barely speaking unless spoken to.

“But in business he didn’t care if it were 1,000 people against one, as long as he thought he was right. He has supreme confidence . . . and there has been personal animosity toward him because he’s direct, aggressive and confident.””

(“One in an occasional series: Brash upstart builds firm into generic drug empire”, by Allan Thompson, February 11, 1992, Toronto Star)

As Ulster said, Sherman had a personality of “supreme confidence” and became aggressive when he thought he was right.

That “supreme confidence” had been validated and boosted early by Sherman’s own experience.

Sherman had graduated from high school as the Ontario province’s top student:

“Not every kid is so fortunate, as Sherman well knows. Look up his picture in the 1959 – ’60 yearbook of Forest Hill Collegiate Institute in Toronto, and you see a shy, studious teenager who listed his activities as the electronics club and the camera club. Even then, though, he was driven to succeed, graduating as the province’s top student.”

(Rob McKenzie, February 1994, Canadian Business)

Such a pinnacle of achievement at high school was attained by Sherman despite having lost his father when he was only 10 years old and having to earn his living during his school years:

“Where did his ambition come from? Let Sherman take a stab at answering: “If you asked a psychologist, they would look into my background. And one thing that stands out is that my father died suddenly when I was 10 years old, [leaving] our family in a quite insecure position.”

In fact, their provider’s heart attack left Sherman, his older sister and his mother with virtually nothing, he recalls, except the mortgage on the house they had moved into a few years earlier in Upper Forest Hill Village, a well-off neighborhood in Toronto. After the death, “my mother went to work right away and I got part-time jobs and my mother took boarders into the house,” Sherman says. “We had someone living in the basement and in one of the upstairs bedrooms, and it was all my mother could manage to hold onto the house and try to put us through school.”

Sherman worked as a stockboy at Honest Ed’s, a discount retail emporium that is Toronto’s contribution to global kitsch. During the summers, he helped out at his Uncle Lou Winter’s small generic-drug company, Empire Laboratories Inc. With this money and scholarships, “I was not a financial burden to my mother,” he says.”

(Rob McKenzie, February 1994, Canadian Business)

The most notable of Sherman’s teenage odd jobs mentioned above was at Empire Laboratories Inc., a small generic drug company owned by his uncle Lou winter, where Sherman worked during the summers.

It shows that Sherman’s generic drug business success had early family influences.

Next, the academically exceling Sherman graduated top of his class in engineering physics from the University of Toronto, and then in only two-and-a-half years completed both a Master’s degree in astronautics and a Ph.D. degree in systems engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before returning to Toronto and became an owner of Empire Laboratories at only 25 years old, prior to founding his own Apotex:

“SHERMAN WAS A VERY BRIGHT student. He went to the University of Toronto to study engineering physics and again graduated first in his class. Then he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a master’s in astronautics and a PhD in systems engineering. He earned both degrees in two and a half years — about half the normal time.

In the meantime, Uncle Lou had died and Empire Labs was up for sale. The 25-year-old Sherman teamed up with a group of investors to buy it in 1967.  They sold out in 1973, and a year later Sherman founded Apotex.”

(Rob McKenzie, February 1994, Canadian Business)

Now one may wonder: why did the young Barry Sherman, with a bright scientific and engineering future ahead of him, return home to take over a small generic drug company that had been his uncle’s and where he had only done summer work as teenager?

Surely his excellent performances in years of engineering science studies and his graduate degrees from a world-leading academic institution must have opened up a whole new world in his horizon.

Precisely. Decades later in 1996 Sherman began to write an autobiography, and he recalled his impressive academic achievements in considerable details:

“I did not excel as a student either in primary school or in the earlier years of high school. However, as time went on, not only did I become more motivated and competitive, but I discovered that I had unusually strong skills in mathematics and the sciences. When in grade 13, I won first place in a national physics contest for high school students, and I graduated from high school with thirteen “firsts” (i.e., subjects with an “A” grade), more than any other student in the province of Ontario. …

In September 1960, I began undergraduate studies in Engineering Physics (now Engineering Science) at the University of Toronto. I specifically chose Engineering Physics because it was reputed to be the most difficult of programs related to mathematics and the physical sciences.

Grade averages of all students were published annually by the University. Among all students in the Faculty of Engineering, I ranked fourth in first year, third in second year, second in third year, and first in the fourth and final year. Upon graduation, I was thus awarded the Wilson Medal for standing first in Engineering Physics and the Gold Medal of the Association of Professional Engineers for standing first in the entire faculty. It seems that the tougher the going got, the better I did.

In 1963, while in my third year of Engineering Physics, I was one of two Canadian students selected by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for its summer program for promising undergraduates. I spent several weeks in classes at Columbia University in New York City, followed by a several week tour of major NASA installations throughout the U.S., including the launch facility at Cape Canaveral.

After completing the fourth and final year of Engineering Physics in May 1994, I went to work for the summer at the Spar Aerospace Division of DeHavilland Aircraft in Toronto. My assignment related to analysis of the vibrational dynamics of the ISIS satellite, which was then being designed.

My first choice of a university for graduate work was M.I.T. (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology). I was accepted into the graduate program in M.I.T.’s Department of Aeronautics of Astronautics and was awarded a fellowship which covered both tuition and living costs. I thus set out for Boston and M.I.T. in September 1964.

I had expected that graduate work at M.I.T. would be much more challenging than undergraduate studies at the U. of T., and that competition would be much tougher. I was surprised to find otherwise.

… My gradepoint average on leaving M.I.T. was a perfect 5.0.

My Ph.D. thesis was entitled Precision Gravity Gradient Satellite Altitude Control.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, A Legacy of Thought, Preface dated December 27, 1996, posted online by The Globe and Mail)

I especially note that Sherman earned his achievements in exceptional precision and remarkable progression: winning a national physics contest in Grade 13 and graduating high school with a province-leading 13 “firsts”; and ranking 4th in 1st year, 3rd in 2nd year, 2nd in 3rd year and first in final year at university, winning 2 medals and being one of 2 Canadian students selected to travel U.S.-wide with NASA.

More importantly, to understand why he then left the academics to take over a small business back home, I note that Sherman had thought MIT studies would be tough but it turned out to be easy for him. This meant that the aura of aerospace science and engineering was not that “challenging” anymore for Sherman once he had breezed through MIT.

Add to the above point the fact that doing summer work for his Uncle Lou Winter years earlier had given the young boy a taste of ‘business success’, an experience he later told in his memoir in more vivid details than about any of his academic achievements, describing his work there as “of critical importance in my future career”:

“The summer of 1960, 1961 and 1962 were spent working for my mother’s younger brother, Louis Winter. Uncle Lou was a biochemist. He had, some years earlier, founded Winter Laboratories which was a medical testing laboratory, located on Barton Street in Toronto, the bulk of its work being pregnancy tests done on urine samples picked up from drug stores. He had also more recently started Empire Laboratories, which was a small distributor of generic prescription drugs. Empire Laboratories operated out of a converted house on Ossington Avenue. The operation at that location consisted of the repackaging of tablets and capsules purchased in bulk from American generic manufacturers.

I spent the summer of 1960 and 1961 as a driver, picking up urine samples from and delivering pharmaceuticals to pharmacies.

In 1962, Lou established his first pharmaceutical manufacturing operation at 77 Florence St. That summer, I worked at the plant helping set up operations.

Earlier that year Lou’s wife, Beverly, had been diagnosed as having leukemia, and he decided to take off several weeks for a vacation with her in Bermuda. The staff was small and Lou left no one in particular in charge. He was also unreachable by telephone. Before he left, Empire had been awarded a contract to supply ASA tablets under the private label of the recently established Towers Department Stores. Lou had arranged the production of what he thought was ample inventory, but, a few days after he left, the Towers office phoned to advise that sales were larger than expected to ask us to supply much larger quantities.

I took it upon myself to phone Mrs. Pani Relle, at Atlantic Chemicals, who was the supplier of ASA, and negotiated with her purchase a substantially increased quantity at a substantially lower price. I also organized around-the-clock production to fill the orders. Upon his return, Uncle Lou was very pleased with what I had done.

Although I did not know it at the time, these summers at Empire Laboratories would later prove to be of critical importance to my future career.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

As recalled above, even though Empire Laboratories was only a small generic drug company, working his summer job there Sherman had taken part in starting its manufacturing operation, and then when his Uncle Louis Winter and sick wife Beverly was away on vacation and an opportunity arose for substantially increasing production for a major contract, the young man took charge to lead all the necessary work, successfully.

And so, after completing his MIT Ph.D., at which time his Uncle Lou and wife Beverley had both died, Sherman found it more alluring to give up astronautical engineering and explore the prospect of taking over Empire Labs, which he referred to as “a scientific business”:

“In the first week of November 1965, during my second year at M.I.T., I received a phone call in the middle of the night. On hearing the phone ring, I expected that it would be a call to tell me that Beverly Winter, my Uncle Lou’s wife, had died, as she was then terminally ill with Leukemia. I was astounded to be told by my sister, Sandra, not that Beverly had died, but that Lou, who was then forty-one years of age had died. He had suffered a heart attack at his office and been taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he died soon after arrival. St. Joseph’s was the very hospital in which his wife, Beverly, lay terminally ill. I went to Toronto for Lou’s funeral, and I visited Beverly at St. Joseph’s Hospital. … Three weeks later, I had to return to Toronto again for Beverly’s funeral.

Lou and Beverley Winter left behind four sons, all of whom were subsequently adopted by Dr. Martin Barkin and his wife, Carole.

In their wills Lou and Beverly had appointed as executors and trustees of their estates the Royal Trust Company and two lawyers, David Ward and Martin O’Brien. By the time I obtained my Ph.D. in January 1967, I had decided that I did not want to seek employment as an astronautical engineer. I was interested in both science and business, and I also wanted to return to Toronto to live. Thus, in January 1967, I returned to Toronto to seek out an opportunity in a scientific business.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

As one can see, his early family influence and experience were important. Without his Uncle Lou’s business, Sherman might not have had the idea of a generic drug business future in his mind when he completed his academic studies and began his working career.

Going beyond the narrative of Sherman’s memoir  A Legacy of Thoughts, a 2008 Toronto Life magazine story republished in December 2017 after the unexpected deaths of Barry Sherman and wife Honey, quoted in Part 1, intimated that Sherman had been made his Uncle Lou Winter’s legal heir until the Winters’ own children came along – adopted son Tim in 1958, and sons Jeffery, Kerry and Dana respectively in 1960, 1961 and 1962:

“If there’s a science gene, Barry inherited it. Two of his mother’s brothers were doctors. A third, Lou Winter, a biochemist with a keen business sense, was the relative he most resembled. After Herbert Sherman’s death, Lou became Barry’s father figure and mentor, bringing him into his drug business, Empire Laboratories, when he was 18.

Barry was made his uncle’s legal heir when it seemed that Lou and his wife, Beverley, couldn’t have children. Then, in 1958, Lou and Beverley adopted a baby boy, Tim, and, as sometimes happens, Beverley became pregnant. She gave birth to Jeffrey in 1960, Kerry in 1961 and Dana in 1962. Shortly after the last birth, Beverley was diagnosed with leukemia, and the couple escaped to Bermuda for a last vacation. Barry, still an undergrad, took charge of the plant. He did an admirable job.”

(“Bitter Pill”, by Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

With that pre-history of having at one time been the Winter family heir, after the deaths of Uncle Lou and his wife Empire Laboratories was, in a sense, a ‘family business’ Sherman could feel entitled to.

But Sherman, by this time an MIT Ph.D., considered Empire Labs a “scientific business” that he had working knowledge of, one that in 1967 he and his friend Joel Ulster wanted to acquire:

“When I returned to Toronto in early 1967, Joel Ulster was working toward Certification as a Chartered Accountant and was employed at a firm of accountants. We had an understanding that, if we could arrange and finance a suitable acquisition, he would leave accounting and join me as my partner.

The obvious target was Empire Laboratories, the generic pharmaceutical firm which had been founded by my Uncle Lou. Not only was it a scientific business, but I had knowledge of it, having worked for Lou in the summers of 1960, 1961 and 1962.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

I note the curious coincidence that the three years when Sherman worked the summer for his Uncle Lou’s Empire Labs, 1960-1962, were also the years when the Winters’ biological sons were born.

The perspective above, “a scientific business”, was from Sherman’s 1996 memoir.

Ten years later, in an interview for a January 29, 2007 The Globe and Mail story, Sherman recalled a different perspective in his efforts to take over Empire Labs, one that was quite ‘family special’:

“On Nov. 5, 1965, Mr. Winter died suddenly at the age of 41. His wife, Beverley, died a few days later. Their four young children — Dana, Kerry, Paul, Jeffery — were adopted by another family, the Barkins. Royal Trust was appointed executor of Mr. Winter’s estate and took control of Empire.

Shortly after Mr. Winter’s death, Mr. Sherman offered to buy the company but Royal Trust turned him down. Two years later Royal Trust put the business up for sale, and Mr. Sherman and a partner submitted an offer. “I said if you are going to sell it and there are other buyers, I suggest you give me first right of refusal because that’s something my uncle would have wanted,” Mr. Sherman recalled in an interview, adding that the company was facing insolvency. Royal Trust received two offers, according to court filings, and Mr. Sherman’s bid won.”

(“At Apotex, a family feud comes to the fore”, by Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, January 29, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

In the above, one of the Winter sons, the adopted “Tim”, was referred to as “Paul”.

As above, “that’s something my uncle would have wanted”, was an argument that Sherman recalled in 2007 he had made in 1967 to Royal Trust which oversaw his late Uncle Lou Winter’s estate, on why he should be given preference over other suitors of Empire Laboratories.

In other words, when he saw the need, Sherman did not hesitate to emphasize his special family relationship with the deceased owner of that “scientific business”.

Similarly to his knowledge of generic drug business, Sherman’s interest in using lawyers and legal litigation to sustain and further his business – critical for Apotex’s success as reviewed in Part 1 – was also acquired early when he was an owner of Empire Labs.

In his memoir, Sherman detailed two critical legal episodes during that time.

The first was a criminal prosecution of Empire Labs that needed to be fought off.

It came as Empire Labs had just entered a rapid expansion period following the 1969 enactment of a legislation by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s government to let generic drug companies compete more easily with the brand-name drug companies:

“Another major step forward for the generic industry came in 1969. Prior to that time, Section 41 of the Canadian Patent Act provide for compulsory licensing under pharmaceutical patents, only if the licensee produced the chemical in Canada. Few licenses had been issued, because the costs of setting up chemical synthesis were high and the potential generic sales in the Canadian market were relatively small.

In 1969, the Liberal Party was in power in Ottawa, and Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister. Bill C-102 was introduced by John Turner as Minister of Consumer Affairs. When the Bill was passed and given royal assent, Ron Bassford was Minister of Consumer Affairs and Turner has been moved to Justice. Pursuant to Bill C-102, Section 41 was amended to provide that compulsory licenses could now be obtained for importation of pharmaceuticals.

We promptly incorporated S & U Chemicals Limited as a subsidiary of Sherman and Ulster Limited, and, through that subsidiary, we applied for and obtained numerous compulsory licenses.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

In Sherman’s recollection above, the passing of Bill C-102 by the Trudeau government was a “major step forward” for the Canadian generic industry.

In light of this earlier history, it was natural that decades later in 2015 Barry Sherman played a prominent role in Toronto hosting election campaign fundraising for Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau, the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s son who would win and become also prime minister.

Back in the Empire Labs days, the criminal charge the company soon faced in 1970 resulted from a complaint that some of the generic ampicillin capsules newly marketed by the company were subpotent, i.e., they did not contain a sufficient amount of the required active ingredient:

“It turned out that getting the licenses was the easy part.

Pursuant to the Regulations under the federal Food and Drugs Act, it was unlawful to sell a “new drug” without first filing a submission with the Food and Drugs Directorate (“FDD”) to satisfy the Directorate as to safety and effectiveness. A “new drug” was defined as one that had not been sold in Canada for long enough and in sufficient quantity to be generally accepted as safe and effective.

The Directorate began to take the position, somewhat arbitrarily, that if a brandname product was on the market before 1963, a generic equivalent would not be considered to be a new drug, but, if the original brandname product had been introduced more recently, a generic product could not be sold unless the generic manufacturer filed and obtained approval of its own New Drug Submission.

The most significant patented product which was not then considered to be New Drug was ampicillin capsules, sold under the brandname Ampicin and Penbrittin by two brandname manufacturers pursuant to an agreement between them.

At Empire Laboratories we worked quickly to ensure that we could be the first to launch generic ampicillin capsules, and we succeeded to do so in 1970.

A few months later we received a visit by an inspector from the FDD. He advised us that one of the brandname manufacturers had purchased and tested several lots of our ampicillin capsules and found one to be subpotent, the minimum acceptable potency being ninety percent of the amount per capsule stated on the label. The FDD laboratory had confirmed the low potency. The inspector suggested that we recall the lot from all pharmacies to which it had been shipped. We asked the inspector to give us one day to retest the product ourselves. Our retesting indicated the potency to be within the required limits. We so advised the inspector, but he stated that, nevertheless, we would be well advised to recall this lot in view of the low result found by the FDD laboratory and the “politically sensitive” nature of this product, which was the first introduced under the new expanded compulsory licensing provisions.

The inspector assured us, although not in writing, that, if we did the recall, there would be no action against us by FDD. In any event, recalls were commonly done when some problem was detected after sale, and there had never been a prosecution in such a case so long as the manufacturer acted responsibly.

A few weeks later, an RCMP officer served us with a summons informing us that Sherman and Ulster Limited, operating as Empire Laboratories, had been charged with a criminal offence under the Food and Drugs Act for having sold a subpotent product.

It became clear that, notwithstanding the passage of Bill C-102, the brandname companies still had strong influence over the workings of government.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

As told, the allegation had originated from a brand-name drug company, and according to Sherman the incident showed that the enactment of Bill C-102 was an exception in a government regulatory system otherwise still strongly influenced by the brand-name drug companies.

On the other hand, I note that, as reviewed in Part 1, lacking sufficient active ingredients has been a repeated deficiency of Apotex generic drugs as found by government health regulators and noted by the court over the years. In the above case in the earlier Empire Labs days, it was also alleged to be a problem and led to a rare criminal charge.

In this case, the legal defence representing Empire Labs was able to prove the prosecutorial evidence’s weakness and win an acquittal, thanks to Willard (“Bud”) Estey, a prominent attorney the company retained:

“To defend us, we retained Willard (“Bud”) Estey, a prominent attorney who subsequently became a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. When the matter eventually came to court we were acquitted. The Crown had relied on a single test by a junior chemist, who was shown on cross-examination to have made several errors.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

The second major legal case fought by Empire Labs under Sherman was a lawsuit the company launched against a government agency in order to stay in business.

At the time in the early 1970s, the province of Ontario had a PARCOST program, instituted under the leadership of Assistant Deputy Health Minister Dr. Alan E. Dyer in 1968 – a year before the federal government’s enactment of Bill C-102 – allowing generic drugs to be used as substitutes for brand-name drugs:

“Prior to 1968, in every province except Alberta, when a prescription was written by a physician using a brandname, a pharmacist was required by law to use only the brand as written, and could not substitute an equivalent generic product.

In 1968, Dr. Alan E. Dyer was an Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ontario Ministry of Health, and responsible for pharmaceutical policy. Dr. Dyer understood that drug prices of brandname products were excessive, and that, if they were to be reduced, it would be necessary to substitute generic products for brandname products.

However, there was substantial concern about whether or not all generic products were of good quality, as the regulations under the Federal Food and Drugs Act were weak, and did not include sufficient requirements to ensure good manufacturing practices.

Dr. Dyer designed a program entitled PARCOST, which was an acronym for Prescriptions at Reasonable Cost. The Ontario Ministry of Health would establish an expert committee, entitled the Drug Quality and Therapeutics Committee. The Committee would inspect all manufacturers, review product documents and test results, and decide which brandname and generic products were of satisfactory quality. The products meeting the requirements would be listed in a Parcost Formulary. Pharmacists would be entitled to use any product listed in the Formulary in place of an equivalent brandname product, unless the physician specified “no substitution”.

The necessary amendments to the Pharmacy Act were passed by the Ontario Legislature in 1968.

Dr. Dyer and his Committee came to inspect Empire Laboratories. …

Despite my apparent gaffe, the first edition of the Parcost Formulary included most of our products, as well as some from Novopharm, along with most brandname products. The products of several generic manufacturers, not deemed to have adequate quality controls, were excluded. Some brandname products were also excluded by reason of inadequate quality control.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

A serious problem arose for Empire Labs in 1971 when a large number of complaints against it lodged to a federal government Department led to a government board decision to delist the company’s products from the Ontario Parcost Formulary, and Sherman’s attempt to try to resolve the problem with the official in charge, Dr. G. Showalter, did not help:

“Our most significant crisis in the “the Empire Years” arose on January 25, 1971. On that date, we received a letter from Dr. G. Showalter, an employee of the federal Department of Supplies and Services, who purported to act as Chairman of a board which selected drug suppliers acceptable to his Department. Dr. Showalter’s letter included a list of about fifteen complaints about Empire products that had been received by the Board, and stated that the Board had reviewed the complaints and found them to be valid, and that for this reason and “other reasons”, the Board had removed Empire Laboratories from the list of approved suppliers. The letter further stated that notice of our delisting had already been sent to all users of the list.

It appeared that Dr. Showalter and his Board had never heard of the principles of natural justice with which, according to common law, all judicial and quasi-judicial bodies must comply.

We immediately panicked. Listing by the Showalter’s Board was a prerequisite for becoming and remaining listed in the Ontario Parcost Formulary, and was also a prerequisite to being a supplier to most hospitals and other major customers.

Dr. Showalter had already left his office for the day. I obtained his home phone number from Ottawa Information and phoned him at home. … He told me that the decision would not be changed by threats from me and he hung up the phone.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

Empire Labs again retained the prominent attorney Willard Estey, launched legal court proceedings, and was able to force the government board to back down from its decision against the company:

“The next day we met with Willard Estey and instructed him to initiate legal action against Dr. Showalter of the Board. Within a few days, Estey filed in the appropriate Court an application for a Writ of Certiorari quashing the Board’s decision and a Writ of Mandamus compelling relisting.

Estey also drafted for us a letter to Dr. Dyer at the Ontario Ministry of Health cautioning him not to delist our products on the basis of the Board’s decision as the validity of that decision was before the Courts. Dr. Dyer agreed to refrain from any steps pending the outcome of our attack on the Board’s decision.

Within two weeks, and before the matter could come to a hearing in the Court, Dr. Showalter and his Board backed down and relisted our company. Dr. Showalter and the Board did not bother us again thereafter.

This was the first time in my career that I found it necessary to initiate a legal action. It was to be the first of many.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

As recalled by Sherman, the above case was the first that he found necessary to initiate a legal action, and would become “the fist of many”.

In this critical case, as in the previous case of defending against a criminal charge, the lawyer whom Sherman’s Empire Labs relied on to fight the legal battles was Willard (“Bud”) Estey, described in an earlier quote from Sherman’s memoir as “a prominent attorney who subsequently became a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada”.

Sherman wasn’t quite accurate in that description, though.

Here is a chronology of Justice Willard Estey’s academic pedigree, law practices and judgeships quoted from his Supreme Court of Canada biography:

“… He studied at the University of Saskatchewan, obtaining a B.A. in 1940 and an LL.B. two years later. In 1942 he was called to the bar of Saskatchewan but served with the armed forces during the Second World War rather than practising law. He then went to Harvard Law School and completed an LL.M. in 1946. He taught law at the University of Saskatchewan for a year then was called to the bar of Ontario in 1947 and joined the Toronto firm of Robertson, Fleury & Lane, later named Robertson, Lane, Parrett & Estey. In 1973 he was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal and two years later was named Chief Justice of the High Court of Justice of Ontario. He became Chief Justice of Ontario in 1976 and was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on September 29, 1977. In 1985 he chaired the Commission of Inquiry into the Collapse of the CCB and Northland Bank. Justice Estey served on the Supreme Court for 10 years and retired on April 22, 1988. …”

(“The Honourable Willard Zebedee Estey”, September 4, 2008, Supreme Court of Canada)

More precisely, in 1970-1971 working on the Empire Labs cases Mr. Estey was a prominent attorney in law practice, and he “subsequently” became a Justice in Ontario in 1973, then became Chief Justice in two Ontario courts successively, before being appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in September 1977 – a full six years after representing Empire Labs in its two cases against the government.

But I also notice that Justice Estey was actually the son of an earlier Supreme Court of Canada Justice, James Wilfred Estey:

“Willard Zebedee Estey was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on October 10, 1919. He is the son of James Wilfred Estey, a Supreme Court of Canada justice, and Muriel Baldwin. …”

(September 4, 2008, Supreme Court of Canada)

Thus, at the time when Barry Sherman utilized Willard Estey’s legal expertise in Empire Labs’ critical legal disputes with the government, Estey was not close to becoming a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On the other hand, Estey was prominent in the legal field no doubt not only as an attorney but also as a son of a former justice of Canada’s highest court.

Therefore, Morton Shulman who in the early 1990s had fierce disputes with Barry Sherman, as reviewed in Part 1 and refreshed at the start of Part 2 of this blog article, was quite unapt airing his anger by calling Sherman “son of a bitch”, not only because Sherman’s aggression did not come from bad behaviour per se but rather from his competitiveness when he believed he was right – as discussed earlier.

That invective by Shulman was unapt also because, as the above review of history reveals, shrouded behind Sherman’s intellectual brilliance was considerable attention to preference for family distinction, be it that of his generic drug company founder uncle, that of a former Justice of the Court of the land, or that of a former Prime Minister of the nation.

The other contemptuous expression Shulman used to describe Sherman, “the only person I have ever met with no redeeming features whatsoever”, that I deem more reasonable given Shulman’s experience with Sherman as reviewed in Part 1, is quoted there from Maclean’s investigative article in April 2018 on the Shermans’ deaths. Here is a fuller quote in the context of Sherman’s reputation in general:

“… A renowned risk-taker, disruptor and pitbull professionally, Sherman was a polarizing figure—regarded as a softie with a heart of gold by those in his proximity and loathed by those who claim they were outfoxed or betrayed by him. The man who learned weeks before his death of his nomination to the Order of Canada was also called out as unethical in business dealings. The late physician and pharmaceutical entrepreneur Morton Shulman, who did battle with Sherman, called him “the only person I have ever met with no redeeming features whatsoever.””

(“The other side of Barry Sherman”, by Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

As described, Sherman was “regarded as a softie with a heart of gold by those in his proximity and loathed by those who claim they were outfoxed or betrayed by him”.

As a general characterization, such could suggest a personality relying on nepotism and favouritism to operate like in a tight-knit cult, but using deception and manipulation to deal with others more generally, and that Shulman’s impression came as a result of having been met with intransigent deception and manipulation.

I have commented in Part 1 that the media coverage of Shulman’s pharmaceutical business disputes with Sherman in the 1990s was like a “beacon of light” – a well-documented example of Sherman’s behaviour in business dealings with others, which has been criticised like in the above quote but usually not reported in details.

Right after the Shermans’ deaths in December 2017, Toronto Life magazine’s republished article, previously appearing in July 2008, noted that in his autobiography, i.e., the 1996 memoir quoted extensively earlier, Sherman described his “logical” views on morality, asserting that it isn’t an intrinsic human value:

“In his autobiography, he described himself as recognizing no God and rejecting religion and free will in favour of “logical deduction.” He wrote about the instinct to co-operate with others, particularly relatives, when it was to “mutual advantage.” There can be no such thing as “altruism, kindness, generosity or morality,” he says, because humans act only in pursuit of their own happiness.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

As cited above, the view that there can be no “altruism, kindness, generosity or morality” could well be Sherman’s justification of his own personality and behaviour that incurred others’ criticisms and hostility.

So let’s look at what exactly Sherman wrote in his memoir:

“I cannot see that human behaviour differs in any fundamental way from that of numerous species on the savannahs of Serengeti. We are all driven by our instincts to eat, drink, copulate, protect ourselves and our young, and cooperate with others, particularly those most closely related to us, if and when it is to our mutual advantage. Happiness is, I believe, best defined as satisfaction of these drives, and it is that which we all pursue.

Although we all share the same drives, it is clear that individuals exhibited these drives in different proportions, be it as a result of genetic differences, differing environmental influences, and differing opportunities.

Individuals who help others to an unusual extent, are considered to be “kind”, “moral” or “generous”, although, if my thesis that everything is done in pursue of happiness is correct, then there can be no such thing as altruistic, kindness, generosity or morality.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

Sherman’s thesis in the above was that personality attributes such as altruism, kindness, generosity and morality, namely unusual extents of willingness to help others, are actually driven by the person’s pursue of happiness.

In his memoir, following the above quoted passages Sherman immediately trained his unsparing criticism on organized religion, and on the notion of “salvation” through religious practice:

“I have always felt disdain for organized religion and for the foolishness or hypocrisy of clergymen who sell religion as a source of morality or everlasting life. Undoubtedly, there are many persons who are both committed to religion and generous, but I see no general correlation. Indeed, countless clergymen and others who espouse religion live in relative opulence while much of humanity languishes in squalor. If anything, from my experience in fundraising for charitable organizations, I have sensed a reverse correlation. Atheists often are enormously more generous than persons obsessively committed to seemingly absurd religious rituals. It may be that persons who believe that they get salvation from observance of rituals feel less need to derive happiness from helping others.

Voltaire said that: “Nobless Oblige”; with power and wealth comes obligation. I do not see any rational basis for that pronouncement. There is no objective basis to hold that anyone is obligated to do anything not required by law. Each person can be expected only to pursue personal happiness in whatever manner he sees best from his own perspective.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

In reading the above, I find that Sherman’s “logical deduction” did not quite explain why the atheists’ generosity was “enormously more” than the religiously committed, and hence did not quite rule out that their generosity came, if only partly, from “obligation” – even if he did not view that as necessary.

Nevertheless, in his philosophizing in the two quotes above was, I find, Sherman’s answer to Shulman’s proclamation that Sherman was “the only person I have ever met with no redeeming features whatsoever”.

Simply put, Sherman did not need to show “kindness” in the concrete toward Shulman’s predicament nor did he need redemption, but like everyone else only needed to be law-abiding – I should however point out that, as in Part 1, Sherman’s mail marketing of drugs into the U.S. market was viewed illegal by Shulman and confirmed so by an FBI criminal investigation in 1993-1995.

For Sherman, his greater pursue of personal happiness led him to become one of the “leading”, “most active” and “most generous” philanthropists in Canada – praises of Sherman, quoted in Part 1, by some top politicians and community leaders after his death – in contrast to the many clergymen and others who pursued salvation through religious observance.

These philosophical musings by Barry Sherman in his unfinished memoir, the preface of which was marked as written in Serengeti, Tanzania, on December 27, 1996, could indeed have begun as an intellectual response to the moral contempt and dismissive publicly aired by his nemesis Morton Shulman just a few years earlier around 1993 at the height of their business disputes.

As quoted earlier, the memoir also extensively recalled Sherman’s academic years and his early years in the pharmaceutical industry.

From what I have found in the press archives, it was about ten years later in 2006 that Barry Sherman began to tell the media about this unfinished and unpublished memoir of his, which he envisioned to be turned into a full account of his history but that had yet to be done.

At the time, Sherman was preoccupied with a major legal fight with the international Big Pharma companies Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis, over Apotex’s push in the U.S. market for its generic version of the heart drug Plavix as detailed in Part 1; and so Sherman mentioned his memoir in this context, stating that a chapter on the present could include “certain things” that would “end them up in prison”:

“The opening chapters of a draft autobiography sit amid the hundreds of pill bottles and mound of legal documents in Dr. Bernard Sherman’s office. It will be the story of a brainy kid born in Toronto who becomes Canada’s richest generic drug mogul.

Though a work in progress, it has the makings of a page turner. One chapter will recount how an employee from a brand-name drug company offered to sell him secret files. Another, he says, will describe how Dr. Sherman caught a rival stealing the recipe for a blockbuster generic developed by his company, Apotex.

But what promises to be the book’s most riveting chapter is still unfolding. It is the part where Dr. Sherman seemingly outsmarts two big drug companies, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis, to market the first generic form of the big-selling heart drug Plavix five years before its patent expires. And it could conceivably end with someone in jail.

“They couldn’t see that maybe certain things were going to end them up in prison,” Dr. Sherman said during an interview in the Toronto building where his generic Plavix copy is being made.”

(“Generic drug, specific issue: Apotex fights Plavix”, by Stephanie Saul, August 16, 2006, National Post)

Such a vindicating victory envisioned above did not happen for Sherman, at least not to the extent of Part 1’s review on the Plavix dispute.

Neither did Sherman memoir’s chapters for his recent history actually happen: a total of 13 chapters were planned but only the first five have been fully or partially written.

The year after in 2007, Sherman submitted his unfinished memoir as a part of legal files for a civil lawsuit case in his family, and it received some media attention on its contents. The media wondered who Barry Sherman really was, “a cutthroat businessman?”, “a strings-attached benefactor?”, etc., as in a November 24, 2007 The Globe and Mail story:

“So who, exactly, is Barry Sherman? Is he a cutthroat businessman? A strings-attached benefactor? Or just a munificent, self-confessed workaholic?

In 1996, the drug baron asked himself some of those same questions. During a family trip to the Serengeti, he stepped back for a moment of reflection and
started writing a memoir called A Legacy of Thoughts. It has never been published – in fact, it sat in his desk until it surfaced in the family’s recent legal fight. But his biographical notes shed light on one of the country’s more reclusive business icons.”

(“The real Barry Sherman”, by Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, November 24, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

Citing from the memoir, the above news story reported Sherman’s childhood experience and academic excellence – some of it discussed earlier quoting from his memoir:

“Barry Sherman’s mother named him Bernard, thinking that it sounded distinguished. But he was so slow, his Grade 5 teachers called him “grandpa.”

The shy, awkward child, born in 1942, also had few friends growing up and difficulty keeping up with students in the classroom. Summer camp wasn’t much better – he hated it so much that one year he enrolled in a military program instead, only to find he loathed the mindless drills.

But, according to his memoir, there were early flashes of the future tycoon’s work ethic.

The only son of a zipper manufacturer, Barry would occasionally join his father at the factory. One Saturday, as his dad, Herbert, worked in his office, the 10-year-old packed so many more zippers into boxes than the paid employees that his father actually checked each box to make sure he had counted correctly.

While this impressed Barry’s father, there wasn’t much time to brag. He had a heart attack at work later that year and died instantly.

This forced his mother, Sara, back to work. A trained occupational therapist, she was now the sole support for Barry and his older sister, Sandra. It also fundamentally changed “grandpa.” Young Barry threw himself into his studies. And he discovered that his skill at mathematics and logic extended well beyond efficiently packing zippers into boxes.

By the end of high school, he had won a national physics contest and graduated with more A’s than any other student in Ontario. He enrolled in engineering physics at the University of Toronto and did a summer program at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

This led to a fascination with space. So, after working briefly on a satellite project in Toronto, he headed to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study aeronautics on scholarship.

His PhD thesis was a 200-page mathematical analysis of a system he invented that could control satellites in orbit. The invention so captivated him that he took out a patent on it.”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, November 24, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

There were more interesting details, about Sherman’s special relationship with his uncle Louis Winter, reported not from his memoir but from an interview with Sherman:

“Louis Winter trained in biochemistry, but he was a born entrepreneur. By the 1960s, he had built a $1-million business called Empire Laboratories by churning out cheaper versions of Aspirin, saccharin and Valium.

Mr. Winter was not a big spender. But he did well enough to afford a house in a fashionable part of Toronto, a used Rolls-Royce and even a small fleet of

After his brother-in-law died, Lou took his nephew under his wing, occasionally taking him out on the water.

Mr. Sherman says he “got seasick easily.” But he did better behind the wheel of a car. His uncle hired him to drive his company’s truck, picking up urine samples and delivering drugs to pharmacies. And he soon showed the same devotion to work and attention to detail on the job that Lou saw in himself.

“He was so impressed with Barry’s intelligence,” says Wayne Rockcliffe, Mr. Winter’s brother-in-law.

By the time Mr. Sherman was in university, he would take charge when his uncle was away. When one huge order came in, the 20-year-old not only filled it but negotiated a lower price from a supplier. This duly impressed Mr. Winter, and family members speculate that he saw his nephew as his successor.

“We had a small family and I was close to him. He was sort of a father figure to me,” Mr. Sherman said in an interview. “I think he considered me to be a son.”

Still, he returned to university that year. Which is where he was when his uncle, waiting for a colleague in his office, felt a sharp pain in his head. He collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.

He died the next morning – the same month Barry’s father had passed away 13 years earlier – of an apparent aneurysm. His wife, Beverley, who had been
fighting leukemia in the hospital, died 17 days later.”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, November 24, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

As above, “I think he considered me to be a son”, was how Sherman described his relationship with his Uncle Lou in an interview cited in the November 24, 2007 The Globe and Mail story. In contrast to in his 1996 memoir, Sherman placed greater emphasis on the special family relationship between him and his Uncle Lou.

This was much like in a January 29 The Globe and Mail story in the same year 2007, where Sherman recalled what he had said to Royal Trust in 1967 in his effort to acquire Empire Labs from his late uncle’s estate, as quoted earlier:

“… “I said if you are going to sell it and there are other buyers, I suggest you give me first right of refusal because that’s something my uncle would have wanted,” Mr. Sherman recalled in an interview…”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, January 29, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

In the interview for the November 24 story, Sherman said something further, that he had told Royal Trust his uncle would have wanted him to own the company so that he could help his uncle’s young sons:

““You know, if all things are equal, you ought to give me first right because I am the boys’ natural cousin and my uncle would have wanted it,” he told the
trustee. “These are my cousins, and if some day these boys want an opportunity or need help, I will be there.””

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, November 24, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

Why did Sherman in 2007 suddenly emphasize his special family relationship with his Uncle Lou and what he had said to Uncle Lou’s estate trustee about taking over Empire Labs for that reason, and not just for it being this familiar “scientific business” as in his 1996 memoir?

That is because his uncle’s sons, now grown up, in early 2007 filed a lawsuit alleging that Sherman denied them 20% of business ownership they were entitled to. The media interviews Sherman did at this time was in response to their lawsuit, besides including his unpublished memoir with the legal documents.

The January 29, 2007 The Globe and Mail story was the first major media report that I have found on this family feud that came in the form of a $1.5 billion lawsuit filed by Sherman’s Winter cousins:

“Barry Sherman has spent a long career building a multibillion-dollar drug firm, becoming one of Canada’s wealthiest men and keeping his personal life private.

But a simmering family feud has erupted in court, and a group of relatives is suing Mr. Sherman, alleging he violated a 40-year-old agreement that entitled them to 20 per cent of his company, Apotex Inc. , Canada’s largest generic drug-maker.

The relatives, who are Mr. Sherman’s cousins, say they found out about the agreement only a few years ago and when they started asking Mr. Sherman questions about it, he stopped supporting them financially. They are seeking $1.5-billion in damages from Mr. Sherman and Royal Trust Co., which was involved in drafting the agreement.

In an interview, Mr. Sherman called the allegations “bizarre” and said the lawsuit “has no substantive basis whatsoever.”

“I’ve spent millions of dollars trying to help these kids but they’ve got a lawyer who smells money, it seems,” he said. “It’s just an unbelievable story. It’s actually very distressing to me.”

“I’m saddened that it has come to this,” said Kerry Winter, one of the cousins who is suing. “It’s a tragedy.””

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, January 29, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

Strictly speaking, the 40-year-old agreement cited above, between Royal Trust and Sherman when Sherman acquired Empire Labs, involved a possible 5% of Empire Labs’ ownership for each of the Winter sons:

“The terms of the sale included a provision to give Mr. Winter’s four children an opportunity to work for the company once they turned 21. And, after two years employment, they could buy 5 per cent of the business.”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, January 29, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

From the Winter sons’ point of view, Sherman owed them 20% of Apotex ownership because Sherman’s business success at Apotex had originated from their father’s Empire Labs, which they were owed when Sherman later sold the company and started Apotex:

“Kerry and Tim claim their father’s company made Barry’s success possible. But with the sale of Empire, they lost any interest they might have had in it. Or did they? They maintain that without Empire there could be no Apotex, therefore Barry has a legal obligation to hand over five per cent of his present assets to each of Lou’s sons or heirs. That’s what he promised when he bought Empire Labs. They claim that Barry sold it to weasel out of his commitment to them.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

To put it simply, family business would have family obligations: as discussed, a key argument Sherman used to sway his Uncle Lou’s estate trustee Royal Trust was, “These are my cousins, and if some day these boys want an opportunity or need help, I will be there”; and so the above agreement became a provision for his ownership of Empire Labs.

Two years earlier in 1965 right after the death of Uncle Lou, Sherman had pitched the same argument to Lou Winter’s wife Beverley, about taking over Empire Labs to “protect its value for the benefit of the children”; but she did not make a decision before her own death days later:

“… Barry attended Lou’s funeral, then visited Beverley in the hospital, where they talked about what might happen to Empire and the children’s future interests. He said that if she and the executors wished, he would take over the business and protect its value for the benefit of the children. In return, they would have to grant him the right to purchase the company if it came up for sale. Beverley discussed the idea but made no decision. Seventeen days later, she was dead.

Three days after her death, Barry made the same proposal to trustees of the Winter estate. They said no, that they would continue to run the business. And so the children’s legacy—Empire Labs and a trust fund—remained in the hands of two lawyers, an accountant and Royal Trust.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

Instead, what could have become Sherman’s family obligation became a business ownership provision to protect the Winter children’s future interests when two years later he and Joel Ulster acquired Empire Labs on their own efforts – but using the same ‘special relationship’ argument to persuade Royal Trust:

“The pitch worked. Mr. Sherman and Mr. Ulster bought Empire for about $250,000 – thanks, in part, to a $100,000 bank loan secured by everything Mr. Sherman’s mother owned.

The purchase agreement also included specific provisions for the four Winter boys: They had the right to work at Empire as soon as they turned 21 and they could buy a 5-per-cent stake after two years of employment – as long as Mr. Sherman was still in charge.”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, November 24, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

The provision was that each of the four Winter sons be given employment at Empire Labs starting at the age of 21, and after two years of employment be given the option to purchase 5% of the ownership. That would be a potential 20% total.

Here is a more accurate summary, from the Toronto Life story first published in July 2008:

“Two options were added to protect the Orphan Children—the phrase that the surviving sons, now in their late 40s, still use to describe themselves. The first states that all of Lou Winter’s sons would be given the opportunity to become “responsible full-time employees” once they turned 21 or completed their formal education. Second, any employed child who worked two years with the company would “have the right to purchase five per cent of the issued shares of the company or companies owning the purchased business.” However, the option could be exercised only if Sherman, Ulster or Ulster’s father kept control of the business.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

Agreeing to such a provision would matter, because at the time there was at least one competitor bidding for Empire Labs, as also quoted earlier:

“… Royal Trust received two offers, according to court filings, and Mr. Sherman’s bid won.”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, January 29, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

However, the provision had conditions. It was enforceable only if the company was under family control and only if a Winter son was capable of “being a responsible employee”, as Royal Trust pointed out in 2007 in response to the Winter sons’ lawsuit:

“However, in court filings, Royal Trust alleges the agreement included several conditions. For example, it was only enforceable so long as the company remained under family control and provided each of the children was capable of “being a responsible employee.”

In 1972, Mr. Sherman sold the company to ICN Canada, a subsidiary of a U.S. company that was publicly traded. A year later, Mr. Sherman started Apotex.”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, January 29, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

As in the above, a few years later in 1972 Sherman sold the company before the Winter children reaching their adulthood, and a year later started Apotex.

In his court filing and disposition in response to the lawsuit, Sherman asserted that the provision became “unenforceable” when he sold Empire Labs in 1972, and that at that time he expressed the willingness to help his cousins:

“The Winters had four children; one son has died, his widow and two sons are suing Mr. Sherman, and one son has stayed out of the battle altogether. The children were raised by another family and Mr. Sherman bought their father’s drug business shortly after his death.

The cousins allege the purchase included a provision giving them an opportunity to work in the business when they were older as well as an ownership interest.

They allege Mr. Sherman never told them about the provision and they only discovered it a few years ago.

Mr. Sherman said in his filings that the arrangement concerning the children contained a number of conditions that became unenforceable when he sold the Winter business in 1972. Apotex was a completely separate entity, he added.

However, he vowed at the time to help the others. “I said also, ‘These are my cousins, and if some day if these boys want an opportunity or need help, I will be there,’” Mr. Sherman said in a deposition.”

(“Apotex founder hits hard in legal family feud”, by Paul Waldie, October 26, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

I note that Sherman’s 1996 memoir had emphasized his interest in Empire Labs because it was a familiar “scientific business”, and it did take a lot of work and skills on the part of Sherman and his partner Ulster to efficiently operate Empire Labs.

More of the efforts needed and risks involved in acquiring and owning Empire Labs were discussed in Sherman’s memoir, and are reviewed here next.

Sherman began by looking into Empire Labs’ operation and product sales, found that the company had declined since Lou Winter’s death, and argued that the decline was due to mismanagement under Royal Trust, before Royal Trust became willing to sell and to consider a low-price offer from Sherman and Ulster:

“I phone the Royal Trust Company, which was one of the executors and had been allowed by the other two executors, David Ward and Martin O’Brien, a free hand in managing the estate. They told me that they were not yet interested in selling.

Because the acquisition appeared ideal, I did not back off. I went to visit the offices of Empire Laboratories to talk to some of the staff. The operations were now located in a five storey building, at 301 Lansdowne Ave. in Toronto, to which the company had moved before Lou Winter’s death in 1965. I learned that the Royal Trust Company had appointed as president on a part-time basis Dr. George Wright, who was a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Toronto and had previously been a consultant to Lou Winter. I learned from the staff that they considered Dr. Wright to be incompetent to manage the business, that sales had declined from over a million dollars per year in 1965 to about eight hundred thousand dollars per year, and that the company would likely soon be insolvent.

I phoned David Ward and Martin O’Brien to tell them what I had learned, to suggest that the trust company might be more interested in continuing to manage Empire Laboratories to earn fees than in a prudent sale, and to point out that, if the company went insolvent, Lou’s children might some day hold them liable for negligence as executors and trustees.

Within days I received a phone call from the Royal Trust Company advising that they were ready to negotiate a sale. We were given full access to the books and records, as a result of which our suspicions of imminent insolvency were confirmed. We offered to purchase the assets at net book value, which would require payment of about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars after deduction of the liabilities to be assumed.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

As Sherman recalled, since Lou Winter’s death in 1965 the annual drug sales of Empire Labs had declined from $1 million to about $800,000 in 1967, and the company might be near insolvency. As a result of his finding out about the decline, the trustees agreed to consider selling the company and Sherman and Ulster offered a price for the value of the assets, which came to about $250,000 plus assumption of the company’s liabilities.

The offer, which I note was more like in a liquidation sale, was too low for the trustees because when Lou Winter had just died in 1965 there were much higher offers; so Royal Trust decided to look around for other potential buyers:

“Royal Trust was reluctant to accept. There had been eager buyers at much higher prices upon Lou’s death in 1965, and Royal Trust thus now franticly sought out other potential buyers.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

Around this time, two distinguished Toronto generic drug business owners sought out Sherman for discussions.

One of them, Jules Gilbert, advised Sherman of the potential risks in owning Empire Labs, and suggested that Sherman instead purchase a minority ownership in his company:

“While awaiting an answer from Royal Trust, I received a phone call from Jules Gilbert. Jules was the founder and owner of Jules R. Gilbert Limited, another generic manufacturer that he had founded in the mid 1950s. Jules is considered to be one of the fathers, if not the father, of the Canadian generic drug industry. Jules asked that I visit with him at his offices and factory on Dundas Street in West Toronto, and I obliged.

He gave me a tour of the premises and introduced me to his son-in-law, Fred Klapp, who was then endeavouring to expand sales through telemarketing.

Jules told me that he had heard that Joel and I were negotiating to buy Empire Laboratories, and he wanted to warn me that the purchase would be a great mistake. He said that he had just completed formulating a new plan that would make his company very successful and would put Empire Laboratories out of business within months. He told me that he required some further funding for his new plan and thought it would be best for both of us if I were to purchase a minority position in his company instead of buying Empire Laboratories. He said: “If you do so, I will be the king, but you will be the crown prince.”

It appeared to me that Jules Gilbert, although a very nice gentleman and very knowledgeable, could not distinguish between what was practical and what was not.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

As told, was considered one of the fathers of the Canadian generic drug industry, and he called himself “the king” and wanted Barry Sherman to be “the crown prince” if Sherman would join him.

Jules Gilbert was foresightful, wasn’t he, in light of Barry Sherman’s eventual great success in his own right?

The other generic drug businessman, Lou Craig, advised Sherman not to get into the generic drug industry, at all, because of the risks:

“Within days after that meeting, Ben Ulster, Joel’s father, told us that his friend Lou Craig wanted to have lunch with Ben, Joe and me, to also try to talk us out of proceeding with the purchase.

Lou Craig was a brother-in-law of Jules Gilbert. They had originally been in business together but had parted company some years later. At lunch, Lou Craig explained that he had recently sold his generic drug company, which he had operated under the name Bell-Craig, to an American company, Denver Laboratories. He said that the generic drug business was a commodity business that was and always would be highly competitive. He said he was glad to be out and that if we proceeded to buy Empire Laboratories we would inevitably fail and lose our investment.

He also advised us against investing with Jules Gilbert, and stated that we should entirely refrain from investing in this industry.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

Both Gilbert and Lou Craig, who each invited Sherman for a discussion, warned that this field was highly competitive and Sherman could lose.

Jules Gilbert was leading the Canadian generic drug industry’s lobbying for the Canadian government’s help to reduce American drug companies’ dominance, and his efforts led to the enactment of Bill C-102, with the introduction of “compulsory licensing”, by Prime Minister Trudeau’s government in 1969 – as in Sherman’s memoir it was a major boost for the nascent Canadian generic drug industry, including for Empire Labs under Sherman and Ulster. That history was recalled recently in a 2014 book by another pioneering Canadian generic drug businessman, Morris Goodman:

“A little-known fact about the generic industry in Canada – it had an American father. Jules R. Gilbert, then in Toronto, … on his own, set out to have the patent laws governing drug manufacture and distribution changed in Canada. At that time, American drug firms dominated the Canadian market and eventually Canada’s federal government, lobbied in large part by Gilbert, looked into drug distribution in this country. The government report … led to the passage, in 1969, of Bill C-102, which introduced “compulsory licensing.” New legislation made it possible for any company in Canada to produce a patented drug, paying a royalty of four percent to the company that had introduced the drug. In other words, it was compulsory for a company that introduced a new drug to license its distribution as a generic drug to a Canadian company that was prepared to pay the royalty. Suddenly, generic drugs were not only legal and protected by the Canadian government, companies like mine were being encouraged to delve into the generic market. This change dramatically altered the situation for Winley-Morris. …

The passing of Bill C-102 also had a dramatic impact on how much Canadians paid for many of their medications, which proved to be much less than their neighbours south of the border were paying. Bill C-102 gave Canadian a break on prescription costs and opened the door for considerable growth among companies producing generic drugs in this country. This legislation made it possible for Canadian-owned generic companies not only to exist but to thrive.”

(Morris Goodman, To Make a Difference: A Prescription for a Good Life, 2014, McGill-Queen’s University Press)

However, Gilbert’s own company later went bankrupt due to the large number of patent infringement lawsuits it faced from international brand-name drug companies:

“In June 1958, I contacted Jules Gilbert and Winley-Morris became his distributor in Quebec and Newfoundland. I eventually formed a company to handle Gilbert’s generic products, calling it Julius R. Gilbert (Quebec) Limited. … But while we did very well, Gilbert was kept busy and broke, pouring his income into fees for patent lawyers. The multinationals bled him dry with patent infringement lawsuits and eventually his company went bankrupt. Gilbert’s son-in-law, Fred Klapp, bought up the assets and ran a successful business developing creams and ointments under the label K-Line Pharmaceuticals. Later, he sold to Taro, …

Jules Gilbert lost his business, but, in the end, his cause was not lost. He was a bright, aggressive man, who changed the patent laws in Canada. He also paid the price for a number of us – Lesley Dan of Novapharm, Barry Sherman of Apotex, and me at Winley-Morris, ICN, and finally Pharmascience, not to mention all the other generic companies. Gilbert was a crusader and the Canadian public owes him a great debt because of his efforts to ensure that Canadians benefit from lower drug prices. The entire Canadian generic industry is also beholden to him for his unrivalled leadership. He opened the door for all of us. …

(Morris Goodman, 2014, McGill-Queen’s University Press)

Here, a larger and longer cautionary tale seems to emerge from my review of the history up to this point, including in Part 1.

Like the pioneering Jules Gilbert described above, Barry Sherman was also a “bright, aggressive man”, whom in 1967 Gilbert tried to recruit to become “the crown prince” for “the king”; Gilbert’s lobbying of the government soon led to major changes in the Canadian patent laws in 1969, but his company later went bankrupt because too much money was spent on patent lawyers to fight the international brand-name drug companies; in 1967 Sherman bought Empire Labs, went on to found and grow Apotex to be Canada’s leading pharmaceutical company and compete with Big Pharma internationally, but unlike Gilbert’s, Sherman’s company was big enough to sustain the huge legal expenses on patent lawyers.

Nonetheless, in the end, Sherman and his wife were brutally killed in a double homicide, and the scenario of brand-name drug companies having a role in it cannot be ruled out – as concluded in Part 1.

In any case, in 1967 Sherman and Ulster used the opportunity offered by Gilbert as a leverage in his negotiation to acquire Empire Labs, and won Royal Trust’s acceptance of their offer, as told in Sherman’s memoir:

“Despite the warnings of Jules Gilbert and Lou Craig, Joel Ulster and I decided to proceed to try to complete the purchase, although not without substantial trepidation.

I phoned David Ward and Martin O’Brien again. I told them that we were about to pursue another opportunity, and that if our offer to purchase Empire were not accepted within two days it would be withdrawn. Within the two days Royal Trust advised that they would accept our offer, and our solicitors began to draw up the formal agreements.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

While Sherman got a good deal for Empire Labs – paying only for the value of its assets – it was still a lot of money for someone who was fresh out of graduate school and whose family had been of modest means ever since his father’s death when he was in his early teens.

To raise the $250,000 to purchase the company, Sherman’s mother put up all her assets as collateral to obtain a $100, 000 bank loan, and his partner Joel Ulster’s father Ben provided a $150,000 loan and arranged a line of bank credit for the company’s operating use:

“It remained to arrange the financing. We required about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to complete the purchase, plus an operating line of credit.

At that time, my mother had investments totalling about one hundred thousand dollars. She offered to put up all of her assets as security for a bank loan. The Bank of Montreal, at which my mother and I both banked, agreed to lend me one hundred thousand dollars against my mother’s assets, which was the full face value. It still seems surprising that both my mother and the Bank were prepared to take that risk, as we easily could have failed. Fortunately, we did not fail.

The remaining one hundred and fifty thousand dollars was advanced by Ben Ulster, Joel’s father. Ben also arranged for an operating line of credit at Toronto-Dominion Bank.

We completed the asset purchase in September 1967. For that purpose, we incorporated Sherman and Ulster Ltd., so that the business became Empire Laboratories, a division of Sherman and Ulster Limited.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

As told, by the time of writing his memoir in December 1996 Sherman still felt surprised that his mother and Bank of Montreal had taken the risk to do the $100,000 loan in 1967 – in fact, it was really his mother’s risk to lose all her investments to the bank while the bank would lose only the loan interests.

And the risk of losing was real, as Sherman recalled in 2007:

“… Mr. Sherman and Mr. Ulster bought Empire for about $250,000 – thanks, in part, to a $100,000 bank loan secured by everything Mr. Sherman’s mother owned.

“It was a crazy thing to do. We almost went broke in the first few months,” Mr. Sherman says. “I’m an entrepreneur and one has to take risks to get ahead. I was lucky.”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, November 24, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

When one learns of the efforts and risks undertaken, as extensively told in his memoir and I have reviewed, for the acquisition and owning of a “family business” that had belonged to none other than a brother of Sherman’s own mother, one can see that it indeed was about business – except for the close-family factor as a favour in agreeing to consider Sherman’s takeover pitch and eventually accepting the offer of assets value he estimated from the company’s books and records.

More importantly, even at that favourable price the business venture risked the life savings of Sherman’s mother, who could have lost all had her son not turned out to be so bright, diligent and industrious, and a little lucky, too.

That business reality, despite his special relationship with his late Uncle Lou that he cited to sway the Winter estate trustees, in my analysis probably made Sherman less straightforward and less willing later when it came to materializing the ownership-share provision for his Uncle Lou’s sons.

As already reviewed, the enactment of Bill C-102 by the Pierre Trudeau government in 1969 gave a major boost to the Canadian generic drug industry, and in particular to Empire Labs, which under Sherman’s leadership worked hard to produce generic drug products sooner and better than many other companies.

But furthering the risks in this process of progress were the drug quality-related legal problems the company encountered; fortunately, they were expertly resolved in Empire Labs’ favour by the prominent attorney Willard Estey, son of a former Supreme Court of Canada Justice and later a justice himself in that high court.

According to some media reports, in 1969 two years after acquiring Empire Labs, Sherman swapped its shares with its largest customer, so that the customer rather than he and Ulster became the company’s controlling shareholder:

“The agreement protecting Winter’s sons didn’t survive. A 1969 share swap initiated by Sherman gave control of Empire to its largest customer…”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

However, Sherman’s memoir did not mention such a share swap.

Instead, it referred to Sherman and Ulster Limited as the owner of Empire Labs in 1973 at the time of its acquisition by a large U.S. pharmaceutical company; under Sherman and Ulster, by the end of 1972 Empire Labs had more than doubled its annual sales from the 1967 level, and attracted the interest of takeover from ICN Pharmaceuticals:

“In the years 1971 and 1972, the sales of Empire continued to grow, and by the end of 1972 sales had reached a level of a little under two million dollars a year.

In early 1973, we received a phone call from a young man named Gil LeVasseur. He was a Harvard MBA type who was working on acquisitions for ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., a public U.S. company, of which the founder and chairman was Milan Panic.

ICN had recently purchased Winley-Morris, another small generic drug company located in Montreal, from Morris Goodman. Winley-Morris had been renamed ICN Canada Limited, and Morris Goodman had stayed on as president. LeVasseur told us that ICN wanted to buy Empire Laboratories (i.e., Sherman and Ulster Limited) and to merge it into ICN Canada Limited.

Joel Ulster and I were ambivalent about selling, but decided to let ICN evaluate out company and make an offer to us.

Although we had done reasonably well over the previous few years, we had concerns…

We were able to negotiate a selling price of a little under two million dollars, which we decided to accept.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

That was a big success, receiving an acquisition offer of “a little under two million dollars” after five years of ownership and more doubling Empire Labs’ annual sales to “a little under two million dollars” – from about $800,000 when Sherman and Ulster took over in 1967, as cited earlier.

The offer figure was at the same level as the company’s annual sales, compared to when Sherman and Ulster bought it for the assets value of $250,000 on annual sales of $800,000.

Also fortunate was the fact that, as told above, the purchaser was not only a U.S. drug company and thus had American financial strength, but also had patriotic Canadian leadership as ICN Pharmaceuticals had recently acquired Morris Goodman’s Winley-Morris and renamed it ICN Canada Limited with Goodman as president; as quoted earlier from his 2014 book, Goodman was a Canadian generic drug pioneer and had worked with Jules Gilbert, “father” of the Canadian generic drug industry who had tried to recruit Sherman in 1967 and whose lobbying had led to the passage of Bill C-102 in 1969.

However, American finance had its ‘proverbial’ risk, if it can be said that way, which Sherman could not help but tell a tale about.

The nearly $2 million offered to Sherman and Ulster by ICN was not in cash but in ICN stock shares, and it took much agonizing for Sherman and Ulster to decide to take the chance, and then, during a required waiting period of about six months watched the stock value went up and then down, and finally hurriedly cashed in just before the stock price crashed:

“There were only two flies in the ointment (pun intended).

The second was that ICN was prepared to pay only with ICN share and not cash. Moreover, we would have to agree to hold the shares until they were registered, which would take up to six months, before we could sell them. We considered the ICN shares to be a hot potato. They were priced at about twenty U.S. dollars per share, having risen from only a few dollars per share a year or two earlier on the strength of a string of acquisitions all using shares. The net book value per share and earnings per share clearly did not justify the price of ICN’s stock.

After much agonizing, we decided to take the risk and make the deal. The transaction closed in September 1973. In the following few months while we were holding the ICN shares, the share price continued to climb to about forty U.S. dollars per share, and we were, of course, ecstatic. However, the price then began to fall just as rapidly. By the time our shares were freed for sale, the price was down to U.S. twenty dollars per share again, and we quickly sold all our shares at about that price. The price then continued to tumble down to about U.S. two dollars per share. We were very fortunate, indeed, to have gotten out in time. After payment of relevant taxes and all of our debts, Joel and I each netted several hundred thousand dollars.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

The scenario of losing their worth from selling their company would have been unbearable. But Sherman and Ulster were lucky and netted several hundred thousand dollars each in profit.

In the second previous quote above, Sherman named the founder and chairman of ICN that bought Empire Labs by offering only its stocks was Milan Panic.

The risk taken by Sherman and Ulster was probably quite common for those doing business with Panic, a former Yugoslavian Olympic athlete and defector to the West, and a famous character who rode the wave of ICN acquisitions to become, by 1992, Serbia’s richest man and Prime Minister, with his wealth on roller-coaster rides with the ICN stock value:

“As with many such transient figures on the world scene, there are fresh-minted official biographies, and Mr Panic’s is largely supplied by himself. Born in 1930, of poor parents; peddled vegetables in the Thirties; joined Tito’s partisans in 1944 (when he would have been all of 14); trained as a chemist (at an unspecified university); became national cycling hero, depicted variously as Yugoslav champion and as an Olympic competitor (he was actually an reserve); defected to the West in 1956 on the way to a race in the Netherlands, finding his way, with his family, to the United States in 1960.

… His entire past is anything but free of difficulties with the law, not to speak of his stockholders. He is widely described as ‘Serbia’s richest man’; there cannot have been much competition, except for the likes of the noted New York publisher Bill Jovanovich, of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Mr Panic’s company’s current worth, on which his own personal fortune – dollars 101.6m ( pounds 53m) on 3 July – is based, is, depending on the value of its stock and assets, dollars 460m. …

His company, founded in 1966, was originally called International Chemical and Nuclear, and was recently described by Business Week in America as being ‘mostly a ragtag collection of acquisitions, selling everything from generics to laboratory supplies’. ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc, as it became, is basically a holding company with subsidiaries, some profitable, some not.

The difficulty for Mr Panic and for the company is that its most profitable part is Yugoslav – the result of a deal a year ago when ICN’s drug and marketing subsidiary, SPI Pharmaceuticals Inc, bought 75 per cent of the country’s biggest drug company, Galenika. In six months, Galenika was accounting for 61 per cent of all of SPI’s revenues of dollars 364m, and 96 per cent of its dollars 53m net profit. Cynics on Wall Street, with access to Mr Panic’s long record of optimistic forecasts and spirited marketing, believe he may well have accepted his Yugoslav post at least partly to bolster Galenika, for the company, which, for instance supplies Yugoslavia with its penicillin, is dependent on the United States for two-thirds of its raw materials – supplies that are currently blocked by the sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia.

Galenika is part of a long-term plan to acquire pharmaceutical plants in Russia, Poland, Hungary and Czechslovakia. But there, too, there are problems, because (a) many Eastern European drug companies are operating on pirated clones of international pharmaceuticals, and (b) all of them have, to date, operated in a controlled economic environment, meaning that there is no way to ascertain their profitability, nor to know whether they will be allowed, in a market economy, to continue with their pirated drugs.

Even then, all might be well were it not for other troubles facing Mr Panic, who has a long record of stockholder revolts and battles with the government, not to speak of his company’s long-range debt, which requires some dollars 19m a year just to service.

These troubles go back a long way, and suggest that Mr Panic is stronger on salesmanship, acquisition, wheeling-and-dealing and political contacts than on research and development. His first failure was in 1970 with L-dopa, the Parkinson’s disease ‘miracle drug’ – until its severe side-effects became known. ICN invested heavily, and its stock price (which has varied between dollars 72 a share and dollars 1.50, highly volatile even for pharmaceutical stocks) fell sharply.

This is not to say that he is considered dishonest. Rather, he is described as ‘visionary’, ‘creative’ and a ‘juggler’. In many ways, then, Mr Panic is as American (an American of the Eighties) as he says. He is one of the many who seem to have parlayed something out of nothing. And in the primitive form of capitalism now obtaining in Eastern Europe, he may do the same again. Not too many of his stockholders, and not too many Wall Street analysts, however, would bet on it.”

(“Who is this man Milan Panic?: How did an American millionaire become Prime Minister of Yugoslavia? And what’s in it for him? Keith Botsford reports”, by Keith Botsford, July 23, 1992, The Independent)

As reported in the above July 1992 story, ICN stock had varied between a high of $72 U.S. and a low of $1.5 U.S. over the years, and not many of Milan Panic’s shareholders or Wall Street analysts would easily bet on him winning in business in his native home of Eastern Europe.

But Barry Sherman bet on Milan Panic for six months in 1973-1974, and with some luck came away with several hundred thousand dollars – after paying Empire Labs loans and debts – that he could use to start Apotex, and the rest is history.

Just after Sherman had cashed in his ICN stocks, ICN Canada president Morris Goodman fired him. In his memoir Sherman said Goodman was the “only person ever to fire me from a job”, but after Sherman’s death in December 2917 Goodman recalled Sherman once saying that the firing was “the best thing that ever happened to him”:

““He was a force by himself. Is it possible to replace Barry Sherman? Not in 24 hours,” said Morris Goodman, 86, who founded Pharmascience Inc. in Montreal in 1983 and has competed with Sherman ever since.

“He was a fierce competitor in the marketplace. And he was more aggressive in fighting Canadian patents and disqualifying them than I was.”

Goodman remembers being Sherman’s boss after his employer at the time, California-based ICN Pharmaceuticals, bought Empire from Sherman in the early 1970s. After about six months, he was ordered to fire Sherman and reluctantly did so.

“I fired him. He would tell me later that was the best thing that ever happened to him,” said Goodman. “He says, ‘Don’t worry about it, Morris, I was planning to quit anyhow.’ And he started Apotex (in 1974).”

“So we stayed competitors and more or less friends. He was a very competitive guy.””

(“Competitors and critics agree Apotex founder Barry Sherman will be tough to replace”, by Dan Healing, December 21, 2017, Toronto Star)

Well, not that simple for Sherman just to start a new company.

Sherman would have had to wait for five years before starting another generic drug company, had he not cleverly evaded ICN’s attention to a detail of his Empire Labs – namely Sherman and Ulster Limited – ownership. Sherman later boasted about his foresight and shrewdness in his memoir:

“There were only two flies in the ointment (pun intended).

The first was that the contracts drafted by ICN required that the vending shareholders agree to not compete for five years. I wanted to be free to go back into the same business. Fortunately for me, I was not a shareholder directly, but only through my holding company, Berman C. Sherman Limited. I hoped that, if we withheld the schedule of shareholders until the last minute, ICN would not pick up this technicality and I would thus not be personally bound not to compete. This worked out exactly as I hoped.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

That was when Sherman sold Empire Labs, hiding a key piece of info about his ownership – he did not own directly but Bernard C. Sherman Limited did – “until the last minute”, so that ICN would not realize that the five-year ban on “the vending shareholders” could not prohibit Sherman personally from returning to generic drug business right away.

This is an important point, because it seemed that there was similar shrewdness on Sherman’s part in handling the Empire Labs ownership provision for protecting the Winter children’ future interests described earlier.

Not only did Sherman sell Empire Labs within a few years so that the company was no longer under family control, but for many decades he did not tell his Winter cousins about this historical provision between him and Royal Trust, “until the last minute” in the sense that by the time they found out it might be too late for them to resort to legal means.

Sherman’s cousins “waited far too long to sue”,  was what Royal Trust asserted in 2007 when their lawsuit was filed:

“In court filings, Toronto-based Royal Trust denied the allegations and said the agreement expired long ago. The company added that the cousins have waited far too long to sue.

In their lawsuit, the cousins allege Mr. Sherman never told them about the agreement and “turned his back on the orphaned children.” They claim that the roots of Toronto-based Apotex can be traced back to Empire and that Mr. Sherman owed them royalties on products Mr. Winter developed.

In an interview, Mr. Sherman said the sale to ICN was straightforward and that he did not use Mr. Winter’s products at Apotex. Royal Trust said in court filings that since the sale involved a public company, ICN, the agreement relating to the children couldn’t be enforced. And none of the children were 21 at the time.

Around 2000, the cousins allege they first became aware of the sale agreement and began asking Mr. Sherman questions. In 2001, they went to court and won an order requiring Royal Trust to turn over documents relating to the deal.”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, January 29, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

As they alleged in their lawsuit, as above, Sherman’s Winter cousins were never told of the provision protecting their interests, until they became aware of it in around 2000 – by this time they were all around 40 years old, nearly doubling the age of 21 when they would have become eligible to work at Empire Labs.

And even at this later time, they still had to go to court to force the former Winter family estate trustee Royal Trust to give them the relevant documents.

But I should say that, other than the deceptive and everlasting avoidance of the Winter children protection provision – thus denying them the opportunity to build a better financial future through their late father’s former company, or another related to it – Barry Sherman did work hard and diligently in acquiring Empire Labs, developing generic drugs, increasing product sales, and later selling it to an American firm, along the way taking considerable risks as did his mother, i.e., the Winter boys’ aunt, in helping finance the venture – even though it was her late brother’s business and her son had once been a legal heir.

In other words, Sherman, and to some degree his mother, worked hard and risked much to make the success happen.

Sherman also began Apotex in a hard-working and well-planned manner, this time without Joel Ulster who would not take part further, and with only the several hundred thousand dollars he made from the Empire Labs sale; accordingly, he devised a ‘minimalist’ business plan:

“When I set out in late 1973 to found a new generic pharmaceutical company, I was acutely aware of the possibility of failure.

As the intended products were the very ones being sold by Empire Laboratories, Novopharm and others, there was no doubt that the market size was adequate to support a viable business.

As to efficiency, I was now, as a result of my experience at Empire, well qualified to design and manage an efficient pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprise. …

Joel Ulster had declined to join me in the new venture. Unless I was to take in other partners, which I did not wish to do, the only available funds would be the several hundred thousand dollars of profit that I had made on the sale of Empire to ICN.

I needed to design a business that would get to break-even with minimum equipment, minimum floor space, minimum personnel, and in minimum time. …


I estimated that it would be possible to have the initial product line developed, the required stability studies done, and sales initiated within a year of start up.

Phase 2, would be initiated when and only when significant sales were achieved. In Phase 2, all revenues derived from sales as well as borrowed funds would be invested in expansion of capacity and development of the new generic products requiring New Drug Submissions to FDD. The development of these new products would be done as aggressively as possible in order to build the company rapidly.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

Following his “minimum” start-up plan, Sherman began Apotex with only two employees and 5,000 square feet of space, making only compressed tablets for a dozen or so generic versions of established drugs that could be sold cheaply by mail order and telemarketing:

“Business boomed, thanks to a combination of lucky timing and entrepreneurial savvy. Barry started with 5,000 square feet, employed two people and made only compressed tablets. He selected about a dozen established products with an eye to getting them to market quickly, then sold them cheaply by mail order and telemarketing. …”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

By the 1990s, Apotex had grown to become Canada’s biggest generic drug company:

“… Further changes in the law during the Trudeau years allowed greater scope and removed some advantages of brand name companies. By the ’90s, there were a dozen generic drug companies in Canada. Apotex was the biggest.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

But the first two years of Apotex were actually quite difficult, as Sherman recalled in 1992 about “seeing bankruptcy on the horizon” after a couple of years; he credited Apotex’s eventual success to – just like the media and others have described him as, reviewed in Part 1 – being “very aggressive”:

“In 1974, Sherman founded Apotex with two employees in a 5,000-square-foot building on Ormont Dr. in Weston, right around the corner from today’s corporate headquarters on Signet Rd.

As Sherman recalled, the company that now employs more than 1,000 people in several locations had a rocky start.

“I remember after a couple of years in business we still weren’t selling anything,” Sherman said.

“Losses were getting up to $10,000 a month and I was seeing bankruptcy on the horizon. But just before we got to the end of our resources, we got some acceptances.”

The real breakthrough came with Propranolol, a generic version of the blood pressure treatment Indaral. Propranolol was approved in 1980.

More than a decade later, Apotex revenues are upwards of $250 million and with Sherman’s other companies, top $500 million, he said.

Sherman credits a corporate aggressiveness that mirrors his business personality.

“One of my primary strategies was to be very aggressive . . . We had to find some major products that we could do the research on quickly and be the first generic (producer), so we could convince pharmacies to stock our products.””

(Allan Thompson, February 11, 1992, Toronto Star)

The picture for the other side in Sherman’s family legal dispute had been much bleaker, and rather sad.

While Sherman was working hard to grow Empire Labs and then found and grow Apotex to national success, his late Uncle Louis Winter’s much younger sons fell into troubled lives at young ages.

After the deaths of their parents in 1965, following their late mother Beverley’s wish the Winter boys were adopted by a Jewish family:

“Before she died, Beverley Winter left instructions that her children not be adopted by any relatives. Her brother, Wayne Rockcliffe, still wonders why she didn’t choose him and his wife. At that time they had no children. They were willing to move into the Winter home and send the boys to Upper Canada College. But Beverley, a convert to Judaism, wanted her sons to be raised as Jews. Rockcliffe thinks that his sister “just didn’t want us to have what was hers. What a shame that was!” Beverley’s rabbi found a home for the boys with Martin Barkin, a highly regarded urologist, and his wife, Carol, a schoolteacher.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

Beverley Winter’s brother Wayne Rockcliffe, as cited above, felt the Jewish adoption of the Winter sons was a sign of social snobbery toward him, was “a shame”.

Kerry and Dana became unhappy with their adoptive parents beginning in their early teens; they later turned to living life with illegal narcotic use and narcotic drug dealing; and Jeffrey suffered from bipolar mental problems:

“By 1973, the year Sherman sold Empire, Kerry, then 12 years old, and his closest brother, 11-year-old Dana, were extremely un­happy. They found Barkin difficult and their adoptive mother cold. By age 15, Kerry had left home and moved into a rooming house. He continued to attend school, where he was arrested for selling hash and marijuana and sentenced to six months in the Mimico Correctional Centre. In what would become a recurring theme, a relative came to his rescue. Uncle Wayne used his connections to get Kerry accepted into Ottawa’s tony Ashbury College. He graduated and took honours English at Richmond College in London, England, with fees paid by the family trust. He enrolled in San Diego State University for a masters but never finished. Instead, he travelled around the world; while in Peru, he began to experiment with crack cocaine and heroin.

Two of Lou’s other sons had their own problems. Jeffrey was diagnosed as bipolar and was in and out of treatment. And Dana, like Kerry, got into drugs. …”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

Recall that the provision for the sale of Empire Labs to Sherman and Ulster, reached with Royal Trust in 1967 to protect the Winter children’s interests, had two conditions that each of them had to meet in order to get the options of working at the company and acquiring 5% ownership: if the company was still under family control, and if each was capable of “being a responsible employee”.

In 2007 when the Winter sons launched the $1.5 billion lawsuit against Barry Sherman and Royal Trust, Royal Trust responded that the Winter children’s “significant personal issues”, including “criminal activity”, made them unsuitable to be involved in Apotex:

“Court filings and interviews with relatives reveal a bitterly divided family that has been beset by a series of troubles. One cousin, Dana, died of a heroin overdose in 1995 shortly after being charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Royal Trust alleges in court filings that one reason the cousins could never become involved in Apotex was because of “significant personal issues, which included criminal activity, incarceration, serious drug addictions and mental health issues.””

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, January 29, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

Uh, Dana died of a heroin overdose in 1995 after being charged with “conspiracy to commit murder”. That was clearly totally contrary to good behaviours expected of a “responsible employee”.

In his legal deposition on the lawsuit, Sherman also stated a similar point, namely that their troubled lives meant that none of the Winter sons could have become “a suitable employee at Apotex Inc.”:

“Mr. Sherman said in his filings that the arrangement concerning the children contained a number of conditions that became unenforceable when he sold the Winter business in 1972. Apotex was a completely separate entity, he added.

However, he vowed at the time to help the others. “I said also, ‘These are my cousins, and if some day if these boys want an opportunity or need help, I will be there,’” Mr. Sherman said in a deposition.

Mr. Sherman said in the deposition the children led troubled lives. “There is no way that any of these boys would have ended up being a suitable employee at Apotex Inc., but I have tried to just help them do what they wanted to do.””

(Paul Waldie, October 26, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

After the Shermans’ deaths, in an media interview in early 2018 Kerry Winter also admitted that the brothers all led troubled lives at one point or another, Tim being an alcoholic and others similar to earlier mentioned:

“Winter’s childhood would prove abusive and damaging and though he has reconciled with his adoptive family, neither he nor his siblings emerged unscathed.

Eldest brother Tim is an alcoholic, Jeffery has been diagnosed bi-polar, Winter is open about his struggles with addiction to heroin and crack and Dana, died of a heroin overdose at 33.”

(“EXCLUSIVE: ‘My gut tells me he killed her. He asked me twice to whack her. He hated his wife.’ Billionaire and wife found hanged beside their pool was murder-suicide NOT a targeted hit their cousin tells DailyMailTV”, by Laura Collins, January 31, 2018, Daily Mail)

What a sad and disappointing, but perhaps not unfamiliar tale: an academically brilliant, business goal-driven and socially high-achieving Barry Sherman had these younger cousins, sons of his business-founder uncle and mentor, Louis Winter; after their parents’ early deaths, the cousins were made to live unhappily with a “difficult” and “cold” adoptive family, and their future went downhill ever since and even became unsalvageable, all the while when their cousin Sherman went from one success to another.

The Winter sons’ misery happened despite their late mother’s best intention, wanting her children raised as Jews; as quoted earlier from the Toronto Life article, the appropriate adoptive parents, “Martin Barkin, a highly regarded urologist, and his wife, Carol, a schoolteacher”, were found by her rabbi – despite her brother Wayne Rockcliffe’s feeling of it being ‘social snobbery’ toward him.

But wait. The name of the “highly regarded urologist” adoptive father, Martin Barkin, sounds a little familiar in my review thus far.

Sherman’s memoir had a mention the couple, quoted earlier:

“Lou and Beverley Winter left behind four sons, all of whom were subsequently adopted by Dr. Martin Barkin and his wife, Carole.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

There have been earlier instances of this name. In Part 1, a Dr. Martin Barkin, had been brought into the management of his company Deprenyl Research in 1992 by Morton Shulman, and ran the company in 1993 while Shulman was in bitter legal disputes with Barry Sherman and Apotex, here partially quoted again:

“Dr. Morton Shulman, officially retired but still proud father of Deprenyl Research Ltd., and Barry Sherman, president and owner of Apotex Ltd., are doing battle, armed with legal briefs, affidavits and reports from private investigators.

“This is a true crusade,” Shulman said in an interview in his Roncesvalles Ave. office. “I’ve got nothing to do (but fight with Sherman.) I’m delighted. It was a godsend that this came along.”

The battle started this spring, about the same time Shulman, 68, was being eased into retirement from Deprenyl Research, the company he founded to import a drug to combat Parkinson’s disease.

Shulman became his company’s best advertisement as the drug alleviated his symptoms for years. Now, his condition is deteriorating and his speech is slurred and movements are jerky.

Shulman’s son Geoffrey and Dr. Martin Barkin, who was brought in last year to run Deprenyl, now manage the company as it tries to expand its range of products and defend its Eldepryl turf.”

(“Shulman vs. Sherman; The drug entrepreneurs face off”, by Art Chamberlain, July 11, 1993, Toronto Star)

That couldn’t be the same person, could it, that the adoptive father of Barry Sherman’s Winter family cousins was also a top manager for the company of Morton Shulman, Sherman’s bitter public nemesis?

This Dr. Barkin was then the president of Shulman’s company, in 1994 changing its name to Draxis Health as well as its focus – away from the Parkinson’s disease drug Eldepryl as its Canadian market was threatened by Sherman’s aggressive push for a generic version, here partially as quoted in Part 1:

“Deprenyl Research Ltd. has taken some final steps to put the Morton Shulman era behind it.

The company emerged from its annual meeting yesterday with a new name – Draxis Health Inc. – a new corporate structure and a new share option program for senior management.

President Martin Barkin said the name change reflects the company’s new focus on products other than Eldepryl, a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

Draxis recently lost a court battle and expects generic drug maker Apotex Ltd. to have a cheaper version of Draxis’s main product on the market later this year.”

(“Deprenyl change ends Shulman era; Company to be called Draxis and get new focus”, by Art Chamberlain, May 27, 1994, Toronto Star)

Then, in a 1997 news story about Draxis’s new drug for treating dogs for Cushing’s disease, this Dr. Martin Barkin was cited as its president and CEO, and as a “former Ontario deputy minister of health”, here again partially as in Part 1:

““We are very excited to have received the FDA approval,” said Martin Barkin, company president and chief executive officer.

“The United States is one-third of the worldwide pharmaceuticals market,” said Dr. Barkin, a former Ontario deputy minister of health. He sees Anipryl as Draxis’s first big step into the U.S. market.”

(“Stock in the news: Analysis Draxis looks to U.S. market for sales; Canine drug Anipryl launched south of border following FDA approval”, by Andrew Poon, June 11, 1997, The Globe and Mail)

Perhaps there were two Dr. Martin Barkins, namesakes, in the healthcare field in Toronto, Ontario. I should either confirm or disprove it.

Let’s see who Shulman company’s Dr. Martin Barkin was, per Shulman’s autobiography, Can’t Somebody Shut Him Up? – a book previously extensively cited in Part 1:

“Barkin is a Toronto urologist and medical academic whose CV rolls richly off the page: President and CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, vice-chairman of the Ontario Hospital Association, president of the Ontario Council of Teaching Hospitals. Deputy minister of health for the Province of Ontario from 1987 to 1991, where he established, and was secretary of, the premier’s council on Health Strategy, and chaired the deputy cabinet committee on social policy.”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, Can’t Somebody Shut Him Up?, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

That Martin Barkin was also a Toronto urologist, like the Winter sons’ adoptive father. Well, the likelihood that they were the same person is high.

A prominent University of Toronto urologist Dr. Martin Barkin died on January 21, 2018 – a little over a month after the unexpected double murder of Barry and Honey Sherman. This is the one associated with Morton Shulman, because the long and distinguished record cited includes “President and Chief Executive Officer of DRAXIS Health Inc.”, and reads just like above from Shulman’s book – it also includes endowing the “Martin Barkin Chair in the Division of Urology at the University of Toronto”:

“Faculty of Medicine is remembering Dr. Martin Barkin, who passed away January 21, 2018 after a brief illness.

Dr. Barkin was a leader in academia, medical administration and business. He held the rank of Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto in both the Departments of Surgery and Health Administration. He also endowed the Martin Barkin Chair in the Division of Urology at the University of Toronto.

He was President and Chief Executive Officer of DRAXIS Health Inc., and served on the Boards of Viventia Biotech Inc. and Bone Care International, Inc. Dr. Barkin went to DRAXIS in 1992 from KPMG where he served as Partner and National Practice Leader for Health Care. Before that, he was Deputy Minister of Health for the Province of Ontario, Secretary of the Premier’s Council on Health and Chair of the Deputies’ Cabinet Committee on Social Policy for the Province of Ontario.

Dr. Barkin was President and Chief Executive Officer of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Vice Chair of the Ontario Hospital Association and President of the Ontario Council of Teaching Hospitals.

He served as Chief of the Division of Urology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Professor of Surgery (Urology) at U of T and Project Director at the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children as well as a member of the Grants Review Committee of the Medical Research Council of Canada.”

(“Remembering Dr. Martin Barkin”, March 2, 2018, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto)

There was an obituary in the National Post newspaper for a Martin Barkin, who died on that same day January 21, 2018. This Martin Barkin’s family profile fits that of the Winter sons’ adoptive father, namely he was a Jewish man, with his wife named Carol, and two of his sons named Tim and Jeffrey – as discussed, the other two Winter sons Kerry and Dana were unhappy with their adoptive family, Kerry left home at 15 and Dana died in 1995. At the same time, this Martin Barkin’s medical profile has a match with the other Martin Barkin in “the Martin Barkin Chair in Urological Research at U of T”:

“BARKIN, Martin

On Sunday, January 21, 2018 at Toronto General Hospital. Beloved husband of Carol. Loving father and father-in-law of Tim and Nancy Barkin, Jeffrey and Karen Barkin, Risa Barkin Worth, and Robert and Lisa Barkin. Dear brother and brother-in-law of Miriam Marks, and Sharon and Mel Shiffman. Dear brother-in-law of Joel and Catherine Kohm. Devoted grandfather of Jack, Ethan, Daniel, Slater, Jake, Halle, and the late Eden Worth. At Benjamin’s Park Memorial Chapel, 2401 Steeles Avenue West (3 lights west of Dufferin) for service on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. Interment in the Temple Sinai section of Pardes Shalom Cemetery. Shiva 54 Old Forest Hill Road, Toronto. Memorial donations may be made to the Martin Barkin Chair in Urological Research at U of T, 416-978-4296, Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation, 416-480-4483 or to a charity of your choice.”

(“Martin BARKIN Obituary”, January 23, 2018, National Post)

Without a doubt, the two  Dr. Martin Barkin were the same man.

Wow, 15 years before a “family feud” between Barry Sherman and his late Uncle Louis Winter’s sons went public with their $1.5 billion lawsuit against him and former Winter family estate trustee Royal Trust – over his denying them an alleged 20% business ownership by reneging on an agreement reached 40 years earlier with Royal Trust – the Winter sons’ adoptive father had already become a top executive in the company of Morton Shulman, Sherman’s public nemesis in bitter legal disputes with him.

Dr. Barkin was much more than just a “highly regarded urologist” as the Toronto Life story said in the context of the Winter sons’ adoption. He was a pillar of the medical professional community and a leader in the field of healthcare in the city of  Toronto, the province of Ontario, and even nationally in Canada.

But Dr. Barkin’s record of adoptive parenting was rather disappointing, to say the least, and even terrible. Several of his adoptive Winter sons were very unhappy with him and his wife, one leaving home while in the mid-teen, and all descended into troubled lives.

Morton Shulman’s 1993 autobiography coauthored with writer Susan Kastner, while boasting much about his own achievements, mentioned Martin Barkin quite extensively and thus can be a source of information for understanding Barkin’s personality that could be relevant to the adopted sons’ experiences.

Shulman noted that Martin Barkin was known for his ego and temper:

“… Martin Barkin is a tall, portly and dignified 54-year-old with a distinguished background in medicine and health administration, and a tendency to flush dark red in temper. His interest in the business of medicine is as broad, and his ego as wide, as that of his diminutive new boss.”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

Barkin’s ego and temper could be one reason that some of his adopted sons found him “difficult” – as described in the Toronto Life story quoted earlier.

There is also an issue of possible parental negligence, on the part of someone with such an exceptionally high professional standard – negligence with serious and long-lasting ramifications for those adversely affected.

The provision reached between the Winter estate trustee Royal Trust and Barry Sherman in 1967, for the protection of the Winter children’s interests once each of them reached adulthood, would have been, and definitely should have been, made known to the adoptive parents, though it did not seem to have been conveyed to the adopted sons at any time – until they learned of it approaching their middle age in around 2000.

As quoted earlier from the Toronto Life story, some of the Winter sons’ unhappiness with the adoptive Barkin family began in their early-mid teens, as early as 1973. That was the time when Barry Sherman and his partner Joel Ulster were selling their company to the American firm ICN Pharmaceuticals following their successful run of Empire Labs taken over from the Winter estate, and Sherman was then about to start Apotex.

At that time, if those Winter boys were not well behaved from an adult’s standpoint, their prospect with Empire Labs, and subsequently Apotex, would not have looked good.

In any case, not long afterwards Sherman no longer kept in touch with them. What led to their losing touch, besides his late Uncle Lou’s old company no longer in the picture, was the passing of his mother, i.e., the Winter boys’ aunt who while alive, along with her son, had regularly visited them at the Barkins’ home:

“In her will, Mrs. Winter specified that she did not want the boys raised by relatives. She had converted to Judaism after marrying Lou and insisted that her four sons – Tim, Kerry, Jeffrey and Dana – be taken in by a Jewish family.

Within a year, Martin Barkin and his wife, Carol, became the boys’ guardians. Mr. Barkin was still studying to be a doctor, but the couple had already adopted two children, had a house in Toronto and the support of family, so they added the boys to their household.

… During his time at Empire, Mr. Sherman had dropped in on the Barkins with his mother – who used to give each boy crisp dollar bills for his birthday. But in the early 1970s, after the ICN deal closed and Mrs. Sherman died, the families lost touch.

“I wanted to help with the transition, so I visited them frequently when they were first adopted,” Mr. Sherman recalls. “We drifted apart. I had no reason to contact them. They were young and with their new family.”

And Mr. Sherman was about to have a family of his own. Just before selling Empire, he had met Honey Reich on a blind date. The attraction was almost
immediate – “call it love at second sight,” Mr. Sherman says – and the two were soon married by a judge.”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, November 24, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

Sherman and the Winter sons lost touch for over a decade until 1988 – I note that by this time they were all in their late 20s:

“The cousins and Mr. Sherman lost touch for more than 10 years after he started Apotex. It wasn’t until 1988 that contact was re-established. …”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, January 29, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

Regardless of the fallacy of their adoptive father Martin Barkin, let’s see how Sherman related to his cousins after re-establishing contact at a time of, after all, their prime age for starting a working career.

Here is an account from the July 2008 Toronto Life story republished in December 2017:

“… One night in 1988, while eating at Bemelmans on Bloor, Dana bumped into a man named Stan Garden, who struck up a conversation. It happened that Garden had greatly admired Dana’s mother, Beverley (“beautiful, like Lana Turner”). At her deathbed, she asked Garden to keep an eye on the boys, but he’d lost touch. Now he could make amends. He got Barry’s number from someone he knew and phoned him. He told him about Dana’s situation and was invited to bring him to the Apotex office the following Saturday.

Until then, Barry knew nothing of the cousins’ struggles. Now he became involved in the lives of Dana, Jeff and Kerry, providing money and moral support. (Tim Winter, now a chef, never asked for help.) His motives? If you believe Barry, he was just trying to help Lou’s children. If you believe Kerry and Tim, he intended to make them dependent. That way, if they ever discovered the option agreement that could make them rich, they’d be too incapacitated or beholden to Barry to sue.

For whatever reasons, Barry bankrolled three of the Winter children in their ventures. Dana started a jewellery business; Jeff moved from a travel company into custom CDs; Kerry launched a construction company. Barry bought them homes and cottages, paid Visa bills and gave out allowances, lending millions on dubious security. Behind his back, Dana called him “Bank Sherman.””

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

A told above, a former family friend Stan Garden happened to meet Dana at a Toronto restaurant, Bemelmans, and reconnected him to Sherman. As told above, at that point Sherman “knew nothing of the cousins’ struggles”, i.e., troubles, and now he began to provide “money and moral support” to all of them – except the Winter adopted Tim who did not ask for help.

There was no mention of getting any of them a job at Apotex, which could be a start to potential ownership shares if Sherman had wanted to honour the old provision in some way.

Here is another account about their reconnecting, from the January 29, 2007 The Globe and Mail story:

“The cousins and Mr. Sherman lost touch for more than 10 years after he started Apotex. It wasn’t until 1988 that contact was re-established. Dana was facing trouble and turned to Mr. Sherman for financial help. Mr. Sherman gave him money, bailed him out of jail and helped him land various jobs. But Dana’s drug problem worsened and he died seven years later.

Soon Mr. Sherman was providing substantial support to the other children. Apotex had become a major generic drug company with roughly $1-billion in annual sales and Mr. Sherman, married with four children, was a billionaire.

He bought his cousins homes, cottages, financed various business ventures and gave them millions of dollars, according to court filings. Kerry received up to $15,000 a month for years, according to court filings. After Dana died, Mr. Sherman bought his widow a home and sent monthly cheques to her two children.”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, January 29, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

Whatever mention of the help Sherman provided, for getting out of trouble or for making a substantially better living, none was about any of them being offered a job at Apotex – even though they reconnected through Dana being brought to Sherman’s Apotex office by mutual family friend Stan Garden.

But I note that the state of life Dana was in when reconnected with Sherman was problematic, that his facing criminal trouble and wanting help in that context may have easily made Sherman determine the prospect to be dismal for someone like that to work in his company.

What Sherman did beginning in 1988 was consistent with his later statement in in a 2007 court deposition over the Winter cousins’ lawsuit, previously quoted:

“There is no way that any of these boys would have ended up being a suitable employee at Apotex Inc., but I have tried to just help them do what they wanted to do.”

(Paul Waldie, October 26, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

In any case, at this time in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the now grown-up Winter sons were unaware of the old Empire Labs provision that Sherman had agreed with Royal Trust in 1967 for their future benefits. As quoted earlier, years later after they found out, they alleged that the financial help from Sherman was intended to make them less likely to pursue the Empire Labs ownership matter, as earlier quoted:

“… His motives? If you believe Barry, he was just trying to help Lou’s children. If you believe Kerry and Tim, he intended to make them dependent. That way, if they ever discovered the option agreement that could make them rich, they’d be too incapacitated or beholden to Barry to sue.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

But there may have been another motive, one not yet probed by the media, in Sherman’s being so helpful and generous toward his Winter cousins – short of putting them on a path toward possible Apotex ownership interests.

They were the adopted sons of Dr. Martin Barkin who, according to Morton Shulman’s 1993 autobiography quoted earlier, was Ontario Deputy Minister of Health from 1987 to 1991 – during the time when Dana and Sherman reconnected in 1988.

My quite extensive review of his 1996 memoir has shown that Sherman had a sharp mind when it came to how persons in positions influential in or with the government could help and hurt businesses: he marvelled about the crucial legislative role of the government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, about the expert legal help he repeatedly sought from the prominent attorney Willard Estey, a future Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada – at that point the son of a former Justice of that Court – and about Dr. Alan E. Dyer, Ontario Assistant Deputy Minister of Health who established the PARCOST (Prescriptions at Reasonable Cost) program in 1968.

There is no reason that in 1988 Sherman would have overlooked that point when his Winter cousins’ adoptive father, Dr. Martin Barkin whom he had known back in the years when at whose home he and his mother regularly visited the boys, was now Ontario’s Deputy Minister of Health, the second-highest official in the government health ministry – just below the Minister who must be a member of the legislature in the Canadian government systems.

That could be a valuable connection far outweighing any hassle from Dana’s criminal trouble, one that Sherman only needed to revive. As a comparison, during the early 1990s Morton Shulman was also trying to connect to Deputy Health Minister Dr. Martin Barkin to obtain government approval for his “Hungarian wonder drug” – a term quoted in Part 1 referring to deprenyl which he named Eldepryl – for treating Canadian Parkinson’s disease patients. Shulman made eight phone calls to Barkin, and Barkin “didn’t even return a single call”:

“Through the whole Deprenyl approval thing with Ontario I never met him. I kept phoning him and he wouldn’t return my phone calls. I phoned him eight times. He didn’t even return a single call. Finally I got pissed off and I wrote him and said, “Come on down, let’s fix this damned thing up.” He wouldn’t. Even at that point I didn’t meet him.”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

As recalled by Shulman, during the years when Barkin was the deputy health minister, Shulman contacted him many times and Barkin never bothered to respond.

During this period, Barry Sherman was ‘luckier’ in the sense that he had the opportunity to, and did, shower Barkin’s adopted sons with all kinds of help, worth “millions of dollars” as quoted earlier.

But unlike Shulman eventually, Sherman did not recruit Barkin to work for his company, or if he did it did not happen and that I can understand: Barkin’s gong to Apotex could revive the decades-old, conveniently forgotten issue of the Empire Labs ownership provision and potentially cost Sherman up to 20% of his now billion-dollar company Apotex.

Barry Sherman’s holding back was Morton Shulman’s gain.

But one may say that Shulman’s small brand-name drug company Deprenyl Research was no Canada-leading generic drug maker Apotex, which could be too challenging a pharmaceutical giant for Martin Barkin.

The answer, besides in the different types of management positions there exist in a large corporation, is that Barkin’s academic and professional reputation was no inferior to Sherman’s – even if as a billionaire Sherman was much wealthier.

Be it in his academic study years or in his professional career, Barkin was excellent like Sherman, here as quoted from a 1990 article by Dr. Brian Goldman:

“… Now in his 30th year as a physician, his career accomplishments are impressive. After graduating from the University of Toronto in 1960 – he shared the Gold Medal that goes to the top student with a classmate – Barkin specialized in urology, completing his postgraduate training at Harvard University and in England. He returned to Canada to practise urology at Sunnybrook, where he quickly rose to the top of his field.

As a researcher, he developed innovative techniques for correcting anatomical abnormalities of the genitourinary system. An expert in this relatively narrow and highly specialized field, he was courted internationally as a consultant, author and lecturer.

His career as an administrator moved on a parallel path.

While serving as CEO at Sunnybrook he turned the hospital’s annual operating deficit into a surplus within 1 year. Earlier, he was a well-connected member of Ontario’s medical elite, serving as chairman of the Ontario Council of Teaching Hospitals and on several committees of the OMA and the District Health Council of Metropolitan Toronto. Somewhere in the middle of these career twists and turns, Barkin found time to own and operate a company that developed computer software for physicians’ offices.”

(“What makes Martin Barkin run?”, by Brian Goldman, MD, 1990, 142 (6), Canadian Medical Association Journal)

As cited above and earlier, whereas Sherman won a Wilson Medal and a Gold Medal from the University of Toronto, Barkin, a few years more senior, won a Gold Medal as well; and whereas Sherman excelled at his graduate studies at MIT, Barkin did so not only at Harvard – also a world-leading academic institution in Boston in the United States – but also in England; and whereas Sherman led his Apotex to become the leading generic drug company in Canada, Barkin rose to the top of his medical field of Urology internationally, in addition to holding various leadership positions in the healthcare field in Toronto and Ontario, and even owned and operated a computer software company for medical applications.

Besides working at the helm of the healthcare field in Ontario, Barkin also had an influential reputation in the healthcare field in North America, here – like the previous quote – as reported in 1990 by Dr. Goldman in the Canadian Medical Association Journal:

“It was yet another juicy rumour. Once again, Dr. Martin Barkin was supposed to be quitting his job as Ontario’s deputy minister of health to head for greener pastures south of the border. There have long been rumours that Barkin, perhaps the province’s most controversial physician, would be tapped to head Humana, the giant American health care conglomerate.

In typical fashion, he outdid the rumour. CMAJ has learned that George Bush, the president of the United States, has spoken to Barkin. The topic? Would Barkin help him create a national health insurance plan for Americans.

Doctors at the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and hospital administrators across the province listen to the Barkin rumours with interest. They wonder if the man who brought the saying “Just say no!” to hospital budgets is finally going to go away and leave them alone.

At least for now he won’t be, but some say it took a last-minute plea from Premier David Peterson to keep Barkin in Ontario. In any case, the game of rumour and denial continues. Love him or hate him – they all respect him – Barkin watchers across the country agree that he is the most fascinating character to enter the Canadian health care scene in years.”

(Brian Goldman, MD, 1990, Canadian Medical Association Journal)

See, according to rumours circulating among medical professionals, the American healthcare giant Humana wanted to recruit Barkin to be its top leader, and according to information obtained by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, then U.S. President George Bush had spoken with Barkin about helping him “create a national health insurance plan for Americans”.

Wow, anything was possible for Dr. Martin Barkin, “the most fascinating character to enter the Canadian health care scene in years”!

But what were rumoured or even spoken were not necessarily what happened. Soon President Bush was out of a job and there has been no ‘Bush Healthcare’ for Americans; and in the end, Dr. Barkin did not go to the American giant Humana but the small Canadian Deprenyl Research.

In any case, Barkin’s joining Deprenyl Research was a major coup, a steal, for Morton Shulman.

But what made it happen, besides Barkin having left his government post, was Shulman’s offering Barkin stock options worth potentially multi-million dollars:

“I pursued Martin Barkin for three years, then persuaded him to come to work for me in half an hour. I told him in a year I would make him very, very rich.

He got stock to come into the company, and an option on a million shares at $7. He’ll get very rich from this. I think in five years he’ll be a multi-millionaire.”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

In addition to the large stock option offer Barkin was given the job of executive vice president, and he came only after reaching agreement that he would be promoted to president and Chief Operating Officer in three months; that was at a great time in March 1992, when the stock price of Shulman’s Deprenyl Research had recently had a record high, and old and new media glories came upon Shulman:

“Well then. Can 1992 possibly be anything but even purer gold than the year before?

Surely not.

In the beginning, all augurs well. Canguard backs off – drops plans for its undercutting generic. The stock cruises at the $21 mark; before the month is out, it will hit a psychedelic high of $23.50 Canadian. And the company has expanded. There’s a series of brand new horses racing for profit carrying the colors of Deprenyl Research. There is DAHI: Deprenyl Animal Health; and there is Bone Health, with a new be-all and end-all osteoporosis medication in trials – both US subsidiaries of Deprenyl Research. There is another subsidiary, Memorial, conducting trials for Alzene, for treatment of Alzheimer’s. And soon there will be Deprenyl USA – DUSA – with its 5-ALA PDT; a new photodynamic treatment being tested for skin cancer, quietly rumoured to have spectacular possibilities for other cancer treatment as well.

And a lengthy negotiation is on the point of paying off – with a gold-plated Dr. Respectable to head up the burgeoning company and counterbalance Dr. MortyMouth.

Morty woos and wins as executive vice president of Deprenyl Research Dr. Martin Barkin, the eminent ex-deputy minister of health for Ontario.

In March, 1992, Barkin agrees to join the jolly ship Deprenyl as second officer if he is moved up to president and chief operating officer in June. it is a fascinating – not to say demonically inspired – joining of forces. …

When Morty first began his recruiting campaign, Barkin had moved from government to the very bosom of the private sector as partner at the heavyweight brokerage firm of Peat Marwick Stevenson and Kellogg, as National Practice Leader for Health Care.

While at Deprenyl he will continue to chair Peat Marwick’s Health Care Advisory Committee. He is frequently called upon by the editorial boards of both the Star and The Globe & Mail to expound on questions of health management, policy and marketing.

Remembers Barkin: “He called my partner at Peat Marwick and told him, ‘I want to hire him as president of my company.’” …

On March 14 the stock closes up 25 cents, at $17.50. On March 15 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation announces Wojeck is back on TV, in a new two-hour special.

That day brings a major newspaper profile of Shulman, with a glowing account of Deprenyl’s profit picture: shares that have “gone up 18 times and split twice, despite the naysaying of skeptics,” a company which with its subsidiaries has a market value of “almost half a billion dollars.” A pipeline of exciting products, including Alzene, and the exciting new Canadian discovery ALA PDT, the new photodynamic therapy for skin cancer uncovered by Geoff at that dermatology conference in Kingston.

So mesmerized is the reporter that she hurries back to her office to persuade all her friends to snap up the DUSA, quicker than quick. …”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

As told, Deprenyl Research’s stock price reached a record high of $23.50 Canadian dollars in late January 1992, and was at $17.50 on March 14, in the month when Martin Barkin joined the company, with the option to buy one million shares of the stock at $7 – it meant Barkin could make $10.50 per share or a total of $10.50 million if he could purchase and sell those stocks right away.

Also as told, on March 15 the CBC announced a TV re-airing of the show Wojeck – as mentioned in Part 1 it was a TV drama inspired by Shulman’s past work as the chief coroner of Ontario and Toronto – and a major newspaper profile of Shulman also appeared, in which he boasted that his company and its subsidiaries now had a market value of “almost half a billion dollars.”

“Almost half a billion dollars” was not quite Apotex and Barry Sherman’s billionaire status, but Morton Shulman’s company was very promising in its market showing, even though it had only one proven drug deprenyl, named Eldepryl, for treating Parkinson’s disease – discussed in details in Part 1 – and other drugs only at various planning and research stages within the company’s subsidiaries – the person Geoff mentioned in the above story was Shulman’s son Geoffrey Shulman.

Very exciting, and even the reporter doing the newspaper profile of Shulman went to “persuade all her friends” to buy the stock shares of Deprenyl Research’s U.S. subsidiary DUSA.

But as it has been shown in the story of Sherman’s getting ICN Pharmaceuticals stocks for selling Empire Labs and holding them for six months in 1973-1974, and in the story of the volatile ventures of ICN’s owner, Serbian-American tycoon Milan Panic, these stocks were not cash and anything could happen to their value over a period of time.

Like those businesses, Deprenyl Research’s business was also volatile.

Shulman’s propensity for publicly bragging about his business soon led to serious media criticisms of Eldepryl’s high brand-name price; the company’s stock value went into rapid decline soon after Barkin’s joining:

“… But underneath it all, the ground is crumbling away, and the January cloudlet builds to a thunderhead.

Indeed, in the third week of March, seemingly out of the blue, James Reynolds, key West Coast analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities, had flown in the face of his New York vice president David Saks’ unabated devotion to all things Morty. Reynolds issued a sell advisory on Deprenyl stock.

Morty announces he is furious, hints Deprenyl may take the West Coast guy before the regulatory authorities.

It doesn’t happen. Deprenyl stock sinks $2.62 to $15.25, flutters back up to $16.50. The ever-faithful David Saks continues to recommend Deprenyl.

But by the beginning of April, there has been a $10 slide from the January heights, and things start to get nasty.

A huge front-page Toronto Star piece in mid-April luridly paints Morty as Dr. Venal: rich, greedy and scamming the poor with unconscionable pill profits.

“Angry Parkinson’s patients pay $2.31 for 6c pill” the headline shouts. Morty is said to be shamelessly blocking production of cheaper generic versions while sitting on “a whopping $10-million before-tax profit” and displaying hypocritical hypersensitivity to criticism, “repeating over and over again he isn’t in the drug business to make money but to help people, followed with several phone calls and faxes of documents showing evidence of his good works.”

A Newfoundland Parkinson’s sufferer is found to have complained about Eldepryl’s price to the Patent Medicine Prices Review Board. “Why,” the lady rages, “should we have to beg some rich man in Toronto for something that shouldn’t be that expensive anyway?”

Here, the reporter briefly explains that Deprenyl is only doing exactly the same as every other pharmaceutical company. The difference is that the big private companies can keep it secret.

“The only thing different about Deprenyl is that the true costs – and true profits – have slipped into the public eye. It’s only because Deprenyl Research was a new company with a single product that the factors behind the price of Eldepryl could be deduced by patients – and reporters.”

The message in all this: you might say that Morty was once again paying the price he has paid all his life, for the same reason he has always paid it. He’s getting zapped for letting it all hang out.

The newspaper is obliged to print first a correction, then a retraction and an apology for two major factual errors which alter the thrust of the whole story: “… Those figures were incorrect. The company says the 36c it pays for a deprenyl pill does not include its overhead and administration costs. According to the company’s annual report, the after-tax profit on pharmaceuticals is only 15%. The Star regrets the errors and apologizes to Dr. Shulman.”

Yes, the bloom is off.”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

As cited above, in March 1992 just one week after a major newspaper profile citing Shulman’s company as having a market value of “almost half a billion dollars”, a key West Coast stock market analyst recommended that investors sell – instead of buy – the stock, and by the beginning of April his company’s stock price had a “$10 slide” from its January heights – its record high in late January being $23.50 as cited earlier, and so the stock price by early April was only around $13.50.

Then, as told above, in mid-April in a Toronto Star story both a Parkinson’s disease patient and the reporter accused Shulman of making excessive profit on a cheap drug: “patients pay $2.31 for 6c pill”. It turned out to be inaccurate, because the cost was 36 cents/pill buying from the foreign manufacturer but that still did not include the company’s operating costs.

Still, at $2.31/pill a drug was being sold at a high price over 6.416 times of its purchase cost of 36 cents/pill; the real costs for the company depended on how much the operating costs were, as the profit was as reported, “a whopping $10-million before-tax profit”.

On the other hand, the above story also shows that there was something too ‘lofty’, if one can put it that way, that a company cheaply importing a foreign drug to sell and getting a “$10-million before-tax profit” – as surprising as the number was – while its other drug projects were not yet productive, could be worth “almost half a billion dollars”.

Also significant in the Toronto Star story was the accusation of Shulman “shamelessly blocking production of cheaper generic versions”. As reviewed in detail in Part 1, Shulman and his company would soon be in fierce legal battles in 1993 against Barry Sherman and Apotex, who wanted to introduce a much cheaper generic version of Shulman’s brand-name drug.

As told in Shulman’s autobiography, in 1992 after joining Deprenyl Research, Martin Barkin immediately played a sobering role to provide clarity over business publicity, trying to calm down the volatility:

“There is news of another major breakthrough. On April 22 Eldepryl is approved by HPB for treatment of early Parkinson’s; it is no longer officially restricted, as in the past, to be prescribed in conjunction with other anti-Parkinson’s drugs for advanced stages of the disease.

This marks several large steps forward. …

Martin Barkin projects a doubling of revenue over next 24 months. He announces revenues of $13.9 million for the year ended December 31, 1991, and a profit of $6.5 million.

In May, the company announces the launch of its new star project. Bone Health, its new Massachusetts-based drug subsidiary, has begun a major clinical trial of its osteoporis drug One-Alpha D(2).

Results will be published in September. But the prognosis is so promising that, on May 22, Deprenyl Research issues to its investors a dividend in the form of one Bone Health warrant for each Deprenyl share. The warrant is good for the purchase of one Bone Health share for 30 cents, from March 1, 1993 to May 7, 1993; or may be traded at that time for 20 cents cash.”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

As in the above, there was good news in late April 1992, that the company’s main drug Eldepryl was approved for broader use, the new U.S.-based subsidiary Bone Health showed early promise in its drug trial, and Deprenyl shareholders were issued options to buy the new Bone Health shares or get cash dividends.

The company’s 1991 revenue and profit figures announced by Barkin, in my understanding, clarified over the newspaper reported “a whopping $10-million before-tax profit” and the company’s correction that “the after-tax profit on pharmaceuticals is only 15%” – as in the second last quote above.

I note that $6.5m profit on $13.9m revenue was much higher profit than the 15% after-tax profit “on pharmaceuticals” on a revenue that was not large.

The seemingly conflicting figures would imply that part of the revenue, and more importantly most of the profit, did not come from pharmaceuticals.

As quoted earlier, as planned Barkin would soon become president and COO in June 1992.

Shulman’s 1993 autobiography continued to describe more media criticisms in August 1992.

One critical story, in the Wall Street Journal, reported that Shulman’s company were selling a new Alzheimer’s drug Alzene that had not been officially approved, by mail to the U.S.:

“And now, the storm begins to break.

The Wall Street Journal returns to the scene with a vengeance, turning both barrels on Alzene, and Morty, in the last week of August, 1992.



An unapproved drug for Alzheimer’s gets a big marketing push. Proof Alzene helps is scant but that doesn’t deter Deprenyl Research Ltd. Promoters defend methods.

Many Alzheimer’s researchers doubt that Alzene, which hasn’t been approved for sale in the U.S., helps the dozens of U.S. families who buy it by mail through a crack in U.S. import laws. But nobody doubts the promotional prowess of two young drug companies, a flamboyant Canadian entrepreneur and an obscure Israeli inventor that are touting the drug and investments in its prospects.

. . . Most users buy the pills on faith from Deprenyl Research Ltd., a small Toronto drug company. . . .

It seems Morty has been cutting through layers in his favorite time-tested ways to get Alzene into U.S. circulation ahead of the official approval process. There have been letters to American neurologists from Deprenyl Research, that warn “overwhelming demand” for the drug has caused a shortage.” The FDA is no happier about this Mortyescapade than was Canada’s Health Protection Branch before them. It issues a reprimand ordering Deprenyl Research to stop promoting Alzene. Morty again denies exaggerating or law breaking. He faxes the FDA to assure them of the potential efficacy of Alzene.

He stops sending letters to U.S. doctors; asserts, “I have done nothing more than inform my shareholders of events that might affect the stock.”

The formula for having it both ways was working fine, for the second drug in a row. The publicity will speed the approvals process while letting Deprenyl Research do business by dealing the drug during the pre-approvals gap. For about a year before Eldepryl was approved for sale in the U.S. Deprenyl Research has sold it to American patients through the mail.”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

Uh-uh, Shulman seemed to be doing what he accused Sherman of doing illegally.

As in Part 1, Barry Sherman and his brother-in-law Allen Barry Shechtman had been selling Apotex drugs by mail since 1989, with magazine advertising by a Bahamas-based company, to U.S. consumers without the necessary prescriptions or approvals; it led to an FBI criminal investigation in 1993 and a $500,000 fine on one of Sherman’s companies in 1995.

Also as in Part 1, responding to Sherman’s pressure in 1990 to let Apotex develop and sell a generic version of his Parkinson’s disease drug Eldepryl, Shulman hired private detectives to investigate Sherman’s businesses, and discovered Sherman’s mail selling of drugs, which Shulman viewed as illegal.

Now it turned out that Shulman also sold drugs by mail to the U.S. without proper approvals. That was hypocritical, was it not?

Selling a medication before receiving official approval was obvious problematic as reviewed in Part 1 in Sherman’s case. But here Shulman seemed to suggest that promoting a drug by sending a letter to U.S. doctors, but without public advertising that Sherman’s companies had been doing, would not be illegal.

Another critical media story in August 1992, in The Globe and Mail, revealed that Sherman’s company was actually doing currency trading on a unusually large scale, much larger in monetary amount than its pharmaceutical operations:

“The Journal story runs Tuesday, August 25, 1992; the next day, Wednesday the 26th, the Globe reprints the whole thing on the front of its Business section.

It is not a happy time in Deprenylville.

Dan Westell of the Globe follows with a close look at Morty’s dollar-hedging activities.

He reports that Deprenyl’s currency transactions top $514 million in a six-month period; that Danny Gordon, Deprenyl’s broker at currency traders Friedberg Mercantile Group affirms: “He’s on top of things. He’s on the phone with me almost before I’m in the office.”

Deprenyl, which reported revenue of $7.3 million in the six months ended June 30, did more than $514 million worth of securities transactions in the same period.

Martin Barkin says Dr. Shulman deals with Deprenyl’s investments and then reports back on what he has done.

“We’re not gambling on foreign exchange,” Dr. Shulman says. “We hedge our net assets [of somewhere between $5 million and $20 million] because Deprenyl expects the Canadian dollar to fall.”

This open avowal sits uneasily. Canada is stumbling towards a national referendum that is being bannered as the harbinger of its almost certain disintegration.

But for Morty, as for hedgers and floggers the world over, the shaky economic and political situation comes to a focuspoint in the gleaming golden four-figure number that shows the downticking state of the Canadian dollar. As far as he’s concerned politics is bunk, politicians are bonkers, and he couldn’t be happier. Each tick is worth $1,000, every time the buck falls a point.”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

A truer picture was revealed in the above story. Back in March when Barkin joined, Deprenyl Research with its subsidiaries was touted by Shulman as worth “almost half a billion dollars” on the stock market as earlier quoted, but now in this August story its real net assets was revealed to be “somewhere between $5 million and $20 million” – much, much smaller.

Moreover, Shulman was using this modest amount of assets to play the currency market, buying and selling by hedging on the Canadian dollar, raking up a huge amount of transactions – $514 million within 6 months – because of the frequency of his trading.

So how much did Shulman’s company make from pharmaceuticals, really, versus from other trading activities such as currency hedging?

Barkin again provided some clarity by announcing more financial figures, also pointing out that Shulman talked too much at the detriment of the company, while the company’s stock price continued to drop to $7.63:


The stock dropped 38 cents to $7.63, bringing to 9 per cent the decline so far this week. The tumble began Tuesday after publication of a front-page article in The Wall Street Journal that was critical of Deprenyl and its marketing of Alzene. . . .


Martin Barkin has used all his political savvy to smooth the waters. “The only thing that’s happened in the last two weeks is that Morty has been the subject of news articles,” he tells reporters. Barkin also issued a press release which took the unusual step of predicting Deprenyl’s pre-tax net income from pharmaceutical operations would be $1 million in the 3rd quarter compared with $728,000 in the same quarter a year earlier.

But notwithstanding, analyst Michael James, Health Care analyst with Montreal-based Dlouhy Investments, expects the stock price to keep falling . . .”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

As Barkin reported, Deprenyl’s pre-tax net income from pharmaceutical operations was $728,000 in the 3rd quarter of 1991, and would be $1 million in the same quarter of 1992 so there was steady progress.

On the other hand, recall that Barkin had in April announced the total revenue in 1991 as $13.9 million and profit $6.5 million, and a Toronto Star story reported “a whopping $10-million before-tax profit”; and if one multiplies $728,000 by 4 as an estimate of the full year pre-tax profit, it would come to $2.912 million, suggesting that only about 29% of the company’s pre-tax profit came from pharmaceutical operations – while the vast majority, around 70%, came from other trading activities unrelated to medicine.

Recall as quoted in Part 1, Shulman was sometimes accused of “stock manipulation”:

“… Then he turns the drug, Deprenyl, into a pharmaceutical company that at one time was worth $100 million. Along the way he is accused of stock manipulation, quackery and worse. …”

(“Another look at what makes Morty run”, by Edward Trapunski, January 15, 1994, Toronto Star)

As reviewed, Shulman was boasting a market value of far more than “$100 million” cited above, but “almost half a billion dollars” for his company and its subsidiaries. While the facts reviewed did not constitute “stock manipulation”, they did show an unhealthy degree of preoccupation with, even addiction to, the stock and currency markets – for someone who claimed his company to be at the forefront of developing and marketing new medical drugs.

September 1992 marked the sixth month of Martin Barkin joining Morton Shulman’s company since March 1992.

In September, two major international pharmaceutical companies ended their cooperation with Deprenyl Research. One came as a huge disappointment when the U.S. subsidiary Bone Health’s promising new drug trial, mentioned earlier, was abandoned by the leading brand-name drug company SmithKline Beecham:

“On the 5th comes the announcement that Purdue Frederick, the Canadian division of a U.S. drug company, is ending an 18-month-old agreement to market Eldepryl in Canada.

The official announcement says this is a mutual decision [with Deprenyl Research] because Deprenyl Research is acquiring the expanded sales staff it needs to market all of its own growing product pipeline.

On September 18th Bone Health gets a huge kick in the shin.

SmithKline Beecham announces it is dumping One-alpha D(2) because it feels preliminary data from the clinical trials did not demonstrate a significant difference between patients treated with the drug and those taking placebo. SmithKline transfers its marketing rights back to Bone Care International.

Deprenyl has a 14 per cent interest in Bone Care and holds 381,500 shares of Lunar Corp., the U.S. pharmaceutical company associated with Bone Health. The announcement knocks Deprenyl shares from just above $7 to $6.63. The future of Bone Health is pronounced “uncertain.”

If Deprenyl investors bail out of their Bone Health warrants, it could cost Deprenyl $3.4 million, instead of the $5 million it was counting on reaping. On September 19th, Deprenyl shares hit a 52-week low of $5.38.”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

Recall that Shulman had offered Barkin 1 million shares of stock options at $7 per share to get the latter to join the company in March. By now in September, those stock options were essentially worthless because one could just buy the shares on the stock market at the cheaper price of $5.38.

Barkin again blamed it on Shulman for getting too much publicity. As the stock value continued to slide, a special company board meeting was convened and a decision was made for Barkin to replace Shulman as the CEO, with Shulman remaining as company board chairman. Barkin immediately reined in the other trading activities and kept the company’s focus on medical drugs:

“Barkin tells the press the company is “paying the price for Morty’s seeking – and getting – so much publicity. Deprenyl sure gets a lot of press attention,” Barkin says ruefully.

The company has decided to “tone down its image notably by keeping its chairman and founder, the flamboyant Morton Shulman, out of the limelight. “There is no question that Morty Shulman has tried to keep the media eye on this company and that has not always been the best policy for this or any other company.”

Barkin added that the evidence on which SmithKline based its pullout from Bone Health is “pretty flimsy.”

“Two days later Deprenyl shares clunk down to $4.70, totter back to $5.38. DUSA lurks around $6.75. Chief Financial Officer Ed Foster emphasizes the company is still in great shape financially, well able to come up with cash to redeem the Bone Health warrants if need be.

On September 23rd a special Deprenyl Research Limited board meeting is called.

The official press release comes the next day: “Martin Barkin Named CEO of Deprenyl Research. Morton Shulman to Remain Chairman.”

Barkin tells reporters there will be a brake on Morty’s currency activities, which will be supervised by two outside advisors. … And, “While Shulman’s health is good, the company is definitely looking at succession planning. We accept the fact that Morty is 67 years old . . . and we are taking a look at succession planning as it deals with his son Geoff.”

The king is dead; long live the kings.

The shares close up 13 cents that night: $5.50. The industry analysts express their approval. Confidence reigns, sort of.”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

It had been a nightmarish six months for Martin Barkin; and now he was finally the man in charge.

But just when he thought there was a big CEO salary for him now, he found out that Shulman had literally lived on the stock market and had no CEO salary – a discovery that would turn Barkin’s face “dark red in temper” like described earlier about his ego and temper:

“The day after Dr. Barkin is elevated to CEO, he sends a letter to Shulman asking to have Shulman’s salary as CEO diverted over to himself. Shulman gleefully replies that he is happy to turn it over in full, “But, as I have never drawn a salary as CEO, it will not be of much help to you”. Morty personally takes the letter over to Barkin. Barkin reads it, turns red in the face and rips it into little pieces.”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

With the dust settled, Martin Barkin had an unlucky 6 months of the stock market compared to Barry Sherman and Joel Ulster in 1973-1974, who held for 6 months the shares they had gotten from selling Empire Labs to the famous Milan Panic’s ICN Pharmaceuticals and watched the ICN stock go up and down, but in the end did cash in at about the same price as when they first received them – before the stock value really sank like Deprenyl Research’s that rendered Barkin’s stock options worthless.

As reviewed in Part 1, less than two years later under Barkin, the company lost its legal battle with Apotex over Sherman’s plan for a generic version of Deprenyl Research’s drug Eldepryl.

Then in May 1994, the company changed its name to Draxis Health – taking one of the “final steps to put the Morton Shulman era behind it” – and most likely by this later time enhanced share options were made available for Barkin, as reported in a Toronto Star story quoted earlier and in Part 1:

“The company emerged from its annual meeting yesterday with a new name – Draxis Health Inc. – a new corporate structure and a new share option program for senior management.”

(“Deprenyl change ends Shulman era; Company to be called Draxis and get new focus”, by Art Chamberlain, May 27, 1994, Toronto Star)

Despite the burst of the big stock bubble in his first six months, Barkin continued as the company’s president and CEO until the end of 2007 when he retired; by that time the company was into completely different pharmaceutical products and was a global supplier for those specialized ones:

“DRAXIS Health Inc. (TSX: DAX) (Nasdaq: DRAX) announces that Dr. Martin Barkin today informed the board of directors that he will retire as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company effective December 31, 2007.

Dr. Barkin joined the senior management of DRAXIS in 1992. Over the last fifteen years, he has been instrumental in guiding the Company through a period of significant growth from a small Canadian pharmaceutical marketing company to its current position as a provider of specialized pharmaceutical and radiopharmaceutical products in markets globally.

DRAXIS Health, through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, DRAXIS Specialty Pharmaceuticals Inc., provides products in three categories: sterile products, non-sterile products and radiopharmaceuticals. …”

(“DRAXIS Health Inc. Announces Retirement of Dr. Martin Barkin as President and Chief Executive Officer”, October 31, 2007, Cision)

While my review above of the history gives a good glimpse into Martin Markin’s joining and succeeding Morton Shulman at the small pharmaceutical company the former Ontario Chief Coroner founded, an intriguing question remains.

Did Shulman recruit Barkin to his company just because Barkin was a distinguished medical professional, healthcare leader and former provincial deputy health minister, or that it had something to do with Barkin being the adoptive father of the Winter family cousins of Barry Sherman?

Sherman was one of Shulman’s most hated enemies, as he told the media to that effect in 1993, quoted earlier and in Part 1:

“This is a true crusade,” Shulman said in an interview in his Roncesvalles Ave. office. “I’ve got nothing to do (but fight with Sherman.) I’m delighted. It was a godsend that this came along.”

Shulman’s son Geoffrey and Dr. Martin Barkin, who was brought in last year to run Deprenyl, now manage the company as it tries to expand its range of products and defend its Eldepryl turf.”

(“Shulman vs. Sherman; The drug entrepreneurs face off”, by Art Chamberlain, July 11, 1993, Toronto Star)

Most likely, at some point in time Martin Barkin and his wife Carol had learned of the 1967 provision between Royal Trust and Sherman for protecting their adopted Winter boys’ future financial interests, which Sherman conveniently dodged in 1973 when he sold Empire Labs. By this time in 1992-1994, Sherman had reacquainted with the Winter cousins, and no doubt with Barkin, and showered the cousins with help worth millions of dollars but apparently did not raise the issue of that old provision.

Morton Shulman, a former chief coroner and politician, could also have learned about that provision through the private investigation he had done on Sherman’s various businesses, previously discussed in Part 1.

If Shulman’s invitation for Barkin to join his company had the motive in mind of politically countering Sherman, then Barkin could well have a compatible motive, namely using Shulman as a leverage to get more from Sherman – given Barkin’s own masterful experience playing politics as a leadership figure in the healthcare field and in government.

As discussed earlier, Barkin was as bright and as competitive as Barry Sherman. The 1990 Canadian Medical Association Journal’s profile of Barkin, cited earlier, also portrayed him as a shrewd and money-interested man with his own agenda:

“Before joining the government his career was built on enlightened self-interest. As a urologist he was a staunch defender of extra-billing, charging up to 10 times more to reverse a vasectomy than the slightly more than $200 now paid by the provincial health insurance plan.

Doctors don’t hesitate to complain either. “The biggest knock against Martin that I am aware of is that he really doesn’t want to listen to anybody else”, says one high-ranking OMA officer. “He has his prearranged agenda, which he’s going to blow through, come hell or high water. . . . He is undoubtedly the Machiavellian mind behind the attempts to force physicians into alternate payment schemes.””

(Brian Goldman, MD, 1990, Canadian Medical Association Journal)

As told, Barkin liked to make a lot more money whenever he could. Thus, if he viewed Sherman’s friendly gestures to his adopted sons as not enough because of the existence of the old Empire Labs provision, he would likely explore other ways to pursue it.

As also referred to above, Barkin was known as a “Machiavellian mind”, and so such an ‘other’ motive in joining and taking over Shulman’s company would have been compatible with his interests and his personality nature.

The last chapter of Shulman’s 1993 autobiography described Shulman’s being notified, in May 1993, of his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada; it was supposed to be confidential before the official announcement, but Shulman couldn’t wait to tell his friends, and a celebratory brunch with the “Morty circle” was held at the home of their friends Roma and Denny Dzerowicz in the Halton Hills on May 16, 1993.

At the end of that Chapter 10, The Bestowal, on the way home Shulman said something and became emotionally teary-eyed, and the interactions with his friends at that time revealed a subtle relationship between Shulman and Barkin regarding Barry Sherman:

May 16, 1993

From the four corners of Metropolitan Toronto, the Morty circle is gathering.

The impossible has happened.

Morty is to be inducted into the Order of Canada.

He has just gotten the news and of course it is all strictly confidential, but . . .

The circle, three-quarters of whom are directors of Morty companies past, present and future, have grown to, for none of them was born to, savor the subtle delights of opera and the silken joys of extremely expensive wines, many of whose names they happily admit they cannot pronounce.

The brunch is to mark two milestones.

The first is the news of Morty’s impending induction, at last, into the Order of Canada.

The second is his final break with the company that he and Parkinson’s built, the rift of which, finally and inescapably leaves him on one side of the canyon and, on the other, Martin Barkin and Geoff Shulman.

After lunch there is an ad-hoc partial board meeting downstairs in the gym. Arnie, Kingham, Morty: Arnie wants to know if Safety Corp. is going to be in competition with Deprenyl. He also wants to know just where Safety Corp. is at.

Sam Sarick stays at the table, where the golden sauternes shimmers in the glasses, nodding and seeming to doze, and missing nothing.

There are dragons to be slain, wicked witches and wizards to be overcome. On the drive home Morty is hyped, up and down.

Viola McMillan, whom he once dubbed the Boadicea of mining promotions, one of his targets in the Windfall mining scandal of the ’60s, has breathtakingly transcended a 1967 conviction for stock skulduggery and received an Order of Canada, too, at the spring ceremonies just past. They moved the date of the presentation to April 21, to coincide with her 90th birthday, April 21.

Thus do laurels wreath the brows of those who make markets.

“She was supposed to spend nine months in prison; I swear she never spent a day! I railed against her in the Legislature, I went to see her in prison and I couldn’t find her; they took her in the front door and out the back. It was an unbelievable scandal.”

Will anyone, anyone at all listen?

Sam focuses serenely on the highway, seems not to be paying attention, until Esther pricks up at something Morty has just said: medication smuggled from Canada and abroad, for illegal resale in the States; imminent rack, ruin for the generic king …

“Does Martin Barkin know about this? Esther asks.

“Martin won’t talk to me,” Morty says.

“Martin won’t talk to you? Oh, nonsense. Whatever gives you that idea? Everything has been taken into account.” Sam has been listening, after all. Morty twitches his shoulders, turns to the window his wide and watering eye.

“Nothing will be done. Won’t make any difference,” he mutters.”

(Dr. Morton Shulman and Susan Kastner, 1993, Warwick Publishing Group)

As in the above anecdote, at the end of celebrating with friends his Order of Canada appointment just notified him by the government of Canada, Shulman’s thoughts were, interestingly, in his old modes as chief coroner and provincial legislator, “dragons to be slain, wicked witches and wizards to be overcome”.

Coincidentally, the previous chapter of his book being discussed here, Chapter 9, is titled, “Slaying the Generics Dragon”. It has been a primary source of my quotes in Part 1 from the book.

Shulman was unhappy that a businesswoman who was a convicted criminal, Viola MacMillan, had already received the Order of Canada before him.

Then he mentioned medication smuggling for “illegal resale in the States”, and “imminent rack, ruin for the generic king” – none other than Barry Sherman who, in the next month June 1993, as in Part 1, would be reported by the media to be under FBI criminal investigation.

One of a couple of friends with Shulman in the ride home, Esther, immediately asked, “Does Martin Barkin know about this?”, and Shulman replied that “Martin won’t talk to me”.

Esther’s husband Sam immediately interjected, “Martin won’t talk to you? Oh, nonsense. Whatever gives you that idea? Everything has been taken into account.”

But Shulman was in tears, muttering, “Nothing will be done. Won’t make any difference”.

See, even before the FBI criminal investigation of Sherman and Apotex became news in June 1993, Shulman already knew it was about to happen, but also knew that it would not lead to any real result – as reviewed in Part 1, after the initial major media publicity about the FBI criminal investigation, by late January 1994 it did not seem to exist anymore, and eventually the end result was a fine in 1995 for one of Sherman’s companies.

When Shulman said, “Martin won’t talk to me”, it could have meant that Martin Barkin was no longer listening to, or even on speaking terms with Shulman. But when Sam replied that, “Whatever gives you that idea? Everything has been taken into account”, it showed that Sam did not think of Barkin as not speaking with Shulman, and that even if Barkin did not he had already taken into account what Shulman wanted to say.

Sam and Esther in the above conversation were Toronto businessman Sam Sarick and his wife. Sarick was not only a Shulman friend but also a board director of Deprenyl Research, as alluded to in the above passages as well. (“About Us”, Samuel Sarick Limited, Eastwood Developments Inc.; and, “Samuel Sarick Independent Director, DRAXIS Health Inc.”, S&P Global Market Intelligence, Bloomberg)

Coincidentally, Sarick died recently in late March 2018, i.e., about two months after Martin Barkin who had died over a month after the Shermans, and his funeral service and burial site were in the same venues as Barkin’s. (“Sam SARICK Obituary”, March 28, 2018, Toronto Star)

Whatever Barkin would not speak with Shulman on was most likely some specific topic, given that Sarick, a director of the company, did not view the two as not on speaking terms.

And if it was only a specific topic, Shulman already said it was about “imminent rack, ruin for the generic king”

This meant that when it came to a matter like prosecuting Barry Sherman, Martin Barkin refused to discuss with Shulman. It caused Shulman to become teary-eyed because it was very personal to him.

The legal patent dispute between Deprenyl Research and Apotex over Shulman’s Parkinson’s disease drug was business that Barkin must handle as the company CEO. But he refused to listen to Shulman’s further ideas regarding Sherman, i.e., criminal prosecution.

There was one obvious reason Barkin would not take a harder stance: Sherman was his adopted sons’ billionaire cousin and since 1988 had been giving them help that has been reported to be worth “millions of dollars”.

I note that, as in Part 1, this was an especially emotional time for Shulman since in May 1993 he was making a personal gesture of excluding Apotex drugs from his prescriptions as a doctor for his patients.

Shulman’s becoming teary eyed when saying that Barkin would not talk to him, also could mean that he felt sad that he failed to win over Barkin at this personal level.

It is therefore a probable scenario that this personal level of thinking had been in Shulman’s mind when first recruiting Barkin to his company, i.e., he could win more to his side including the situation with Barkin’s adopted sons – or “everything” as Sarick might be alluding to.

But Barkin was a mastermind of his own as earlier reviewed and he most likely only used, in my analysis, the animosity between Shulman and Sherman as a leverage for his own interests, rather than pursuing Sherman’s criminal problem as Shulman wanted to see happen.

Barkin’s cousin Jack, also a medical doctor, described Martin Barkin as “extremely aggressive” and doing everything “with a purpose” – not unlike Barry Sherman in a sense:

“He says that his cousin has always used strategy – everything is done with a purpose. “Martin was always a gentleman who knew where he wanted to go. He was extremely aggressive in whatever he was doing, whether it be business, family relationships, or medicine. He always wanted to excel.”

According to past associates, Barkin has few close friends except for his wife Carol, a former fashion model who now sells real estate. The Barkins adopted six children, the last four coming from a single family when the parents died suddenly.”

(Brian Goldman, MD, 1990, Canadian Medical Association Journal)

The first paragraph above, in my analysis, gives additional credence to the scenario that, besides succeeding a high-profile Morton Shulman at the helm of the latter’s company, Barkin had an aggressive strategy of using Shulman as a leverage in his and his adopted sons’ attempts to get more from Sherman – but not siding with Shulman to the point of losing potential gains from Sherman.

Reading also the second paragraph quoted above, I would pose a broader question: what could, or would, Martin Barkin’s “purpose” have been, to begin with, in adopting the Winter sons “when the parents died suddenly?”

From what Beverly Winter’s brother Wayne Rockcliffe recalled, quoted earlier from the Toronto Life story, the late Winters’ home could be available to the adoptive parents. But could there be more that was in Barkin’s “Machiavellian mind”?

One direction to look into, in the context of my review, is that Sherman, an MIT Ph.D. student whose University of Toronto accomplishments had been even more stellar than Barkin’s, in the days between the death of Louis Winter and that of Beverley Winter in November 1965 had expressed a keen interest in taking over Empire Labs.

Then the Winter children were adopted by the Barkins.

Thus, more specifically in my questioning, when Sherman and Ulster acquired Empire Labs in 1967, could the terms of it, in particular the provision between Royal Trust and Sherman for the future interests of the children, be influenced by the adoptive parents?

If Martin Barkin did have a role in the addition of that provision in the Empire Labs purchase agreement between Royal Trust and Barry Sherman, that would befit his cousin Jack’s description of him as a man of “strategy” and “purpose”.

On the other hand, the paradox, or contradiction to it, is that Barkin soon failed to provide good parental care or guidance to at least half of the four Winter sons, and then for decades up to this time in 1993 failed to let them know about that historical provision.

From this perspective, the following year 1994 when Barkin cemented his leadership at Shulman’s former company, changing its name and guiding it to new focuses, was when Barkin and Sherman reached a sort of power balance, albeit an uneasy one: Barkin assumed full control of Shulman’s mantle, or as Sarick said about Shulman’s animosity toward Sherman, “everything has been taken into account”, whereas Sherman poured “millions of dollars” worth into helping Barkin’s adopted sons but doing so without yielding ground that could revive the old Empire Labs provision.

The year after, 1995, then saw the reality of human frailty, or possibly human cost, highlighted in the death of Dana, Louis and Beverley Winter’s youngest son – in a context related to Sherman’s help:

“But no amount of money could set things right. In 1995, Barry sent Dana to a remote fishing village in B.C. to get clean. Dana decided to settle in B.C., married a woman named Julia Zwicker, fathered two children and slipped back into drugs. He would later be charged with conspiracy in the murder of a fellow drug dealer. From a holding tank in Vancouver, he called Barry to arrange bail. While he was out, Dana, then 33 years old, died of a heroin overdose. At the time of Dana’s death, Kerry was in the final chapter of his marriage to Elee Scarlett, a lawyer. The living allowance that Barry gave Kerry would eventually reach $20,000 a month.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

On can reason that had Sherman not sent Dana to British Columbia to “get clean”, Dana would not have instead become a drug dealer there, been charged with conspiracy to murder a “fellow dealer” and died of a heroin overdose in Vancouver.

As above, at the time Sherman was providing a living allowance to Kerry, and so Dana probably received one also. Sherman could not have easily sent one of them to another place had he not provided financial assistance.

One may wonder if Dana’s unexpected death, or otherwise the serious criminal trouble ahead, shocked Sherman or hardened him more. The next year, 1996, was when Sherman had a family Christmas vacation in Africa where he penned his unfinished memoir.

Now, I can re-read some of Sherman’s words in the context of the recent history just prior to it, namely that he had re-connected with his Winter cousins, given them help that was generous but at the same time held them at bay, while their adoptive father Barkin had joined and now led the company of his nemesis Morton Shulman.

Sherman wrote:

“I cannot see that human behaviour differs in any fundamental way from that of numerous species on the savannahs of Serengeti.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

Yep, Dana’s behaviour and life existence that Sherman knew well, including frequent illegal narcotic involvement and repeated incarceration, exemplified what was “on the savannahs of Serengeti”.

Sherman then asserted, as a philosophical truth:

“We are all driven by our instincts to eat, drink, copulate, protect ourselves and our young, and cooperate with others, particularly those most closely related to us, if and when it is to our mutual advantage.”

(Bernard C. Sherman, Preface dated December 27, 1996)

Dana was, incidentally or not, the example of “instincts to eat, drink, copulate”, having in 1988 met at a restaurant the old family friend Stan Garden who reconnected him to Sherman, was sent by Sherman to B.C. in 1995 where he decided to marry Julia Zwicker and father children.

But when it came to “instincts to … protect ourselves and our young, and cooperate with others, particularly those most closely related to us”, Sherman himself was a master of the art. From the start, his agreeing to the provision protecting the future interests of his Winter cousins was important for his acquiring Empire Labs on good financial terms, and since 1988 to this time in 1996 he had provided generous help to the cousins he had re-connected with.

However, all the protection that Sherman agreed to and help that Sherman provided were not without conditions as Sherman made it very clear in his philosophizing, “if and when it is to our mutual advantage”.

The old Empire Labs provision had two crucial conditions that Sherman invoked so as not to owe financial interests to these cousins whose late father had been his uncle and mentor: if and when selling Empire Labs was to his advantage, or if these cousins could not be responsible employees at his Apotex, then it would not matter to him whether ownership shares might be good for them.

Earlier, I’ve concluded that answering Morton Shulman’s accusation of his having no “redeeming features” may have been a motivation for Sherman to pen this memoir in 1996; and I’ve noted that Sherman made this memoir available to the media in 2007 as a part of his legal defence against the $1.5 billion lawsuit filed by his Winter cousins.

Now my above review of the relevant history leading up to Sherman’s writing this memoir would suggest that in 1996 Sherman also anticipated that, sooner or later, his Winter cousins would find out and ask about the old Empire Labs provision and what it could mean to the Apotex ownership – because two influential men, namely their adoptive father Martin Barkin and his nemesis Morton Shulman were now together and had the interest in pursing it.

Further development of events beginning in 1999 was consistent with the above conclusion of my review and analysis, namely that Barkin and Shulman were important factors behind the Winter sons’ pursuing this matter:

“The relationship between Barry and the cousins started to sour in 1999 when Jeffrey began seriously investigating aspects of the Empire Labs sale. He was convinced that he and his siblings had been cheated out of years of royalties, and out of their promised share of the successor companies, including Apotex. When Royal Trust failed to hand over key documents, saying they were mislaid, Jeffrey took them to court, and a judge ordered the company to hand them over. …”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

Jeffrey was the first to begin “seriously investigating aspects of the Empire Labs sale” in 1999 and sued Royal Trust to get the key documents.

The fact that Jeffrey started the “family feud” saga is symbolically and logically important. From the various facts discussed, in particular Barkin’s January 2018 obituary, we know that Tim and Jeffrey have been the Winter sons with a close family relationship with the adoptive Barkin family; of the two, Tim had originally been adopted by the Winter family and that may have had to do with the fact that he never asked for Sherman’s help; Jeffrey, therefore, was the only Winter biological son who also called himself a Barkin.

That the first salvo in the old Empire Labs provision dispute came from Jeffrey meant that Barkin likely provided some clues; also, that it happened a year before Shulman’s death, which was in August 2000 as quoted in Part 1, suggests that the Parkinson’s disease-stricken Shulman’s long-time wish to go hard against Sherman helped to make it happen – in a way that would be positive for Barkin’s interests.

As further evidence that preparing for his Winter cousins’ eventual legal feud with him had been a motivation in Sherman’s writing the memoir, I note that the timeline of Sherman’s telling the media about the unfinished memoir closely matched the timeline of the Winter sons’ taking legal recourses to claim major financial interests owed them.

Here is a timeline of the Winter sons’ lawsuits for financial claims against Royal Trust and Barry Sherman:

“… Then, in March 2006, Tim, Jeffrey, Kerry and Dana’s widow, Julia, filed a claim against Royal Trust for $500 million, accusing them of failing to protect their interests. Royal Trust argues that it had acted properly and the claim should be dismissed.

That summer, Apotex was embroiled in the Bristol-Myers Squibb debacle. A U.S. judge ordered Apotex to stop sales of a generic version of Plavix while the case proceeded through the courts—but not before Sherman had flooded the market, made a fortune, and paid out $6 million in bonuses to his entire staff. While Sherman battled over Plavix, he also sought and received assurance from the cousins that they wouldn’t launch a suit against Apotex.

In January 2007, Kerry, Tim and Julia nevertheless filed a claim against Sherman and his former partners for $1 billion. …”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

As told, the first lawsuit, with financial claims of $500 million against Royal Trust, was filed in March 2006; and in the summer while battling Bristol-Myers Squibb over the Plavix drug Sherman privately persuaded his Winter cousins not to sue Apotex; then in January 2007, they nevertheless filed a $1 billion lawsuit against him – the two suits’ claims totalled $1.5 billion.

As reviewed earlier, the first major media story referring to his unpublished memoir was a National Post article in August 2006 – in the summer of 2006 – on the Plavix dispute, entitled “Generic drug, specific issue: Apotex fights Plavix”, here partially quoted again:

“The opening chapters of a draft autobiography sit amid the hundreds of pill bottles and mound of legal documents in Dr. Bernard Sherman’s office. It will be the story of a brainy kid born in Toronto who becomes Canada’s richest generic drug mogul.

Though a work in progress, it has the makings of a page turner. One chapter will recount how an employee from a brand-name drug company offered to sell him secret files. Another, he says, will describe how Dr. Sherman caught a rival stealing …

But what promises to be the book’s most riveting chapter is still unfolding. It is the part where Dr. Sherman seemingly outsmarts two big drug companies, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis…”

(Stephanie Saul, August 16, 2006, National Post)

The above quote reveals that when Sherman began telling the media about his memoir, the chapters he talked about – on disputes with brand-name drug companies – had not really been written.

Why did Sherman talk about these business disputes, especially the ongoing one against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis, by telling through empty chapters of an unfinished memoir? A logical explanation is Sherman wanted to show off what was already in the memoir, but not quite yet because his cousins had launched a lawsuit against Royal Trust but not yet one against him.

Then, after his cousins’ lawsuit against him was filed in 2007, Sherman’s memoir was prominently featured in a The Globe and Mail article on him and his history, entitled, “The real Barry Sherman”, quoted earlier and here again partially:

“So who, exactly, is Barry Sherman? Is he a cutthroat businessman? A strings-attached benefactor? Or just a munificent, self-confessed workaholic?

In 1996, the drug baron asked himself some of those same questions. During a family trip to the Serengeti, he stepped back for a moment of reflection and
started writing a memoir called A Legacy of Thoughts. It has never been published – in fact, it sat in his desk until it surfaced in the family’s recent legal fight.”

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, November 24, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

As told, the memoir was Sherman’s medium to answer the question of who Barry Sherman really was, and “it sat in his desk until it surfaced in the family’s recent legal fight”.

In other words, the family legal feud was the first occasion when Sherman really made use of his memoir. My conclusion from reviewing the relevant history points to the likelihood that when he wrote it in 1996 Sherman had thoughtfully planned for exactly this use – also with the consideration that his moral accuser Morton Shulman was now bonded with his Winter cousins’ adoptive father.

But Sherman did not want to concede anything before it was publicly raised by his cousins, and so instead of talking about his special relationship with his uncle, the memoir boasted about how excellently he did work for his uncle at Empire Labs in the summers of 1960, 1961 and 1962.

Now in 2007 as the family feud began, his cousins struck hard with a billion-dollar financial claim, and Sherman responded hard by also disclosing in his legal deposition what verbal exchanges had occurred between them:

“In the deposition, he said the family dispute arose around 2002. Mr. [Kerry] Winter accused him of being “involved in some conspiracy to murder their father and deprive them of their inheritance in the 1960s.”

Mr. Sherman said he was “totally flabbergasted at this untrue allegation.”

In an affidavit, Mr. Winter denied making the murder allegation. …”

(Paul Waldie, October 26, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

Aha, the Winter sons had learned or taken cue from the criminal charge of “conspiracy to commit murder” levied against their late brother Dana, or were so angry that Sherman’s sending Dana to British Columbia had led to their brother’s fatal heroin overdose, that when they started arguing in 2002 the allegation Kerry levelled against Sherman was about past involvement “in some conspiracy to murder their father and deprive them of their inheritance”!

It was unlikely that Sherman fabricated this anecdote, since being accused of such a criminal terror was not a pride and would not help himself. Winter’s denial was also understandable because one needed to be extra cautious in a legal setting about making such a serious allegation.

But how likely was it true, i.e., Sherman having been involved in a conspiracy to murder his uncle and mentor Lou Winter and deprive his cousins the inheritance, or alternatively to get access to it for himself?

The elementary facts and basic logic would suggest that it was not likely unless a very broad social conspiracy existed. The reason is that at the time of Louis Winter’s death, Sherman was a Ph.D. student studying in MIT at Boston, and the intensity of academic studies expected of an aspiring young scholar, not to mention Sherman’s own hard drive for academic excellence, meant that during that time he was likely somewhat detached from the social and family happenings in Toronto – even if there had existed a conspiracy of the alleged type.

But when it came to attaching conditions, i.e., attaching strings onto benefits for the Winter children, Sherman was every bit as smart in the generous help that he provided since 1988 as he had been with the old Empire Labs provision.

In their lawsuit, the Winter sons alleged that Sherman’s monetary help “made them dependent” on him, he “used it to keep them under control”, and he often required “security for financial gifts”:

“He bought his cousins homes, cottages, financed various business ventures and gave them millions of dollars, according to court filings. Kerry received up to $15,000 a month for years, according to court filings. After Dana died, Mr. Sherman bought his widow a home and sent monthly cheques to her two children.

The cousins allege the money made them dependent on Mr. Sherman and he used it to keep them under control, often requiring security for financial gifts.

Around 2000, the cousins allege they first became aware of the sale agreement and began asking Mr. Sherman questions. In 2001, they went to court and won an order requiring Royal Trust to turn over documents relating to the deal.

The cousins allege Mr. Sherman demanded that they drop the legal action or he would cut off financial support. When they filed a suit against Royal Trust last year, Mr. Sherman allegedly told Kerry to sell his cottage and slashed his monthly stipend to $2,000. He also allegedly cut off monthly support to Jeffery and Dana’s widow. The cousins aren’t backing down and in the court filing they claim Mr. Sherman has illegally interfered with their rights by not telling them about the agreement and withholding royalties.

Not all the cousins agree. Jeffrey has backed out of the lawsuit and, according to Mr. Sherman, he is furious at the others. They claim he is fearful of Mr. Sherman.

Mr. Sherman, 64, can’t understand how it has all come to this. “To suggest that I was trying to keep control and cover up information is ridiculous,” he said exasperated. “When I found out these kids had problems I did everything I could to help them. So you’ve got an extraordinary and bizarre situation here.””

(Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, January 29, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

The facts in the above early story in January 2007 on the Sherman-Winter family legal feud did show that the Winter children were dependent on the monthly stipends he provided: when they filed the lawsuit against Royal Trust their allowance amounts were cut off or slashed to a minimum; such countermeasures created difficulties for them and as a result Jeffrey – the first Winter son to begin seriously investigating the old Empire Labs provision in 1999 as reviewed earlier – withdrew from the $1 billion lawsuit due to fear.

Ironically, Kerry Winter and Dana’s widow Julia Zwicker, with their lifestyles more ‘street-hardened’, so to speak, were more able to withstand Sherman’s pressure of slashing monetary help than Jeffrey who had lived his life closer to his “loving father” – as from the January 2018 obituary quoted – the adoptive Martin Barkin.

But the Winter children’s dependence on Sherman’s money does not mean that Sherman had purposely used it as a means of controlling them as they alleged; also, in the above story no facts were presented regarding Sherman’s “requiring security for financial gifts”, which would have rendered the “financial gifts”, well, not really gifts.

Subsequently in February 2007, the media reported on a $7.9 million countering lawsuit that Sherman filed against Kerry Winter, showing that outside of the monthly allowance much of the financial help by Sherman had been in the form of loans – namely security and repayment required:

“The cousins have acknowledged in court filings that Mr. Sherman, 64, gave them money. Mr. Winter received as much as $15,000 a month and Dana’s widow has been given money to support her two children, according to court filings. However, they have alleged that Mr. Sherman used the money to control them. In court filings, Mr. Winter said his monthly payments dropped to $2,000 a month after the relatives filed a suit against Royal Trust Co. last year.

In his lawsuit, Mr. Sherman alleges that Mr. Winter, 45, signed a promissory note last November agreeing to repay $7.9-million on demand. Mr. Winter had borrowed the money over the years to finance a home renovation business and purchase several properties, according to family members. Mr. Sherman is seeking repayment of the promissory note, plus interest, as well as possession of a house in Fenelon Falls, Ont.

Court filings show that Mr. Sherman sent Mr. Winter a letter demanding repayment about a week before the cousins filed their lawsuit.

“It’s simply to protect my interests,” Mr. Sherman said yesterday. “I’ve got to realize on the security. But the value of it is far less than I’ve lent him.””

(“With ‘disgust,’ Apotex head strikes back”, by Paul Waldie and Andy Hoffman, February 10, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

As anyone can read what Sherman said in the above, that when it came to the money for doing business and purchasing properties, Sherman had “lent” it to Kerry, over the years totalling $7.9 million; when Kerry had the intent to pursue a lawsuit, he needed to sign a “promissory note” agreeing to repayment “on demand”; and when the lawsuit was about to be filed, Sherman demanded immediate full repayment.

Kerry lost a legal battle to keep the properties, including his family home; a house Sherman had helped Dana’s widow Julia buy had a mortgage provided by Sherman, and Sherman now revoked it, according to an October 2007 media story:

“Mr. Sherman has also appointed a receiver to seize four houses he helped Mr. Winter buy, including his family home in Toronto.

Mr. Winter is fighting to hang on to the houses. He recently lost a legal battle and is now appealing.

A fifth house in Vancouver belongs to Julia Winter, the wife of a cousin who died in 1995. According to allegations filed in court, Mr. Sherman has moved to revoke a $321,000 mortgage he holds on that house because Ms. Winter joined the others in the lawsuit.”

(Paul Waldie, October 26, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

Losing a legal battle in the $7.9 million counter-lawsuit by Sherman meant Kerry had to surrender his properties, including his family home:

“In January 2007, Kerry, Tim and Julia nevertheless filed a claim against Sherman and his former partners for $1 billion. Sherman, acting with the same lethal cool he brings to his fights over patents, turned down an offer to settle. He then sued Kerry for $8 million in outstanding loans. In Vancouver, Sherman took Julia to court to have the terms of his mortgage on her house clarified so he could collect his money immediately rather than when the house was sold.

In August 2007, the court heard the suit against Kerry. His lawyer, Malcolm Kronby, argued that Sherman was acting vindictively. The judge still ruled in Sherman’s favour and Kerry had to surrender two business properties, a cottage and his home on Bellwoods Avenue. Kerry agreed to stay on as a tenant, paying $2,500 a month. Even this sum could be hard to come by. His construction company was shrinking while he continued to obsess over justice and riches.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

The facts as reviewed were indeed that much, probably most, of the financial help provided by Sherman had not been “financial gifts” as much as “loans”, was not free, and was dependent on the Winter children being on good terms with Sherman.

But of course, the cash Sherman provided for the Winter cousins’ allowances and paying their Visa bills, over the eighteen years or so from 1988 to 2007, probably did come to millions of dollars.

The way Sherman conditioned these loans and the manner in which he later revoked them or demanded repayment, show that he had in mind his “control” of the Winter cousins’ financial predicaments, methodically considered years in advance in preparation for the likelihood of their discovering the old Empire Labs provision and demanding substantial financial interests.

Kerry Winter called Sherman’s controlling tactics “bullying” that could cause him and his family “irreparable harm”:

“Kerry Winter has alleged that Mr. Sherman is bullying the family and that he has gone back on a promise not to retaliate financially while the lawsuit over Toronto-based Apotex proceeded. “If he is permitted to continue, Mr. Sherman will cause me and my family irreparable harm,” Mr. Winter said in an affidavit filed in court.

Mr. Sherman denied that his actions were tied to the lawsuit. “I’m doing it to enforce the security [of the properties], it’s as simple as that,” he said in an
interview. In court filings, he said that a couple of the houses have been vacant and property taxes on three have not been paid for years.

Mr. Sherman began backing Mr. Winter in 1994 by arranging a $1.2-million line of credit to help him start a home renovation business. More money followed to Mr. Winter and others.

Mr. Sherman, who is much older than his cousins, said in court filings that he felt obliged to help the Winter children after their parents died in 1965.”

(Paul Waldie, October 26, 2007, The Globe and Mail)

As in the above, the more substantial finance by Sherman for Kerry and the others, i.e., business loans, began in 1994. That was the year when Martin Barkin cemented his leadership at the brand-name drug company Morton Shulman had founded, changing its name as well as its focus.

The timing coincidence could be an instance of Barkin’s leveraging Shulman’s animosity toward Sherman to get benefits for his adopted sons, in this case some major career-oriented help from Sherman. Sherman claimed to the court that he felt obliged to help them, but despite such feeling his help at this business level started only 6 years after their reconnecting.

In the above, in 2007 Sherman said he was simply “enforcing the security [of the properties]”. But the fact that in the several media stories quoted above there was no mention of Sherman demanding money repayment from Jeffrey, who coincidentally at some point withdrew from the $1 billion lawsuit, indicates that the security was enforced selectively – as a condition “to keep them under control” as alleged in the Winter cousins’ lawsuit.

So, those aware of this high-profile family legal feud have witnessed the costly price of attempting to claim a share of the family business ownership from the prominent Canadian billionaire and leading philanthropist Barry Sherman: it was awfully steep for the Winter family cousins feuding with Sherman, whose late father had been his mentor, that within months their comfortable lifestyles were gone when he withdrew his favours and demanded payback through “enforcing the security” in the conditioned help he had provided.

This onerous outcome for the Winter sons was probably important for Sherman. His unfinished memoir which he publicized in 2007 as a part of this family legal fight, showed how central the notion of “mutual advantage” was in his philosophy – without exception even for those close to him.

According to Geraldine Sherman, writer of the July 2008 Toronto Life article later republished in December 2017, when she interviewed Barry Sherman for that article, the latter reiterated that he had no intent to compromise with his Winter cousins – he might have been too good to them already:

“Even at his stage of life, he’s committed to expanding his business and shoring up his legacy, more concerned with the judgment of the courts than with public opinion. As for the Orphan Children, he remains steadfast in his belief that he did all he could for them, perhaps too much. He argues that at the time of the Empire sale, the boys, ages 11 to 15, were too young to benefit. And after so many years, it’s too late to file a claim.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

It wasn’t easy even just to stay in the family legal dispute against Sherman. Kerry Winter’s lawyer Malcolm Kronby did not want to publicize the case, and for a while Kerry communicated with the media sneakily. Finally, he decided to fire his lawyers, blaming their being Jews as the reason that they did not fight hard publicly for his “revenge” but instead tried to shut him up, as he told the Toronto Life writer:

“Kerry winter admits that for many years Sherman was “like a surrogate dad and I was like an adopted son.” Now, perhaps because he feels most betrayed, he leads his family litigation and, going against his legal advice, feeds stories to the press. His lawyers told him not to talk to me, and for more than a year we communicated like spies. He would secretly transmit documents if I promised not to tell Kronby. He’d call me with various rants: “For me it isn’t about shekels, it’s about revenge!” Dozens of emails passed between us. He accused me of falling for “Sherman’s spin” if I hesitated before contacting people he recommended. Once, when I didn’t reply fast enough, he accused me of being out for dinner with Honey and Barry. Twice, after I sent questions in advance to both Kerry and Kronby, Kerry backed out of our scheduled interview. Finally, last March, we met.

Sipping his coffee, Kerry explained that he was firing his lawyers. “They always tried to shut me up. Well, they’re finished.” He drew his finger across his throat. He thinks that because his lawyers are Jewish they hesitated to go after Barry in the press, afraid of being shunned by their community. He claims there was a breakdown of trust.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

The Winter sons’ uncle Wayne Rockcliffe, who as reviewed earlier had a grudge about Beverley Winter’s decision for the children’s Jewish adoption, expressed his support for Kerry Winter:

“He arrived at the Starbucks near his Trinity Bellwoods home, a tall, ruddy-faced, boyish-looking 46-year-old. He had just come from seeing his uncle, Wayne Rockcliffe, who had once again come to his aid, promising to cover Kerry’s $2,500 rent that month if needed. I was surprised. A recent Globe and Mail article had reported Rockcliffe’s advice that the cousins move on with their lives. Later, when I spoke with Rockcliffe, he complained that the reporter had omitted a crucial qualifier: “Perhaps if I’d had their terrible start in life, I’d think differently.” Rockcliffe has his own reason to dislike what he calls “Barry’s cold heart.” Forty-three years ago, when they shared a limo at Beverley’s funeral, Rockcliffe said it would be a shame if the Orphan Children were adopted separately. Sherman’s reply, he claims, was, “So what? Worse things could happen.” Rockcliffe says he can’t forgive him. Sherman denies ever having said anything to that effect.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

As recalled by Rockcliffe, back in 1965 the young MIT Ph.D. student Barry Sherman’s attitude toward his Winter cousins’ facing adoption was rather “cold” hearted. That attitude apparently had not changed over the decades, and if anything was further rationalized by Sherman’s articulation of his moral philosophy in his 1996 memoir.

In his interview with Toronto Life’s Geraldine Sherman, Kerry Winter also spoke of support for him from Barry Sherman’s “business enemies”:

“According to Kerry, Stan Garden and Rockcliffe aren’t the only people on his side. He says several of Sherman’s business enemies want him to win. As he spoke to me, his face reddened and his voice rose. “If Barry had his way, I’d be eating cold french fries out of a Dumpster at KFC. Well, Barry, that’s just not going to happen.” …”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

As my review of facts, many of which not yet given attention by the media in investigating the Shermans’ deaths, has shown that their adoptive father Martin Barkin and his business partner Morton Shulman for many years had considerable clouts in the pharmaceutical business field, and so the Winter sons at least had the option of utilizing some of those professional and business links.

In this logical context, the first guess of who those “Sherman’s business enemies” were as Kerry called them would be the ones in the brand-name drug business field – versus Apotex’s generic drug business field – as reviewed in Part 1.

What Kerry said in the above can be interpreted as that he had to up the ante and involve some of Sherman’s business enemies on his side – even if he and his siblings were legally claiming shares of Apotex ownership – because otherwise he could end up “eating cold french fries out of a Dumpster at KFC” as Sherman intended.

In other words, Sherman’s harshness toward persons who legally disputed him could make them feel necessary to act harder in response.

Even with such broader backing from the presumably influential in business, Kerry had no illusion that it would be a easy fight, and vowed of being Sherman’s “nemesis”, as “a lifelong mission”:

“… He rapped his knuckles on the table and leaned in close. He vowed he’d be Sherman’s “nemesis,” saying that for him this was “a lifelong mission.” …”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

In his interview with Toronto Life for the same 2008 article, Barry Sherman clearly indicated that he would not compromise on the Winter cousins’ lawsuit:

“No one can say when the $1-billion suit will be heard in court. It will probably take years. Will Barry settle? Not likely. He’s a lion, a stranger to the notion of compromise.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

The lion is the king of the Serengeti. Isn’t that the metaphor?

Kerry Winter also expressed fear for his own safety, as well as for that of the Toronto Life writer interviewing him:

“… He expressed fear for his personal safety and, pointing a finger in my face, warned: “By the way, sweetie, you’re next.” By this time, he was shouting. He imagines Sherman at the courtroom door, begging to settle. “I’ll go to trial, sweetie,” he growled. “I’m not going away.” Then he put on his coat and walked out without another word.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

Real or imagined, the street-hardened Kerry Winter would naturally think that such a high-profile and high-stake legal feud against a powerful business leader could mean personal danger, and he himself was also quick to talk in that term about others – not merely about the reporter – as well, like with his gesture about firing his lawyers, as earlier quoted, ““… Well, they’re finished.” He drew his finger across his throat.”

Recall as in Part 1, a “Mr. Jones”, who headed a private investigative agency working for the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer, once said about Barry Sherman, as recalled by another private investigator Paul Whybrow:

“… Jones is thinking about how he can get Sherman. This is no longer just business, this is personal. He doesn’t just want to compromise him in a corporate way. He’s talking about playing hardball with Barry Sherman. It was very direct. He said to us, ‘We have to get this bastard Sherman.’ He said to us, ‘What are we going to do about him? Let’s take him out of the game. Take him out.’ …”

(Jeffrey Robinson, Prescription Games: Money, Ego and Power inside the Global Pharmaceutical Industry, 2001, McClelland & Stewart Ltd.)

And so, in his connecting to Barry Sherman’s business enemies, if Mr. Kerry Winter ever became in touch with Mr. Jones, no doubt there would be a lot of fireworks, verbally and possibly more.

Kerry Winter’s “lifelong mission” turned out to be indeed so – as in Sherman’s life, so far.

Over a decade after the initial lawsuit filing in 2007, in September 2017 an Ontario judge made a ruling on the Winter sons’ $1 billion lawsuit. Siding with Barry Sherman, Justice Kenneth Hood dismissed the lawsuit’s claim as “wishful thinking and beyond fanciful”. Then in early December 2017 – a week before Barry and Honey Sherman were last seen alive – the judge also ordered the Winter sons to pay $300,000 of Sherman’s legal costs:

“On Sept. 15, 2017—three months to the day before Sherman and Honey were discovered dead—an Ontario judge sided with Sherman, dismissing the suit as an abuse of process and calling the cousins’ claim “wishful thinking and beyond fanciful.” On Dec. 6, one week before the Shermans were last seen alive, Justice Kenneth Hood issued another ruling, ordering the cousins to pay $300,000 of Sherman’s legal costs.”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

The judge again ordered Kerry Winter to pay back the $7.9 million loans he owed Sherman – as reviewed earlier it had been ordered by a judge in 2007, resulting in Winter losing all his properties:

“As part of the court’s decision, Winter not only lost his claim on his cousin’s fortune, but he was also ordered to pay Sherman back $8 million. …”

(“Barry Sherman’s cousin fails lie detector test over allegation of plot to kill Honey Sherman”, by Harvey Cashore, Scott Anderson, Ronna Syed and Joseph Loiero, February 1/2, 2018, Fifth Estate, CBC News)

At this point, a curious reader may wonder: could Barry Sherman’s Winter cousins, particularly Kerry, have something to do with the Shermans’ murder, having lost the legal battle for their $1 billion lawsuit and slapped with more financial burdens?

The media was equally curious, for example, asking a similar question in the Maclean’s April 2018 investigative article:

“The timing of those two judgments triggered inevitable suspicions. Could they have been a motive for murder?”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

It is a good question, namely about the Winter cousins’ possible roles in the double homicide, for at least three reasons.

Firstly, the Maclean’s article quoted above and more extensively in Part 1, also asked a related question , “why now?”, about Sherman’s murder. Here that question is quoted along with facts previously quoted in Part 1:

“The question to be answered is not only why was Sherman murdered alongside his wife, but why now, at 75? It’s no secret the drug executive had amassed a long list of enemies in his 50-year career. A renowned risk-taker, disruptor and pitbull professionally, Sherman was a polarizing figure—regarded as a softie with a heart of gold by those in his proximity and loathed by those who claim they were outfoxed or betrayed by him. The man who learned weeks before his death of his nomination to the Order of Canada was also called out as unethical in business dealings. The late physician and pharmaceutical entrepreneur Morton Shulman, who did battle with Sherman, called him “the only person I have ever met with no redeeming features whatsoever.””

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

By this logic, if one ponder the question of why the murder happened at this time when Sherman was at a senior age of 75, then Mr. Winter would look more suspect than Mr. Jones and the brand-name drug companies competing with Sherman as reviewed in Part 1. The hypothetical answer, or scenario, is that the Ontario judge’s dismissal of the Winter son’s lawsuit triggered the Shermans’ murder, and so the timing of the murder was determined by the court ruling’s timing.

Secondly, suspecting the Winters is reasonable because Kerry has publicly admitted that, because of the timing coincidence, people may view him as a suspect even if there has not been physical evidence for it:

“Speaking to Maclean’s, Winter says he understands why some may consider him a suspect, given the timing of the lawsuit’s dismissal and the subsequent costs award. “People can think: ‘Oh, Kerry lost his summary judgment motion and he went out and—some way, somehow—got into Barry’s house on Old Colony and did the dirty deed, and now he’s acting like a loon on The Fifth Estate. He is the main suspect,’ ” he says. “Come on. Would I be walking around, six, seven weeks after the murder? If I’m a suspect, where is my DNA? Where is my hair? Where are my fingerprints?””

(“Barry Sherman’s legal battle with his cousins goes on weeks after his murder”, by Michael Friscolanti and Anne Kingston, February 8, 2018, Maclean’s)

Winter even admitted that he had no alibi for his own whereabouts on the day when the Shermans were believed killed:

“Winter says no one can verify where he was at all times on Dec. 13, the day Barry and Honey Sherman were last seen alive. 

“No, no alibi,” he told The Fifth Estate. He said after a Cocaine Anonymous meeting, he went home and fell asleep.

“Very easy for me to have left work at any time because I’m not on the clock. … I could easily have driven over to [the Sherman home] and did the deed.

“I admit to that, but I didn’t, I didn’t, and that’s why I’m not nervous.””

(Harvey Cashore, Scott Anderson, Ronna Syed and Joseph Loiero, February 1/2, 2018, Fifth Estate, CBC News)

But he said that police told him he was not a suspect:

“Winter said he planned to meet police for an interview and that he was told he was not a suspect.”

(Harvey Cashore, Scott Anderson, Ronna Syed and Joseph Loiero, February 1/2, 2018, Fifth Estate, CBC News)

The lack of evidence tying Kerry Winter to the actual crime could mean that he was not a killer in this case. That could be what the Toronto Police meant telling him that he was not a suspect.

But as in the case of his late brother Dana in 1995 and the example of what he once accused Barry Sherman of as Sherman stated to the court in 2007, involvement in a “conspiracy to commit murder”, or the perception of such, would be harder to absolve for Kerry.

Finally, suspicion of Kerry Winter is natural because he even told the media about fantasizing killing Barry Sherman in the past, in “very graphic” terms:

“In a wide-ranging interview with The Fifth Estate, Winter said he told his psychiatrist that in the past, he had fantasized about murdering Barry Sherman.

“I would talk about killing Barry, and it was very graphic,” Winter said. “He would come out of the parking lot of Apotex, and I’d be hiding behind a car, and I’d just decapitate him. I wanted to roll his head down the parking lot, and I’d sit there and wait for the police.””

(Harvey Cashore, Scott Anderson, Ronna Syed and Joseph Loiero, February 1/2, 2018, Fifth Estate, CBC News)

Nonetheless, besides emphasizing the lack of evidence against him, Kerry also firmly stated, in an interview with Maclean’s, that he “had nothing to do with their demise”:

“Speaking to Maclean’s, Kerry insists he had nothing to do with the slayings. “I admit that I have utter disdain and hatred for Barry Sherman,” he says. “He wronged me. He didn’t honour my father. He didn’t honour the option. He pulled a sleaze move. He stopped visiting me. He lied to me. He betrayed me. I have every reason to hate this man, but I had nothing to do with their demise.””

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

In another interview, with the CBC’s The Fifth Estate program, Kerry also asserted that he did not know “who did it”:

“Winter admits he could be seen as a suspect in the Sherman killings.

“I probably had reasons to lash out to do the dirty deed,” he told The Fifth Estate’s Bob McKeown. “I had nothing to do with it. I don’t know who did it.””

(Harvey Cashore, Scott Anderson, Ronna Syed and Joseph Loiero, February 1/2, 2018, Fifth Estate, CBC News)

Kerry Winter’s statements above amounted to a flat denial of any role in, or even knowledge of, a “conspiracy to commit murder”.

Nevertheless, other things Kerry said and did in the same circumstances show that the above denial should not be easily taken as truthful.

Here I review two serious concerning facets of what Kerry Winter said and did in the same circumstances: one, Kerry’s street-hardened background gave him ready access to the hard-core criminal sector, and in the above interview with The Fifth Estate as well as other media venues, he made a relevant claim of once arranging for a would-be murder wanted by Barry Sherman; and two, Kerry was prone to lying, and while making his denial in the above-quoted interview he also failed a polygraph test about this other claim of murder planning, and even admitted to lying about it.

Relating to the first facet, namely his criminal connection and intent, Winter dropped a bombshell in the media by claiming that about two decades ago in the mid-1990s, Sherman asked him to arrange for the killing of Sherman’s own wife Honey:

“Though he cannot remember the date, Winter said that in the 1990s, on two separate occasions during a visit to Barry Sherman’s office at Apotex, he recalls Sherman asking him to make arrangements to kill Honey. At the time, by his own admission, Winter said he was heavily into drugs and the street culture.

“Back in the mid ’90s, we had a discussion in his office at Apotex,” Winter said. Asked what led to the discussion, Winter said: “His disdain for his wife, Honey. His unhappiness in his marriage and that he couldn’t stomach to be in the same room as her.”

Asked by the Star if he believes the comments he alleges were made in the 1990s held true in 2017. “They could have kissed and made up,” he said.

Winter said he never told police, but told two close friends.

“I was quite surprised. I wasn’t surprised that he had this idea, I was quite surprised that he was asking me if I knew someone who would do that,” Winter said, though he later conceded he was likely asked because “I was on the street, I was on drugs at the time and I knew a lot of bad people.””

(“‘I had absolutely nothing to do with it,’ Barry Sherman’s cousin says”, by Kevin Donovan, January 31, 2018, Toronto Star)

According to his interview with The Fifth Estate, Kerry did find a “hit man” but at the last minute persuaded Sherman not to do it:

“Winter’s bizarre allegation of the plot to kill Honey Sherman includes the claim that he lined up a hit man to do the job two decades ago.

“He said, ‘I want you to whack my wife,’” Winter claimed. Winter then claimed the plan was aborted at the last minute.

“I called him and said: ‘You know, there’s no turning back, Barry, if I push the button,’” Winter said.”

(Harvey Cashore, Scott Anderson, Ronna Syed and Joseph Loiero, February 1/2, 2018, Fifth Estate, CBC News)

In these media interviews Kerry essentially provided witnesses, saying that at the time, i.e., in the mid-1990s, he told two close friends about it. The Fifth Estate managed to contact those two people and verified the authenticity to some degree, namely that two decades ago Kerry had indeed told them about the murder plot:

The Fifth Estate interviewed two of Winter’s friends who said they were told of the plot two decades ago, but neither had any direct knowledge of such a plot ever happening.”

(Harvey Cashore, Scott Anderson, Ronna Syed and Joseph Loiero, February 1/2, 2018, Fifth Estate, CBC News)

The Fifth Estate arranged a polygraph test for Kerry Winter, to see if it can affirm the truthfulness of his claim through the lie detector, a claim of past involvement in a “conspiracy to commit murder” by both him and Sherman:

“Some of Winter’s claims were reported this week by Canadian and U.K. media outlets, but The Fifth Estate could find no direct evidence to support Winter’s claim that he and Barry Sherman were involved in a conspiracy to commit murder.  

Winter and his lawyer agreed to a lie detector test on the question of whether or not Barry Sherman had asked him to arrange the killing of his wife.

The test, filmed by The Fifth Estate, was conducted by former Quebec police officer and veteran polygraph expert John Galianos.  

Galianos determined that Winter was not being truthful about the alleged plot and that he “failed” the test.

While not admissible in court because of possible inaccuracies, polygraphs are commonly used by police officers to determine truthfulness.

Winter told Galianos on camera that he “embellished” part of the scheme. He also said he fabricated other parts of the story.”

(Harvey Cashore, Scott Anderson, Ronna Syed and Joseph Loiero, February 1/2, 2018, Fifth Estate, CBC News)

As above, the polygraph test showed that Kerry was not being “truthful”, and on the spot he explained it as due to embellishing part of the plot and fabricating other parts.

Kerry then arranged for another polygraph test without involving The Fifth Estate, and those results were “inconclusive”; but he refused to take a polygraph test directly on whether he killed the Shermans: 

“Late Thursday, Winter sent The Fifth Estate results of another polygraph test he says he arranged himself that showed the results were “inconclusive.”

On the advice of his lawyer, Winter also declined to take a lie detector test on the question of whether he killed the Shermans.”

(Harvey Cashore, Scott Anderson, Ronna Syed and Joseph Loiero, February 1/2, 2018, Fifth Estate, CBC News)

Thus, Kerry Winter who had a criminal past including illegal narcotics dealing and time in jail, had quite likely told some friends two decades ago about arranging to murder Honey Sherman for Barry Sherman, but what he has told the media now was not reliable and he has admitted to lying about the it.

Can the denial of someone like that, with a criminal past and prone to lying, about any involvement in or knowledge of the murder of the Shermans be easily trusted? After all, the shocking double homicide occurred two decades after his talking to others about one wanting to kill the other with his help.

Criminologist Michael Arntfield, who observed The Fifth Estate’s polygraph test, posed the question why Kerry Winter went through the test, “this whole song and dance”, when he clearly was lying: 

““He was lying, and the test results — the polygraphist — confirms that,” said Michael Arntfield, a criminologist at Western University in London, Ont., who observed the polygraph test.

“I mean, why go through this whole song and dance? That’s really the underlying question here.””

(Harvey Cashore, Scott Anderson, Ronna Syed and Joseph Loiero, February 1/2, 2018, Fifth Estate, CBC News)

The criminologist’s question is a very meaningful one because it regards Kerry Winter’s objectives.

In his interview with The Fifth Estate, Kerry asserted that his objective was to “hurt” Sherman’s legacy:

“Winter told The Fifth Estate he was going public now with the allegations because he wanted to “hurt” Barry Sherman’s legacy.

Winter and his siblings had been locked in a protracted, decade-long lawsuit launched in 2007 seeking a piece of the Apotex fortune. Last September, an Ontario Superior Court judge dismissed the case as “fanciful.” The cousins have since appealed.

“I was betrayed. My cousin hurt me, and now I want to hurt him,” Winter told The Fifth Estate.”

(Harvey Cashore, Scott Anderson, Ronna Syed and Joseph Loiero, February 1/2, 2018, Fifth Estate, CBC News)

In order to hurt Sherman’s “legacy”, or reputation, the alleged murder plot Sherman had wanted needs to be credible, i.e., seen as credible by others. That has been partially achieved when Kerry Winter’s two close friends confirmed to The Fifth Estate that they had heard about it from him two decades ago – at least it isn’t a newly fabricated story.

But in a legal sense, this was about planning for a would-be murder, and any solid confirmation would carry potential criminal-law implications for Kerry Winter, alone among he and Barry Sherman now that Sherman is dead. As some of the above quotes from The Fifth Estate story indicate, police pay attention to polygraph results and lawyers would advise not taking such tests.

For this reason, my explanation is that Kerry lied so that the polygraph results could not fully confirm the murder plot; but when the results were concluded as false, he did another test on his own to show that it might not be all false. In other words, Kerry wanted some degree of credibility for the old murder plot so as to hurt Sherman’s reputation, but not full confirmation that could cause himself trouble.

In my view also, Kerry Winter’s objective was not just hurting Sherman’s “legacy”, but had practical motivations.

For one motivation, such negatives in Sherman’s legacy, namely the bad deeds he had done, have ramifications to his business ownership reputation.

Sherman had been adamant, on several occasions as reviewed earlier, that his Winter cousins were simply not suitable to work at Apotex and thus would not qualify for ownership interests.

But now, if both the prominent businessman and leading philanthropist Barry Sherman and the sometimes criminal Kerry Winter were at one time would-be murderers, or co-conspirators in a would-be murder, the notion of business ownership suitability could change in favour of Winter.

However, a main weakness of this murder plot claim by Winter, in my opinion given that The Fifth Estate had partial verification from his two close friends, is the alleged murder motive – that Sherman was unhappy in the marriage.

In my quite lengthy review of the various media profiles of Barry Sherman and his memoir, I have not noticed such a deadly facet in his personality traits.

When the media first reported that the Toronto Police suspected the deaths as murder-suicide, there were stories about the “clashing personalities” of Barry and Honey Sherman:

“‘Yin and yang’ is how family described Honey and Barry Sherman. They complemented each other, yet had clashing personalities.

Reserved, socially awkward and a workaholic, Barry was a pugnacious man who never backed away from a courthouse or corporate fight.

As an entrepreneur, he hired private detectives to rummage through his competitor’s garbage, then got a court order so he could barge into their head offices and seize their papers. He didn’t hesitate to foreclose on the homes of people who owed him money, even relatives.

“Free will is an illusion . . . Life has no meaning or purpose,” he said in his unpublished memoirs.

Honey was outgoing, with a cutting wit and salty tongue. Feted for her philanthropic work, she had the mettle of someone who survived throat cancer and took part in a charity dance contest after undergoing surgeries for her crippling arthritis.

Friends close to the couple describe signs of discord in the Sherman’s marriage, such as public ribbing about Barry’s devotion to work, but they viewed it as shtick. Everyone the Globe and Mail spoke with over the past week has been incredulous at the police’s initial theory that it could be murder-suicide. There have been no further details from police about the case.

Interviews with friends, court records, Barry’s memoirs and public tributes at the couple’s memorial Thursday paint a portrait of two people with outsized personalities who were polar opposites.

Back in 1970, Honey Reich was volunteering at Mount Sinai Hospital when she told a nurse that she was looking for a nice Jewish doctor. That nurse was married to Joel Ulster, a friend and business partner of Barry, a budding pharmaceutical magnate. He was not a medical doctor, but he did have a PhD. The two were introduced.

Honey was a socialite philanthropist, and loved nothing more than an excuse to celebrate. Holiday get-togethers were one area of their lives where the otherwise frugal couple loved to go all out. What began years ago as a modest family dinner evolved over the years into an 80-person feast, with a banquet table cutting across the entire length of their mansion. In the kitchen, Honey – in her sweatpants and flip flops – would be cooking for everyone.

Despite their busy household, Barry spent most of his time at the Apotex offices – six days a week, in the company’s early years, often working longer than 12-hour shifts. At night, he slept with a pad and pen by his bedside in case he woke with an idea.”

(“Who were Barry and Honey Sherman?”, by Tu Thanh Ha, Molly Hayes and Rachelle Younglai with reports from Andrew Willis, December 22/23, 2017, The Globe and Mail)

As told, the couple were opposite personalities with contrasting life focuses, the husband being aggressively driven in business while the wife immersed in social events and philanthropy, and Barry was not the medical-doctor husband Honey Reich had looked for.

But there were no outward signs of anything really “clashing” between them in their marriage, and so as in the above story their friends scratched their heads trying to substantiate Toronto Police’s “initial theory” of murder-suicide.

Thus, media reported facts about the couple do not support Kerry Winter’s claim about Barry Sherman’s animosity toward his wife.

For another motivation on Kerry’s part, a hidden history on the part of Barry Sherman involving a plan to murder his wife Honey could bolster the “murder-suicide” scenario of their shocking deaths, in a way befitting Kerry’s interests.

Using his sensational tale of hiring a hit man for Sherman two decades ago as evidence, Kerry firmly stated, in an interview with Toronto Sun’s Joe Warmington, his “belief” that the deaths were the result of Barry killing Honey and himself, exactly as the Toronto Police initially suspected:

“… He believes the Shermans, who were found dead of ligature neck compression hanging from an indoor pool railing, was a murder-suicide as police originally suspected.

“If you believe (family lawyer) Brian Greenspan, if you believe it was a targeted hit and it was up close and personal, let’s find out when they charge the person responsible for Honey and Barry’s death,” Winter said.

“Well that day is never going to come sir because I said it, and I will say it again, Barry killed her and committed suicide,” he said. “That’s my belief and it will never change. The only way it will change if someone admits to doing it.”

“I am a recovering addict, six years sober, buddy,” said Winter. “I believe in the Lord. I am not an evil person. I had nothing to do with Honey and Barry’s death.”

But he does allege participating in a conversation with his cousin Barry Sherman in which he claims the Apotex founder asked him to arrange for his wife to be “whacked.”

Winter said “this business about Barry asking me to kill someone …“could be misconstrued as a conspiracy to commit a murder.”

He’s trying to balance that fine line between it not being a conspiracy he was involved in but one that Barry Sherman was allegedly spearheading.

“This idea that Barry never asked me is laughable,” he said. “Barry didn’t love Honey.”

He said the truth will eventually come out — which includes him looking to hire an underworld friend.

“You will see I am not a kook, I am not a nut,” he said. “All I said was there was a murder-suicide and I kept my mouth shut. But when Brian Greenspan starts spinning this (double murder) yarn, I am not going to keep my mouth shut anymore.

“The idea that Barry could not harm a hair on her head, Joe, is not true,” Winter said. “Barry hated her. That’s what I am trying to tell you.””

(“WARMINGTON: Cousin claiming Sherman deaths murder-suicide fails lie detector”, by Joe Warmington, February 2, 2018, Toronto Sun)

Basically, Kerry Winter wanted others to accept that he is a decent person but Barry Sherman was once a would-be murderer of wife Honey and now has really killed Honey and himself.

In another interview with the British newspaper Daily Mail, Winter talked in very graphic language about his “gut” feeling that Barry Sherman killed his wife:

“Winter, 56, told DailyMailTV: ‘My gut tells me he killed her.

‘That’s my feeling [and] I don’t believe somebody out there is going to be found because… Barry did the deed.

Winter’s own immediate reaction on learning of their deaths, he said was: ‘F***ing hell he finally did it. Barry finally killed the b****.’

Winter says that Sherman had ‘many enemies’ and that over the years people may have wanted him dead – but says the simplest explanation and the one he believes is that he did it himself.

‘Is it plausible that somebody out there had an ax to grind and arranged for them to be targeted?’ he told DailyMailTV. ‘Absolutely, because of the manner in which he did business and the many enemies he had.’

But he said: ‘There is no doubt, sitting in front of you here, that Barry killed her. I’m not surprised. Actually I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.’

Winter insisted this is legal feud with Sherman has no bearing on his conviction that his cousin killed first his wife and then himself or his decision to speak out now.

‘It’s not so much I’m saying negative things,’ he said. ‘I’m saying truthful things.’

And in reality, Winter said, the man mourned by Trudeau was a ‘pathological liar’ who was obsessed with accumulating wealth and held his wife in ‘disdain’.

Winter said: ‘He couldn’t stomach to be around her. He used to say to me, ‘There’s love and hate in every marriage. But there’s just so much hate in mine.’

‘And all these people who sit back and say, “Barry would NEVER have harmed her…he adored her,”’ Winter shook his head, ‘Barry wasn’t capable of love.’”

(Laura Collins, January 31, 2018, Daily Mail)

To show how bad Sherman could be, Kerry told Daily Mail other anecdotes, including that the generous help Sherman gave the Winter sons not only were mostly loans – as my earlier review has shown – but also deceptively stripped off their remaining family inheritance, and that the Royal Trust documents on the Winter estate had information about their mother’s worry shortly before her death that Sherman would steal Empire Labs from her children:

“He bankrolled three of the brothers in business ventures. He paid visa cards, allowances, bought them homes, cottages, cars and speedboats. Only, in a detail they would later come to rue, Sherman didn’t actually ‘give’ them any of these things.

He signed lines of credit contingent on them handing over the remainder of the inheritance left to them by their parents.

At the time, twice-married Winter, was developing houses and losing himself to the drug addiction which very nearly killed him.

Sherman co-signed to millions of dollars of credit, mortgages and loans supposedly to help Winter expand his business and he provided him with $20, 000 – $30,000 a month.

Then, older brother Jeffery started asking questions about the sale of their father’s business and everything changed.

The siblings sued Royal Trust in 2001 for access to documents relating to the sale. In 2002 they discovered the option that Sherman had buried.

On one document, Winter said, a handwritten note from a trustee who visited Beverly shortly before her death noted she was ‘visibly upset’ and, ‘worried that Barry is trying to steal the company from the children.’

The last time Winter spoke to Sherman other than in a lawyer’s office was a telephone call he made on learning about the existence of the option some 15 years ago.

Winter said: ‘It was a short phone call and I was emotional. I remember crying and I remember saying, “Barry you lied to me.”

‘He said, “I know.” I said, “Why did you lie so much to me?” And it broke my heart.’”

(Laura Collins, January 31, 2018, Daily Mail)

Winter stated to Daily Mail his conclusion that Sherman had never wanted to let the cousins share the ownership of the company he had taken over from their family estate:

“Today, Winter said, his older cousin ‘never had any intention of honoring that option.’

Certainly he never told Martin and Carole Barkin, the couple who adopted the Winter orphans, that it existed.”

(Laura Collins, January 31, 2018, Daily Mail)

As Kerry Winter confirmed in the above media interview published at the end of January 2018, shortly after his adoptive father’s death, that Barry Sherman never mentioned the Empire Labs ownership provision to the Barkins.

But as I have pointed out before, Royal Trust would have and certainly should have informed the adoptive parents.

In concluding his Daily Mail interview, Kerry said something showing that he wasn’t that absolutely convinced of the deaths being a murder-suicide:

“But for all the unknowns he has no doubt about one thing: Sherman was capable of murder and wasn’t bound to his own life by anything that brought him joy.

Winter said: ‘If Barry Sherman hadn’t been an entrepreneur and a CEO he would have been a serial killer.’ 

He reflected: ‘Either way he had a terrible end. He either killed his wife and hung himself or he was targeted and Honey was punched out in front of him and his last moments must have been horrific.

‘But my feeling is he killed her. Barry did this. And all the tea in China doesn’t change that fact.’”

(Laura Collins, January 31, 2018, Daily Mail)

As above, the mindset shown was consistent with my analysis earlier. Kerry Winter was not really so absolutely convinced that Sherman killed his wife, but that he was very capable of it and had wanted it at one time and so nothing is more certain than if he “finally did it” – a degree of wishful thinking has been embedded in this definitive belief even though Kerry knew Sherman might have been “targeted” after all.

While painting a picture of Barry Sherman as a murderer the best he could, Kerry also portrayed himself as now clean, well-behaved, and no longer involved in illegal drugs or with the criminal world like in the past:

““I’m six years sober, I’m a wonderful father, I work full time, I haven’t done a drink or drug in six years. I view myself as rehabilitated and recovered. I no longer associate with street people, drug dealers, criminals.””

(Kevin Donovan, January 31, 2018, Toronto Star)

That would be a perfect outcome in Kerry Winter’s imagination, that in the end Barry Sherman is a dead murderer whereas he himself is a born-again good citizen ready for some serious business ownership.

Kerry’s attempts to rehabilitate his own image had begun at least as early as 2008 in his interview with Toronto Life’s Geraldine Sherman, stating at the time that he no longer did illegal drugs except marijuana, and that had he known the prospect of becoming rich he would have changed earlier:

“We met a second time, same place. I asked Kerry about the effects of drugs on his life. He said he’s been clean for the past four years, “except for weed.” He said he once told Barry that he might have given up the drugs earlier if he’d known it might have made him a multimillionaire.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

But as reviewed in Part 1 and acknowledged by Kerry Winter in some of the quotes above, by the time of these media interviews he did in late January-early February 2018, the private investigators hired by the Sherman family had found evidence of “multiple killers’” in the killings, and the Toronto Police had also announced as “double homicide”. These conclusions were reported by the Daily Mail alongside Winter’s sensational opposite assertions:

“Toronto police initially treated the Shermans’ ‘suspicious’ deaths as murder-suicide after autopsies returned the cause of death as ‘ligature neck compression’ – strangulation caused by a cord or rope.

Then private investigators hired by the Shermans’ children concluded that the couple were murdered by multiple killers two days before the 75-year-old and his wife were found hanging from their poolside railings in a ‘semi-seated’ position. They had been strung up by belts.

Sherman was honored in death by Justin Trudeau, who publicly mourned him at a memorial service and tweeted a tribute to the couple’s ‘vision and spirit’.

Last Friday, after six weeks of investigation during which 127 witnesses had been interviewed, thousands of hours of surveillance camera footage recovered, 150 items removed from the couple’s 12,000 square foot home and even sewers searched in a bid to recover evidence, cops announced that they too were viewing the deaths as double-homicide.”

(Laura Collins, January 31, 2018, Daily Mail)

Nonetheless, there could be some credit in Kerry Winter’s insistence that Honey Sherman had been a murder target two decades ago and the real murder target this time. Author Jeffrey Robinson, who had interviewed Barry Sherman for his 2001 book, Prescription Games: Money, Ego and Power inside the Global Pharmaceutical Industry, following the Shermans’ deaths also voiced the opinion that Honey Sherman could have been the real target:

“Another possibility that the writer entertains is that it was Honey Sherman who was the real target.

“She was well-known as a pain in the ass, maybe somebody had something against Honey,” Robinson said.”

(“SHERMAN MURDERS: Did organized crime kill billionaire?”, by Brad Hunter, February 1, 2018, Toronto Sun)

In that case, I suppose if and when the killers also came upon Barry Sherman in the Sherman home they might find it necessary to neutralize him.

In response to Kerry Winter’s talking to the media about his strong belief in a murder-suicide, the Sherman family issued a statement denouncing him and his “outrageous and baseless claims about our father”:

“We are deeply hurt, shocked, and angered that Kerry Winter is using the tragedy of our parents’ homicides to make outrageous and baseless claims about our father. The family accepts the conclusion of the Toronto Police Service, and finds it regrettable that the media would give a platform to these completely absurd allegations.”

(“Statement from the Sherman Family: Allegations by Kerry Winter”, Apotex Inc., February 1, 2018, Cision)

After Kerry Winter’s high-profile media interviews with sensational claims about Barry Sherman intending to kill Honey two decades ago, and stating his strong belief in their deaths being a murder-suicide, it was reported that Julia Winter, widow of Kerry’s brother Dana, asked the court to conduct a mental-health assessment of Kerry while the Winter family appealed the 2017 court ruling against their $1 billion lawsuit:

“In a newly-unsealed court document obtained by the Sun, a relative contends the controversial cousin who’s made outlandish allegations surrounding the murder of Barry and Honey Sherman suffered “some sort of nervous breakdown” after the billionaire couple was discovered dead in their home last December.

Kerry Winter’s “perplexing media campaign” has also cast him as a murder suspect, worries his sister-in-law in the filed affidavit.

“Although I have no formal training regarding mental or emotional disorders, I have known Kerry for approximately 25 years and based on his recent conduct, it is my opinion that he has suffered some form of nervous breakdown,” says Julia Winter, widow of Kerry’s brother Dana.

“I did not approve of Kerry’s recent statements to the press. I attribute it to his illness,” his Vancouver sister-in-law wrote in her affidavit.

Winter outraged many by blaming Sherman, telling the Sun’s Joe Warmington, “Barry killed her and committed suicide.”

Instead, people believe Winter is involved, his sister-in-law said in her affidavit, due in part to his “recent perplexing media campaign concerning his relationship with Barry. Kerry even recently appeared (involuntarily) on the cover of the National Enquirer with the caption “The Cousin Did It.”

His children are now being harassed at school. “In particular, they are being told that their father (Kerry) is a murderer.”

While he’s spearheaded the lawsuit on her behalf, as representative of her late husband, as well as his brother Tim Barkin, Julia Winter said her brother-in-law is now “unable to provide instructions” to their lawyer Brad Teplitsky or “participate in joint decision-making regarding the litigation with me and Tim.”

Teplitsky asked the court to require Winter to undergo a mental health examination to see whether the Office of the Public Guardian should be appointed as his litigation guardian. He’s now agreed to the assessment.”

(“MANDEL: Barry Sherman’s cousin Kerry Winter suffered nervous breakdown, sister-in-law tells court”, by Michele Mandel, May 4 , 2018, Toronto Sun)

The real world is much more complicated than in his self-interested idealization of what happened, Kerry Winter being familiar with the criminal world and well aware of his own life exploits and adventures.

In any practical scenario it is unlikely that Barry Sherman actually killed Honey, and although Kerry said he did not know “who did it” he also admitted to lying in The Fifth Estate’s polygraph test; even if he really did not know who, with the hard-core criminals and street characters he knew the killers may well have known Kerry Winter; and even if they did not know him, with the way he liked to talk about Sherman’s enemies and about his fantasy of killing Sherman, they may well have been aware of him and felt inspired by his anger and hate.

In my view, perhaps one of the strongest arguments against the murder-suicide scenario is the timing, namely the wrong timing of the deaths. Not only that the timing coincided with an Ontario court ruling shortly beforehand against the Winter sons on the $1 billion lawsuit they had filed in 2007, ordering them to pay $300,000 legal costs to Sherman, thus making a bold man like Kerry Winter extremely angry, but it also coincided with the Senate of Canada having just awarded a 150 Anniversary Medal to the Shermans and the government of Canada having just made a decision to appoint Barry Sherman to the Order of Canada – both in November 2017 as discussed in Part 1.

For Barry Sherman, as it had been for his old nemesis Morton Shulman in May 1993 as reviewed earlier, such was a time to celebrate, to rejoice, to be ecstatic and to be jubilant, rather than to kill his wife Honey and end his own life.

But Barry Sherman’s enemies were not limited to the brand-name drug companies as reviewed in Part 1, and his Winter family cousins and their adoptive family as reviewed up to this point in Part 2.

When the April 2008 Maclean’s investigative article asked the question why the murder happened now when Sherman was 75, it stated, here quoted again, that Sherman “had amassed a long list of enemies in his 50-year career”:

“The question to be answered is not only why was Sherman murdered alongside his wife, but why now, at 75? It’s no secret the drug executive had amassed a long list of enemies in his 50-year career. …”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

My review next will look at some well-publicised cases of Sherman’s disputes with others more generally in business, and in the community that he was a part of.

Note that in his 2008 interview with Toronto Life, as quoted earlier, Kerry Winter claimed that “several of Sherman’s business enemies” wanted him to win in the $1 billion lawsuit.

Those “Sherman’s business enemies” might not be limited, at all, to only those in the pharmaceutical business field which the Winter sons’ adoptive father Martin Barkin was a member of, given Winter’s past lifestyle dabbling in illegal narcotic dealing activities as well as various small business ventures, some of which supported by loans from Sherman.

In his business career, Barry Sherman has also made a broad mix of investments outside of the pharmaceutical industry, as Maclean’s reported:

“… Sherman’s wealth saw him cross paths with high society and low—from business and political elites to shady characters out of a Coen brothers movie. His investments outside of Apotex were both extensive and, at times, perplexing—a list that includes a failed casino bid, a money-losing gold mine, an outfit that produced therapeutic pads for horseshoes, a stake in the hottest commercial real estate venture in the country, a now-bankrupt jewellery company that dealt in “loose diamonds,” an investment in a yacht named The Great Gatsby that never existed and his backing of B movies Real Gangsters! and Sicilian Vampire.”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

It looks like, from the above, that Sherman had some fascination in stories of gangsters and mobsters. Perhaps it had to do with the business ventures he had interests in.

As previously noted in Part 1, Author Jeffrey Robinson, who had interviewed Sherman for his 2001 book on the pharmaceutical industry, did not think the brand-name drug companies were behind the killing of the Shermans; Robinson also mentioned “Russian and Chinese organized crime syndicates” as examples of who could do such a murder job:

“But Robinson doubts one of Sherman’s Big Pharma enemies took out a contract on him.

“Big Pharma doesn’t take out hits on people, at least not in North America,” Robinson said. “They’ll plant a kilo of cocaine in the trunk of your car or embed kiddie porn on your computer but they won’t murder you.”

Russian and Chinese organized crime syndicates, on the other hand, play by different rules. Robinson said some Russian hitmen “fly in on Monday, do the job, then they get on a plane and disappear on Tuesday morning.””

(Brad Hunter, February 1, 2018, Toronto Sun)

Something like what Robinson said in the above, an international professional criminal hit, would be harder to solve. But presumably only the powerful would have the capability to easily arrange such an international assassination. The Big Pharma is certainly among the powerful.

Robinson thinks Sherman’s problem was “winning” at all cost:

“Now, investigators are working on the why and who.

“Barry was a prick, if he needed you to pay $150,000 he wouldn’t hesitate to spend $3 million in court. It was all about winning for him,” Robinson said.

“People really hated him in the business.””

(Brad Hunter, February 1, 2018, Toronto Sun)

As said, “People really hated him” because in a dispute Sherman must win through legal means.

On the other hand, it may not be winning that was what Sherman went after but that putting his opponent down was his need or satisfaction, as Kerry Winter said in 2008, quoted earlier:

“… “If Barry had his way, I’d be eating cold french fries out of a Dumpster at KFC. Well, Barry, that’s just not going to happen.” …”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

Rather interestingly, the April 2018 Maclean’s investigative article referred to such a vindictive trait of Sherman’s as “righteous certitude”:

“… A hard-nosed strategic genius who built Canada’s largest pharmaceutical company, Sherman also conducted business with known criminals. He’d generously bail out someone in need—but often with a longer, self-interested view. He was a billionaire driven to litigation less by money than something more primal: a sense of righteous certitude that propelled him to prevail at any cost.”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

Whether that kind of “self-interested” stiffness should be described as “righteous”, conducting business with “known criminals” while having such a “righteous certitude” could be a deadly mix.

So let’s look at the case the Maclean’s article referred to when referring to Sherman’s “righteous certitude”, to see if it could offer any clue:

“In the summer of 1988, Barry Sherman received an urgent phone call—from a prison in Oregon. On the other end was a familiar voice: that of Harvey Rubenstein, a notorious Toronto stockbroker convicted of fraud on both sides of the border. Though Rubenstein’s financial scams garnered plenty of headlines, few people had any idea his victims included the founder of Canadian generic drug giant Apotex Inc. Mere weeks before taking that call, Sherman had launched a lawsuit against Rubenstein, his former investment adviser, claiming he’d been duped out of millions.

Now the disgraced broker, recently extradited to the United States to face another slew of fraud charges, was asking for even more of Sherman’s money: US$100,000 so he could post bail. He told Sherman if he weren’t behind bars, he could focus his efforts on recovering his lost money. Sherman agreed. “I couldn’t see any benefit, from my viewpoint, of having him languish in jail,” Sherman later testified in a sworn deposition.

The story didn’t end there. After Rubenstein pleaded guilty, Sherman agreed to loan him half of the $100,000 bail money so he could pay restitution to his victims. …”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

Wow, Sherman seemed uncharacteristically generous in this case. Harvey Rubenstein, a notorious stockbroker who had been convicted of fraud in both Canada and the U.S. and who had as investment adviser defrauded Sherman “out of millions” and was being sued by Sherman, phoned Sherman from a U.S. prison asking for the help of $100,000 U.S. dollars to get out of jail; Sherman decided to post the $100,000 bail to secure Rubenstein’s release, and then loaned him half of the $100,000 bail money – in cash – so that Rubenstein could pay restitution to his victims.

That did not look like winning at any cost. Rubenstein had “duped” Sherman “out of millions”, and yet Sherman did not want to let him linger in prison but would lend him an additional $100,000 as bail, and after Rubenstein was released let him use $50,000 of the $100,000 to compensate the fraud victims.

In this case, Sherman was not only kind toward the fraudster Rubenstein but also considerate toward the other victims of Rubenstein’s fraud. Sherman being generous like this, a criminal likely would not want to kill him.

But then a related dispute arose:

“… But when another creditor stepped forward to claim rights to the remaining $50,000, Sherman spent the next four years fighting in U.S. court to eventually recoup what, for him, was essentially pocket change.”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

As told, when another creditor, i.e., someone to whom Rubenstein owed money, laid claim to the remaining $50,000 of bail money, Sherman switched to the ‘winning at any cost’ mode, spending 4 years fighting in the U.S. court to recover that money – for a person of his wealth $50,000 was very small, and the legal costs of fighting in the U.S. court over the four years probably cost him more.

The story did not say that the other creditor was a “criminal”. U.S. court records show that it was City National Bank. (“UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, v. Harvey RUBENSTEIN, Defendant. Bernard C. SHERMAN, Claimant-Appellant, v. CITY NATIONAL BANK, Cross-Claimant-Appellee.”, July 24, 1992, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. Court Listener)

It seems to me to be a mindset where when it was a small amount of money Sherman would be willing to make a kind gesture, but he could not stand his sense of authority being challenged – especially when the other creditor was a large financial institution.

Thus, in this case Sherman was rather generous to the difficult plight of a known criminal who had defrauded him, but unrelenting in fighting a financial institution just like fighting Big Pharma in his pharmaceutical business world.

Such a must-win attitude was obviously “certitude”, i.e., a sense of having the absolute right.

But it would not have been “righteous” but rather ‘ungenerous’ had the other creditor not been a bank but an individual victim of Rubenstein’s – just like, as in Part 1, when Sherman’s target of aggressive generic drug push was not a major international brand-name drug company but the small Canadian company owned by Morton Shulman selling a brand-name drug that treated himself as a patient.

I note that the bail and restitution money Sherman provided for Rubenstein were only lent to the latter, and so Sherman did not go beyond the norm as with the help given his Winter cousins – namely helping Dana get out of jail by posting bail, but giving financial help mostly in loans.

In fact, the fact that the $100,000 bail money for Rubenstein was a loan was central for Sherman’s winning the legal fight in the U.S. court not to let City National Bank take the other half not intended for restitution. When the court determined that the money’s ownership was Sherman’s, it was ordered to be returned to him:

“13   Rubenstein spent 1989 vacillating with regard to the federal criminal charges pending against him. In February he withdrew his not guilty plea and pleaded guilty. In June, he changed his plea again. In January 1990, he again pleaded guilty. Sometime during this period, Rubenstein learned that he might avoid a long prison sentence by making restitution to victims of his fraudulent schemes. Rubenstein then convinced Sherman in late 1989 to assign half of the deposited funds, $50,000, to the district court clerk solely for use in paying restitution on behalf of Rubenstein. Rubenstein also assigned to the district court clerk whatever interest he retained in the bail funds.

14    When Rubenstein was sentenced on March 23, 1990, he was ordered to pay restitution. To assure performance, the district court set aside $50,000 of the bail funds for distribution to Rubenstein’s victims. The court then turned its attention to City National Bank’s recently-filed motion to compel the district court clerk to comply with the bank’s newly-obtained writ of garnishment. Because ownership of the remaining $50,000 in bail funds was unclear, the district court instructed the bank to apply to the state court “for [a] determination of who the balance of the bail money belongs to.”

15    At this point, Sherman and City National Bank returned to state court, where Sherman filed a claim of exemption alleging that he, not Rubenstein, owned the bail funds. …”

(July 24, 1992, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. Court Listener)

The Harvey Rubenstein example was one of several cases mentioned in the April 2018 Maclean’s investigative article where persons who had done work for Barry Sherman did something wrong and Sherman pursued them in court rigorously – note that Sherman did have a lawsuit against Rubenstein for the fraud, despite bailing him out of the U.S. jail.

One of the other examples in the Maclean’s article involved Sherman’s accountants who failed to alert him of potential problems in his investments into luxury yachts Elegance and The Great Gatsby:

“Sherman, being Sherman, was often aggressive in seeking restitution. In the 1980s, he was one of many high-profile Canadians burned in what’s considered the biggest tax fraud in the country’s history—limited-partnership tax shelters involving luxury yachts Elegance and The Great Gatsby. When it was revealed that no yachts existed, Sherman tried, unsuccessfully, to sue his accountants for negligence, claiming he lost more than $600,000. The Ontario Court of Appeal said Sherman was an “astute businessman” and “experienced investor” who should have known better.”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

According to a judgment by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on September 3, 2003, The Great Gatsby and Elegance were two of 79 limited partnerships for luxury yachts in the Mediterranean and Caribbean marketed as tax shelters by businessman Einar Bellfield, 36 of which fully purchased by around 600 Canadian investors, including the two by Sherman alone. In most of the cases, no yacht turned out to exist and the investment’s tax benefit was denied by Revenue Canada – both were contributing factors to the financial losses suffered by Sherman and other investors:

“1. Background

4    Great Gatsby and Elegance were two of 79 limited partnerships registered by Einar Bellfield between 1984 and 1991 – ostensibly for the purpose of acquiring, and chartering, luxury yachts in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Thirty-six of the partnerships were fully subscribed – their limited partnership units having been acquired by approximately 600 investors. The general partner of each limited partnership was Overseas Credit and Guarantee Corporation (“OCGC”) of which Bellfield was the sole shareholder.

5   The partnerships were marketed to investors in Canada as tax shelters and, for the plaintiff, this was certainly their primary – and, probably, their only – attraction. In 1987 Revenue Canada commenced an audit and investigation into their activities and, in a letter of June 15, 1989, the plaintiff was informed that the partnership’s tax losses, and interest deductions he had claimed in 1985, 1986 and 1987 in respect of his investment in Great Gatsby, would be disallowed. …

6    Ultimately, all of the losses and deductions claimed by the plaintiff in connection with the limited partnerships were disallowed and tax was assessed on that basis. …

7    At the trial of this action it was not disputed that the limited partnerships promoted by Bellfield were part of a scheme in which he obtained funds from investors by way of fraudulent misrepresentations. No yachts were ever chartered and the very few that were acquired may have been intended only to give an appearance of legitimacy to the scheme. …

8    On November 16, 1999, Bellfield was indicted on charges of defrauding the Crown of the tax payable in respect of losses of $ 118 million claimed on behalf of the 36 limited partnerships, and of defrauding their unit holders. He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $1 million.”

(“Sherman v. Orenstein & Partners”, Cullity J., September 3, 2003, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, JD  Supra)

Sherman then sued his investments’ accountant firm for negligence, asserting that at some point the firm should have sent him a “going concern note” to alert him of the risk. The lawsuit was dismissed by the Ontario Superior Court for the reasons that the accountant firm did not breach the standard of care in this case, and that Sherman himself did not give sufficient care to the investments – here as summarised in a judgement of the Ontario Court of Appeal on December 2, 2005:


1    The issues in this lawsuit are whether the respondent chartered accounting firm, Orenstein & Partners (“Orenstein”), breached the standard of care required of it in performing a review engagement; and, if so, whether its breach caused the loss claimed by the appellant Bernard Sherman.

2    Sherman is an astute businessman, an experienced investor, and the chair of Apotex Inc., Canada’s largest generic drug manufacturer. In the mid 1980s, Sherman invested in two tax shelters by purchasing all the units of two Limited Partnerships: the Great Gatsby and Elegance. These and seventy-seven other similar limited partnerships were formed to invest in luxury sea-going yachts. Overseas Credit and Guarantee Corporation (“OCGC”) was the general partner of all the limited partnerships.

3    OCGC loaned Sherman the money to buy the units in Gatsby and Elegance. Sherman made monthly interest payments on the loans, which he deducted along with other expenses and losses for Gatsby and Elegance on his income tax returns for 1985-89.

4    The Limited Partnerships turned out to be a sham. They did not conduct the business they claimed to conduct. OCGC became insolvent and its principals were convicted of fraud. After an audit, Revenue Canada disallowed the tax losses and interest deductions that Sherman had claimed for the years 1985-88.

5    Orenstein performed review engagements of the financial statements of twenty-two of the limited partnerships, including Gatsby and Elegance. …

6    Sherman sued the respondents for negligence. He claimed that they negligently failed to include in the financial statements of Gatsby and Elegance a “going concern” note. He claimed this note would have alerted him that the Limited Partnerships would not likely become operating businesses. He alleged that had the respondents included a going concern note, he would have stopped making interest payments much sooner than he did. He quantified his loss at more than $600,000.

7    In comprehensive reasons, Cullity J. dismissed the action. He concluded that the respondents did not breach the standard of care required for a review engagement. He also concluded that even if the respondents had included a going concern note, Sherman either would not have noticed it, or, if he did, would not have stopped making interest payments.”

(“Sherman v. Orenstein & Partners”, J.I. Laskin, E.A. Cronk and E.E. Gillese JJ.A., December 2, 2005, Ontario Court of Appeal, JD Supra)

As cited above, the Ontario Superior Court judgment concluded that even if the accountants had sent Sherman a “going concern note” it would not have made a difference.

The primary reason for Sherman’s lack of attention to these investments was his reliance on the businessman Bellfield’s personal guarantee of the desired tax-shelter benefits:

95    The plaintiff evidently decided that it would be a fruitless exercise to attempt to recover on the guarantees he had extracted from OCGC and Bellfield and that the defendants were likely to possess a more capacious pocket. He was, of course, entitled to do this but, to succeed, the fact that he may have been defrauded by Bellfield is not to the point. He was required to prove negligence in the performance of the defendants’ professional responsibilities and not merely an exercise of judgment with which reasonable accountants might disagree. In the light of the evidence of accounting principles applicable to review engagements in the period in question, I believe the area in which reasonable accountants might reach different decisions was not negligible. …

105   I should add that, if it were necessary to consider the question of reliance, I would not have accepted Dr. Sherman’s evidence that he relied on the absence of a going-concern note in the financial statements of the limited partnerships. I am not satisfied that he ever read – let alone relied on an implied representation in – the financial statements. He had obtained advice from his personal advisers before subscribing for units of Great Gatsby and they had secured for him a personal guarantee of Bellfield that he would receive the desired tax results. He referred to the existence of this guarantee as a reason for never asking to see the financial statements of OCGC even though, pursuant to the settlement agreement of April 1986, these were to be provided to his accountant annually. There was no persuasive evidence that, after making the investments, he paid any further attention to them before 1989. The burden of proving reliance was on him and, in my judgment, it was not discharged.”

(Cullity J., September 3, 2003, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, JD  Supra)

As Justice Cullity asserted in the above, Sherman lost his investments and tax benefits, felt he could not recover the money from the fraudster and so sued the accountants in the hope of getting paid by them for the loss. One can sense that the judge stopped just short of scolding the wealthy Sherman for going after not necessarily so rich accountants to pay for investment losses in businesses about which he cared only for their tax-shelter benefits.

This last point is significant regarding these “tax shelters”, as the judge pointed out that Sherman probably did not even read the financial statements from the businesses once he had been given “a personal guarantee” of “the desired tax results”.

The fact that Sherman himself could be ignorant of his own finances – when he felt they were secure – is also shown in the Rubenstein case when he told the U.S. court that he did not know where his $100,000 bail money for Rubenstein actually came from, relying on his staff to get the money:

“His financial interests, conducted through a web of private companies, trusts and foundations were so Byzantine that even he had trouble keeping them all straight. During his Rubenstein deposition in 1990, a lawyer asked him where he got the bail money. “I don’t know,” he replied. “My banking is very, very complex. I simply instructed my staff to have the money forwarded.””

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

On can understand that when he found out that his staff or adviser failed him or even defrauded him, Sherman would become legally tough on them.

But it would not have been easy to manage money for Sherman, because like he said above, “My banking is very, very complex.”

The Maclean’s investigative article cited above mentioned the labyrinth of companies Sherman set up for his family investments:

“When the Shermans put their house on the market, they did what many rich people do to protect privacy: they used a numbered company as the seller. Sherman had a library to choose from; the one that was chosen listed him as president and his sister-in-law, Mary Shechtman, as a director.

That Sherman had a numbered Ontario company with his sister-in-law named as an officer wouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with his labyrinthine holdings outside of Apotex—ventures that put the test to Sherman’s claim he didn’t care about making money. Relatives pop up in the records of Sherman’s non-Apotex ventures held through “Sherm”-prefixed companies—including Shermco Inc., Sherfam Inc., Sherfam Industries Inc., Sherfam Holdings Inc.—as well as Bernard C. Sherman Limited and numerous trusts and private foundations. The Shermans’ real estate holdings—apartment buildings, condos, commercial properties, rumoured private islands—were held via Sherfam Inc., Signet Realty and Weston, Fla.-based Sherm Realty, as well as trusts. At one point, Sherman owned Deerhurst Inn, an Ontario resort, but sold it after failing to obtain a casino licence. Just months before he was killed, he partnered with a prominent Toronto developer to provide $61.5 million in financing for the most buzzed-about condominium project in the country: The One, an 85-storey structure to be built at the corner of Yonge and Bloor.”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

It was not easy to provide service to Sherman in general: it could be complex or Sherman was just demanding, and he might not pay much attention himself; but when he discovered problems he would unleash his lawyers hard on the service provider.

Sherman really hit hard legally to get compensation for damages. If this point was not so clearly exhibited in the above example of the failed tax-shelter yacht businesses because the Ontario courts ruled against him, it was very glaring in another case of service that was unsatisfactory for him: the case of the architects and builders who designed and constructed his home.

The Shermans budgeted $2.3 million in 1985 to build their dream home. After moving in in 1991 they found a lot of problems with their new home, “a disaster” as Barry Sherman called it; so they sued the architects and builders, and recouped $2 million of the design and construction costs:

“When Barry and Honey Sherman bought their North York property in 1985, they planned to spend $2.3 million to build their dream home.

But they noticed problems with the home within months of moving in, in 1991, with Barry describing it as “a disaster.”

After litigation against the house’s designers and builders, they wound up recouping $2 million of the contracted amount to construct the home, according to a 2006 judgment.

The civil litigation that involved both the Shermans, who were found dead in the house on Friday, was one of many Barry was embroiled in, and offers a rare glimpse into the couple’s private life.”

(“Barry and Honey Sherman sued builders of North York home”, by Tamar Harris, December 19, 2017, Toronto Star)

A luxury “dream home” that took $2.3 million to design and build ended up costing the Shermans only $300,000, after a legal battle recouping $2 million.

That must have been a prime example of Barry Sherman’s legal prowess, although his lawyers would have cost money, too.

The house was an “architectural modern masterpiece” – despite all the problems when it was first built – according to a $6.9 million real estate listing in December 2017 when it was put on the market for sale by the Shermans shortly before their unexpected deaths:

“The house near Bayview Ave. and Highway 401 was listed for sale this month at $6.9 million.

The 12,000 square foot house is an “architectural modern masterpiece of poured concrete and steel construction,” according to an online real esate listing. The home has indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, a tennis court and underground parking for six cars with a heated ramp. The five-plus-one bedroom, nine-bath home is two storeys and features hardwood floors and a balcony.”

(Tamar Harris, December 19, 2017, Toronto Star)

Wow, what a bargain for $300,000! It was a 12,000 square-feet house with both indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, a tennis court and underground parking.

Let’s look at more details of this legal case:

“They went on to sue at least five of the people and companies involved in the home’s design and construction, including Jack Winston Designs, Thomas Marzotto Architects and Ewing Construction.

All but two settled.

The remaining two defendants, 21 Degrees Heating and Air Conditioning and Walter Kenyon of Walter Kenyon Designs, had designed the home’s heating and air conditioning system.

The Shermans sued 21 Degrees and Kenyon for negligence related to the design of the HVAC system, and 21 Degrees for breach of contract.

According to the judgment, “Mr. Sherman testified that there were so many things done wrong with respect to the construction of the house that it was a disaster.”

In their statement of claim, the Shermans asked for $500,000 in undefined damages for breach of contract or negligence from 21 Degrees and Kenyon. By the end of the trial, they sought nearly $34,000 in special damages and general damages of an unspecified amount.

In 2006, the judge presiding over the case found that 21 Degrees breached their contract and that both 21 Degrees and Kenyon were negligent.

But because the Shermans failed to prove they suffered any damages, the judge awarded them no damages and dismissed the case.

Two years later, an appeal to the Divisional Court was quashed.”

(Tamar Harris, December 19, 2017, Toronto Star)

As told, the Shermans’ sued at least five of the parties in the design and construction of the house, and all but two of the parties settled – that accounted for all the money recouped, so it would have been around $2 million. The Shermans continued to sue the remaining two defendants, asking for $500,000, and won their legal arguments in court; but because they failed to show the damages, the courts did not award them money from these last two defendants.

Had they shown serious damages with the last defendants, that magnificent home could have cost the Shermans absolutely nothing – other than any legal expenses for their own lawyers.

The problem, on the other hand, in my opinion given the home being an “architectural modern masterpiece of poured concrete and steel construction”, is how these architects, designers, builders and workers could make their living – with all the materials and parts, and time and work they had spent creating it and then the money paid them nearly all taken back.

But no doubt, these companies and persons learned a hard lesson of Mr. Barry Sherman’s “righteous certitude”.

I wonder now. In 2008 when Kerry Winter told Toronto Life as quoted earlier, “If Barry had his way, I’d be eating cold french fries out of a Dumpster at KFC”, did he only grieve his own plight after filing the $1 billion lawsuit against Sherman then seeing his properties and home taken away due to the loans he owed Sherman, or did his sentiment also reflect a perception by the community, including those who had created Sherman’s magnificent home?

It seems that, from my review thus far, it is the combination of his aggressiveness in competition and his vindictive certitude in winning that has been a formula of Sherman’s business success, but that also led to harsh outcome for the losers.

Here, let’s consider the examples of using private investigators.

In Part 1, we have seen the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer hire private investigators to loiter around Apotex company grounds, pose as employees to try to uncover anything illegal; and we have also seen Morton Shulman hire private investigators to look into Sherman’s businesses, and Sherman’s illegal mail-marketing of Apotex drugs into the U.S. was somehow conveyed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

But neither matched the tenacity of Barry Sherman’s use of private investigators, here quoted like previously on the contrasts between his personality and Honey’s:

“As an entrepreneur, he hired private detectives to rummage through his competitor’s garbage, then got a court order so he could barge into their head offices and seize their papers. He didn’t hesitate to foreclose on the homes of people who owed him money, even relatives.”

(Tu Thanh Ha, Molly Hayes and Rachelle Younglai with reports from Andrew Willis, December 22/23, 2017, The Globe and Mail)

Rummaging through a competitor’s garbage to find something and then getting a court order to barge into its head offices to seize the papers – how many gentlemen would go to such lengths of breaking the social norms in order to achieve more successful business?

The above several cases of disputes between Sherman and others outside of the pharmaceutical field were all about persons who provided Sherman with service that went sour.

The following is a case where the other person was a convicted criminal getting some money from Sherman, allegedly to start his own business, but otherwise had no service relation or other business relation with Sherman.

Not long after the Shermans’ deaths, the media reported the story of a small investment Barry Sherman had made to a convicted Fraudster, Shaun Rootenberg, that then led to a legal dispute. Shaun Rootenberg, a convicted fraudster also known as Shaun Rothberg, wanted investment from Sherman in August 2015, intending to defraud him. Despite knowing the person’s criminal background, Sherman eventually made a $150,000 investment into Rothberg’s project, an app named “Trivia for Good”, as a result of lobbying by Sherman’s own friend Myron Gottlieb, a well-known convicted fraudster himself, on Rootenberg’s behalf:

“Many of Sherman’s non-Apotex ventures were coordinated within his company and listed the same address as his drug-maker: 150 Signet Dr. So it’s unsurprising that Apotex is where Sherman’s friend Myron Gottlieb showed up on Aug. 15, 2015. He went there to meet with company executives to vouch for Shaun Rootenberg, a convicted fraudster looking for Sherman to invest in an app he was developing, Trivia for Good. According to court documents, Gottlieb met Rootenberg (a.k.a. Shaun Rothberg) in prison when he himself was incarcerated for fraud related to Livent Inc., the theatre company he co-founded with Garth Drabinsky. Sherman would ultimately invest $150,000, at Gottlieb’s urging, but would later sue Rootenberg, alleging he and others defrauded him. (Gottlieb is not named in the suit.)”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

As told above, Rootenberg had been in jail for fraud, where he met Gottlieb, also jailed for fraud. It was after they had been freed that Gottlieb visited Sherman’s office to “vouch for” Rootenberg who was pitching an app business idea to Sherman.

Rootenberg had been convicted of defrauding family, friends and business associates out of “millions of dollars”, and would continue his fraudulent ways:

“Thornhill fraudster Shaun Rootenberg — aka Shaun Rothberg — has defrauded family, friends and business associates out of millions of dollars over the years.

Now it’s alleged the convicted scam artist may even have cheated murdered billionaire Barry Sherman.

As reported in 2017 by Toronto Sun crime writer Chris Doucette, Rootenberg was most recently arrested in June for allegedly defrauding the romantic partners he found on eHarmony.

He was in the cooler for a while after pleading guilty back in 2009 to fleecing friends and family out of $2.5 million.

Somehow, by 2014, he had talked his way into a Chief Financial Officer position with Algoma Pubic Health in Sault Ste. Marie. There, he kept an eye on the public health agency’s $23 million annual expenditures and $25 million in capital assets.

The long con appeared to developing the waterfront in the Sault, but it all ended after city officials were informed of Rootenberg’s past.”

(“Fraudster surfaces in Sherman case”, by Liz Braun, January 27, 2018, Toronto Sun)

As described above, after serving jail time, in 2014 Rootenberg became Chief Financial Officer at Algoma Pubic Health in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where he supervised public budgets and investments.

It was only an interim position for Rothberg. But in January 2015 when he came again as part of a business trying to win approval for a development project, it was found out that he was actually Rootenberg with a criminal fraud background, and the region public health agency launched an independent audit to see if any money had gone missing under his management:

“Rothberg was introduced as part of a delegation from Canal Village Development Corp., unveiling big plans for the Sault’s Gateway properties.

In an adjoining media room, one reporter quipped that City Council appeared to have been hit that Monday by a pandemic of “infectious enthusiasm” for the project.

By Thursday, that enthusiasm was rather less infectious.

The City of Sault Ste. Marie had advised Canal Village’s lawyer that it now wanted nothing to do with Shaun Rothberg or any corporate entity in which he was involved.

Canal Village principal Paolo Rovazzi quickly provided assurances that neither Rothberg nor Henry Cole (another member of the Canal Village team with whom the city had issues) would be involved in the Gateway deal.

And Algoma Public Health announced that Dr. Kim Barker, its medical officer of health and chief executive officer, had been “shocked” Thursday to receive information about Rothberg that had prompted the health unit’s board to hire an independent audit firm to investigate a six-month period during which Rothberg had served as its interim chief financial officer.

Why all this fuss over a mind-mannered, bespectacled number-cruncher?

Dr. Barker, City Solicitor Nuala Kenny and Ron Hulse, the Toronto consultant who recommended Rothberg to Algoma Public Health, all insist he is actually Shaun Rootenberg, who did time at Beaver Creek Institution in Gravenhurst after pleading guilty to multiple counts of fraud involving more than $2 million.

So how does a convicted fraudster get hired to oversee Algoma Public Health’s $23 million annual expenditures and $25 million in capital assets?

The short answer, Dr. Barker says, is that Algoma Public Health (APH) didn’t check out Rootenberg’s credentials because he was hired through a third-party consultant, Ron Hulse of Toronto.

APH has certainly had difficulty with its financial operations in recent years.

In July, 2013, Jeffrey Holmes departed as chief financial officer and was subsequently charged with breach of trust and theft over $5,000.”

(“How on earth did this man end up overseeing Algoma Public Health’s cash?”, by David Helwig, January 21, 2015, SooToday)

As told above, Jeffrey Holmes, a previous chief financial officer who had left in July 2013, was charged with breach of trust and theft, and then the agency hired this interim chief financial officer who turned out to have a criminal fraud past. Rothberg’s background was not checked at the time of the hiring because he was recommended by a third-party consultant, Ron Hulse of Toronto.

Fortunately, no money was missing when it came to Rootenberg, and the former Ontario deputy health minister who led the independent audit, producing a report critical of the Algoma Public Health board, in June 2015 actually praised Rootenberg for his work there:

“Marchy Bruni has so far not resigned as chair and a member of the Algoma Public Health board, as he was asked to do this afternoon by Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s minister of health and long-term care.

“If that’s what they request from the ministry, I have to consider [that],” Bruni told SooToday after a news conference at the Sault Ste. Marie Civic Centre by Hoskins and Graham Scott (shown), the former deputy minister of health who conducted a governance assessment of the APH board.

Scott’s assessment concluded that the board failed to meet its legal obligations.

Hoskins demanded the resignations of all members appointed to the APH board prior to the 2014 municipal election.

Notwithstanding his sharp criticisms of Algoma Public Health’s governance, Scott spoke well of Shaun Rootenberg, APH’s former interim chief financial officer, whose criminal background helped prompt the provincial assessment.

“There was no loss of cash. There was nothing inappropriate or illegal. Mr. Rootenberg did, in fact, quite a credible job during the time he was there,” Scott told SooToday.”

(“Will Marchy Bruni resign?”, by David Helwig, June 16, 2015, SooToday)

As told above, Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins demanded the resignations of all members of that regional public health board, while at the same time the lead auditor, former deputy health minister Graham Scott, told the media that “Mr. Rootenberg did, in fact, quite a credible job during the time he was there”.

So, even though he previously had defrauded, and would continue to defraud family, friends and business associates, Shaun Rootenberg was recently praised for “quite a credible job” for interim work as chief financial officer of a public health agency, when in August 2015 his prison-acquainted friend Myron Gottlieb approached Barry Sherman, a pharmaceutical business billionaire, to vouch for investment for Rootenberg’s app business idea.

Such a business company was set up and the mobile app produced. However, the public announcements did not cite Rootenberg or Rothberg, but named Ronald Hulse, i.e., the person who had recommended Rothberg to Algoma Public Health, as its co-founder, president and chief operating officer:

“Trivia For Good is a Canadian start-up company in the digital advertising platform space that will give away $500,000 in its first five contests over the next ten weeks, with $400,000 of that going to winners and the rest donated directly to charity.

“We hope to unleash a ‘phenomena of kindness’ as we provide cash windfalls to our top contestant weekly, while paying forward large donations to our charity partners, Right To Play, Els for Autism and Jays Care Foundation,” said Ronald Hulse, President and COO.

“I don’t believe you’ll find another free game where someone can play and win that much cash while also directly helping charities,” said Steven Glaser, CEO of Trivia For Good.

“The prize pools will increase to USD$1Million per contest as the company expands to a global audience.  We also have plans for even larger prizes and donations centered around the Olympics later this year,” said Glaser.

The idea for Trivia For Good came about when the company’s founders were discussing the difficulties brand advertisers face as they attempt to reach individuals without being seen as an intrusion through social programs and in-app mobile advertising.

“Trivia For Good rewards individuals for their time and offers them financial incentive to play trivia, a game everyone enjoys,” said Hulse, one of the founders.”

(“$500,000 in Prize Money to be won as Trivia For Good Launches its first FREE TO PLAY Contest in Canada”, May 9, 2016, Trivia For Good Inc., Cision)

Trivia For Good Inc. was a part of a larger company, Keek, of which Hulse was a former board member, and the mobile trivia game and advertising app’s launch campaign was featured on the Cineplex Theatre Network and Tim Horton T.V. across Canada. (“Keek Announces Restructuring of Its Social Trivia Division and TriviaForGood Announces Its First Contest and Market Launch Through the Cineplex Theatre Network”, March 2, 2016, Keek, Marketwired)

Whatever the marketing glitz, the hundreds of thousands of dollars, or potentially millions of dollars, of prizes given away and money donated to charities, Barry Sherman knew that it was a fraud and that he was defrauded of $150,000 in the process, and took legal action in May 2017:

“Ontario Superior Court documents show Sherman, founder of the Canadian pharmaceutical giant Apotex, intended to invest in an app called Trivia For Good, billed as a “mobile-trivia app that offers huge cash prizes.”

Sherman launched his lawsuit in May 2017 against Shaun Rootenberg and other parties. The lawsuit alleged “a fraudulent scheme” had cheated Sherman out of his investment.

Court documents show that Rootenberg, a previously convicted fraudster also known as Shaun Rothberg, came up with the Trivia For Good concept. The idea was to make money by selling advertising displayed on the app.”

(“Barry Sherman allegedly duped by convicted fraudster”, by Scott Anderson, Harvey Cashore, Joseph Loiero and Ronna Syed, January 27/28, 2018, CBC News)

Eric Paul, CEO of CannTrust Holdings, a company partnered with Apotex to develop a cannabis-based painkiller pill, has commented that various types of business figures went to Sherman for help and most of the time he would “loan or give them money”:

“Sherman trusted his gut and was willing to take risks, says Paul, who met Sherman 27 years ago when he approached him with a pharmaceutical-related venture. He was surprised at how quickly Sherman signed on. “Barry liked the story and said, ‘Let’s do it,’ ” Paul recalls. “Usually, people say: ‘Send the financials and we’ll do an analysis.’ ”

Such willingness made Sherman a target for people down on their luck or shilling a deal, says Paul: “He was well known in the community, so anyone who had a need—say a business going sideways—would go talk to Barry. Nine times out of 10 he would loan them or give them money.”

Shashank Upadhye, who worked as Apotex’s chief counsel from 2007 to 2012, heard many stories about Sherman’s quiet charity, whether it was covering someone’s tuition or helping an employee pay for a parent’s medical bills. “He was a real generous guy,” Upadhye says. “Now, anecdotally, I do know there probably were some people who took advantage of him, especially in business ventures, people he thought were his friends.”

Paul says he was familiar with the inner workings of these deals, and some left him aghast: “He was giving people money when there was no opportunity for success.””

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

As told, “Nine times out of 10 he would loan them or give them money”.

But many of these instances were not necessarily about business of Sherman’s own interest, but about the community he being a billionaire businessman in, that others in the community sought his help – often in the form of business deals.

The various examples reviewed thus far have shown that Sherman could give some money in small amounts, such as for living allowances or paying Visa bills for his Winter family cousins, but when it came to a larger amount he might lend to or invest in the business, but seldom give the money, be it Kerry Winter, fraudulent financial adviser Harvey Rubenstein or fraudulent businessman Shaun Rootenberg.

And Sherman would use his lawyers to enforce whatever the conditions he smartly devised for these loans and investments.

But as Paul pointed out as quoted above, that some of “these deals” had “no opportunity for success”. Worse, some deals were intended to rip off, period, when they were pitched by fraudsters. So now what would happen when Sherman unleashed his lawyers on them? Confrontations became inevitable.

For the case of the convicted fraudster Shaun Rootenberg, there was an even closer timing in relation to the Shermans deaths than the Winter family’s $1 billion lawsuit being struck down by the court in late 2017; Sherman’s lawyers made a legal motion on December 13 – the day the Shermans were last seen alive – to move the lawsuit more promptly to trial:

“On the day he was last seen alive, Barry Sherman’s lawyers filed documents in court supporting a lawsuit against a convicted fraudster who had allegedly duped the billionaire philanthropist out of a $150,000 investment, CBC News: The Fifth Estate has learned.

It was in the final week of his life that Sherman stepped up his legal efforts to recover the $150,000 he said he had lost, a relatively small amount for a man reportedly worth nearly $5 billion. Still, on Dec. 13 his lawyers filed an aggressive motion to the court — with the goal of moving the case more promptly to trial.”

(Scott Anderson, Harvey Cashore, Joseph Loiero and Ronna Syed, January 27/28, 2018, CBC News)

That similar timing also caused suspicion.

The CBC story reported that Sherman had given a statement to the police after Rootenberg’s arrest again for new criminal fraud in June 2017 – in a month after the May filing of Sherman’s lawsuit against him – but clarified that CBC did not know of any connection between the Shermans’ murder in December 2017 and Rootenberg:

“Rootenberg was arrested again last June on criminal charges. Toronto Police allege Rootenberg defrauded two women with whom he had intimate relationships. The Fifth Estate has learned that Barry Sherman provided a statement to police in the criminal case against Rootenberg.

Rootenberg was held at Toronto South Detention Centre after his arrest. He was released on bail earlier this month. The Fifth Estate was unable to reach Rootenberg for comment after leaving an email and phone message.

In his statement of defence filed in October, Rootenberg said he “disputes the claim … that he contributed to the loss” and requested that the lawsuit be “dismissed in its entirety.”

Sherman and his wife, Honey, were found dead in their Toronto mansion on Dec. 15 by their real estate agent. Toronto police say they were last seen alive two days earlier. Police said on Friday they believe the Shermans were murdered. CBC has no evidence that there is a connection between the lawsuit and the murder, nor that Rootenberg is a suspect.”

(Scott Anderson, Harvey Cashore, Joseph Loiero and Ronna Syed, January 28, 2018)

What I would wonder is whether Sherman clearly displayed partiality when he launched a legal action against Rootenberg and others and pushed it forward aggressively, but not naming his friend Myron Gottlieb, also a convicted fraudster who not only vouched for Rootenberg but actively procured for his investment, in the lawsuit:

“Gottlieb emailed officials at Sherfam Inc. in August 2015 to thank them for the promised $150,000 investment.

“You advised that Barry Sherman will purchase 750,000 units,” Gottlieb wrote on Aug. 19, 2015.

Gottlieb then provided instructions for how Sherman’s $150,000 should be wired to the trivia company’s bank account. But according to the allegations filed in court, Rootenberg was a participant in a scheme “to defraud” Sherman and divert the funds partly for his own benefit.

Gottlieb was convicted along with Livent co-founder Garth Drabinsky in 2009 for defrauding their now-defunct musical production company Livent Inc.

In an email to The Fifth Estate, Gottlieb noted, “I am not a party to the action commenced by Barry Sherman.” He declined further comment except to say he was “privileged to be a friend of Barry and Honey Sherman.”

Rootenberg was arrested again last June on criminal charges. Toronto Police allege Rootenberg defrauded two women with whom he had intimate relationships. The Fifth Estate has learned that Barry Sherman provided a statement to police in the criminal case against Rootenberg.”

(Scott Anderson, Harvey Cashore, Joseph Loiero and Ronna Syed, January 28, 2018)

As above, it was Gottlieb who lobbied Sherman’s family company Sherfam Inc., received the promise of purchase of 750,000 units of investment for $150,000, and then provided instructions for wiring the money to Trivia For Good’s bank account.

This may have been Rootenberg’s fraud scheme. But in the case of Sherman’s investment, it was Gottlieb who visited Sherman’s office at 150 Signet Drive on August 15, 2015, to urge Sherman’s company to invest, as previously quoted from the Maclean’s article, and then on August 19 emailed instructions for sending the investment to the Trivia For Good company’s account as reported in the above CBC story.

Yet, Gottlieb was not named in the Sherman lawsuit against Rootenberg just because, as Gottlieb alluded to and quoted in the above, that he was “privileged to be a friend of Barry and Honey Sherman”?

When Gottlieb met Rootenberg in prison, he was there along with Garth Drabinsky as co-founders of Livent Inc., known for producing popular theatre shows like Phantom of the Opera in Canada and internationally, after having been convicted of fraud, with Drabinsky also losing his Order of Canada honour as a result:

“Gottlieb and Garth Drabinsky, the co-founders of now-defunct Livent Inc., were convicted of two counts each of fraud in a scheme to falsify financial statements so they could keep pace with lofty earnings projections.

Livent, behind such hits as Phantom of the Opera, filed for bankruptcy soon after the fraud was discovered in 1998. Its demise is estimated to have cost investors about $500-million.

The parole board says the courts clearly found Gottlieb was active in arranging and facilitating the fraud, and expresses dismay that Gottlieb says he is guilty only insofar as he didn’t properly oversee those working below him.

Gottlieb was granted day parole from Beaver Creek Institution in Gravenhurst, Ont., to a halfway house in Toronto in July after serving about 11 months of his four-year sentence.

Since Gottlieb was released on day parole he has been unable to find work, the board said, but noted that was likely due to his age – he’s 69 years old – and notoriety.

Gottlieb apologized for his crime at his July parole hearing, saying he should have spoken up in August 1997, when he said he realized the second-quarter financial report was off by about $24-million.

“I spent a lifetime trying to build a reputation and I blew it very fast,” he told the hearing. “When I knew it was happening, it was like hitting a brick wall and I can’t forgive myself.”

Gottlieb said he has a negative net worth now.

Drabinsky, who was granted day parole in October after serving about 14 months of his five-year sentence, is in the process of fighting a decision to strip him of his Order of Canada appointment.”

(“Livent’s Gottlieb gets full parole, despite ‘abject refusal’ to own up to fraud”, by Darren Calabrese, March 28, 2013/May 11, 2018, The Globe and Mail)

As told in the above, at this point in his life Myron Gottlieb no longer had wealth, was unable to find work, and likely had little money to live on when in August 2015 he persuaded his privileged friend Barry Sherman to invest in Shaun Rootenberg’s Trivia For Good app idea, procuring and securing the investment in a way he knew how; and he succeeded.

Most likely Sherman spared Gottlieb – but not Gottlieb’s prison acquaintance Rootenberg who likely had no wealth either – in the ensuing legal fight to recover the $150,000 due to consideration of the difficult predicament this friend was in.

But Gottlieb was most likely tied to Rootenberg and his Trivia For Good business in far more than getting Sherman’s investment. A press release, quoted earlier, from Trivia For Good Inc.’s former parent company Keek on March 2, 2016, mentioned a Canada-wide advertising campaign at the Cineplex Theatre Network and Tim Horton T.V.; and Gottlieb and his ‘co-0fraudster’ Garth Drabinsky had once been leading executives at Cineplex prior to co-founding Livent:

“In 1979, Mr. Drabinsky co-founded Cineplex Odeon Corp. with the creation of a 21-theatre complex in Toronto’s Eaton Centre. By 1989, Cineplex had amassed more than 1,800 screens in more than 500 locations. On “Black Friday” (Nov. 27, 1989), Mr. Drabinsky and business partner Myron Gottlieb were booted from the company by the Hollywood conglomerate MCA and Montreal’s Bronfman family. Mr. Drabinsky and Mr. Gottlieb hung on to Cineplex Odeon’s tiny live-theatre division.

From Cineplex’s live-theatre division, Livent was born. Mr. Drabinsky and Mr. Gottlieb were awarded control of the Canadian rights to The Phantom of the Opera, and the newly restored Pantages Theatre, where the mega-musical had opened a few months before. Soon, Livent was mounting big-budget shows such as Showboat, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime. During his Broadway career, Mr. Drabinsky’s productions captured 19 Tony Awards.

On June 30, 1995, Mr. Drabinsky was awarded the Order of Canada. David Mirvish, of Livent rival Mirvish Productions, received the award on the same day.

In 1998, Hollywood power broker Michael Ovitz offered to buy a controlling stake in the Toronto company and inject some needed cash. A few weeks later, though, his accountants alerted authorities to some alleged “irregularities” in the books. Mr. Drabinsky and Mr. Gottlieb were suspended from the company, which later filed for bankruptcy and sold off its assets.”

(“The many roles of Garth Drabinsky”, March 26, 2009/April 28, 2018, The Globe and Mail)

As summarized above, the Livent debacle beginning in 1998 was not the first time Drabinsky and Gottlieb were ousted from the helm of a spectacularly successful entertainment company, by a Hollywood-based business partner – earlier from Cineplex in 1989 also by Montreal’s Bronfman business family.

I would guess that in 2015 the financially rather desperate Myron Gottlieb went back to his friends and old acquaintances, not only Barry Sherman but also some at Cineplex, to try making what he could out of the Trivia For Good idea.

For example, Ellis Jacob, the Calcutta, India-born and Montreal- and Toronto-educated Cineplex Chief Financial Officer at the time of the 1989 ouster of his bosses Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb from the North American theatre chain originally founded by Drabinsky in Toronto, stabilized the company, then founded a small company Galaxy Entertainment just as Livent went down in fraud, and by the early 2000’s was at the helm of a newly acquired, restructured and expanded Cineplex chain in Canada:

“… Hollywood narratives don’t fizzle without some prospect of redemption, and the hero of this tale is Cineplex’s Calcutta-born CEO, Ellis Jacob. Both here and abroad, he’s known as the man who’s not just reviving the flagging theatre industry but reinventing it. The average Cineplex-by far, Canada’s largest chain, with more than 1,337 screens at 132 theatres nationwide-moonlights as sports emporium, rock concert venue, arcade, lecture hall, food court and, yes, opera house. In some cases, it’s also a bowling alley, a watering hole, a billiards hall and a daycare centre-a cacophonous fusion of high and low culture. …

After graduating from McGill in commerce, he got his CA designation and went to work for an auditing firm. Unsatisfied with life as a lowly bean counter, however, he returned to school, earning an MBA from York University, as well as a CMA title. … Growing up in Calcutta, he’d regularly attended the Globe Theatre, a four-screen venue that hosted everything from Bollywood to live shows. In 1987, he got his entree into the movie biz when he was hired as the VP of finance at Cineplex Odeon, the chain started by Drabinsky in 1979, with a flagship 21-screen multiplex at Toronto’s Eaton Centre.

On his first day, Jacob had no desk or telephone. The place was in chaos; Drabinsky was in the midst of a worldwide buying spree that would eventually push the company $750 million into debt. In 1989, shortly after Ellis ascended to CFO, his impresario boss (along with his sidekick, Myron Gottlieb) was ousted. As Drabinsky and Gottlieb mounted an ultimately unsuccessful bid to take the company private, Jacob was left to right the ship. For four years, Cineplex Odeon flirted with bankruptcy. Negotiating day and night, Jacob managed to mollify all 19 banks banging at Cineplex’s door, and in 1998, the company completed an arduous path to solvency, merging with the massive Loews chain in the U.S. The combined business offered Jacob a new position outside Canada, but he and his wife, Sharyn, didn’t want to leave Toronto.

… Showing some of Drabinsky’s brass, Jacob left Cineplex in 1998 to start Galaxy Entertainment. …

Jacob had a lot of cred in the industry, and his promise to waive his salary for Galaxy’s first two years impressed investors. Former Alliance chairman Robert Lantos and Cineplex exec Steve Brown signed on. So did Onex head Gerry Schwartz, who became majority owner.

In 2001, Loews Cineplex, which by then owned more than 2,800 screens worldwide, filed for Chapter 11. Onex snapped up its Canadian assets. Schwartz persuaded Jacob to merge his 20-theatre Galaxy chain with Cineplex in 2003, and spun the movie assets into the Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund, with Jacob at the helm. …

Two years later, Onex and Jacob launched a $500-million bid for Canadian rival Famous Players, then owned by Viacom. Today, the combined company-23% owned by Onex-controls two-thirds of the screens in Canada.”

(“The dame stays in the picture”, by Patrick White, September 26, 2008/April 27, 2018, The Globe and Mail)

I would imagine that if Myron Gottlieb visited Cineplex to solicit help, like he did at Sherman’s company, Ellis Jacob would be glad to show his old boss the latest big-screen advertising powers for, well, anything goes probably.

‘All that glitters is not gold’, and in the ensuing legal dispute Trivia For Good had to face and Barry Sherman would not miss, Sherman’s partiality in “righteous certitude” may have been interpreted differently by different persons on the receiving end.

In any case, the scenario of the Shermans’ murder having connection to criminals who had money disputes with Barry Sherman appears credible or at least should not be easily dismissed, just like the scenario of possible connection to Sherman’s Winter family cousins, and the scenario, reviewed in Part 1, of connection to some of the brand-name pharmaceutical companies that Sherman called “the monopolies”.

Moreover, the possibility of links between these criminals and some of Sherman’s Winter cousins, particularly Kerry Winter with his criminal past and outrageously accusatory attitude in the legal and publicity feuds with Sherman, should not be overlooked.

Now, I should point out that there was a context to Sherman’s unsparing certitude towards even small acts of disputing him on the part of others when it came to money: Barry Sherman was once well known for frugality.

The July 2008 Toronto Life article republished in December 2017 pointed out that, at that point in time, Sherman had owned only four cars in his life:

“Barry Sherman parks his 2005 Chrysler Sebring convertible in the spot closest to the main door of the Apotex headquarters in Weston. Although Sherman, the CEO and founder, is the country’s 10th richest man, with a personal wealth of about $3.7 billion, he’s notoriously thrifty. He’s owned only four cars in his life, driving them until they’re ready to junk.”

(Geraldine Sherman, December 18, 2017, Toronto Life)

Considering that Sherman became an owner of Empire Labs in 1967, that was four cars only for a timespan of over four decades.

In his Daily Mail interview, Kerry Winter seemed to suggest that Sherman’s frugality – in contrast to Honey’s love of extravagance – could be a cause of the misery for others like the Winter cousins:

“But, for all that, he recognized Sherman as a ‘kook’ with ‘a bolt missing,’ who seemed to have everything but took pleasure in nothing.

Sherman was an atheist who only donated to largely Jewish causes because Honey chose to and it was a tax write off, and Winter said was an atheist who ‘couldn’t give a s*** about the State of Israel’.

Winter said: ‘He couldn’t enjoy life. I asked him if there was anything in life he enjoyed. He said “making f***ing money.”’

Yet he couldn’t bear to spend it. His favorite restaurants were McDonald’s and budget chain, Swiss Chalet – where he always ordered the special.

He drove a clapped-out old car, refused to buy a new television when his old one barely worked, bought cheap shoes and clothes and would sneak back into the theater when he went so that he could see a second movie for free.

In stark contrast, Winter said, Honey was rumored to have one of the world’s largest diamond collections.”

(Laura Collins, January 31, 2018, Daily Mail)

Kerry Winter’s speaking, in 2008 to Toronto Life, of the unbearable prospect of “eating cold french fries out of a Dumpster at KFC” seemed quite possible when Barry Sherman’s own favorite restaurant was McDonald’s.

In the Daily Mail interview, Kerry also discussed, in contrast to Barry Sherman’s thriftiness, how “enviable” the Winter family life had been when his father Louis was alive:

“The seeds of the feud were sown back in 1951 when Sherman’s father, Herbert, died from a heart attack age 46.

Sherman was nine and Winter’s father, Louis Winter, stepped into the role as a surrogate father, partly because he and his wife, Beverley, didn’t think they could have children of their own.

In 1958 they adopted a son, Tim. Then, two years later, Beverly fell pregnant with Jeffery. In 1961 Kerry was born and in 1962 brother, Dana, followed.

Winter’s father Louis, a biochemist, was the founder of generic drug manufacturer, Empire Laboratories.

Winter recalled: ‘We lived in a mansion overlooking the Humber River. We were enrolled in a posh private school. He drove a Rolls Royce. He had two yachts. He was a self-made millionaire.’

Pictures of the family at the time show an enviable existence. But those golden days were short lived.”

(Laura Collins, January 31, 2018, Daily Mail)

That good life was unfortunately short-lived for Kerry Winter as a child; and then he did not enjoy life in the Barkins’ home, either.

The April 2018 Maclean’s investigative article told of Honey Sherman’s shocked reaction once upon a time, and quick action to admonish her husband, when the couple visited the home of Barry Sherman’s Apotex underling Jack Kay and saw a swimming pool, something Barry had told her they could not afford:

“Where her husband could be frugal to the point of ostentation, Honey, herself known to fly economy, enjoyed a few upper-middle-class trappings: nice jewellery, a Lexus SUV, getaways with “the girls,” shopping in New York with her sister, Mary. At their funeral, long-time Apotex executive Jack Kay recalled Honey and Sherman visiting his house in the early days of Apotex. Taken aback when she saw a swimming pool, Honey called out her husband for telling her they couldn’t afford one. …”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

But in 1991 the Shermans moved into a luxurious custom-built home with both indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a tennis court, and if Barry still did not want a new car for his 50th birthday, well, that had become secondary anyway:

“… The differences were showcased at a 50th birthday party Honey threw for Sherman. Guests were guided outside to see a new sports car with a big red bow. “Barry was not happy with the gift,” says Rubin. “ ‘Take it back,’ he told Honey.” She did.”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

By December 2017 when the Shermans were murdered, they were hung by their killers at the side of the indoor swimming pool, at their home that was on the market for sale as the couple were in advanced planning for the custom-building of an even grander, brick-and-stone home, here as described in the Maclean’s article:

“In the last months of 2017, Honey’s time was also focused on the construction of a grand new house; the move would see a couple known for their relatively low-key lifestyle upsizing at an age most people are doing the opposite. Honey purchased a prime corner property, held in her name, in the city’s exclusive Forest Hill neighbourhood in November 2016. (The purchase price is not disclosed in land registry documents.) The intent was to demolish the existing house and build a stunning structure. Architectural drawings filed with the city reveal a 16,000-sq.-foot brick-and-stone home with a separate pool house, a 41-foot retractable skylight over a central swimming pool, an event room, an elevator and a space for live-in staff. Sherman’s need for privacy was reflected in the “large shredder” planned for an upstairs office.

The ambitious plans called for 15 variances in the building code, some sizable, including increasing the maximum building depth to 47.6 m from the allowable 19 m, and a car stacker in the three-car garage. All the variances were approved on June 28, less than six months before the murders.”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

The last day the Shermans were seen alive, on December 13, 2017, they appeared together to meet with the builder for their new home to discuss some design changes:

“Sherman wasn’t keen on moving from the house on Old Colony Road, but was doing it for Honey. “He just said: ‘You know, I wish I was staying here, but my wife wants to move so we’re moving,’ ” says Frank D’Angelo, Sherman’s close friend and business partner in non-Apotex ventures.

On Nov. 27, their house was listed for $6.9 million, described as an “architectural modern masterpiece.” Why the Shermans were selling when contractors hadn’t begun to build their new home isn’t clear. What is certain is that listing meant disruptions and privacy incursions—and a lockbox on the house, a rarity for such a high-end property.

Planning the house brought Honey to Apotex on Dec. 13, a day after she missed the Baycrest meeting. It was the last time the couple was seen alive. They were meeting with the builder to go over some design changes, Greenspan tells Maclean’s. Everything was going as planned. Or so it appeared.”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

A potential problem, as pointed out earlier, is that in contrast to the luxury upgrades over the years to the Shermans’ lifestyles, Honey’s wishes as they might be, Barry Sherman’s overly stern and vindictive certitude toward those who he had trouble with in money matters continued to the last moment of his life.

Back in late 2017 after Ontario Justice Kenneth Hood struck down the Winter sons’ $1 billion lawsuit against Barry Sherman, the Winter family decided to appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal. The decision was announced by their lawyer just days after the Shermans’ deaths, at a time when intense publicity was given to matters about the Shermans:

“The family of the Shermans released a statement over the weekend slamming media reports speculating that police are probing the theory that the pair died in a murder-suicide. CBC Toronto has not independently confirmed details about what led to the Shermans’ deaths.

The Winter brothers’ lawyer, Brad Teplitsky says his clients will be moving forward with their appeal because they believe the judge made legal errors in dismissing the case.

Teplitsky has been in contact with Kerry Winter since the Shermans’ deaths and says Winter has “no comment at this time other than to express his sincere condolences to the Sherman family and is requesting that the media respect their privacy during this period.”

Teplitsky told CBC Toronto his clients will not be attending the funeral Thursday, and have had no contact with the Shermans since they’ve been “in litigation for many years.””

(“Barry Sherman’s orphaned cousins fight for cut of Apotex fortune in lawsuit appeal”, by Nicole Brockbank, December 20, 2017, CBC News)

As in the above, the Winter family’s lawyer Brad Teplitsky mentioned the Shermans’ funeral to be held the next day.

On the part of the deceased Shermans, the matter was also gravely urgent; in that morning after their funeral, Barry Sherman’s lawyers filed an appeal of the judge’s decision ordering the Winter sons to pay them $300,000 legal costs – Barry Sherman had wanted a lot more legal costs from the Winters, over $980,000:

“One of Sherman’s final decisions, it turned out, involved the fractious lawsuit with his cousins. Unhappy that the judge ordered the brothers to pay him only $300,000 in legal costs (he wanted $984,813.73), Sherman appears to have instructed his lawyers to appeal the ruling. They did, the very morning after his funeral—a move that saw Sherman litigating from the grave.”

(Anne Kingston and Michael Friscolanti, April 5, 2018, Maclean’s)

On August 29, 2018, the Ontario Court of Appeal issued a ruling against the Winter sons’ appeal for their $1 billion lawsuit, and ordered them to pay an additional $60,000 legal costs to Sherman’s lawyers:

“A three-justice panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday that a lower court’s decision that there was no need for a trial in the case was correct. The justices also upheld the lower court’s decision last September that the decades-old fight was an “abuse of process” by the Sherman cousins.

The cousins have now been ordered to pay $60,000 to the Sherman side to cover its legal costs in defending the appeal, on top of the $300,000 in costs awarded Sherman in September 2017 when Justice Kenneth Hood of the Superior Court of Justice made the ruling that the court of appeal adjudicated.

“It would be unfair and an abuse of process” to allow the cousins to take the matter to trial, the court of appeal justices state in their reasons. (The court of appeal panel was made up of justices Robert Sharpe, Russell Juriansz and Lois Roberts.)”

(“Sherman cousins lose appeal for piece of drug company’s billions”, by Kevin Donovan, August 29, 2018, Toronto Star)

Kerry Winter immediately announced that the Winter family would take the matter to the Supreme Court of Canada – their final legal option – and asked the media to “wish us luck”:

“Kerry Winter, who has been the most vocal of the cousins in the court battle, said Wednesday that they will “seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court” of Canada. “Wish us luck,” Winter said. Their claim has long been that it was Sherman’s involvement in their father’s company that gave him the leg up that allowed him to start Apotex. That’s why the cousins say they are deserving of part of the Apotex wealth, roughly a $1-billion share.

If the Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal, the case will be over.”

(Kevin Donovan, August 29, 2018, Toronto Star)

If the Supreme Court of Canada refuses to hear the Winter sons’ appeal, their legal recourses would appear to be over.

It was not the first time the Winter family had something to do with Canada’s highest court. In 1964, just a year before their father Louis’s sudden death from a heart attack in 1965, his own Empire Laboratories won a landmark case at the Supreme Court of Canada, defeating the court appeal of an American brand-name drug company, Parke, Davis and Company, which alleged that Empire Labs’ generic drug packaging appeared too similar to the brand-name drug’s and thus infringed on their registered trade marks.

(“Parke, Davis & Co. v. Empire Laboratories Ltd.”, March 23, 1964, Supreme Court of Canada, Lexum)

Now, nearly a year after the Shermans’ gruesome deaths in a yet unsolved, “targeted” double homicide, led by Kerry Winter the Winter children have asked for the Supreme Court of Canada to intervene so that they would be awarded a total of 20% ownership of Canada’s leading pharmaceutical giant Apotex, which they claim had been denied them when Empire Labs was acquired and then sold by their father’s protégé and their cousin – and a brilliant young academic scholar and ultimately successful billionaire – Barry Sherman.

They have made this legal claim despite a condition in the over 50-year-old provision that to get such a chance each must be capable of being “a responsible employee” of the company – a condition their past troubled lives have been in sharp contrast to.

Will the Supreme Court of Canada even be willing to hear them?

(To be continued in Next Part)

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A first year of blogging in 2009 – penning on the tenth anniversary of my first blog article (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1)

Ten years ago today, on February 20, 2009, I began posting my second blog article, which consisted of a series of posts written through the course of 2009, focusing on Canadian politics and entitled, “The myth of political vendetta in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Airbus Affair investigation, the politics of Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien, and some social undercurrents in Canada”.

It was a long title that was not self-evident. Nonetheless, one can ponder about key words like: Airbus Affair, Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s investigation, myth of political vendetta in the investigation, politics of Brian Mulroney and of Jean Chretien, and Canadian social undercurrents.

In writing the posts, I first focused on the title’s first part, namely the “Airbus Affair”, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s investigation relating to it, and the “myth of political vendetta” in the police investigation.

I began by reviewing the current state of matters in early 2009:

“The long awaited, long-overdue Canadian government inquiry into the Airbus Affair involving former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber, and millions of dollars in commissions rumored to have included kickbacks to Mr. Mulroney personally from a 1988 sale of European Airbus planes to Air Canada – a hot topic of Canadian federal politics for well over a decade, 1, 2 – is finally getting started at the end of this March 2009. How exciting it is for the Canadian political scene.

Or is it?”