Paging Joe Comartin…

In justice news

Ex-Liberal official guilty of fraud not going to jail

MONTREAL — Benoit Corbeil, a former top federal Liberal party official, won’t be going to jail after all.

Corbeil who pleaded guilty to influence peddling and fraud charges had his 15 month jail sentence reduced to 12 months served in the community by the Quebec Court of Appeal in a ruling issued on Wednesday.

In upholding his appeal on the fraud charge, but upholding his conviction on the corruption charge, the court also absolved him of the order to repay $117,000 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Did you really expect anything different?

Now, will we see opposition MPs call the Minister of Justice to the mat to explain how this judicial outcome could have occurred?

Explain Rahim Jaffer sentence, ministers told

Joe Comartin doesn’t believe Rahim Jaffer received favourable treatment for his driving conviction but he wants the federal and Ontario governments to tell Canadians that.

Mr. Comartin, the NDP justice critic and former long-time trial lawyer, believes there is a risk that the Jaffer case will shake the integrity of the judicial system.

It seems that we need tougher sentencing guidelines for committing fraud while Liberal. The Crown could not proceed on the heftier charges in the Jaffer case because he was not searched in compliance with his Charter rights. However, Corbeil was convicted.

On MPs and lobbying – where does it end?

Found on another website:

Mr. Jaffer’s valuable contributions to our clients include acting for foreign and offshore organizations in obtaining operating licenses, securing regulatory and governmental approvals for mergers and acquisitions, reviewing policies and conduct of Canadian Security Intelligence Services, advising government bodies on international issues regarding cross border tax collection, antidumping issues, and lobbying government on policy issues as well as facilitating inter-governmental relationships.

Oops, I’m sorry. The paragraph above erroneously cited the name of Rahim Jaffer. The excerpt above is not about the former MP who is the subject of a probe into website fibbery (and some alleged “puffery”) by the House of Commons ethics committee, but was rather in reference to a sitting Member of Parliament. I regret the deliberate yet illustrative error.

Now, of course, Lee has has probably not anything wrong here but I find it odd that a paragraph on a website puffing up an individual and what they can do for clients has caused so much controversy, with respect to Rahim Jaffer. Jaffer’s website seemed to claim that he could influence public policy decisions through his contacts. If Jaffer was indeed lobbying, he should have registered.

On the other hand, Lee is not a lobbyist but we have a firm boasting to their clients that a Member of Parliament is “lobbying government on policy issues” thus providing “valuable contributions to our clients”.

The language just doesn’t sit right. It’s quite a bit of puffery.