OTTAWA - (Web posted April 10, 2002 @ 5:15
- Randy White says if Finance Minister Paul Martin refuses to answer Opposition
questions about the financing of his unofficial Liberal leadership bid, perhaps
his potential challengers will have more luck getting a response.
The issue of leadership campaign financing
began following the minister last month when it was revealed Calgary lawyer Jim
Palmer collected money for Martin, while at the same time working for the
Department of Finance.
"Here's the Finance Minister hiring
somebody on contract for the Finance Department and using him as a fund-raiser
for his own personal campaign to get elected as leader, or as prime minister in
fact," said White, member of Parliament for the British Columbia riding of
to think that's wrong. That's why I brought it up in the first place."
subsequently resigned from both jobs.
Wednesday's Question Period, the Canadian Alliance MP asked Martin to table a
list of his financial backers.
the Finance Minister doesn't want accusations of improper use of taxpayer's
money hanging around," White said.
has repeatedly defended Palmer and said the matter has been dealt with by
Ottawa's Ethics Counsellor Howard Wilson, who was quoted in several media
outlets that the situation "came about in all innocence."
the House of Commons, White said accusations that Martin used public money to
help raise money for this own leadership campaign will not vanish.
(The Liberals) are going to get challenged on this, in any event, through the
leadership campaign. The other candidates are sitting there saying: Uh oh, maybe
I got a problem too," said White, who claims to have received feedback
about his questions from a Grit who is considering mounting a Liberal leadership
bid of their own.
assure you one of the potential candidates indicated to me that it was a very
good question I was asking. I don't want to say which one...but he thought it
was a darn good question."