Friday, November 18, 2005

Paul Martin's Adscam Patch Starts Peeling

We all know the Opposition's biggest stick on the Martin government is the sponsorship scandal. And we've all heard Martin's response: that he's taken all the steps that were necessary to patch up the Liberal Party's reputation, including the firing of senior officials involved.

Unfortunately for Paul Martin, the patch is starting to unravel. One of the people he fired, VIA Rail president Jean Pelletier, has gotten the Federal Court to give him his job back, on the grounds that he was wrongfully dismissed:

Justice Simon Noel said Pelletier - a Jean Chretien loyalist who was fired in connection with the sponsorship scandal - deserved to know why has was dismissed and should have been given a chance to respond.

The judge set aside the firing order and referred the whole matter back to the federal cabinet.

Which means that Mr. Pelletier, a Chr├ętien adherent, is back on the federal payroll. With appropriate back pay and in anticipation of a pension. Entitled to his entitlements, you might say.

This decision reminds us all that Paul Martin can't even fire people properly. We all knew that when he tried to expel people "for life" from the federal Libranos, in the wake of Gomery. He tried to look like a prompt and decisive statesmen, and in this case wound up with a example of -- shall we say? -- premature ejection.

Paul Martin, in spite of his good intentions, is the wrong person to clean up this Adscam mess. He's not going to make this mess go away -- at least not while he's in office.