Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Is David Lloyd Johnston REALLY an "Independent, Impartial Third Party"?

Nation, I'm not one to see conspiracy theories around every corner. And yet, at the risk of throwing a wet blanket on the celebratory mood of the media that they finally have their "Independent, Impartial Third Party" named for the three-ring circus that is sure to come, something smells at least a LITTLE bit fishy.

David Lloyd Johnston was the Principal at McGill between 1979 and 1994.

The Honourable Alan B. Gold was Chair of the Board of Governors at McGill from 1978 to 1982. So, for 3 years, he was Johnston's boss.

Everyone with me so far?

The Honourable Alan B. Gold negotiated the settlement between the Government of Canada and the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney.

So, let's review: The guy who negotiated the settlement of Mulroney's libel lawsuit against the Chretien Government was the boss of, and presumably stayed in touch with, the guy who is making the recommendation about the scope of and need for a full inquiry into the affair.

Gee, do you think in the 12 years between the initial settlement and Alan Gold's death, the case ever came up over dinner?

Could be nothing... could be everything. The reality of conflict isn't at issue. In cases such as this, it is the PERCEPTION of impropriety or conflict that is the problem.

Sorry to say - and apparently I'm the first - but something about this stinks.

- E.S.


Grenwolde said...

go for the could be nothing side. I know David Johnson personally and professionally. There is nothing in this man's make up or character that would allow him to write someone else's recommendations or cover anything up -- David will do what he feels is best. And he will do a damn good job. Sorry some personal bias there.

ken said...

As you say the relationship may simply be nothing ie. coincidental. However there are other relationships including the fact that Mulroney appointed Johnston head of a group studying the environment that reported to him when he was prime minister.
As you also say Johnston must not only be impartial but seen to be impartial. Harper should have picked someone else. Perhaps the Canadian elite is so close knit it is impossible to do this!

Enlightened Savage said...

One for, one against. So far, so good. :)

Got a follow-up tip from down the rabbit's hole - apparently, Dr. Johnston's decision-making has come under fire in the past for not fully consulting the required parties before rendering a decision.