Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Businessman contradicts Mulroney testimony

This is from the Star.

It is hard to see what if anything Mulroney actually did for Bear Head industries! It is also rather strange that a senior executive had no idea Mulroney was lobbying for the firm. Mulroney and Schreiber seem to be natural collaborators and two of a kind but Mulroney ends up retired and well off while Schreiber tries his best to keep out of jail.

Businessman contradicts Mulroney testimony - Canada - Businessman contradicts Mulroney testimony
April 21, 2009 Richard J. BrennanOTTAWA BUREAU
OTTAWA — A former senior executive of Bear Head Industries says he had no idea former prime minister Brian Mulroney was working for the company promoting its proposal to build light-armoured vehicles in Canada in the early 1990s.
Greg Alford, then vice-president of Bear Head's corporate affairs, was testifying today before a public hearing probing Mulroney's business dealing with German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber and the $300,000 in cash Mulroney received for unsuccessfully lobbying for Bear Head.
"No," said Alford when asked whether he knew whether the former Progressive Conservative PM was working in any capacity for Bear Head beginning the summer of 1993.
The inquiry, headed by Justice Jeffrey Oliphant, has heard from Schreiber that he first approached Mulroney on June 23, 1993 when he was still prime minister to work for Bear Head Industries and the following August paid Mulroney, when he had left office,the first of three instalments of $100,000 in cash.
Mulroney insists he was only given $225,000 in three very private meetings with Schreiber where Mulroney was given envelopes stuffed with cash.
Alford also contradicted earlier evidence by Mulroney before a parliamentary committee that his job was to lobby internationally for Bear Head, not domestically.
Alford said Bear Head's German-based parent Thyssen AG handled international marketing for the German-designed armoured vehicles.
Meanwhile, the inquiry heard the Bear Head proposal was still very much alive in September 1994, despite the federal government's on again off again interest in the project, and contrary to earlier evidencethe projectwas dead in the water in 1991.
"This meeting actually was quite positive," Alford said with respect to a meeting he had with government departments.
Bear Head tried a couple of approaches, first to build a plant in Nova Scotia to make the military vehicles for the Canadian armed forces,but when that fell through it proposed building a plant in east end Montreal to build a new light-armoured vehicle for export.
In the end, Thyssen pulled the plug on the project after the federal government chose instead to give the sole-source contract to General Motor's diesel division in Ontario, to build light-armoured vehicles.

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