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Book Review

Gomery’s Blinders and Canadian Federalism

Gomery’s Blinders and Canadian Federalism

by Ruth Hubbard and Gilles Paquet

In 2004, Paul Martin asked Justice John Gomery to lead a public inquiry into potential misspending in the federal Sponsorship Program–a relatively small investment of taxpayers’ money to try to convince Quebeckers of the benefits of Canadian federalism in the aftermath of the 1995 referendum on Quebec separation.

The inquiry’s initial phase grabbed national attention with its testimony of envelopes stuffed with cash left on restaurant tables, bills paid with little evidence of work done, money spent possibly by a political party.

It also drew attention to the discontent emerging from the growing mismatch between Canada’s current centralized federal system and the decentralized institutional order sought by Quebeckers and other Canadians from different regions across the land.

The Gomery inquiry chose to focus exclusively on the sordid details of the dirty tricks of money laundering and to pay no attention to the deeper causes and sources of the problem: the dysfunctions of an existing centralized governing apparatus that is tearing the fabric of the country apart, and the collusion of centralizing groups to defend the status quo.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The $100 Million Mirage
  • The Fabric of Society
  • The quail Enigma
  • Gomery I: Flawed from the Beginning
  • GomeryII: Fear of Blurring and Lack of Temperantia
  • What Justice Gomery Failed to See
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Index

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