The decision will come into effect Friday, after lawyers for the men charged in the sponsorship case, Chuck Guite and Jean Brault, make another plea for the ban to remain in effect.
Gomery turned down a request by Guite’s lawyer to get a sneak peek at his report so he could ask for a publication ban on portions of it. Gomery’s first report is due Nov. 1.
This decision was long overdue. Canadians deserve to know the truth about the sponsorship scandal, and the media should be able to tell them.
Gomery said he came to his decision because the fraud trial for the two accused will not be held until May 2006, reducing any potential damage to their right to a fair trial.
The sponsorship scandal is one of the biggest political scandals in Canadian history, but since last spring’s publication ban, there has been hardly any mention of it. In fact, the only media coverage it receives is when a new poll shows that it is no longer an important issue in the minds of Canadian voters.
With a fragile minority government currently in the House of Commons and an election in the foreseeable future, at least now we may learn more about the inquiry. Paul Martin promised to call an election within 30 days of the final report. It’s about time we know exactly what happened, and, more importantly, who was responsible or knew about it.
Gomery also said he was going to deny the request for a sneak peak at the report, saying a partial ban would destroy the integrity of the report. He seems to be taking the inquiry seriously, professionally, and in an unbiased manner. He has done a good job in a difficult situation.
This is a public inquiry with major implications and important peoples’ credibility on the line. Not allowing the media to report the inquiry’s findings would single-handedly reduce the report’s credibility. It may even spark more questions about scandals as people would wonder what they were not told.
To not allow all the information to be reported would set an ugly precedent. Now that the information is available, let’s hear it.