A couple of years ago, I apologized to Warren Kinsella on this blog for something I wrote about the "Sponsorship Scandal". At the time, my wife was heading into law school, I was in grad school, and we really had neither the time nor the money to fight the long lawsuit Kinsella had initiated in response to a post I had written about him and sponsorship.
I believed the Sponsorship Scandal was a political enterprise involving Jean Chretien, his chief of staff Jean Pelletier, public works minister David Dingwall and Dingwall's very political chief of staff, Warren Kinsella. I believed the ad agencies and the bureaucrats involved at Public Works were acting on behalf of their political masters.
I even believed that after I made the apology.
Now, our little family would be quite able to fend off any lawsuits. I'm on the faculty of a great university and my wife will soon be articling as a corporate litigator at Gowlings, Canada's biggest law firm.
So what I am saying is, to coin a phrase, straight from the heart:
Now I know I was wrong. I am honestly sorry.
Coverage of the Sponsorship Scandal ruined my faith in Prime Minister Chretien, who I first met just after the 1984 leadership race and who, up to that point, I had admired. I believed he had been mean with his golf ball stunt, but, in light of today's ruling by the Federal Court, I can see how he (and I) would be enraged at being called "small town cheap" by a biased judge.
I'd like to know the real story of the sponsorship scandal -- who was behind it, where the money went, why some big ad firms got a lot of money for very little work.
Maybe Warren can tell me over that beer I owe him.