Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Similkameen Spotlight week of July  4, 2005)

Librano Hit List

  By John Martin

The fraud, money laundering, kickbacks, bribes and extortion we’ve seen on behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada have rendered the federal government indistinguishable from organized crime.  Numerous analysts have noted that the natural governing party clearly meets the definition of a criminal organization based on the new organized crime legislation; ironically, written by the government itself.  If this was America, the central figures in the sponsorship scandal would be prosecuted under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) and surely go to prison.

During the Gomery Inquiry we heard of one person being warned he’d get his jaw broken if he didn’t funnel cash back to the party.  A second sought police protection; fearing his life was in danger from another party operative.  Envelopes full of hundred dollar bills discreetly changed hands in Italian restaurants.  Where’s Elliot Ness when you need him?

We also know the government broke its own rules to maintain a supply of young sex trade workers from Eastern Europe to nightclubs owned and operated by organized crime.  Meetings were held with officials in strip clubs.  One Quebec Liberal heavyweight’s car was destroyed by a bomb.

As the saying goes, “it just doesn’t end”.  Well, what if it hasn’t ended yet?  Supposing the worst is still to come?

Other than drug running and playing cards, there’s really only one activity we typically associate with organized crime that the Liberals have yet to be accused of.

No one’s been whacked yet.

Even though the Liberals are probably more “Trailer Park Boys” than “Sopranos”, this is not totally facetious or out of the question.  It happens.  Politically ordered assassinations are not abnormal in Mexico and India; two of the largest democracies in the world.  Governments throughout Central and South America have long used death squads to eliminate those they consider their political enemies. In Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere, governments routinely rely on assassins to silence critics and enemies.

We may not be a third world country (yet), but have we seen anything to date that suggests there’s a limit to how far certain people associated with the Liberals would go?  The truth is, a lot of people have been killed for a lot less than the several hundred million dollars stolen in the sponsorship scandal.

All right; it sounds nuts.  But let’s toy with this for a moment.  If the Liberals had a hit list – who would be on it?

Stephen Harper and the conservatives are all pretty safe.  Their bumbling and miscues continually allow the Liberals breathing room and time to regroup.  Rather than bump him off, I suspect many loyal Liberals would consider it an honor to take a bullet for Harper. 

Chances are, they’d probably prefer to see Gilles Duceppe rubbed out.  But Liberal prospects are already finished in the province of Quebec and a drive-by on the leader of the Bloc would probably just make things worse for them.

Organized crime has often ordered hits on journalists who cause them too much grief.  It wasn’t too long ago a Montreal journalist was shot numerous times for writing a number of pieces on outlaw motorcycle gangs.  But given most of the influential media in this country are solidly on side with the government, who would they go after?

With the CBC and Globe and Mail at their beck and call, there’s little reason to risk the wrath of the press by mowing down a few scribes.  Although, that’s not to say the idea is totally without merit.

Who else is there?

Countless judges have been executed in retaliation or as an exercise in intimidation by gangsters.  But it’s a long shot.  Clipping Judge Gomery would be disastrous for the Liberals so he’s unlikely to meet up with an unfortunate “accident”.

The Auditor General is the one who originally created all these problems for the Libs but if she was going to be taken out it would have happened a long time ago.  It’s also possible even that “parallel group” of rogue Liberals would draw the line at whacking a woman.  Then again, maybe not.

More likely, a couple of the witnesses before the inquiry; especially Jean Brault, would be targeted.  Until Brault, all previous witnesses lied through their teeth, pretended they couldn’t remember anything or faked amnesia.  Brault opened his mouth and rocked the boat.  Organized crime has no time for rats and anyone who sang like a canary at the inquiry has potentially cost a lot of people a lot of money.  It could well be curtains for the squealers.

Family feuds among criminal organizations have also been the source of many a body bag.  The war between the Chrétien and Martin families is as ugly as any rivalry we’ve seen in this country.  People have been threatened and careers ruined.  If it gets any messier there’s no telling what might happen.  Hopefully someone can broker a truce between the two gangs or the lawn on Parliament Hill might look like the wall of the S.M.C. Cartage Company garage in North Chicago, February 14, 1929.

Of course, this is all a little over the top.  Okay, it’s way over the top.

Still, FBI documents do identify one former cabinet minister and Chrétien confidante as a made man in the mafia.    

And goodfellas whack their enemies – plain and simple. 

John Martin is a Criminologist at the University College of the Fraser Valley and can be contacted at

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