MONTREAL MIRROR: “MEDIA IGNORES BRIANGATE”
August 26, 1993
Shelley Ann Clark can’t get anyone in the media to listen to her story of document-altering in the Canada-U.S. free trade negotiations. Clark claims her boss, top trade negotiator Germain Denis, committed fraud to conceal what Canada gave away in the talks with the Americans.
Only one media outlet, Ottawa TV station CJOH, DID A STORY AFTER Clark went public with her story on May 26, 1993. CJOH aired a three-minute interview with Clark on June 3. Ottawa Citizen columnist Greg Watson said he heard about Clark’s allegations in mid-summer, but didn’t have the time to look into them. “I felt it was the sort of thing that would take a month to investigate,” he said. “I just couldn’t take out that kind of time”.
Weston passed on the file to Citizen reporter Mark Kennedy, who told the Mirror Monday, he also didn’t have enough time to look into the case. “I’m not working on it currently,” he said. “It’s a very difficult matter to verify, I suspect.” But when asked if he had at least tried, Kennedy responded “Nope”.
Stevie Cameron, whose former Globe and Mail “Influence” column often probed government corruption, has known about Clark’s allegations for two months but also has not written anything “I didn’t have enough to go on, “she told the Mirror. “I think it’s really interesting but I’d like to get more documentation.” Both Clark and her lawyer, Harold Fund, said this week Cameron had yet to interview them about the case or seek any documentation.
NDP trade critic Dave Barrett said Clark’s story deserves public attention. “These are serious allegations,” he said, adding that he had not heard about Clark’s allegations before the Mirror called. Barrett said free-trade opponents have long claimed federal officials were not above-board about what was given away in the trade talks. “The whole business of the trade negotiations – who was pulling the strings in all this –all of these things are a mystery.”