The Current

Liberal sponsorship scandal trial recalls perception of party entitlement

More than a decade after details of the federal sponsorship scandal outraged a nation, the trial of a key player and close Chretien ally has begun. The Current looks at how the scandal's legacy has shaped the direction of today's governing Liberal party.
Jacques Corriveau, a former federal Liberal organizer, has been identified as a key player in the sponsorship scandal. Corriveau, 83, was charged in 2013 with fraud, counterfeiting documents, money laundering. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Read story transcript

A central figure in the federal sponsorship scandal, Jacques Corriveau goes on trial for his involvement in the scandal.

The Quebec businessman, Liberal organizer, and close personal friend of former Prime Minister Jean Chretien faces charges of fraud, counterfeiting documents, and laundering proceeds.

The Gomery report detailed the existence of an "elaborate kickback scheme" masterminded by Jacques Corriveau, a close friend to Jean Chrétien, to funnel money to the Liberal party's Montreal headquarters. (Canadian Press/CBC)

The trial comes at a peculiar time for the Liberals — they only recently returned to power under Justin Trudeau after being banished to the political wilderness for nearly a decade by Canadian voters — thanks in large part to the sponsorship scandal.

The Current looks into the legacy of the sponsorship scandal, it's impact on Canadian politics, and how it continues to shape perceptions of the Liberal Party.


  • Daniel LeBlanc, parliamentary correspondent for the Globe and Mail.
  • Chantal Hébert, political columnist with the Toronto Star, and member of The National's At Issue panel.

This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson and Shannon Higgins.