"I believe that I acted with honesty and integrity, and the evidence is there: Follow the money and see where it went. It definitely didn't come into my pocket," Mr. Gagliano said in an interview.
He was one of 10 people who were banned for life yesterday from holding memberships in the Liberal Party. But he is so sure that his former constituents will continue to see him as a man of integrity that he may run as an Independent in the next federal election.
"In a democracy, the people are always right. I should ask my electors, who supported me for so many years, what they think," Mr. Gagliano said.
He said he will review the Gomery report with his lawyer and may challenge the findings in Federal Court, although he said the state of his finances might stop him.
"Unfortunately, justice today is for the rich and not the poor, and despite what everybody's been saying for the past three years, I'm not a rich person," he said. "If it wasn't for my MP's pension, I would be in the streets today."
Gagliano's chutzpah speaks for itself. Millions of dollars stolen at his command, yet too poor to seek vindication in court! But not so poor that he can't fight an election!
If Gagliano runs as an independent, he probably won't win, but he just might take away enough votes from the Liberals to allow the Bloc to squeak through in his old riding.
His last act as a politician would be to cement the stranglehold on Quebec by the Bloc and friends that the sponsorship program he oversaw was intended to break.
How fitting that he should be the Liberal Party's executioner.
Source: Globe and Mail