Former Groupaction vice president Jean Lambert, one of the original whistleblowers in the sponsorship scandal, will be running for the Conservatives in a bid to become member of parliament for the Eastern Townships riding of Shefford.
Lambert, 49, is the second sponsorship scandal whistleblower to become a candidate for the Tories. Allan Cutler, the civil servant who blew the whistle on questionable practices within the civil service concerning the sponsorship program, is also running for the Conservatives in the riding of Ottawa South.
Years ago, when he served as vice-president of Groupaction, Lambert realized that there were serious problems with the way the sponsorship program was being administered. He resigned from the company in January 2001 and began working with RCMP investigators long before the scandal hit the headlines. Later, he testified before the Gomery Commission.
Have we ever seen a federal corruption scandal before in Canada that has led one otherwise apolitical whistleblower into running for the opposition party, let alone two?
Have we ever seen an election in which almost all the Ottawa-area ridings were in play, for that matter? Enough civil servants might have heard about and seen enough unwarranted political interference in their affairs to decide that they have get the Liberals off their backs, whatever they may think of the alternatives personally.
Seats like Ottawa South, Ottawa-Orleans, Hull-Aylmer and Gatineau used to be safe as houses for the Grits. All four might be in Conservative and Bloc hands, if upward trends continue.
When the civil service revolts, no government is safe.