Notices of Meeting include information about the subject matter to be examined by the committee and date, time and place of the meeting, as well as a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear. The Evidence is the edited and revised transcript of what is said before a committee. The Minutes of Proceedings are the official record of the business conducted by the committee at a sitting.
This is an order of the committee, and I'd like to follow the order of the committee.
We have a witness before us. To the witness I will say that I know that you've brought in your legal counsel. Parliamentary privilege rules on the rights and duties of witnesses say:
Witnesses giving testimony who wish to be assisted by counsel must ask leave of the committee, although permission is seldom sought. Counsel is restricted to an advisory role and may not ask questions or reply on the witness' behalf.
I would like to seek the committee's permission for legal counsel to stay. Is the committee in agreement that we can let Mr. Groot stay?
Madam Chair, members of the committee, unaccustomed as I am to be present in front of a parliamentary committee, forgive me for taking a few moments to make a statement, and perhaps, through you, I may be offered a bit of latitude.
I've worked in the private security investigation industry for 20 years. I've worked with clients in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Central America. I've held investigative licences across Canada, with the exception of British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
I believe the reason I've been summoned here today before this committee is to offer insight into the media frenzy surrounding a former cabinet minister and current member of Parliament.
My role to many of you in this room may be confusing and misunderstood because of what I do. I believe I speak for all of my clients in the insurance industry, the banking sector, and government who choose to remain anonymous because they, like me, believe that neglect is the ally of many. It is because of neglect that investigators are retained. The job of investigators, if you will, is to dig into people's activities and statements. Your role too is to examine the issue before you.
The notion that neglect is an ally is a strong statement. It presupposes that, as normal everyday respectful citizens, we take what people say as the truth. In fact, one can make the absolute leap that what generally happens in this place is built upon that premise.
Most importantly, Madam Chair, neglect is not the purview of this place. It is all around us and in our everyday lives, and neglect as an ally is the reason clients seek my counsel and professional skills as an investigator in the first place.
When the facts I uncovered as an investigator regarding the proponents of this committee's mandate came to light, I sought the advice of friends who understood far better than I how things here in Ottawa work. I agreed to meet the client's wishes and contact individuals in public office, be they functionaries to politicians or politicians themselves. When I brought to light the issues that appeared to affect the government, I advised the government.
The reaction of the government, albeit a part of the mandate of this committee, has nothing to do with me. It appears, however, I am an unwilling participant in this little drama.
I'm here, Madam Chair, because your committee believes I can shed some light on this matter. I hope that my presence here can help clear up some of the misconceptions about this matter, and that I can move on as an investigator in my professional life.
Madam Chair, through you to the committee members, I humbly submit that this matter has been, and is, a tough issue to manage through for the individuals who are at the centre of it. Many people have made assumptions about the evidence and information I collected during the case, and many people have made assumptions about the investigation as a result of media spin. I appear before you today to speak to the facts and connect the dots, as I did with the clients and victims during the investigative process.
Many friends with whom I have spoken have felt there is far too much being made of this issue in the first place, when it appears to have effectively been dealt with by the Prime Minister.
I hope and trust my presence here today will serve to offer a perspective and close this chapter, and that we don't neglect those other important matters that we look to you to manage.
I really appreciate your being here today. As you said, this is about getting to the truth and speaking to the facts, so I'm glad you made that as a point in your opening statements, and we'll certainly get to that.
I just want to ask a couple of questions to begin. You had information that you felt was significant enough to bring to the attention of the Conservative lawyer Arthur Hamilton, I believe his name was. What information exactly did you bring to Mr. Hamilton's attention?
I think there's a little bit of a leap in that question. If I may, maybe I can go back to you with this.
The information that I had and the direction that I went with it was after consultation and receiving direction from the client. I didn't make the emails or the telephone calls on my own initiative. They were a result of the spiralling situation that seemed to appear on the morning of April 8. You can well imagine that a number of my clients woke up to the Toronto Star on Thursday, April 8, and pretty soon afterwards my BlackBerry became fairly active.
I sent out some emails at around 12:30 in the afternoon. I sent one to my member's assistant and I sent one to an executive in my riding association after I had received the direction from my client to disclose certain facts.
We're not going to squeeze that into eight minutes. I had an hour-long conversation with him on the phone. When I did return his call, it was 11 o'clock at night, and he had been trying to get hold of me for many hours.
There were a number of problems that had circulated throughout the day with respect to what was becoming.... Essentially, the client's issue was Mr. Gillani, and the story had become an issue of Mr. Jaffer and Ms. Guergis as a result of Mr. Donovan's investigation.
Mr. Hamilton asked me, “Is it possible that someone can produce a photograph or a record whereby the minister, her husband, and his business partner, who is awaiting trial on fraud-related materials--there is a warrant for his arrest for a handgun possession issue, and he has admitted to being involved in this escort agency--are dining together?”, and I said, “Yes, that evidence can be produced.”
That wasn't a photograph, to my knowledge. The question was on whether it could be done, and I told him where and when it could be located. I said, “All you have to do is go over to Sassafras and pull the security video.”
We had those types of discussions. “Is it possible that clients of mine met with Mr. Gillani and Mr. Jaffer, with the idea that they could open up government funds and grants?” I said, “Yes, I have clients who will say they met with them for that purpose.”
Those were the types of questions we had back and forth.
I understood from my client that the meeting he was brought to by Mr. Gillani and Mr. Jaffer was for the purpose of Mr. Jaffer's facilitating access to this green fund funding and special consideration by members of the government. That was his niche in the partnership.
I assume that's the contract they had that talked about finder's fees.
Were you aware of anything that Mr. Jaffer did do for your client, besides the offer of special access, privileged access, backroom access, or whatever word you want to use? Are you aware of anything that he actually did deliver for the client?
Can you also help me with a point of confusion? I understand that you had a meeting on or about August 7 at which Gillani claimed to have a connection to the Tory party, the Conservative Party, through Mr. Jaffer. The date that's been circulated was in early August.
It was a Wednesday night on King Street in Toronto. I believe it was August 5. I think most people are saying it was August 7 because they're looking at their credit card records, which show the transaction posted after midnight.
What exactly transpired at that meeting? Mr. Gillani has said that he didn't meet Mr. Jaffer until the end of August. I'm just trying to establish timelines here so that we can look at what Mr. Jaffer was offering to the clients.
We took a look at that situation, and of course we did a post-mortem as anybody else would do. Given Mr. Gillani's previous conduct, we feel that he was a scheduled introduction. He obviously took the leap to identify Mr. Jaffer as a current business partner.
Thank you, Madam Chair. Mr. Snowdy, thank you for being here.
Mr. Snowdy, Minister Guergis seems not to know the reasons why she has been expelled from cabinet and from the Conservative caucus. In the House, Prime Minister Harper refuses to reveal to us the reasons why he did it. He must have had reasons for doing so. Do you have any reasons to give us? What is your opinion on the dismissal on Helena Guergis? What do you think are the reasons why she was expelled from the Conservative caucus?
I did a background check with respect to some of his litigation and business dealings and found a string of hard litigations from Vancouver: his arrest for carrying an unlawful handgun, his interactions out there, the subsequent dissolvement of those corporations, as well as when he moved to Ontario. I know he gave you information about being in the business for some 20-odd years; however, none of his corporations survived more than two or three years. He rolls clients into those corporations, dissolves them when the litigation piles in, and then moves on to another corporation.
That was actually a key to discovering what we call the “cookie cutter” to his MO during this commercial crime spree.
It's my understanding that his lady friend also holds part-time employment through Cachet Ladies Escorts. Mr. Gillani conducted numerous business activities at a Toronto-area burlesque establishment that he frequently invited clients and business associates to attend with him. He was the host, I believe the proper term would be, of those social evenings. I refer back to the arresting officer's report when the search warrant was executed on him in November, when he was arrested on the current fraud charges that he stands before the courts on. At that time he was found in the company of one of the ladies from the escort agency as well.
I was not present at any type of social function of that nature. As I mentioned before, the only information I had with respect to that type of conduct was Mr. Gillani's implication of a social relationship with Mr. Jaffer and Ms. Guergis, which he made during the August meeting.
During the discussion of their business relationship with one of my client's investor principals, I pressured them to confront him over his misdeeds. It was then reported to me that one of them had indeed confronted him--
One of the principals of the client indicated that at my encouragement, he confronted Mr. Gillani about some of his misrepresentations and that he had sought out Mr. Gillani to discuss them. At such a time they had a few drinks to discuss the matter. When he became particularly concerned with his lack of business success, Mr. Gillani and an associate threatened him with photographs they alleged were of him in misconduct during a party at Club Paradise. He alleged Mr. Gillani had one of his associates stick a gun in his ribs.
All right. Mr. Gillani denied that he owned an escort agency called Cachet Ladies. Can you provide us with more information on that subject? I asked him the question and he simply denied that he had owned it.
Our investigation revealed that they are an escort agency operating in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Whistler. Mr. Gillani made the statement that he was an equity or a silent partner in the venture. That was his claim to business associates, etc.
The private investigators licensing act in Ontario, which regulates the work product of private investigators, holds that information confidential to the client and under the purview and review of the Ontario Provincial Police detachment assigned to scrutinize and maintain private investigators. As such, disclosure of any work product without the client's consent or through direction of the OPP is prohibited under the act.
I'm sure there's a format here to follow to accomplish the committee's interest. I know Mr. Groot's not permitted to respond, but he is an expert on the topic, if you want to address him.
Despite the provincial letter we're talking about here, there's no problem with the committee asking for the documents. The committee can send for records and they can even be summoned. They're protected, however, by parliamentary privilege, and as we know, they cannot be used in another place.
However, given the confidential nature of the documents Mr. Snowdy is referring to, the committee might want to consider a mechanism by which the confidential tabled documents could be protected by either looking at them in camera or by finding a way of looking at them so that some of the information is protected. It's for the committee to decide how they want to deal with the situation.
Mr. Snowdy, thank you for being with us today to assist us in broadening our study of the renewable energy projects financed by the government. Unlike by opposition colleagues, I'm going to focus my questions on the subject the committee agreed to examine today.
Mr. Snowdy, have you previously had any business dealings with Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Glémaud or with other individuals from the Green Power Generation Corporation?
Thank you very much, Mr. Snowdy. I believe it is clear, in light of the answers you've given me, that that my next questions will not likely be related to the study we have to conduct today in committee. I would like to share the rest of the time allotted to me with my colleague Patrick Brown.
That was one of the situations we grappled with on April 8. Mr. Gillani had made representations that he was represented legally by Mr. Alfred Apps at Fasken Martineau. I did some investigating and found out that indeed Mr. Apps did work for Mr. Gillani. In fact, Mr. Gillani had paid a retainer to Fasken Martineau with respect to litigating one of Mr. Gillani's previous victims into bankruptcy. The counterclaim to that action was a cookie cutter for Mr. Gillani's other fraudulent business activities. That case was transferred from Fasken Martineau to another Toronto law firm to litigate. I've actually tracked down the email in which Mr. Gillani discusses with counsel of the other firm the transfer of the retainer from Fasken to their firm.
Mr. Apps had been Mr. Gillani's counsel in that matter and in fact helped to construct one of the issues. One of the fears my client had was of being litigated by Mr. Gillani and Mr. Apps when they came forward, as he did bankrupt the other victim.
In that matter, that case is an Ontario Superior Court case, 07-CV-329370PD3, and the counterclaim to that action from the defendants is, as I said, the cookie cutter for how these other frauds were committed. The email attached to the back of it in the affidavit refers back to the issue at Fasken, and I did call Fasken and spoke with a clerk with respect to identifying their case file representing Mr. Gillani.
The issue my client dealt with on the day was that as things spiralled out of control here in Ottawa and Mr. Ignatieff was calling on the Prime Minister for information on Ms. Guergis.... I mean, eight days before, he was calling for the woman's head on a platter, and now he was taking certain conduct.... My clients were getting more and more nervous, knowing full well that Mr. Apps was the getaway driver for Mr. Gillani in a previous encounter.
I did research this morning, and apparently this court file is missing from the Toronto courthouse, but, luckily enough, I have a copy of it.
It would be interesting to have a copy for the committee.
We speak about the getaway driver for Mr. Gillani. Mr. Apps, once again, is the president of the Liberal Party of Canada. Is there anything else that you'd like to add to this relationship that you found in your investigations? Is this a relationship that only ended once this became a national issue?
As far as I understood, Mr. Apps was trying to distance himself from Mr. Gillani for a while, but he was in full knowledge of Mr. Gillani's business activities. I understand that Mr. Gillani even sent out an email as recently as a month or two ago that indicated Mr. Apps had referred business to him. I believe that was in March of this year.
I don't know when it was transferred to that firm. I believe their file number should go by the court file number for the Superior Court with the respect to the dates, but I can tell you that they severed, or attempted to sever, the relationship with him on May 28, 2008. This case was in Mr. Gillani's previous incarnation, before ISI Investments, which was created synonymously with ISI Funds. ISI Funds is a very reputable financial institution, but he structured the name similarly.
This financing company or venture capital firm that Mr. Gillani was operating at that time was known as Otnorot Holdings, which is just “Toronto” spelled backwards. It wasn't very creative.
We understand from the media reports that when there was this information you found, you also contacted the Liberal Party. Was one of the motivations for contacting the Liberal Party the relationship with Mr. Apps and Mr. Gillani?
I had no personal motivation to contact the Liberal Party. What's lost in translation here is that I phoned a direct number that was not exactly the number listed in the phone book. I was given that number directly by a friend, associate, and client named Mark Kealey, who is a prominent Liberal fundraiser and active Liberal. I consulted with him throughout the day, as he had previously been CEO of a company that had been defrauded by Mr. Gillani.
As we watched the circus going on up here, bluntly put, we all felt it was spiralling out of control, and he said, “You've got to let these guys know what we know to slow this down.”
Mr. Snowdy, when you were undercover and meeting with Mr. Gillani, he led you to believe that he could set up or had set up bank accounts in Belize to use as shell corporations, or whatever people use offshore bank accounts for. In an interview with the CBC, you said that you actually picked out a name of a shell company in Belize. He said that it was already held by Mr. Jaffer and that he would put you in touch with Mr. Jaffer and you could talk about that.
Do you remember the name of the company on the list that he said was actually being held for Mr. Jaffer?
I actually know a bit about these types of transactions. Part of my investigative field is these types of transactions and financing. What I said to him was that I'd take the top three oldest incorporations.
Now, if I were interested in conducting offshore activities that way, the reason I would want the three oldest commercial companies is that once they're past the incorporation date by a year, under some Central American banking agreements they qualify for commercial credit. If you were going to wash money through--deposit stock, sell it, and deposit the cash into an account--what you would do then is get a corporate credit card, say a Visa or MasterCard, and you would just spend money paid into that account, rather than try to take cash out through an ATM machine, which is what Mr. Gillani was suggesting: creating ATM machines in Central American banks, and people would draw it out here at white-label machines.
The other thing is that in August 2009, you were working for HD Retail Solutions Inc. They were getting angry or restless because the venture capital they were promised wasn't coming through. You said that a figure of about $5 million was what Gillani led them to believe they could get in terms of a loan from the green infrastructure fund. That money didn't seem to be forthcoming.
Had they paid for this money? Did they put some money up so that Mr. Gillani could get them this money from the green infrastructure fund?
They had paid him a venture capitalist fee. A consulting fee is probably the better phrase that most people would recognize, but there were numerous levels to how this scheme was to play out. Some were commissions on grants. Some was paying for loans. Some was selling these offshore corporations to nominee account holders.
The only part of it that really is relevant to us is whether this honest company you represented was led to believe that Gillani, through Jaffer, could get access to the green infrastructure loan money.
Their business model is to assist companies in renovating and in marketable storefronts, and so on, and changing those programs. The president of HD reported back to me that at the meeting at La Castile he was coached by Mr. Gillani and Mr. Jaffer to present green initiatives for the company in front of Mr. Glémaud and the others.
I'll give you an example. One idea would be that they would rewrite their business model to suggest that they would replace incandescent lighting with compact fluorescent bulbs. The other example was that they would streamline the delivery of inventory management systems using hybrid vehicles and recycled tires. Basically, it was to spin their business model--
I'm interested in knowing a little bit more about the cellphone pictures. I believe you said in an interview that when Gillani said Mr. Jaffer would be taking a substantial portion of one of these public ventures, you asked him, “How are you going to control him?”
Two weeks later, we took it at that. I originally thought he was going to call him. They're social; maybe they were going to party. It wasn't until I knew about the cellphone photos that were used to intimidate and blackmail the other principal that it became clear: okay, it's the cellphone, the camera. Then we found out a couple of days later that indeed he had been using the cellphone to photograph people regularly--and not just that particular individual--at Club Paradise while they received lap dances and other backroom favours, so there was a—
Perhaps it was for the same reason that we had some concern. The concern here is optics. Bluntly put, sir, on March 31 the leader of your party and the leader of the Liberal Party were calling for this woman's head on a platter, and had been doing so quite regularly.
Now, as the story broke.... I think it's very important here to understand that I was contacted by the Toronto Star, which was already working a story with respect to this. I consulted with the clients, and they allowed me to speak on certain topics. I had spoken to the Star at the beginning of March. When that story came out on April 8, weeks later, I was already scheduled to leave on a business trip on Sunday morning. The first calls I got were saying, “We didn't want to talk about this.” I said, “Well, I have news for you: I didn't. This is Mr. Donovan's investigation. He's done a hell of a job. He has own sources--”
In the bit of time that I have, your primary client, then, was a Mr. Dennis Garces at HD Retail, and that's really why you went undercover: to try to find out more about Mr. Gillani, because Gillani wasn't coming through with promises he made to HD Retail.
The initial proposition Mr. Gillani made did not fit with traditional venture capitalist presentations. Having previously been involved in investigating these types of schemes in other cases, I was well aware there was a dark side to this and that it was not on the up and up.
Other than speaking with Arthur Hamilton a few times, I have not spoken to any Conservative member of Parliament or any.... Sorry, I did speak with my riding executive, exchanging some cursory pleasantries, but the only person I've spoken to is Arthur Hamilton.
In the first phone conversation on the Thursday evening, April 8, I actually spent an hour just detailing with him the extent of Gillani's background. I will tell you exactly what I said to him. I said, “Among these crazy and outlandish claims he makes while soliciting business for his plans and schemes”—
The problem was that some of the most outlandish things he said were coming true. He would hit the craziest ones out of the park as being factual. He would say, “I'm doing business with Mr. Jaffer, and he's a partner.” Well, what do we know? We know that he did do business with Mr. Jaffer, or he was in a relationship.
He sent out a text message to someone on the night of September 12 saying, “I'm out to dinner with Rahim and his wife, the minister.” We went and checked, and sure enough, he was out with her. He'd indicated that he had connections to members of organized crime from the west coast; we made some inquiries and found out that he did attend a party in the company of some known members of organized crime out west.
Mr. Jaffer is Mr. Gillani's business partner. They are in a business relationship. This comes back to Mr. Martin's question: this is an issue of optics. When the Minister for Status of Women is dining in a restaurant with a man awaiting trial on serious crimes and with a history of serious criminal activity, and the man is with an escort and is a business partner of Mr. Jaffer, given the recent attention she had received, you tell me how the Hill here would have responded to that photograph or that video showing up. You'd be back in it.
There were none related to Ms. Guergis, but I had serious concerns about the structure in which the deals were being negotiated with Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Gillani. They paid serious interest into schemes that I was familiar with.
During my career as an investigator, I've worked on some pump-and-dump and market manipulation scheme investigations, both with lawyers and with individual clients. Those are mostly found in what's known as Project Ora, Project Ora II, and Project Elden, which are the RCMP code names for those projects.
Something that struck me from the interview you gave on April 28 was that you seemed to indicate you were aware that the Prime Minister was going to hold the press conference in which he was going to announce Minister Guergis's dismissal, if you wish, or resignation. How did you know about this beforehand?
On the morning of April 9, Arthur Hamilton phoned me and asked if I would come to his office to see him for a few minutes. I drove downtown; I went to see him. While I was sitting in his office, we spoke for about half an hour, at which point in time Mr. Hamilton said, “I've spoken about these issues with the Prime Minister. Obviously the minister has been under other scrutiny for the last 18 months with respect to her other conduct issues. When the Prime Minister leaves the Vimy memorial service today, he will be holding a press conference and announcing that he has accepted her resignation.” I thought this a strange fact. Recently everybody has been saying that he fired her, and in fact she resigned. I was told about 20 minutes before it happened.
Has he sought an injunction to prevent you from presenting the results of your research? He was categorical on the subject.
I was trying to understand. I asked him why had you made those revelations about him rather than taking an interest in me, for example. So he hasn't sought an injunction against you to prevent you from speaking.
I think Mr. Gillani has finally realized that while he was focused on me as an individual, he forgot that he presented this scheme in the company of others, and that attempting to restrict me in any way, shape, or form isn't going to do him a lot of good unless he enlists everyone else. When he presented the list of offshore companies, because we stepped aside while he did it to me, he forgot that he had done it 30 seconds earlier to a group of 10 people.
I think the other reason is that currently his lawyer, Mr. Michael J. Taylor, is serving his third suspension from the law society for failure to cooperate with an investigation. As far as I know, currently the only person he has representing him is a pet photographer.
As far as you know, how does Mr. Gillani earn his living? What does he do? With you, he seemed to say he was doing a lot of canvassing, that he was making contacts, without necessarily getting a lot of contracts. He seemed essentially to be canvassing. How do you think he earns his living?
I'm now going back to his relations with Rahim Jaffer, former Conservative member of Parliament and former President of the National Conservative Caucus. How could a man like Gillani be interested in doing business with Rahim Jaffer? What do you think was the benefit of doing business with Rahim Jaffer?
All successful con artists work a scheme of communication and confidence. From what I've seen of Mr. Gillani's conduct, this is a confidence game. In this case, Mr. Gillani earned the confidence of a family member who had access to Mr. Jaffer and arranged the introduction of the two of them. I believe he has made a reference to sharing a religious affiliation with Mr. Jaffer.
Yes, if I pursue the thought, earning Mr. Jaffer's confidence also meant securing the contacts that the latter could provide him, political contacts among the Conservatives that Mr. Jaffer could provide him.
Mr. Gillani does not deny that he sent an email on Friday, September 11. In that email, he said he had had quite an overwhelming experience the previous evening, during a dinner with Rahim Jaffer and Dr. Chen. He said that Mr. Jaffer had opened the door of the Prime Minister's Office to them.
What do you think does opening the door to the Prime Minister's office mean?
That email to me and to the clients was interpreted to mean that if they were doing business with Mr. Gillani and paying Mr. Gillani his fees, he would utilize his business relationship with Mr. Jaffer to find government grants and fundings for them to continue and finance their business.
I want to follow up on the first round of questioning.
Originally when this issue came to the forefront in the House of Commons, we saw Liberal MPs such as Wayne Easter saying ferociously that Helena Guergis should be kicked out of cabinet, and it couldn't have been a day too soon. All of a sudden that changed, and then it was, “How come you kicked Helena Guergis out of cabinet?” This makes me wonder why we've seen this change in the Liberal Party position. Maybe it has to do with the person that you described as the getaway driver for this serial fraudster, as you have described Mr. Gillani.
Could we start off by having you describe what you meant when you said “getaway driver” in reference to Alfred Apps, who, once again, is the president of the Liberal Party of Canada?
Obviously when you retain a lawyer to represent you and act in your interests, the lawyer becomes privy to your conduct and your matters.
In the case of Aerofoam Metals, Mr. Gillani holds them out as his client, and a successful client, when in fact they were not a client of ISI, but a client of his previous company, Otnorot Holdings. These people were looking to them to support their business, to finance them, to allow them to continue in the business. When they objected to Mr. Gillani's conduct--they were paying for moneys, and he was receiving moneys from investors, but never forwarding it on to them--and decided they'd try to walk away from Mr. Gillani, he used the legal process to put a claim against them, to burn up the remaining capital, and basically to force the company into an insolvent position.
The lawyer involved in getting that together obviously becomes aware of how his client conducts himself, and the counterclaim to that action lays out Mr. Gillani's egregious conduct in technicolor.
The person who uses the squeeze.... Mr. Apps is not an associate at a small firm. When Mr. Gillani embarks on dragging someone whose name is important into his business dealings, obviously there's a bit of fear and intimidation that comes with it. My interpretation of that is that this is somebody who had full knowledge of how Mr. Gillani conducts himself.
Mr. Gillani was very much the subject of that article in the Toronto Star on April 8, so when you have a....
I recently learned that as recently as March of this year, an email was sent from Gillani representing that potential clients had been referred to him by Mr. Apps. I understand that Mr. Apps has interpreted his meeting with Mr. Gillani in March a little differently, but again, prior to all of this hullabaloo, they were known to one another and in fact did have a previous relationship.
This sounds like a much closer relationship than what is typical between a lawyer and a client. I practised law before politics. I never got involved in recommending business to clients. It seems an unusual step.
Do you know when the relationship began between the president of the Liberal Party and Mr. Gillani?
I don't know. My only knowledge of Mr. Apps and Mr. Gillani is Mr. Gillani's telling the partnership at HD Retail that he was represented by Mr. Apps in his legal matters, and then confirming that they did have a relationship going further and to know that Mr. Apps had actually—
Did you go into details on exactly what your client's concerns were? You said that in the original meeting you were having a discussion in which he would put up a scenario and you'd agree with the scenario. Did that continue through four meetings?
No. Obviously, after the events started to unfold.... It's important to remember that I had some clients who thought I disclosed details of other investigations to the Toronto Star, when in fact the Toronto Star had done its own work.
Mr. Hamilton is a securities lawyer, so I was able to speak with him more specifically about the mechanics of the type of scheme Mr. Gillani was constructing and how he had compensated other silent partners, if you will, which would have included a compensation scheme for Mr. Jaffer.
So you did get to the compensation scheme for Mr. Jaffer. I read the review in the Toronto Star in which they talked about the promised $5 million. I have seen the emails that talk about how excited they all were about this.
I have a short period of time. As you know, when the Prime Minister stood in the House, he talked about having received information from a reliable source. Are you the reliable source?
We discussed some coincidences with respect to the case. As an example, of all the offshore banking havens around the world, why was Belize on this list? I mean, it was a strange country to have on a list.
I also have to table a statement, Madam Chair, from Fasken Martineau. It begins by saying:
Fasken Martineau, a leading international business law and litigation firm, made the following statement concerning comments made today before a House of Commons committee.
Mr. Brown was referring to it in his questioning.
In November 2006, Mr. Nazim Gillani of International Strategic Investments approached Fasken Martineau through one its partners, Alfred Apps, in connection with legal advice/services for International Strategic Investments.
Mr. Apps met with Mr. Gillani, received documents from Mr. Gillani and accepted a retainer cheque from Mr. Gillani...
Very shortly thereafter, Fasken Martineau declined to act on behalf of International Strategic Investments. Mr. Apps so advised Mr. Gillani and returned the retainer to Mr. Gillani.
Obviously we don't have Mr. Apps here today. We have Mr. Snowdy, but the question I'd ask Mr. Apps is about the statement that the relationship was discontinued shortly thereafter. They don't specify the length of time in that statement. We would certainly be interested at this committee as to how long that relationship continued.
I'm wondering, Mr. Snowdy, if you know when the relationship with that law firm.... Earlier you referred to some documents that relate to the relationship. Do you have any dates on those documents?
There are dates on the statement of claim, the counterclaim, and the affidavit from the lawyer acting for Teplitsky, Colson, who's now over at Blaney McMurtry.
The “07” obviously indicates that it is a 2007 court matter, and the email with respect to the application to be removed from the action, submitted as an item to support the affidavit of the applying counsel, was dated March 10, 2008.
I think that would be helpful. We all would be interested in those documents, because I think they may help establish the timeframe in which this cozy relationship continued.
Today we've covered a number of different things. Obviously, as you stated earlier, we've had a committee meeting that discussed many things, but we didn't get too much discussion as it related to renewable energy projects. You stated earlier that you had little or no information as it related to the green fund. I want to clarify that again. Do you have any information as it relates to funds being allocated to different projects from the green fund or things that are funded by the government for renewable energy projects?
Madam Chair, the motion that we originally had in this committee was related to those types of projects. We were very interested, as a committee, to ensure that taxpayer dollars weren't going to places that they shouldn't have gone. Clearly today we haven't moved forward in terms of that study. Certainly we appreciate the information that you've brought, Mr. Snowdy, but to be honest, it is of limited relevance to the study that we're currently undertaking. You've already stated in general terms that you have no information as it relates to renewable energy projects that are funded by the government either.
Madam Chair, I think we have some committee business that we would like to attend to in this committee. There are probably other people who would like to ask questions, so I will turn my time over to those members, and then I think we should get on with the committee business.
I would just comment, Madam Chair, that I think we are going down a slippery slope of devolving into a kangaroo court, and I certainly wouldn't want our committee to be viewed in that way. I want to have that on the record.
Mr. Snowdy, when I asked you how you thought Mr. Gillani earned his living, you answered in a direct manner. I ask you the same question concerning Mr. Jaffer. How do you think he made money? His association with Mr. Gillani was not a charitable or philanthropic organization. Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Gillani told us, when they testified, that they had not made a lot of money, but that they had done a lot of canvassing. How could Mr. Jaffer earn money?
It would be through Mr. Gillani's schemes and the way this system works and plays.
I believe it's you, sir, who has a very good source for some of this information. I think you asked Mr. Gillani about the Skias deal. It struck a note. Not many people knew about the Skias business deal, but let me use that as the example of how Mr. Jaffer would then be compensated in this scheme.
Am I correct, sir, that it was you who asked Mr. Gillani about the Skias business arrangement? No, I see that it was Mr. Martin.
Skias was supposed to be a 100-million-share shell deal from a U.S. company. It would then be rolled out to supposed investors in a pump-and-dump scheme at $1 a share, so it was a $100 million business venture. I'm sure we've all seen documents on these types of legal activities; they're copious, and Greenpeace has a fit over the number of trees that are cut for paper.
This is Mr. Gillani's business deal for the $100 million deal: it's one page long, it's four paragraphs, and it's how to obtain the shell corporation.
The shares in that shell corporation are then distributed to nominee account holders, the purpose of which is to avoid the regulations in the securities industry for disclosing more than 10% ownership. Mr. Gillani constructed this list of nominee shareholders by which people would receive shares in the company, and they included principals in the actual corporation. What Mr. Gillani forgot to do when he did this deal was to include himself as a person receiving shares, but all of his nominee shareholders, their children, and various holding companies, etc., are on this list.
This is how Mr. Jaffer would have made money. I think the reference that the Toronto Star reported on was Wright Tech. If we take Wright Tech as an example and say that they're rolled into a shell deal, what would then happen is that a corporation or an individual account at an investment firm or at an offshore bank would be established, and stock in that company would be deposited into those accounts and then sold into the public market during the promotion phase of the market manipulation activity. That's how Mr. Jaffer could be compensated. It would be in accordance with Mr. Gillani's previous schemes.
So that involves offshore bank accounts, which takes us to Belize. From what we've observed, at least three companies were reserved for him and his wife in Belize, which is a world-renowned tax haven. Is that correct?
I was informed by Mr. Gillani that accounts had been reserved for Mr. Jaffer and his wife. I think it's important for everyone to understand that Mr. Gillani never mentioned Ms. Guergis by name. He always referred to her as Mr. Jaffer's wife.
That was one of those serendipitous circumstances we stumbled upon when we made some inquiries as to why it was Belize, of all the offshore tax havens. It raised some questions in our investigative process. Why not Liechtenstein? Why not the Isle of Man? Why Belize, and not other well-known tax havens? Then we discovered that she had travelled to Belize in the company of Mr. Jaffer, and in that capacity she would have had access to commercial business individuals in that country.
It was either a wonderful coincidence, complicity, or a skilful manipulation on Mr. Gillani's part to pick that country.
Further about Belize, Mr. Snowdy, in your undercover role you chose the three companies that you expressed an interest in because they had been around for a longer period of time. You said that would have been the best choice because they were established for a year or longer.
Would that indicate to you that Rahim Jaffer would have set them up for a year or longer, or could he have put his name onto them at any time--for instance, during the trip to Belize?
As I recall, those companies had actually been incorporated a couple of months after his trip. When you work on this type of thing, you have to postulate some ideas and to theorize, and we thought, well, if you went there, could you have created a relationship, been introduced to people, and over the course of the next month or two opened an account, set up lawyers, and had access to it? Yes, that very much was a working consideration when examining Mr. Gillani's bona fides.
To the three names that I assumed in dealing with Mr. Gillani by telephone and in my meeting with him in person, he never spoke about Mr. Jaffer's direct relationships, saying only that he had the relationship with Mr. Jaffer and it implied all the benefits that the relationship would come with.
Your client paid Gillani a ven-cap fee, as you call it, in the hopes of getting a $5 million loan. Presumably it would be Jaffer's job to help deliver on that $5 million loan. Again speculating, what do you think would be Jaffer's share of the finder's fee that your client paid to Gillani?
Again, on the pump-and-dump thing, is there not a further element to this market manipulation? The initial offering goes out at a buck or whatever. Some of those principals could have been given a large block of shares at that entry-level fee of a buck a share. You then drive up the value of the shares by whatever means you can. At that point, could the original principals not sell out, and then you can short that stock and manipulate it back down again and buy back in later? Is that the rest of the modus operandi of Gillani?
If the corporation was eligible to be shorted, you could short it after you withdrew the market support, whether or not you are paying for that market support in terms of manipulating stockbrokers, promoters, etc. Yes, that's very much a possibility, and you can actually make a lot more money shorting it and covering your short or going long later. Cover the short, go long, and catch it on the double bounce.
That is even more sleazy, in my view. You are selling it to the people at the higher rate, and if you know full well you're going to manipulate that stock back down later, you're obviously lying to the people up here who are buying it at $10 a share.
It's about as dishonest as it gets, I suppose. Are you saying that's a standard practice that you see in these people who set about manipulating these companies, such as Gillani? Is that a practice they employ?
I'll just remind you that if you could remember any of the names of the three companies in Belize that you would have chosen if you were a real investor, or if you could get back to the committee with that, it would be of great interest.
You said one of the people you went to was Peter Donolo, and you believe the other one was Patricia Sorbara. You phoned their office and spoke to their assistant. You said, “I spoke with an assistant. I asked to be put through to either of them. She said they weren't available”, so you left your name, phone number, etc., and neither of them got back to you or were interested in what you had to offer to the Liberal Party.
I called them and identified myself. I identified who had given me the number and referred me to them. I told them I was acting on the direction of my client and identified the individual and provided them with my name and number. I told them that I was the investigator who was principal behind this case and that we could provide them with the proper information. This was done as a result of the day's follies.
Mr. Snowdy, I've just reviewed the documents you've given us. So that the committee is clear on what it is receiving, I would like to read it out. Because it's not bilingual, I'll have to read out what we have received.
We have an ISI deal memo signed by Nazim Gillani, but Israel Goldreich is not signed, with a schedule A with the identity of shareholders, and another ISI deal memo.
The second one I have is your timeline, the ISI-GPG timeline--
Okay, so it's August 20, 2009, and it ends April 13, 2010, with Rahim Jaffer and the trip.
Then there is an email from Nazim Gillani to Ian Harvey.
Then there is one from Nazim Gillani to Michael Mihelic, on January 25, 2010; Canada Revenue Agency, April 6, 2010; and one from Rahim Jaffer to Alexander Prince, dated March 30, 2010.
What you have done is given us the claim and counterclaim. I just want to clarify so the people here know that. It was between Otnorot Holdings and Nazim Gillani and Paul Colacci. It's a statement of claim, and the lawyers--
There were other documents that I had asked for in the beginning. I asked for any evidence that was put forward, anything that you have documentation on. I had asked earlier if you would bring that forward. We had a legal interpretation.
Perhaps Mr. Snowdy's client, because he's been forthcoming to Mr. Hamilton, might be forthcoming to this committee as well. I'd appreciate that information.
We relied on Mr. Gillani's statement to the clients that he was represented by Mr. Apps, and then we made contact to find out that his retainer to Mr. Apps was with respect to that file and that Mr. Apps had deferred the litigation to Teplitsky, Colson.
That was significant, because during the meeting when Mr. Gillani was trying to sell these offshore companies to individual nominees for HD Retail, he was saying that they should buy an offshore corporation from him for $7,500 U.S. First of all, I knew that it costs $3,000 to establish an offshore corporation, not $7,500, so I knew he was looking to pocket $4,500 per company from each of these individuals.
He then tried to take his scheme a step further and suggested to everyone at the meeting that locally those offshore corporations were administered by Teplitsky, Colson. Now, Teplitsky, Colson is a litigation firm with no business office. It made about as much sense to me as going to a neurosurgeon for a vasectomy; they weren't compatible, but Mr. Gillani didn't know that I had that knowledge.
It says the relationship started in November 2006. The statement that was shared with us by Ms. Coady suggests that it was only a brief relationship. There's no reference at all to their work on Otnorot Holdings.
Originally Teplitsky, Colson looked to get off the file because there was a payment issue. I had a hard time tracking down Mr. Gillani's support that Mr. Apps was indeed his counsel. I made a pretext call to Fasken Martineau to speak with the clerk, who indicated that Mr. Gillani's file was attached to Mr. Apps.
We further went through the email between Mr. Gillani to David Greenwood at Teplitsky, Colson, wherein he references the retainer coming from Fasken Martineau to Teplitsky, Colson, in order to pay them for the litigation procedure.
I have no opinion on Mr. Apps. He's a lawyer, and he does what his clients pay him to do. Whether or not Mr. Gillani paid him with money that he obtained fraudulently is one thing; whether or not he acted in good faith is up to him. I have no comment on how he conducts his business.
Thanks as well to my Conservative colleagues for giving me this opportunity.
I would simply like you to explain to us in two minutes what the procedure is for opening offshore bank accounts, such as those opened by Rahim Jaffer in Belize. Are signatures required, pieces of identification? If possible, do you have in your possession any documents that might enlighten the committee, signatures, for example?
How you open an account depends upon the jurisdiction where the account is established. Some countries regulate their bank accounts rather strictly because they are identified as potential narco-states by the United States government, so they, in conjunction with some of their financial institutions and their government, construct rules and regulations. Some of them include producing identification, providing copies of reference letters from known legal sources, etc.
Others won't allow a foreigner to actually open a corporation. What you end up doing is going through law firms that have established the corporations with local boards of directors and then you become what's known as the beneficial owner of that corporation by buying into a trust at the various law firms, so if you need to do it without ID, it can be done. If you need to do it with ID, it can be done. You just have to pick the country in which you want to do it.
You stated that you've made no allegations of criminal wrongdoing regarding Ms. Guergis to Mr. Hamilton, yet we do know the Prime Minister based his decision on serious allegations regarding Ms. Guergis' conduct. Did you make any allegations at all about the conduct of Ms. Guergis to Mr. Hamilton that could be of serious--
I actually broke a tooth the night of April 8 when I was grinding my teeth watching the news. I got a phone call at two o'clock in the afternoon of April 9 from a man who identified himself as Mr. Eppo Maertens. He provided me with his name and telephone number. I was going into the dentist to have my tooth repaired and I told him I would phone him back.
I made some preliminary inquiries. I tasked one of my assistants to find out who Mr. Maertens was and I was out of the dental chair at 3:30. I received a report back that Mr. Maertens was an employee of the Ethics Commissioner's office. At four o'clock in the afternoon I returned Mr. Maertens' phone call.
Mr. Maertens said to me that he had received a letter from Mr. Guy Giorno in the Prime Minister's Office that indicated that I had made specific allegations and claims against a member of Parliament.
I asked him if he would read me the letter. He put me on hold for a minute and a half, came back, and read to me a letter that had my name in it several times. It said that Derrick Snowdy said this or said that about the conduct of the minister. I said, “No, I did not say that. No, sir, I did not say that.”
I've never seen the letter, ma'am. Mr. Maertens told me he had a letter from Mr. Giorno and said that this was what the letter stated. I said that in fact I'd never spoken to Mr. Giorno. At that point in time Mr. Maertens said to me, “Well, it appears I don't have a complaint here. Thank you very much. Goodbye.”
The entire conversation lasted a grand total of 8 minutes and 35 seconds. I was on hold for a minute and a half of that. When I got off the phone, I made a rather agitated phone call to Arthur Hamilton.
I have very short time, so I have one last question, if I may.
I'm curious about something that you put up on your Facebook page on Monday, April 19. You wrote something like, “No hearings, huh? Hm. Methinks someone spilled the beans to Jack. Now he wants it hushed. I guess he knows now how close this is going to hit home with a certain NDP, and he needs time to prep".
I got annoyed by people quoting me on the matter, and I let a few friends of mine tear through it and spin the thing. As long as my Facebook account became an unreliable source of information, I could trust everybody to stop scrolling through my friends and emailing them to ask them about my childhood and everything else. That was successful; after that, people stopped quoting my Facebook account online.
As I've told a number of people, Facebook is always good for a spin.
Fifteen minutes may not be enough time, so I was just suggesting that if there were more time....
There are a few points I wanted to reference.
Previously Mr. Guimond mentioned that Mr. Jaffer said he had access to the Prime Minister's Office. People can make many claims. Did you for any second believe the claim by Mr. Jaffer that he actually had genuine access to the Prime Minister? Did you see any evidence that he had genuine access to the Prime Minister's Office?
Mr. Brown, let me be very, very specific for you on this. I've heard a lot of things suggesting that Mr. Jaffer had a back door to the Prime Minister's Office. Let me tell you that as a member of the common folk who have tried to find the front door to the Prime Minister's Office on this issue, I don't know how there's a back door, because there's not even a front door.
You know what? I think that's what I wanted to highlight.
You can repeat as many times as you like that Mr. Jaffer had access to the Prime Minister's Office, but that doesn't mean it's correct. You can repeat a wrong statement 10 times, and it's still wrong.
I mentioned this before on a show. Every year partisans of the Maple Leafs say, “We're going to make the playoffs this year.” It doesn't mean the Maple Leafs actually make the playoffs. It's boasting. I think that in this case there clearly was boasting, but with no actual facts to support the claim.
In your investigations of Mr. Gillani, did you find any evidence of even remote success, any success at all, in his lobbying or in accessing any part of government?
I can tell you that in researching Mr. Gillani's business activities going back 20 years, I haven't found one successful client, let alone one instance of success in accessing funding. The companies that he referenced were bogus; they'd never heard of him. It's a shell game. Not only have I not seen a grant, but I've never seen a paying client. I've never seen successful financing.
I've given up trying to think of how you people operate up here. Obviously it becomes a sensationalistic endeavour. How can we paint the angle on this to whatever advantage it suits whomever at the time? A classic example is obviously that for the last couple of months, people have been screaming for Ms. Guergis' termination, and this week it's a love-in, so take your pick.
I can tell you that it certainly gives me confidence to know that the types of individuals who claim to have access to government and claim to have special back-door access to the Prime Minister's Office are the people who are clearly facing a door slammed in their face.
I think what we've seen in Ottawa is that we investigate lobbying. The benefit of this attention is the fact that we've seen some tremendous changes in Ottawa. It's encouraging to see that characters like Mr. Gillani can't find access through whatever nefarious means they may attempt.
One of the benefits of this investigation has been that it's highlighted that we now have a lobbying commission with a budget of $4.6 million. Do you think Mr. Gillani knew that under the new changes put forth by the Federal Accountability Act, not registering as a lobbyist could have resulted in fines of up to $50,000 and possibly jail time? Do you think he understood the criminal repercussions of what he might have been boasting about?
Sir, from what I've seen of Mr. Gillani, just as with any person operating this type of scheme, the law is irrelevant. It's like wondering why the gangbangers don't register their guns. It's the same principle. Mr. Gillani doesn't care what laws are in place. He's not working under the law.
You said earlier, and I'm going to quote you directly now, “Some of the most outlandish things were coming true.”
Now I'm holding here an email--and it's been made public--from the company that you were working on behalf of, HD Retail Solutions. Mr. Gillani says, “Thanks for the the opportunity”. Then Mr. Gillani is saying that we've got a commitment from him on Monday and that he he believes we'll have the $5 million commitment in writing next week. It goes on to say that it's repayable at 2.4% interest over a period of five years, and repayable based on triple net profits.
I'm a good Catholic girl, but it says it is an effing good deal, a great deal. Thank you for putting me in that awkward position.
The point I want to make here is that at the beginning of this you said there was privileged access, special access, being given, and clearly the client that you represented was that, but I want to go back to a point that we were talking about before. You talked about Mr. Hamilton and said that you have met with him several times since. When we unfortunately ran out of time, you were starting to describe some of what you were discussing in those meetings.
We established the first one and what you were discussing. It was along the lines of, “Could this happen? Yes or no?” You said that in the next meetings you were able to have a more forthright discussion with him. Could you describe those discussions, please?
We touched on the intricacies of the scheme, who within potential law enforcement would have purview to investigate those matters, and why I didn't.... Most prominent on that list was IMET, which is the integrated market enforcement team of the RCMP, and why I didn't take that matter to the RCMP directly myself.
Mostly it was information with respect to the mechanics of the scheme. I identified some previous Gillani victims to him. They were casual meetings. One was in the lobby of the office. I was just touching base with him.
I discussed that with him, the outside of it, very briefly. I went down the road and I said “Look, I've got an issue over Fasken's relation to this Gillani thing that continues out.” He said, “You know what? I don't want to know.” I said, “Fair enough.” I said, “Just so you understand where some of this case and some of the other victims in this case are, it was a cookie cutter scheme.”
Mostly, given the nature of his practice, I was further exploring his professional knowledge on securities-related issues. Because it's a U.S.-based shell company, there are some issues now as to whether or not--
What we will do, then, is go over the facts in terms of our current study. We do appreciate your attendance here, Mr. Snowdy.
It's clear to me that the facts remain the same as what we believed them to be when we showed up here: no taxpayer dollars were given to Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Gillani in relation to anything they were working on or any of the companies they were working on behalf of in terms of the renewable energy projects or the green fund in general.
I'm wondering if I can get you to confirm, having gone through today, that we're not unclear about that point--that you have no evidence and no testimony to provide to us that Mr. Gillani or Mr. Jaffer received any funds for themselves or for their clients from those funds for those types of projects.
Okay. As well, is it the case that you have no evidence to provide to us in terms of the ability of Mr. Jaffer or Mr. Gillani to come up to some secret back door to the Prime Minister's Office or to a relevant minister's offfice to make this type of influence or receive these types of funds?
I can't speak to Mr. Jaffer's business relationships here on the Hill. It would be wildly speculative on my part to suggest that. I have no knowledge of that. I have no knowledge of his having those relationships, but I don't know who his relationships are with.
I appreciate that, because that truly is what we, as a committee, are undertaking in terms of our study. We're trying to look at two issues. Number one, was there money given? Number two, was there inappropriate lobbying happening?
We have you here today and we appreciate your testimony, and I think we confirmed early on in this meeting that, in fact, you had no evidence to provide us on those points; we respect and we appreciate that. You've been forthright on that point and you've given us some additional information about peripheral issues.
I only want to give you one additional opportunity to confirm that in fact, as far as you know, no money was given, and that you have no information to provide to us in terms of the lobbying activities that were or were not happening on the Hill.
I really appreciate that. I think we have established in this committee that the government has been fully transparent and accountable to the Canadian people by bringing forward all documentation as it relates to any activity that would be construed on the Hill as lobbying, and we continue to hear from witnesses who confirm that.
Certainly we've been able to confirm in the committee that no federal government dollars went to projects that were being funded or being advocated by these two individuals, and I think that's what's important to the Canadian taxpayer and to Canadians in general. We certainly appreciate your testimony today, and I think we do have these points confirmed again. Thank you.
Thank you, Madam Chair. I appreciate your recognizing me to introduce this motion and have it debated here today.
This motion is primarily an opportunity for a member of Parliament in good standing, Mr. Derek Lee, to address the information that was present on the Sun and Partners website that indicated that some of the elements he provided to that firm. Quoting from that website, as you can see in the motion, I'll just briefly read out that they:
...include acting for foreign and offshore organizations in obtaining operating licences, securing regulatory and governmental approvals for mergers and acquisitions...advising government bodies on international issues regarding cross-border tax collection, anti-dumping issues, and lobbying government on policy issues as well as facilitating intergovernmental relationships
The primary point of this motion is requesting our committee to look into this and perhaps have Mr. Lee advise the committee as to why this occurred. I have spoken with Mr. Lee subsequent to introducing this motion; he seemingly was interested in elucidating on this information.
That is the motion, and I look forward to hearing further debate from the members.
I'm not speaking against the motion by any means; my only concern is that we spent a tremendous amount of time establishing a calendar, so I want to make sure we continue with our calendar. I am prepared to sit any time you want on this matter. I think we have to understand that we have a very tight calendar right now, so if the motion passes, I suggest that that we have a special meeting.
I don't want to confirm any calendar allotments at this time. It's important that we change our calendar as things arise. We've done that at every meeting for the last number of months, and I think we'll make time available for the hearings as they come along. Today's not the time to discuss the calendar allotments, but certainly we will make those allotments as a committee as we go along. The chair has made it very clear that nothing is set in stone.
I've raised this issue at this table before. I think that if we have to have special meetings to make sure that we get the business of our committee done, then let's have special meetings. We don't want to start not being able to conclude what we spent a tremendous amount of time making sure our calendar was set for. My only concern is that we make sure to add a special meeting if one is required.
In that vein, I'm wondering if we couldn't have a special meeting during the last week of May, if that meets with everyone's calendar. I know people are available. I think that Mr. Lee says he's available on May 27, which is a Thursday. My only interest in making sure we move this along is that we don't go into summer recess early and then not get to all of the business that we wanted to get to in the spirit of making sure we complete things.
In the spirit of what Mr. Bruinooge told us, which was that Mr. Lee is willing to come, we understand May 27 would be an ideal date. If the committee is willing and there is no debate, I first have to take a vote on the motion.
This is the same motion we've seen before. As you heard, my request is to Mr. Snowdy to produce papers and records, both electronic and hard copy, from 2008 until today that relate to the business of International Strategic Investments, Green Power Generation Corp., Rahim Jaffer, Helena Guergis--for whom he said he doesn't have any--Nazim Gillani, Patrick Glémaud, and any other elected officials, and that said material be delivered to the committee within five days.
The list of witnesses is actually quite extensive. It's not just Mr. Lee, so let's have meetings when these people can be accommodated. We have the list prescribed exactly and we added the commissioner as well, so we may have to do additional meetings to get everybody on the list.
Before we actually came back into session, we were having a conversation about documentation that was delivered to the chair and is now in translation. Did I understand that correctly? You said that Mr. Gillani is going to produce more. Did anyone else give us anything?
Out of the eight motions that were passed, seven have complied.
Mr. Gillani had not complied. When the clerk phoned Mr. Gillani's office, he was advised that the binder was on its way. If we don't receive the binder, we will then have to take the appropriate action. We will otherwise assume that he sent it in good faith.