Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who is Paul Desmarais?

Paul Desmarais
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Paul Desmarais, Sr., PC, CC (born January 4, 1927) is a Canadian financier in Montreal and one of the ten richest (8th in 2008) persons in Canada. He counts among his friends Brian Mulroney, former prime minister of Canada; Jean Chrétien, former prime minister of Canada; the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau, former prime minister of Canada; George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, former Presidents of United States of America; and current President of France Nicolas Sarkozy.
Early life and career
Desmarais was born in Sudbury, Ontario. After having graduated from University of Ottawa and McGill University, Desmarais began his career at a Montreal accounting firm called Courtois, Fredette et cie, before returning to Sudbury to take the helm of his family's bus service, Sudbury Bus Lines, in 1951. He then acquired additional bus lines in the Ottawa area and Quebec City (including Quebec Autobus and Provincial Transport). By 1968 the holding company which Desmarais had acquired three years earlier, Trans-Canada Corporation Fund (TCCF), owned the bus line Provincial Transport, an interest in Toronto-based Imperial Life Assurance and Gesca Ltée, (which had an interest in the Montreal paper La Presse). That year TCCF made a share-exchange offer with Power Corporation of Canada, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, whereby Paul Desmarais became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Power Corp.
Desmarais' Power Corporation of Canada owns about 15% of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, a Belgian holding company, which in 2001 acquired a 25% interest in the German media company Bertelsmann, whose subsidiaries include BMG and Random House (the German company Bertelsmann bought the 25% back in July 2006). Groupe Bruxelles Lambert owns 3.7% of the French oil conglomerate Total.
In 1974, Desmarais named employee Paul Martin, Jr. as president of a Power Corporation subsidiary, Canada Steamship Lines Inc. In 1981, he sold the company to Laurence Pathy and Paul Martin, Jr.. The latter became Prime Minister of Canada on December 12, 2003.
In 1978 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 1986.
In 1998, he pursuaded and gave Jean Charest a one million dollar home, so that he could beat the Parti Québécois in the provincial elections.
Desmarais is a staunch opponent of the Quebec sovereignty movement. On Feb.2 2009, French president Nicolas Sarkozy made comments asking Quebec sovereigntists to focus on unity and not separation from Canada, and to put their goals of sovereignty on hold during tough economic times. This angered many sovereigntists who claimed that Sarkozy was acting under the influence of Desmarais.[2]
Paul Desmarais sits on the advisory board of the Carlyle Group.
Desmarais has two sons: Paul Jr. and André (who is married to former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's daughter France) and two daughters, Sophie and Louise.
As a sign of his connection to the University of Ottawa, a 12-storey building was named in his honour due to his contribution of $15 million to the university.[3] The library at Laurentian University (in his hometown of Sudbury) is also named after him.
Paul Desmarais' Web of Influence Over Canada
Desmarais reputed to have huge influence on current and past Prime Ministers
Friday May 2, 2003
( – For many years, astute political observers have noted what appears to be an unusually powerful web of influence over Canadian federal politics by wealthy Canadian businessman and Power Corporation founder, Paul Desmarais senior. The number of Prime Ministers and other elected and influential Canadians financially beholden to the Quebec based Canadian nationalist is astonishing.
In an Ottawa Citizen article of May 2, 1995 columnist Paul Gessell asked “Why does Desmarais have a direct pipeline into every Prime Minister’s office, regardless of who occupies that post or what party is in power?” Following is LifeSite’s summary of the most significant elements of the Desmarais web of influence.
 * Current Prime Minister Jean Chretien sat on the board of Power Corp. subsidiary Consolidated Bathurst Inc. before becoming leader of the Liberal Party. Chretien’s daughter France is married to Paul Desmarais’ son Andre. Andre was involved in Canadian power station projects in China. Chretien personally withdrew Canadian support of a UN condemnation of China’s human rights abuses after Chinese officials threatened to take power station projects away from Canadian firms. The Prime Minister's nephew, Raymond Chretien, is now Canada's Ambassador to France." Chretien's "advisor, counsellor and strategist" for the past 30 years has been Mitchel Sharp, who brought Chretien into politics when he was Finance Minister. From 1981 onwards Sharp was Vice-Chairman for North America of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission.
* In her April 17, 2003 National Post column Diane Francis notes that Chretien heir apparent, Paul Martin, was hired in the 1960s to work for Paul Desmarais senior by Maurice Strong. In 1974, Francis writes, “Desmarais made Martin president of Canada Steamship Lines and then, in 1981, made him spectacularly rich by selling the company to him and a partner…” She follows, “It all begs a number of questions, Did Mr. Desmarais give away the company to Mr. Martin? Did Mr. Desmarais lend him the money or guarantee the loan? And what does this mean in terms of his allegiance or loyalty to Mr. Desmarais and his empire in Canada and France.”
* An August 5, 1994 Globe and Mail article noted that "Another prime minister, long-time family friend, Pierre Trudeau (now deceased), sits on Power's star-studded international advisory board."
* Ted Johnson, A former Trudeau assistant, and a friend of Chretien’s chief of staff, Eddie Goldenberg (more powerful than most MPs and even Cabinet Ministers), was vice-president, secretary and legal counsel to Power Corp.
* Michael Pitfield, the super-bureaucrat under the Trudeau government, was a vice-chairman of Power Corp and is still listed as a Director Emeritus.
* Maurice Strong became President of Power Corp by his mid-thirties. From there he became a Liberal Party bureaucrat and created the controversial, left-wing Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). In 1976, still under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, he was appointed to run Petro Canada, the state-run oil company. This wealthy ex-Desmarais employee is an architect of the Kyoto accord and has been a powerful advocate of UN world governance and world de-population. He is an advisor to both the UN Secretary General and the president of the World Bank. With former Soviet President Michael Gorbachev he co-authored the infamous “Earth Charter” which Strong, Gorbachev and numerous prominent allies are hoping will guide a new world order based on "planetary ethics". The Charter reads like a new age ten commandments and includes language supporting abortion. Strong also supports a one world religion. See See also
* Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Desmarais go back at least as far as 1972. Mulroney friend Ian MacDonald described Desmarais as “Mulroney’s mentor in the business world.” Mulroney has done legal work for Desmarais since his spectacular election loss at the end of his second term as Prime Minister.
* Former Mulroney Cabinet Minister Don Mazankowski is currently Power’s company director.
* Former Ontario Conservative premiers William Davis and John Robarts sat on Power’s national advisory board.
* John Rae, the brother of former Ontario New Democratic (Socialist) Premier Bob Rae is currently listed as Power's Executive Vice-President, Office of the Chairman of the Executive Committee (Paul Desmarais).
* Former Quebec premier Daniel Johnson worked for Power from 1973 to 1981 and in the last of those three years was vice-president.
* The May 11, 1996 Toronto Star reported that “Desmarais’ worldwide political connections have resulted in an international advisory board featuring such luminaries as former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt; Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, former oil minister of Saudi Arabia, Paul Volcker, former head of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and former prime minister Pierre Trudeau."
* There have been indications that the fabled de Rothchild family of Europe has been playing a role in Desmarais’ international expansion. For example, the Nov. 20, 2002 Financial Post covered the opening of Sir Evelyn de Rothchild’s investment bank’s Montreal office. Quebec’s business elite were present in force, headed by – Paul Desmarais Jr.
Ottawa Citizen’s Gessell ends his column on Desmarais, “When Chretien retires and a leadership convention is held to replace him, chances are Desmarais will be on hand. Finance Minister (now former) Paul Martin (from Quebec, as were Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien) could quite possibly be Chretien’s successor. And who taught Martin how to succeed in business? None other than his former employer, Paul Desmarais.”
Canadian Justice Minister who Pushed Homosexual 'Marriage' and Hate Crime Change Closely Connected to Powerful Desmarais Family
Friday November 7, 2003
OTTAWA, November 7, 2003 ( - Canadian Justice Minister Martin Cauchon outraged many Canadians in recent months with his staunch backing of homosexual 'marriage' and refusal to consider alternatives to ramming the matter through the legislature. Cauchon also engineered the passage of Svend Robinson's Private Member's Bill C-250 which added 'sexual orientation to Canada's hate crimes law. Interestingly, it has been revealed that Cauchon, like most of the powerful political elite in Canada, is closely connected to the Desmarais family web of influence.
A recent LifeSite special report on the political connections of the Desmarais family revealed that the family was intimately linked to Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien, former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and incoming Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, among other leading Canadian politicians.
Yesterday, reporter Andrew McIntosh wrote in the National Post that Cauchon, "once worked as a domestic servant for the Desmarais family at the(ir) estate in his student years and has remained 'a family friend for many years.'"
McIntosh reveals that a party to celebrate the completed renovations of the 75 square km Desmarais estate was attended by 230 political and business leaders from around the world. The guest list for the Labour Day weekend bash included, Cauchon, Chretien, Mulroney, Lucien Bouchard, businessmen Peter Munk and Galen Weston, George Bush Sr. and his wife Barbara, and Quebec Premier Jean Charest. Other media services noted that guests also included Bill Clinton, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, and possibly King of Spain Juan Carlos.