OTTAWA (CP) - The man who hired the orchestra faces the music Thursday, as Paul Martin appears before the Gomery inquiry he created and explains his role in the ill-fated sponsorship program.
Martin is the first sitting prime minister in over 130 years to testify publicly about a scandal, but to judge by advance word from the Prime Minister's Office, nothing could be simpler. Martin aides say that, unlike predecessor Jean Chretien who testified Tuesday, their man won't even bring along a prepared statement outlining his views.
While Chretien's appearance produced both drama and comedy, it revealed little new about the sponsorship program. Martin was not expected to shed much light either, nor provide the same spectacle.
"The prime minister will be there in order to respond to questions from the commission," said spokesman Marc Roy.
"We're not going to pre-determine how this is going to go . . . . He wants to get to the bottom of the issue, and he has offered from Day 1 to testify and provide any help that he can."