Lafleur agency declares bankruptcy

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[Montreal] Jean Lafleur Communications Marketing, a major player in the Canadian government sponsorship scandal, declared bankruptcy. A shocking government report disclosed in February 2004 that some $83 million of a $208 million government-sponsorship fund funneled through advertising and public-relations agencies wasn't properly accounted for (AA, June 6). Lafleur received $26.8 million in fees and commissions between 1994 and 2000 to promote the federal government in Quebec, another $29.4 million from the government and state-owned companies for promotional projects and $5.7 million that founder Jean Lafleur simply couldn't account for in front of the Gomery Commission investigating the scandal last spring.

The government is seeking $974,000 from Lafleur Communications as part of a $34.2 million lawsuit to reclaim funds from agencies that benefited from the sponsorship program.

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