“This was a source who blew the whistle in the public interest on massive fraud so I’m willing to go wherever it needs to go,” he told CBC on Sunday.
Leblanc understands that when he appears in court he could be order to pay a fine or sent to jail for refusing to answer the court’s questions. The only name that has been used for the journalist’s source is “Ma chouette.”
That source gave Leblanc the information he needed to begin investigating the sponsorship scandal that helped drive the Liberal party out of the 2006 federal election. The Liberal party was devastated in Quebec when it was revealed that millions of taxpayer dollars lined the pockets of Liberal-friendly advertising firms. Little to no work came from those payments.
The federal government is suing Group Polygone for $35 million that was paid to them by the former Liberal government under the sponsorship program. Group Polygone is demanding to know the identity of the source that Leblanc was fed information by.
The Quebec Federation of Journalists’ president Francois Bourque says that Leblanc should not be forced to reveal his source.
“You can imagine the consequences of that because from now on, if you allow that to happen, it means that no civil servant in the future will feel free to talk to a journalist when he witnesses some wrongdoing in the public use of money,” he said.