Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today the appointment of Professor David Johnston, President of the University of Waterloo, as Independent Advisor to conduct an impartial review of allegations respecting the financial dealings between Mr. Karlheinz Schreiber and the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, in order to make recommendations for an appropriate mandate for a public inquiry. This appointment is effective immediately.

Professor Johnston will provide his final report to the Prime Minister, in both official languages, by January 11, 2008.

“I am confident that Professor Johnston will carry out his duties with diligence and rigour”, said Prime Minister Harper. ”As an independent and impartial third party advisor, Professor Johnston will provide the government with the parameters for the public inquiry as well as any other course of action that may be required.”

An eminent lawyer with a distinguished academic career, Professor Johnston was Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario from 1974 to 1979, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University from 1979 to 1994 and has served as President of the University of Waterloo since June 1999. Professor Johnston has served on numerous provincial and federal task forces and committees. Recognized for his considerable legal experience and expertise, Professor Johnston is ideally suited to conduct this review and provide independent advice to the government on these allegations and the way forward.

Terms of reference and biographical notes on Professor Johnston are attached. Professor Johnston will be unavailable for public comment until his report is completed.