Gomery Receives Five Million Dollar Advance for Phase Two of Report
|NOT SMALL TOWN CHEAP|
Justice John Gomery, who, coincidentally enough is the head of the Gomery Inquiry, has reaped a huge windfall on the basis of the success of his debut book, Who is Responsible? Published reports indicate that Gomery has been given a whopping five million dollar advance for the highly anticipated second phase of his report on the federal sponsorship program, tentatively to be titled Gomery, Phase II: Recommendations.
Public Works and Government Services Minister Scott Brison, whose department is responsible for negotiating Gomery's contract, refused to confirm the existence, or size, of Gomery's advance for his next publication, but he pointed out that Mr. Gomery is generating massive amounts of buzz. "The first issue of the report has been such a success, his advance, even at five million dollars, is good value for the Canadian taxpayer.
"Err, not that he's getting an advance. Or, I mean, if he were to be getting an advance, what he would be getting would be fair and equitable, as per the guidelines established, as per the establishment of...I forget what it was I was talking about.
"Can you believe I'm not a lawyer?"
At 50 bucks a pop for the three-volume, 261,000 page set, and with two million copies sold worldwide in just three days, Who is Responsible? has already resulted in more than 300 million dollars in revenue for federal coffers. It's the biggest phenomenon in Canadian publishing history, according to Henry Culpepper, publisher of Broke, Oh So Broke, the trade publication of the Canadian publishing industry. According to Culpepper, there are already 600,000 advance orders for Phase II: Recommendations in the province of Quebec alone, which indicates that it could be an even bigger success than Gomery, Version 1.0. "Mr. Gomery's pulling in more dead Prime Ministers for the feds than the GST," said Culpepper.
That said, Culpepper also claims that it's unprecedented in Canadian publishing for anyone to receive an advance the size of Gomery's, if it's as big as speculated.
"Even an Atwood, a Munro, or an Ondaatje doesn't get anywhere near that kind of advance for a book," said Culpepper. "Nobody is questioning Mr. Gomery's skill as an author, both in terms of style or prolificacy, but for a writer with only one book under his belt to get that kind of advance is unheard of. I mean, what if his next book is a total flop?"
Not surprisingly, the opposition Conservatives pounced on the news that the retired Quebec Superior Court justice is getting such a lucrative payment for the second installment in his literary canon.
|Justice Gomery heads off to start work on his next book.
"I don't know if this is true or not, but it won't stop me from making wild, unfounded accusations about it," said Conservative Unfocused Anger Critic Peter Mackay, who was dressed in a professional wrestling outfit as he scrummed with the Ottawa media.
"There are several questions here: Who approved this expenditure? Why is Mr. Justice Gomery getting this kind of money? When will they pay the money back? When will they all resign? When will the Prime Minister call an inquiry into this...inquiry? When can I become leader? Canadians have to know!"
Mr. Justice Gomery himself refused comment, as he is reportedly very busily working on Phase II, due to the released February 1st next year.
Gomery's publicist and literary agent also refused to confirm whether or not her boss is getting such a lucrative book advance, but insisted that Mr. Justice Gomery "is worth every penny," while adding that the judge is taking a significant cut on royalties. "Far less than market value," indicated Heidi Glover, official publicist for 'Team Gomery.'
"If Phase Two is as big as Phase One has been," added Glover, "there could even be a Phase Three in the works. How about Gomery III: This Time, It's Personal or something? Oh yeah, the future is big - we're talking sequels, movie deals, merchandising, we've got a lot of irons in the fire."
Posted on November 4th, 2005