After hunting through boxes of archived research for my 2001 Airbus book, The Last Amigo, I found an anonymous note I received in 1988 when I was working at the Globe and Mail.

It’s not easy to read here, so here’s what it says:

DEAR STEVIE,
YOUR RECENT ARTICLE IN THE GLOBE’S REPORT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE ON GCI AND FRANK MOORES WAS A GOOD ONE BUT YOU MISSED THE BEST PART. FRANK AND HIS FRIENDS ARE ABOUT TO STRIKE IT REALLY RICH AND YOU AND I ARE GOING TO HELP HIM. SOUNDS GOOD, EH? READ ON.

FRANK HAS ARRANGED FOR AIR CANADA TO BUY $2 BILLION WORTH OF FRENCH AIRPLANES, AND HE GETS A COOL 5% OR $100 MILLION. OF COURSE, THE FRENCH WILL PAY THE COMMISSION, BUT $300 MILLION WILL COME FROM OTTAWA, AND YOU KNOW YOU AND I PAY FOR THAT. CHECK IT OUT.


The note arrived after the newspaper’s February, 1988 Report on Business Magazine published a story I’d written called “Like Magic,” about Frank Moores’ lobbying firm, Government Consultants International. In this, I listed several of the company’s clients including Messerschmidt-Bolkow-Blohm.

And about this company I noted:

“The German firm is part of a consortium that wants to sell Air Canada a plane known as the Airbus. MBB retained GCI early in 1985 to push its case. Moores came in for heated criticism in Parliament after his appointment to the board of Air Canada in March, 1985, tossed him into what was seen as a conflict of interest. He subsequently resigned from the Air Canada post.”

Soon after the ROB story appeared, the anonymous letter arrived at the paper.
Unlike most anonymous letters I received, this one felt like the real thing.

I chased the tip for a long time but it was impossible to prove until 1999 and impossible – for legal reasons – to publish until 2001.

Someday I hope the person who wrote this note will get in touch again.