[JURIST] In a rare televised address to the nation [audio], Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin [official website] apologized Thursday night for a sponsorship scandal that has shaken his Liberal Party [official website]. During his address, Martin acknowledged allegations of money laundering and kickbacks and took full responsiblility for the misuse of public funds. Martins comments come one week after Justice John Gomery ordered a partial lifting of a publication ban [JURIST report] prohibiting the dissemination of some testimony provided during the official investigation. The Gomery Commission [official website] is charged with investigating the national unity program that resulted in $100 million in contracts, that resulted in little return, being awarded to advertising firms with close ties to the Liberals. During his address, Martin also asked for Canadians give his tenuous minority government time to pass critical legislation on such issues as health care reform, gay marriage, improved border security and the federal budget. AP has more.