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Accountability & Democratic Renewal

Letter to the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada

Posted on April 16, 2010
geurgis

Karen E. Shepherd
Commissioner of Lobbying
Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada
255 Albert Street
10th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0R5

Dear Commissioner Shepherd:

I am writing to you in support of calls for you to conduct an investigation into possible violations of the Lobbyist Act involving GPG – Green Power Generation Corp. and its principals Rahim Jaffer and Patrick Glémaud.

I am aware that my colleague, Marlene Jennings, our caucus’ Government Ethics Critic, sent you a request for such an investigation on April 12, 2010, but additional information that would seem to be relevant has come to light since that letter was sent.

There have been recent media reports which allege that Mr. Jaffer told a group of businessmen last September that his company can help clients obtain government funds.  “I can get it, no problem … I have access to a green fund, ” an April 8, 2010 Toronto Star article quotes him as saying.

More recent media reports indicate that the green fund in question may be the Government of Canada’s Green Infrastructure Fund which is administered by the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. An April 14, 2010 article in the Chronicle Herald states that Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Glémaud met with Mr. Brian Jean, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, regarding the $1 billion Green Infrastructure Fund – a fund for which Mr. Jean, in his role as Parliamentary Secretary, had been delegated the authority for approving projects.

An April 14, 2010 article in the Toronto Star reports Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Glémaud’s meeting with Mr. Jean took place in June 2009 in Mr. Jean’s Ottawa office. The article states that Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Glémaud later submitted three projects to Mr. Jean involving kinetic energy, solar power and a biomass drying system.

I note that Section 5 and 7 of the Lobbying Act requires individuals to file a return with the Commissioner of Lobbying if, acting either as a consultant or on behalf of their corporation, that “individual, for payment, on behalf of any person or organization … undertakes to communicate with a public office holder in respect of the awarding of any grant, contribution or other financial benefit by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada”

I also note that anyone who undertakes  lobbying of public officer holders of any kind – be they politicians or government officials – must provide an initial registration when they take on new clients.

There is no current or inactive registration listed on the public lobbyist registry for Mr. Jaffer or Mr. Glémaud or any other representative acting on behalf of GPG – Green Power Generation Corp. for any meetings with Mr. Jean or any other public office holder.

I note in media reports that Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Glémaud have apparently claimed that meetings they had and the proposals for funding that they submitted do not constitute lobbying.

In my view, your office is best suited to determine whether or not there has been a violation of the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyist Code of Conduct and I support Ms. Jennings’ request that you use your authority to conduct a formal review.

Yours truly,

Mark Holland, MP
Ajax-Pickering