Thursday, January 03, 2008

Does Liberal Lobbyist Score Big for Big Oil?

Liberal lobbyists still appear to be scoring big wins in Ottawa and corporate canada is the beneficiary.

The Harper government in Ottawa is handing out a special $150 million tax benefit to EnCana according to The Daily News for an oil and gas project in Atlantic Canada. According to its last annual report, EnCana had net earnings of $5.6 billion (US) in 2006. Do they really need a government handout?

It turns out that Earnscliffe Strategy Group (ESG), with notorious Liberal ties, represents EnCana. The Federal Lobbyist Registry lists a Paul Martin Liberal organizer, Andre Albinati, as the registered lobbyist for EnCana for a few matters including tax issues since August of 2005.

Mr. Albinati came to national attention after questions were raised in the Ottawa Citizen and the Globe and Mail when he left the office of Pierre Pettigrew to join ESG just prior to Pettigrew handing out a $17 million grant to the Forest Products Association of Canada; $800,000 of which went to ESG. Andrew Coyne outlines the Albinati connection with ESG here in his post from May 24, 2005.

Anyone who thinks Tory lobbyists are the only lobbyists making good in Ottawa these days fail to understand that the Liberals really have figured out how to work Ottawa. This, arguably, shows that 'who you know in the PMO' is increasingly less the case than "which 'crat holds the decision bat".

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