Harper asks RCMP to probe former advisor’s attempts to land First Nations water deals

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has asked the RCMP to investigate the activities of one of his longest serving advisors, APTN National News has learned.

By Kenneth Jackson and Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has asked the RCMP to investigate the activities of one of his longest serving advisors, APTN National News has learned.

Harper’s office sent a letter to RCMP Commissioner William Elliot Wednesday asking him to probe the activities of Bruce Carson after the Prime Minister’s Office received information as part of an APTN investigation into Carson’s activities.

Correspondence obtained by APTN shows Carson lobbied Indian Affairs and Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan’s office on behalf of an Ottawa-based water company. The water company was attempting to land contracts to sell water filtration systems to First Nations reserves with severe water-quality problems.

The full details of the story will be aired next week by APTN Investigates.

Carson also claimed in an email, obtained by APTN to have spoken to the prime minister about the appointment of Duncan the day before the B.C. MP was named to the Indian Affairs portfolio in the Aug. 6 cabinet shuffle.

“Yesterday afternoon our office became aware of the existence of materials in the possession of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network,” wrote Raymond Novak, the prime minister’s principal secretary. “These materials contain troubling details about recent actions and claims made by Mr. Bruce Carson, a former employee of the Prime Minister’s Office.”

Novak also wrote the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying asking for an investigation into Carson’s activities.

In the letter to the Ethics commissioner, Novak wrote that the information shown the PMO “may provide evidence” of Carson having breached two sections of the Conflict of Interest Act.

“Our brief examination provides us with reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Carson may be in contravention of the Act,” wrote Novak. “It appears Carson may have attempted to take advantage of his previous position in the Prime Minister’s Office to advance his own private interests, and may have given advice to individuals or organizations using information that was obtained in his capacity as an employee of our office.”

Carson is currently the head of the Canada School of Energy and Environment, which received $15 million in federal government funding.

Carson also chairs the Federal-Provincial-Oil and Gas Industry Working Group on Climate Change and is a member of the Thermal Electricity Task Force on Climate Change.

Carson was a senior policy advisor to the prime minister until 2008. He also worked for Harper as a director of research while the Conservatives were in opposition.

In one email, obtained by APTN, Carson wrote two officials with the company, H2O Pros, claiming he had spoken with the prime minister on Aug. 5 about the pending appointment of Duncan to the Indian Affairs portfolio.

“I spoke with the PM last nite and with (Assembly of First Nations national Chief Shawn) Atleo-the movement of John Duncan to INAC does not slow anything down (sic),” wrote Carson, in an email dated Aug. 6 and received at 7:01 a.m. “Both Shawn and I know John very well-and I will be calling the new Minister this morning-so it is still full steam ahead.”

Carson told APTN on camera that he lied in the email, but that he had spoken to “someone,” but did not elaborate.

Carson was disbarred and jailed in the 1980s for defrauding law clients.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying the prime minister has never “spoken or been lobbied by Bruce Carson on any of these matters.”

The PMO also said that the “Ethics Commissioner was fully consulted at the time of his departure from the Prime Minister’s Office and signed off on his employment at the Canada School of Energy and Environment.”

The statement also referred to the five year ban on lobbying by former political staff.

“The laws are clear and they must be respected. Those who do not respect them must and should face the full force of the law,” said the statement.

Liberal MP David McGuinty said the prime minister needed to come clean in his relationship with Carson.

“These are very deeply, deeply troubling allegations,” said McGuinty. “This is a story that has to be examined very closely and the prime minister how has to explain his relationship with Carson.”

Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin said once the full details of the Carson affair surfaces it could topple the Conservatives.

“This is the kind of thing that brings governments down,” said Martin. “Bruce Carson has been a fixture around Ottawa for as long as I can remember in the office of the Official Opposition in the PMO this is a major backroom boy.”

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15 thoughts on “Harper asks RCMP to probe former advisor’s attempts to land First Nations water deals

  1. Tip of the iceberg is a world of legislated paternalism and invisible manipulation — This story developing on APTN reveals the tip of the iceberg that is the Indian Act. The paternalism and behind the scene machinations of the Crown regarding the basic essentials of life that are missing in First Nation life reveals a massive crime against humanity that never gets addressed, because that is the law, and the law is the Indian Act.

  2. The facts are:nnSo call cabinet confidentiality Carson was given the make up of Harpers new cabinet Ministers before parliament and the general population were informed.nnCarson and Shawn Atleo were implementing a plan of action to get rid of Indian Affairs (under who’s direction)nnCarson and Shawn Atleo dined at one of the finest troughs in Ottawa, get this $600.00 for one meal. While children on reserves go wanting (puking my guts out on that one)nnAfter Carson got his ducks all in a row the 1st nations water funding budget started to increase, thats our tax dollars folks.nnWater filtration from a company that has a $50.00 dollar sign above a $800.00 a month office, can you say shell company, I thought you could.nnthere is more but first:nnPeople who need to step down like yesterday not so Grand Chief Shawn Atleo, the not so Honourable John Duncan, Michael Wernick and Colleen Swords.nnPeople who need to be investigated like yesterday those mention above, the PMO, the Privy Council, Jim Prentice, Chuck Strahl and a bevy of others to come.nnHarper the buck stops here.

  3. Carson’s a Joke. Fraud and other dirty plays will ALWAYS Get you in the end. The Liberals just want something to mess with elections and the Conservatives. Harper will win. He leads in the election poles. Iggy will not be Prime Minister. There will be a Minority government once again by the Conservatives.

  4. So Harper is cutting the ropes to a close advisor. nnThere’s fraud, very high-ranking officials, double-crossing, vulnerable minorities, and, of course, sex. I’ve hardly seen anything about this in the mainstream media, yet its the kind of salacious sensationalism that I’d expect to see smearing across mainstream headlines.nnIs it just me or does there seem to be a sort of unofficial and unspoken censorship happening? But then again, my imagination does run wild sometimes.

  5. Disappointing to see Ottawa so distracted by this type of bad behaviour. People need to be held accountable that is for sure but every time one of these tacky scandals emerges it detracts from the important issues of governance that should be the subject of debate in the House of Commons and headlines across the country.

  6. Minister of State for Finance Ted Menzies said everyone is innocent until proven guilty. “I am a proud Canadian and a proud believer in the fact that people are innocent until proven guilty,” said Menzies. “That’s all.” Well said Minister Menzies!nnn

  7. Minister of State for Finance Ted Menzies said everyone is innocent until proven guilty. “I am a proud Canadian and a proud believer in the fact that people are innocent until proven guilty,” said Menzies. “That’s all.” Well said Minister Menzies!nnn

  8. Libs slam Bruce Carson patronage appointment


    TheStar.com – Canada –
    Liberals slam Harper aide’s plum appointment
    August 15, 2008

    OTTAWA–The Liberals say a plum appointment for a controversial
    adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper is another example of
    Conservative hypocrisy when it comes to accountability.

    Bruce Carson was named this week as the first executive director of
    the new Alberta-based Canada School of Energy and the Environment.

    The institute recently got $15 million from the Tory government.

    Carson, who was disbarred and jailed in the early 1980s for
    defrauding law clients, will split his time between the Prime
    Minister’s office and his new post until after the next federal

    Liberal MP Brian Murphy called the appointment “a clear conflict of
    interest of the worst sort.”

    “How can the prime minister’s senior adviser possibly accept a
    position that’s dependent on funding from the federal government,
    while continuing to work part time in the Prime Minister’s office?

    “Once again, this is a government that is willing to bend, break and
    ignore the rules when it’s most convenient. We’ve seen it with the in-
    and-out scandal, we’ve seen it with Stephen Harper ignoring his own
    fixed election dates legislation, and now we see it with them
    violating the spirit of the Accountability Act”.

    The Canada School of Energy and Environment is a collaboration
    involving the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and
    the University of Lethbridge.

  9. Every network picked up the story because APTN released it, but not every network claims to have this information and is going based on what APTN is saying. Perhaps I know more than you realize as I personally know the source of the emails and that they are being criminally investigated. Don’t believe everything you read as the truth will come out.

  10. Standfortruth2011: Obviously you are involved somehow. I highly doubt a network with an abundance of lawyers and executives would allow what you are excusing. Nor do I doubt every network in this country would pick up the story, soooooo quickly, if it wasnt a solid and high quality story. Maybe you could get a job working for Harper – you seem so quick to point a fingers at others.

  11. How did we get from Lyin’ Brian to Horseshit Harper ? Don Cherry will be next Senate appointee, he’ll fit right in.

  12. APTN’s source for the emails is Julie Donoghue who took emails from someone and altered them and sent them to this network. She is under investigation for uttering threats and these actions like stealing email by Ottawa Police. Pretty bad source APTN.

    1. Your comment is twice as funny given your chosen moniker. You do realize it took me less than three minutes to find you statements utterly untrue and actually could be considered libel?

  13. Bruce Carson….please deposit all fees to the “lets slander Iggy Fund” pssst… we’ll give you a receipt so you can claim it on your taxes…Now under the bus!!!!

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