By: David Akin, Canwest News Service Published: National Post
OTTAWA -- The federal Conservatives said Tuesday they will move to extend key provisions of the federal Lobbying Act to include all MPs and senators and not just cabinet ministers and senior government officials.
Under the federal Lobbying Act, cabinet ministers, their political staff and any bureaucrat who holds the rank of assistant deputy minister or higher is classified as a designated public officer holder or DPOH.
The Lobbying Act, one of the first pieces of legislation the Conservatives introduced upon being elected in 2006, prohibits anyone who has been a DPOH from becoming a lobbyist for five years after their service ends.
By Janice Tibbetts, Canwest News Service Published: Vancouver Sun
OTTAWA — The RCMP announced changes Tuesday that will restrict the use of Taser stun guns, in the wake of a report on the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski.
The new standard will be that the guns should only be fired in "situations where a subject is causing bodily harm, or the police officer believes, on reasonable grounds, that the subject will imminently cause bodily harm," the RCMP said in a news release.
The force said the stricter policy addresses concerns in the Braidwood report, the outcome of a public inquiry into Dziekanski's October 2007 death at the Vancouver airport.
And then there were four.
The office of Industry Minister Tony Clement acknowledged Tuesday that it had communicated with Rahim Jaffer, the former Conservative MP accused of using his government contacts to lobby federal departments on behalf of his own and others' business interests.
The House of Commons government operations committee is looking into allegations that Jaffer used his government connections — including his wife, Helena Guergis, who was until recently the minister for the status of women — to try to get contracts for himself and other Toronto businessmen.
By David Akin, Canwest News Service (Canada.com)
OTTAWA — New evidence emerged Friday that former MP Rahim Jaffer engaged in what some MPs say was illegal lobbying of his former Conservative caucus colleagues.
In fact, it is those former caucus colleagues who are blowing the whistle on Jaffer.
On Friday, Environment Minister Jim Prentice told the House of Commons that Jaffer discussed a business idea with Scott Wenger, Prentice's director of regional affairs in Calgary.
A company co-founded by former MP Rahim Jaffer pitched three projects to the federal government — including one involving a division of a waste management firm touted by his wife, ex-cabinet minister Helena Guergis, according to newly released documents.
One of the proposals signed by Jaffer's business partner Patrick Glémaud names Green Rite Solutions Inc., the marketing arm of Wright Tech Systems Inc., as the stakeholder in a proposed $480-million "shovel-ready" electricity generation and waste-disposal infrastructure project to be considered for the federal Green Infrastructure Fund.
Under the proposal, the total share of federal funding was to be about $100 million.
Bill Curry , Globe and Mail
Former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer will likely get to tell his story before a Parliamentary committee Wednesday, even though the NDP is now opposed to the idea over concerns the testimony could hinder any RCMP investigation into Mr. Jaffer’s business activities.
The NDP was unable to terminate the probe during a closed-door session of the Commons Government Operations committee on Monday afternoon. That means the previous motion to call Mr. Jaffer and his business partner, Patrick Glemaud, to appear Wednesday stands. The NDP still hopes to block the testimony at that meeting.
Former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer has denied ever taking illegal substances or conducting unregistered lobbying of the federal government for access to a green infrastructure fund.
During an appearance at a parliamentary committee he later dismissed as a "circus," Jaffer and his business partner faced a grilling from MPs for more than two hours Wednesday afternoon over allegations the ex-MP conducted unregistered lobbying and improperly used his wife Helena Guergis's parliamentary office.
The couple have also been the subject of speculation, rumours and unsubstantiated reports involving cocaine use and offshore business accounts.
Les Whittington Ottawa Bureau The Star
OTTAWA-- The Liberals and NDP stepped up demands for a full-scale investigation of Helena Guergis after revelations that the former Conservative cabinet minister used her parliamentary office to promote a business linked to her husband.
After a Toronto Star report on Guergis’ effort to tout the company, both opposition parties said the government must reassure Canadians that the RCMP and ethics watchdog will get to the bottom of the mushrooming controversy surrounding Guergis and her husband, former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer.
MP Helena Guergis was informed about the allegations against her, the Prime Minister's Office said on Wednesday, contradicting earlier comments made by the lawyer representing the former cabinet minister.
In an interview with CBC News, Howard Rubel said his client has yet to be told what allegations led Prime Minister Stephen Harper to kick her out of caucus and contact the RCMP.
But Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for the prime minister, told CBC News that a Conservative Party lawyer informed Guergis of the allegations last Friday, the day she was ousted from caucus.
Former staffers for ousted cabinet minister Helena Guergis have come forward raising questions about the use of her parliamentary offices and car by her husband, Rahim Jaffer.
According to one of Guergis's former staffers, ex-MP Jaffer sometimes used Guergis's Parliament Hill offices for work. The former staffer said it was known as "Rahim's office."
The former employee told CBC News it was unclear what Jaffer did there but that he often spoke about his business, Green Power Generation.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office said it was the first they had heard of Jaffer using Guergis's office, and that if true, it would be unacceptable.