The activities of Canadian Security Intelligence Services Review Committee (SIRC) Chair Chuck Strahl are raising concerns following media reports he is a registered lobbyist for Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.
“Chuck Strahl is a former senior Conservative Minister handpicked by Stephen Harper to replace disgraced previous SIRC chair Arthur Porter,” said New Democrat House Leader Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley). “It should be common sense that someone on the federal payroll, like Mr. Strahl, shouldn’t lobby for a pipeline seeking federal government approval.”
Strahl registered in British Columbia on December 6, 2013 to lobby on behalf of Enbridge. As a former Minister he is prohibited from federal lobbying, but vague guidelines could mean he can use loopholes in the Act to skirt the rules and lobby the province, even on a federal pipeline issue.
This latest controversy comes on the heels of earlier reports of CSIS caught spying on behalf of natural resource companies – spying on Canadians opposed to the pipeline that Mr. Strahl is now paid to lobby for.
“Canadians were already concerned about the federal government using CSIS and the Canada Revenue Agency to target environmental groups and charities – now we learn the Chair of CSIS’ civilian oversight Committee is a paid pipeline lobbyist,” concluded Cullen. “This just further undermines people’s confidence in the fairness of the pipeline approval process.”