January 14th, 2014

Conservative lobbyist Vic Toews takes a page from Chuck Strahl’s book

On the heels of last week’s revelations that former Conservative Minister Chuck Strahl was inappropriately lobbying for Enbridge while chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, Canadians are now learning of more questionable lobbying activity by a former Conservative minister.

This week it’s former Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. Toews hardly had his Ottawa office cleared out before he started lobbying, registering in Manitoba to lobby on behalf of a number of organizations.

While federal legislation requires former ministers to wait five years before they can lobby the federal government, and many provinces have legislation requiring former provincial ministers to wait years before lobbying, a loophole in the Act allows former federal ministers to lobby a provincial government.

It’s unclear what value Mr. Toews clientele are getting, given the fact he is lobbying an NDP government after spending his political career making up putrid attacks on the NDP. But it is clear Conservative ministers are finding ways to evade the five year lobbying ban – and the revolving door between cabinet and lobby firms continues just like it did under the Liberals.

Conservatives promised they would clean up the ethical mess the Liberals left behind, but it turns out what Conservatives do best is finding creative ways to get around their own rules.

Canadians deserve better.