September 14th, 2015

NDP REALITY CHECK: Conservatives on trial: The Bruce Carson Influence Peddling and Fraud Edition

You know you’ve made it big with the Conservatives when it’s your day in court. Today’s Conservative insider on trial, Stephen Harper's former top aide Bruce Carson, is facing charges of “frauds against the government” … aka influence peddling. He’s also charged with illegal lobbying – but that trial comes later.

A Bruce Carson primer:


Carson's path to accusations of influence peddling starts with him bragging about and leveraging his connections in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Conservative cabinet to lobby for H20 Global.

For those just tuning in, H20 Global was trying to get its water systems used by a federal pilot project to improve drinking water on First Nation reserves.

Carson used his connections to lobby senior officials in Harper’s office on behalf of H20 Global, while his fiancée, Michele McPherson, was being set up to receive 20 per cent kickbacks from H20 Global’s sales to reserves.

Curiously, while Carson was leveraging his connections, legislation was making its way through parliament that would change the standards for drinking water on reserves.

If you think that sounds like breaking the rules, you might be on to something.