A common opinion about Albertans is that when it comes to energy they are about oil and nothing but oil. Like most generalizations this contains some truth, but also like most generalizations it isn’t quite true. A CBC News poll, taken just before the pandemic changed everything, reported that 79Continue reading
To Calgarians, the city is starting to feel like a punching bag. Its primary industry suffers one body blow after another. Oil prices crashed at the end of 2014 as surprising growth in U.S. shale production boosted supply while OPEC refused to cut its output. Major investment firms, finally recognizingContinue reading
On November 18th of last year, Calgary held a plebiscite which attracted an impressive 305,000 voters. The question on the ballot was whether or not the city would host the 2026 Winter Olympic Games. The answer was a decisive no, despite the Olympic opponents having far less money at theirContinue reading
You might not have seen video of the dramatic flash flooding that swept the historic town centre of Elliott City, Maryland, but that doesn’t matter. Perhaps you didn’t see the devastation of New York City and the Jersey Shore by Hurricane Sandy. Maybe you’ve been in a coma for theContinue reading
PHOTOS: St. Albert’s renowned city hall, designed by Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal, formally known as St. Albert Place. Below: The three candidates for mayor who are now now officially in the race, Cathy Heron, Cam MacKay and Malcolm Parker. ST. ALBERT, Alberta Is it just my imagination, or does theContinue reading
PHOTOS: Cool, man, it’s the Summer of Love! Alberta’s conservatives, grooving to the beat of the Jason Kenney Experience, say: Tune in, turn on, and (if you’re a progressive voter) drop out! (Photo found on the Internet; source not indicated.) Below: Pollster Quito Maggi, United Conservative Party leadership hopeful JasonContinue reading
PHOTOS: The magnificent Texas State Capitol in Austin – taller that the U.S. Capitol in Washington! Below: The interior of that Texas dome and some musicians making the scene in Austin, which is not only warmer than Edmonton, it’s more liberal too, and the sort of thing I had inContinue reading
PHOTOS: The scene abroad N. Murray Edwards’ yacht imagined. Actual Canadian bitumen billionaires and their onboard guests may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real N. Murray Edwards, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau aboard a helicopter, although not the Aga Khan’s, Opposition Leader Rona Ambrose in a yacht harbor, andContinue reading
Former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper apparently isn’t satisfied with having destroyed a lot of wonderful and important things in Canada. Now he has signed on with Dentons, the world’s largest elite law firm, to spread his dark viewpoints around the globe. Dentons proudly announced Monday that Harper – who doesContinue reading
Former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper apparently isn’t satisfied with having destroyed a lot of wonderful and important things in Canada. Now he has signed on with Dentons, the world’s largest elite law firm, to spread his dark viewpoints around the globe.
Dentons proudly announced Monday that Harper – who does not have a legal degree – and his new consulting company will work from its Calgary office.
For Harper, the appointment is his reward from the corporate set for many years of stalwart service. He will now be able to stuff his pockets with greenbacks and 76-cent Canadian dollars.
The recently resigned Calgary MP will no doubt stick a Canadian flag on his suitcase as he peddles his anti-social ideology. Hopefully, this will be Harper’s final insult to our national pride.
Dentons is like an octopus. It has more than 7,200 lawyers in over 50 countries, and seems to be constantly expanding.
In easily translatable jargon, Dentons said Harper has teamed up with the firm to provide clients with “advice on market access, managing global geopolitical and economic risk, and maximize value in global markets” – i.e. postulating himself based on the credibility he gained during none years as PM.
The Donald Trump of the legal set
“Dentons is the Donald Trump of the legal vertical,” writes legal expert and columnist Mark A. Cohen. “The firm is brash, bigger-than-life, and something entirely different. It receives a disproportionate amount of press because it is always doing something that drops jaws.”
The firm surprised the legal/business world by forming a partnership with a huge Chinese firm closely tied to the Communist Party. They employ more than 6,000 lawyers that are working on hundreds of projects, both inside the country and internationally.
Dentons isn’t fussy about which companies it represents in litigation. It works for Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, Citigroup, Duke Energy, Bank of America, Barclay’s Bank, Wells Fargo, and others.
It’s no surprise that Harper will pick up fat pay cheques from Dentons. The firm likes buying former politicians. Former Liberal PM Jean Chretien and former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer are also on the Dentons payroll, as is former Harper Cabinet Minister James Moore. Last year, Dentons snapped up controversial former U.S. politicians Newt Gingrich.
Harper’s cold personality could damage his one-on-one work for Dentons. The former PM once famously said: “I can’t even get my friends to like me.”
Outrageous move by Harper
It is outrageous that a former Prime Minister is able to join a massive, influential international corporation such as Dentons when his seat in Parliament has barely cooled.
Dentons is deeply involved in all kinds of wheeling and dealing at the highest levels around the world. Part of its success is based on collecting inside information on corporations and governments.
There are few legal constraints for Harper in his new job. Canada’s Lobbying Act prevents Harper from being directly involved in lobbying the Canadian government for five years.
In addition, the Conflict of Interest Act says that “no former public office holder shall give advice to his or her client, business associate or employer using information that was obtained in his or her capacity as a public office holder and is not available to the public.”
Having been Prime Minister for more than nine years, Harper is aware of what is supposed to be confidential information concerning corporations in Canada and what are supposed to be secret arrangements among foreign governments.
Harper will claim he will not reveal privileged information, but there is no way of knowing whether he will break his word. Just imagine – if he was hosted by the King of Saudi Arabia and seeking approval for some energy-related project – would he not be tempted to spill the beans about what he knows about the fossil fuel industry worldwide?
Former PM a valuable asset
Harper will be a medium-sized fish at Dentons, but he can help the firm in countries where he has good relations with government leaders, and on some issues.
Given Harper’s record of spending little money on fighting climate change, he could work with government clients on how to avoid spending millions on carbon reductions and he probably could help corporate clients avoid carbon penalties.
Instead of marketing his skills through Dentons, it would have been more appropriate for Harper to get involved in academia. He would have been welcomed at the University of Calgary, where a group of professors and some students established the influential right-wing “Calgary school.”
And Harper doesn’t need the money. Currently 57, he is receiving $127,000 in annual pension payments. When he turns 60, the amount will increase to $134,000 per year. The Canadian Tax Federation says that Harper’s MP pension pay would add up to roughly $5.5 million up to age 90 (factoring in for inflationary increases to the payments).
ILLUSTRATIONS: Alberta’s terrifying Temple of Tax, found on the media midway. So scary it even frightens billionaires away. Really! Below: Dr. Samuel Johnson, noted wit, N. Murray Edwards, oil sands billionaire (CBC photo), and Mr. James Boswell, bio…Continue reading
This column ran in The National Post on March 24, 2016. After weeks of trying “natural” extracts and homemade remedies like smoothies cut with ginger root and horseradish to cure a suspected case of meningitis, 19-month-old Ezekiel Stephan’s …Continue reading
A billionaire is moving away from Calgary and we should all be worried, the newspapers tell us. Postmedia newspapers reported recently that nameless sources are saying oil billionaire and Calgary Flames co-owner Murray Edwards is “switching hi…Continue reading
Here in Calgary we have been enjoying weather that, for the season, can only be described as balmy. Like last year, February has been more spring than winter.
One of the reasons, of course, is our warming planet. The figures are in for January and t…Continue reading
So says a Calgary homeless person in answer to those expressing outrage over the assistance being given to the Syrian refugees.Looks like the extreme right-wing will have to find another target for its hateful abuse.Recommend this PostContinue reading
PHOTOS: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau addresses his supporters in Edmonton this morning. Below: Mr. Trudeau’s supporters line up in the pale morning light to get into his rally; Mr. Trudeau greets supporters as he bounded to the stage. Charisma matters. I don’t know if Justin Trudeau’s Liberals will win theContinue reading
Update, Oct. 17. A new poll in Calgary Centre has the Liberals and Conservatives neck-and-neck. Strategic voters could make the difference. Calgary Conferation,Calgary Skyview,Calgary Centre This election has a few more surprises than most, and the fracturing of the Conservatives’ fortress in Calgary might be one of them. A newsContinue reading
Calgary Conferation,Calgary Skyview,Calgary Centre This election has a few more surprises than most, and the fracturing of the Conservatives’ fortress in Calgary might be one of them. A news story from the CBC reports that three Calgary ridings are surprisingly competitive: Calgary Centre, Calgary Confederation, and Calgary Skyview. This is also theContinue reading
Update, Oct. 17. A new poll in Calgary Centre has the Liberals and Conservatives neck-and-neck. Strategic voters could make the difference.
This election has a few more surprises than most, and the fracturing of the Conservatives’ fortress in Calgary might be one of them.
A news story from the CBC reports that three Calgary ridings are surprisingly competitive: Calgary Centre, Calgary Confederation, and Calgary Skyview.
This is also the interpretation of Eric Grenier over at threehundredeight.com. His current projections for the Calgary ridings paint three ridings red: Calgary Centre, Calgary Confederation, and Calgary Skyview
|Calgary projections from threehundredeight.com|
The striking thing is not merely that Grenier’s a projecting these three seat for the Liberals. It is also seeing weakness in other ridings such as Signal Hill and Forest Lawn.
- Strategic voting in Nipissing—Timiskaming: vote Liberal
- Strategic voting in Perth-Wellington: vote Liberal
- Strategic Voting in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas: vote Liberal
- Strategic voting in Cariboo-Prince George: vote NDP
- Strategic voting in Central Nova: vote Liberal
- Strategic voting in Haldimand-Norfolk: vote Liberal
- Strategic voting in Courtney-Alberni: vote NDP
- Strategic voting in Oshawa: vote NDP
- Strategic voting in Peterborough—Kawartha: vote Liberal
- Strategic voting in South Okanagan-West Kootenay: vote NDP
- Strategic voting Kootenay-Columbia: vote NDP
- Strategic voting in Winnipeg South: vote Liberal
- Strategic voting in Kanata-Carleton: vote Liberal
- Strategic voting in South Okanagan-West Kootenay: vote NDP
- Strategic voting in Misissauga East-Cooksville: vote Liberal
When Harper appointed Carson as a top adviser, the fraud used his position to undermine research into climate change. About the only part not worth reading is the line saying “There is no easy way to cut emissions and grow the economy”, and now you’ve read it, and can recognizeContinue reading