Scream as they might about the idea of a ban on handgun ownership by Canadians, it is interesting to note that the tactics used by advocates of wide-open ownership of firearms against the so-called long-gun registry combined with the legislative strategy pursued by their allies in the Conservative federal governmentContinue reading
Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel got a couple of things right about Jason Kenney’s plan to establish a “war room” in the Ministry of Energy to pump out belligerent propaganda attacking environmentalists, other governments and private citizens who fail to support of Alberta’s wishes for endless oilsands expansion with sufficientContinue reading
By making use of the Canadian Constitution’s Notwithstanding Clause to wreak petty vengeance on his old adversaries at Toronto City Hall, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has actually done Canadians a favour. After 36 years of delusional complacency, we have now had confirmed what anyone who was really paying attention knewContinue reading
The rift between Premier Rachel Notley’s Alberta New Democrats and the federal NDP led by Jagmeet Singh over the Trans Mountain Pipeline is wide and deep, but it is not unbridgeable – yet. That could soon change, though, if two likely political scenarios unfold in tandem: an early federal electionContinue reading
Photo: Environmentalist, scientist, author, and broadcaster David Suzuki (credit: David Climenhaga) The decision by the University of Alberta Senate to present an honorary degree to high profile environmentalist, scientist, author, broadcaster and Order of Canada recipient Dr. David Suzuki has aroused much controversy from conservative partisans, Postmedia columnists, U of AContinue 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).
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
PHOTOS: Mel Hurtig with his Canadian Encyclopedia, without which, once upon a time, no respectable Canadian home was considered complete. I am grateful to Mr. Hurtig for one thing not mentioned in the short commentary below, and that is my accidental i…Continue reading
Fifteen years ago, in Jan. 2001, six prominent Conservative lobbyists and university professors, including future Prime Minister Stephen Harper and provincial cabinet minister Ted Morton, penned the Firewall Manifesto. Prime Minister Jean ChretienR…Continue reading
PHOTOS: Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair – whatever was he thinking? Below: Guest Post author Mimi Williams; Jeremy Corbyn, new leader of Britain’s Labour Party. Many New Democrats were shocked and dismayed at the outcome of Monday’s federal election, despite their relief that Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party governmentContinue reading
I can’t say I disagree with the little man from Shawinigan. “In 2003, to the dismay of our American and British allies, we refused to go to war in Iraq because the UN refused its consent to what is now universally acknowledged as a big mistake. Canada was noticed andContinue reading
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PHOTOS: Leaders of the Greek military government of 1967 to 1974. Is something similar waiting in the wings if the eurozone leadership’s effort to terrorize the Greeks into voting Yes to never-ending austerity fails today? Below: Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras, former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien and Nobel-Prize-winning AmericanContinue reading
PHOTOS: A screen shot from the new Harper Government anti-Tom-Mulcair advertisement. Actual Harper government plagiarism may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Scenes from the nearly identical 2011 Manitoba NDP 30-second spot and 2015 Harper Con spot. If political ads were popular songs, the Manitoba NDP would probably be gettingContinue reading
…to Jean Chretien. Mind you, I’m not particularly set in my opinions re Canada’s contribution to the fight against ISIS. These thoughts still apply, more so, perhaps, now that the tide seems to have turned in Kobani. But JC’s main point, that there are more roles to be played inContinue reading
TweetWith one day left before the vote, Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Ric McIver’s campaign took to the radio airwaves, attacking frontrunner Jim Prentice for being “an insider.” It was an strange move for Mr. McIver, as the general public appears largely disinterested in the contest and the deadline to purchaseContinue reading
March 12, 2014 was the day that the Canadian government officially ended its 12-year occupation of Afghanistan. What a pointless waste of lives, money and resources for a so-called “mission” that was never clearly defined and kept changing whenever the previous excuses stopped fooling the public. Hopefully the Canadian militaryContinue reading
Today marks the 8th anniversary of Stephen Harper’s election as Prime Minister. At the time, a lot of Liberals figured they could turn him into Joe Clark after a quick leadership change. Yet, by this time next year, Harper will have passed Louis St. Laurent, Robert Borden, and Brian Mulroney,Continue reading
You know what they say: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have Those left-wing media elites at the Toronto Sun have always had it in for Ford. Tim Hortons provides the ultimate pick-me-up for a normally subdued Rob Ford Harper deals with the Senate scandal. EvenContinue reading
Well I see Stephen Harper's trip to the Mandela funeral started off on a high note, with a macabre political version of the Mile High Club.With Harper obviously glad to leave the sordid Senate scandal behind him, and consorting with three former Prime Ministers.Even tweeting this photo of him andContinue reading