NOTE: Closely related: Bruce Carson Scandal Greased by Harper’s Oil Sands Agenda, Taxpayer millions set up PM advisor to push petro interests from U of Calgary. 27 Apr 2011, http://thetyee.ca/News/2011/04/27/CarsonOilSands/ (use of universities to funnel money to corporate interests).
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“The name of Michele McPherson, 22, appears on a secret contract witnessed by Bruce Carson (advisor to Government) that guaranteed her 20 per cent of all gross revenues from sales related to water contracts on First Nations reserves, according to a copy of the contract obtained by an APTN investigative team”
Just click on the VIDEO by APTN @ link:
BUT NOTE: There’s another connection in the story, explained by Sheila (Carson is on the Tar Sands Water Review panel):
With thanks to Sheila who writes, “Wow – what a scandal! . . .
Water board adviser caught lobbying for private water service providers in First Nation communities. Bruce Carson, former policy adviser to Harper, has been caught lobbying for Indian Affairs to book contracts with H20 Global Group (a company 20% owned by an intimate friend) to provide water treatment systems in FN communities. He ” believed the company was on the “cusp” of making a breakthrough into the on-reserve water market.”
Wouldn’t doubt he was aware of Bill S-11 and potentials it would open up for private water companies?!
Well this was written in the Globe & Mail article: “First nations leaders were allegedly being warned by the promoters of the H2O Pro system that new legislation before the Senate will require them to meet stringent drinking water standards but will provide no resources to do so. The communities were allegedly told that government connections could be used to find money for the equipment and training if they purchased the systems. “
Carson is also on the board of the Alberta oilsands water review panel that is supposed to provide recommendations in June for a world class monitoring system for the tar sands. Ha!
News that not only informs, but inspires.
(Photo: Michele McPherson. www.ottawaescorts.me)
By Kenneth Jackson and Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
A former senior advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper was lobbying Indian Affairs to land water contracts potentially worth millions of dollars for an Ottawa-based water company that employed his fiance who was an escort.
The name of Michele McPherson, 22, appears on a secret contract witnessed by Bruce Carson that guaranteed her 20 per cent of all gross revenues from sales related to water contracts on First Nations reserves, according to a copy of the contract obtained by an APTN investigative team.
APTN unearthed the contract as part of its investigation into Carson’s involvement with H2O Pros and its attempts to sell water filtration systems to First Nations with the poorest water quality.
Carson, who was one of Harper’s longest serving advisors, left the Prime Minister’s Office in 2008 to take over the newly minted Canada School of Energy and Environment that received $15 million in federal funds.
The Prime Minister’s Office asked the RCMP, the Commissioner of Lobbying and the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to investigate Carson’s activities after APTN disclosed some of the information gathered in the course of the investigation.
Carson says on-camera he witnessed the contract’s signing between H2O Pro and Michelle McPherson, who also goes by the escort name Leanna VIP.
“I didn’t sign it…I witnessed it,” said Carson, when he asked by APTN about the details of the contract.
According to records, Carson and McPherson share a $400,000 house with an in-ground pool that sits on a 2-acre lot near Winchester about 60 km from Ottawa.
The home was bought in December. Carson rarely stays there. He works out of Calgary and when he does come to Ottawa he also books a room at the Chateau Laurier next to Parliament Hill.
McPherson also drives a black Mercedes SUV that Carson purchased.
H2O Pros created a company called H20 Global Group to deal with the possible Indian Affairs contracts.
An APTN Investigates team initially approached the company to do a story about their so-called “First Nations Water Project.”
In the course of the investigation, Carson and company officials opened up about plans to sell up to 40,000 water filtration units to 50 identified First Nations with dire water problems.
The secret contract, called an agency agreement, stipulates that McPherson would act as the “agent” and the face of the company when dealing with Native people on all water deals.
Throughout the investigation APTN was not able to get McPherson to appear on camera or comment about her job with the company. Sources have told APTN the deal would have given McPherson “money for nothing.”
The contract stated: “The principal hereby appoints the Agent, and the Agent hereby agrees to act, as the exclusive agent for the purpose of representing the Principal in all matters including trade shows, pilot projects, sales and all related activities dealing with First Nations and the Principal’s water purification products.”
Former company insiders told the APTN Investigative News Unit that another, more detailed contract was also signed earlier this year.
Company president Patrick Hill told APTN each of the units ranged in price between $3,500 to $6,000.
APTN has since learned the price of the units could have hit $10,000 each, as a result of assessments and shipping costs.
The resulting contracts would have resulted in tens of millions of dollars in sales and a healthy profit for McPherson.
The company has faced financial difficulty of late, failing to pay employees and witnessing a high turnover.
According to former employees, at least 15 people had left the company since December.
Carson and Hill both told APTN they believed the company was on the “cusp” of making a breakthrough into the on-reserve water market.
Despite repeated requests, Hill has refused further comment.
Company employees attended the Alberta chief’s assembly last Thursday in Calgary and were in active talks with the Tyendinaga Mohawk reserve near Belleville, Ont., when APTN began to investigate its activities.
Carson, who recently stepped down from the Canada School of Energy and Environment which was given $15 million by the current federal government, also told APTN how he planned to use his position with the school to push the water contract forward.
Carson also told APTN that Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan’s office was aware of the project and doing what they could without appearing to interfere.
Carson did meet with officials in Duncan’s office, a spokesperson for the minister said.
“The minister has never met with, been spoken to or been lobbied by Bruce Carson on these matters. The minister’s staff met with Bruce Carson on one occasion. Mr. Carson briefed the staff on a proposed water project. Staff provided publicly available information to Bruce Carson,” said Michelle Yao, spokeswoman for Duncan.
Carson also managed to land several meetings with Indian Affairs departmental officials, according to a department spokesperson who referred to Carson and company representatives as “stakeholders.”
“Ms. Mitchell, along with members of her staff, have met with Mr. Carson and representatives of H2O Global Group on several occasions over the last several months to discuss issues related to water infrastructure on reserve,” said a department spokesperson.
The Businessman, the Girlfriend, the Water Deal and the PMO
OTTAWA — A former top adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper was lobbying the Indian Affairs Department earlier this year for a water filtration company involved in a multi-million dollar deal in which his fiancée, a former upscale call girl from Ottawa, stood to gain a lucrative commission.
The revelation of Bruce Carson’s activities prompted the Prime Minister’s Office to ask the RCMP this week to investigate allegations of influence-peddling.
Michele McPherson’s name appears as an “agent” of the water company, according to the contract first reported by the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network. And Carson, one of Harper’s longtime advisers, told APTN that he had witnessed the contract to sell water-filtration units to First Nations reserves.
Carson and his escort-turned fiancée own a house together near Kemptville, south of Ottawa. They purchased the house in December, according to land registry documents that list both as co-owners.
Indian Affairs officials confirmed Thursday that Carson, who is not registered as a lobbyist, met with John Duncan’s ministerial staff on Jan. 11. He had left the PMO in February 2009.
McPherson has come a long way since being recruited as a prostitute from a Vanier playground.
She was only 13 when she started turning tricks for junk food and cigarettes, then money.
In a meeting with the Citizen while she was still working as an escort, she claimed one of her clients was a member of the Ottawa Police Service.
She also gave the Citizen a tour of the Vanier playground where it all began, and pointed out the hotels where she took money for sex.
On her VIP escort website in 2009, she boasted:
“Are you looking for adventure, passion, romance, intrigue wrapped up in one unbelievable sexy little package?”
Her escort name on the website is Leanna and features photographs of her wearing little.
Her target market, she said, was “upscale and distinguished gentlemen.”
“My philosophy of pleasure is to tease and seduce you and make a special connection between us. My youthful radiance and uncanny ways will melt your heart,” she wrote on the website.
Her mother, Christine McPherson, is the director of programs and services for the water filtration firm, H20 Global Group. She defended Carson and her daughter in an interview Thursday.
“Mr. Bruce Carson has never worked with us as a lobbyist and never promised any form of access to any government official. He has simply assisted us in an advisory role to understand how we can work with the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and First Nations,” Christine McPherson said in a statement.
“Mr. Carson has never lobbied for us nor has Mr. Carson ever offered to do (so) and no money has been paid or (has any been offered) to give us access to any government official,” the statement continued.
The APTN report included e-mails authored by Carson in which he said he had talked to the “PM”.
He later told APTN that what he wrote wasn’t true. One e-mail shows that Carson knew the name of the new Indian Affairs minister a day before it was publicly announced.
Indian Affairs has also confirmed that Carson, in his 60s, met with ministerial staff about the water-filtration deal, which has yet to be finalized.
McPherson’s statement continued: “Mr. Carson has never lobbied for us nor has Mr. Carson ever offered to do and no money has been paid or offered any to give us access to any government official.”
The PMO asked the RCMP on Wednesday to probe the influence-peddling allegations.
Federal law prohibits former political staffers from lobbying government for five years after leaving office, and Carson was never registered as a lobbyist.
“Given what we’ve learned about Bruce Carson, our government will not be in communication with him on any matter,” Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for Harper, said in a statement Wednesday. Soudas wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of the allegations being investigated, but said Harper had “never met with, been spoken to or been lobbied by Bruce Carson on any of the matters.
“Our government strengthened Canadian laws with the toughest anti corruption legislation — the Federal Accountability Act — including a ban on lobbying for five years by former political staff.
Christine McPherson also confirmed the contract unearthed by APTN, saying:
“The contract of Michele McPherson is between H2o Global Group and Michele McPherson and has nothing to do with Mr. Carson whatsoever.”
She acknowledged her daughter’s sordid history and compared her “struggles” to that of young native women.
“Michele McPherson, my daughter struggled through her youth with escorting. She fought her way out of that and wanted to make a difference. As a young girl she has travelled … throughout Baffin Island and Northern Quebec, and struggled the same way many young First Nations women do.
“What is not being reported is that Michele is not an escort today and has devoted her life to something decent and good. What is not being aired is that her contract is between H2o Global and her and she has insisted that our approach incorporate helping young first nations people and that she wants to ensure that is done.
“First Nations people are without clean, healthy and safe water and their communities often suffer with other challenges. Our work is precious and we stand by it.”
H2O Global is federally registered water filtration company that has manufacturing plants in Regina and a shell office in downtown Ottawa where it sometimes holds meetings.
The revelations involving Carson fed into pre-election posturing Thursday in ongoing parliamentary hearings about whether the Harper government, and one minister in particular, were in contempt of Parliament.
The newest revelation about Carson, a longtime aide to Prime Minister Harper, came to light after the prime minister’s office sent a letter asking RCMP commissioner William Elliott to investigate whether Carson exploited his inside connections to influence a government decision.
The Prime Minister’s Office also sent letters, obtained by Postmedia News, to the ethics commissioner and lobbying commissioner, asking them to look in to Carson’s activities.
Spokespeople for both commissioners and the RCMP said they are reviewing the letters before launching investigations.
Carson is the second former Conservative political staffer referred to the Mounties this week, following recommendations from the federal information commissioner and Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose that the RCMP investigate allegations thatSebastien Togneri interfered with an Access to Information request.
Liberal house leader David McGuinty said he was “astonished” to see Harper calling in the Mounties to investigate one of the prime minister’s closest confidantes.
But NDP MP Pat Martin said Harper’s office alerted the RCMP not out of concern, but for political appearances.
“They’re desperately trying to get out in front of this so they can frame the story,” he said. “They think calling the RCMP in absolves them of any involvement.”
Meanwhile, Tory Minister of State for Finance Ted Menzies said everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
“I am a proud Canadian and a proud believer in the fact that people are innocent until proven guilty,” said Menzies. “That’s all.”
Until Wednesday night, Carson was the executive director of the Canada School of Energy and Environment at the University of Calgary.
In a statement issued through the University of Calgary that night, he announced he would be taking a leave of absence effective immediately.
Carson was a key adviser to Harper, both in opposition and government.
He was parachuted briefly in 2006 as chief of staff to then-environment minister Rona Ambrose, as environmentalists and other critics pilloried her for insufficient action to curb climate change.
She was ultimately demoted, and Carson returned to Harper’s side full-time.
Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia News
Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Businessman+Girlfriend+Water+Deal/4460760/story.html#ixzz1Gvbzu000–
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