On MPs and lobbying – where does it end?

Found on another website:

Mr. Jaffer’s valuable contributions to our clients include acting for foreign and offshore organizations in obtaining operating licenses, securing regulatory and governmental approvals for mergers and acquisitions, reviewing policies and conduct of Canadian Security Intelligence Services, advising government bodies on international issues regarding cross border tax collection, antidumping issues, and lobbying government on policy issues as well as facilitating inter-governmental relationships.

Oops, I’m sorry. The paragraph above erroneously cited the name of Rahim Jaffer. The excerpt above is not about the former MP who is the subject of a probe into website fibbery (and some alleged “puffery”) by the House of Commons ethics committee, but was rather in reference to a sitting Member of Parliament. I regret the deliberate yet illustrative error.

Now, of course, Lee has has probably not anything wrong here but I find it odd that a paragraph on a website puffing up an individual and what they can do for clients has caused so much controversy, with respect to Rahim Jaffer. Jaffer’s website seemed to claim that he could influence public policy decisions through his contacts. If Jaffer was indeed lobbying, he should have registered.

On the other hand, Lee is not a lobbyist but we have a firm boasting to their clients that a Member of Parliament is “lobbying government on policy issues” thus providing “valuable contributions to our clients”.

The language just doesn’t sit right. It’s quite a bit of puffery.

Comments

comments

  • maggie

    RJ said that he did not want to operate as a lobbiest but supposing he HAD wanted to be a lobbiest – is it particularly onerous and difficult to register as one? I don't understand the position of his attackers.

  • Bec

    This is priceless, Stephen and do I see some pots and kettles that are black?

  • Liz J

    Maybe we need to have what Liberals and Dippers love to call for, a full public inquiry, using a very large fishing net capable of trolling across political lines, I mean if it's that critical to this country, if Jaffer and Guergis were doing something so bad the country was about to be brought to it's knees. This is what we have to deduct from the opposition ranting on incessantly and media coverage and excitement over this.

    The likes of Pat Martin's demeanor and questioning at the Kangaroo hearings yesterday were really beyond the pale. He should have been tossed out on his arse for bringing up cocaine use, he was way out of order.

  • wilson

    ''…and lobbying government on policy issues as well as facilitating inter-governmental relationships…''

    A sitting MP can be a lobbyist?

  • wilson

    Call me naive, but I thought being and MP was a full time job.
    Is Derek Lee on this company's payroll?
    Is there anyway to find out if there are any other MPs moonlighting, on a payroll?

  • Mary T

    This can't be the same Derrik Lee who has the motion re contempt of parliament, could it. Has the Speaker ruled yet.
    I bet if we really tried, we could find more examples of this in the liberal caucus.

  • wilson

    My, you are well behaved here. Not so much at Macleans tho, eh.

    How does an MP use their privileged position to lobby FOR clients of the law firm he works for, and not be in a conflict of interest Ted.
    The website clearly states:
    'Mr Derek Lee's valuable contributions to our clients include
    ….and lobbying government on policy issues as well as facilitating inter-governmental relationships'

  • tedbetts

    Lobbying on public policy issues does not require registration, Wilson.

    Lobbying registration is required when there is a specific gain for a specific party, like a contract to be won.

    “Lobbying” for a public policy issue is more properly called advocacy, like a gun supporter hired to push the government to change gun control laws or a poverty group hiring someone to increase public housing funding.

    As for facilitating inter-governmental relationships, I really can't see what the issue is there.

    Conflict of interest and lobbying are two entirely separate issues governed by two entirely different sets of rules.

  • tedbetts

    OK.

    You are naive.

  • Ted

    Lobbying on policy does not require registration as a lobbyist.

    Nothing in that list of activities requires registration.

    Does anyone ever try to understand an issue before attacking the other side anymore?

  • Snowbunnie

    Yes, I agree and the libs and dippers know this. Along with the media they intend to inject anything negative into this whole affair for political gain. They are all about doing anything to undermine the Tories and they are not above dirty tricks and underhanded dealing. I thought that it was evident blatantly at the kangaroo court yesterday and after Jane Taber 'Taberized' Guergis along with her co-hort in crime Robert Fife ( who had to admit to Lloyd Robertson on CTV last night that 'there really isn't anything here' regarding Jaffer and the hearing. He was not nearly so sure when he thought Helena's mortgage on her house was suspicious and speculated on national television that 'this needs investigating' ..Really? ..they are desperate to find something to hang on the Conservatives to foist another election so they can take power. That is how naked it is. I am coming to the conclusion, too, that they are just as rabid idealogues as the US is having to deal with right now.

  • Rich

    Ted: You completely missed the point of the original post: Why is acceptable for Derek Lee to puff up is website with statements that he can influence governments and assist in securing contracts but when Rahim Jaffer does the same thing, he is condemned. Talk about double standard.

  • wilson

    Gonna answer Rich's question, above?
    Seems that Liberal culture of deceit is still alive and well, eh.

  • Rich

    Wilson: I saw a interview on Power Play that Tom Clark had with Jim Karygiannis regarding lobbyists and the following Lib MP's were high lighted Jim Karygiannis, Bob Rae, Martha Hall Findlay and Irwin Cotler; The one MP that received the most funds was Karygiannis. I was trying to find the Power Play interview on CTV but was unsuccessful.

    Thes guys are still sitting MP's

  • LindaL

    Any MP with even a modicum of integrity would refuse to participate in this witch hunt against Jaffer and Guergis. The vicious Committee interrogation that happened yesterday is one of the worst attacks on a private citizen that I have ever seen. It is also a blatant misuse of government resources. I am so ashamed of our MP's — including the Conservative ones who should be boycotting this performance. I hope Jaffer sues.

  • tedbetts

    OK.

    You are naive.

  • liberty4canada

    This topic is discussed in Reddit thread here:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/canada/comments/burgf/i

    Come joint the discussion!

  • Snowbunnie

    Yes, I agree and the libs and dippers know this. Along with the media they intend to inject anything negative into this whole affair for political gain. They are all about doing anything to undermine the Tories and they are not above dirty tricks and underhanded dealing. I thought that it was evident blatantly at the kangaroo court yesterday and after Jane Taber 'Taberized' Guergis along with her co-hort in crime Robert Fife ( who had to admit to Lloyd Robertson on CTV last night that 'there really isn't anything here' regarding Jaffer and the hearing. He was not nearly so sure when he thought Helena's mortgage on her house was suspicious and speculated on national television that 'this needs investigating' ..Really? ..they are desperate to find something to hang on the Conservatives to foist another election so they can take power. That is how naked it is. I am coming to the conclusion, too, that they are just as rabid idealogues as the US is having to deal with right now.

  • Rich

    Ted: You completely missed the point of the original post: Why is acceptable for Derek Lee to puff up is website with statements that he can influence governments and assist in securing contracts but when Rahim Jaffer does the same thing, he is condemned. Talk about double standard.

  • wilson

    Gonna answer Rich's question, above?
    Seems that Liberal culture of deceit is still alive and well, eh.

  • Rich

    Wilson: I saw a interview on Power Play that Tom Clark had with Jim Karygiannis regarding lobbyists and the following Lib MP's were high lighted Jim Karygiannis, Bob Rae, Martha Hall Findlay and Irwin Cotler; The one MP that received the most funds was Karygiannis. I was trying to find the Power Play interview on CTV but was unsuccessful.

    Thes guys are still sitting MP's

  • LindaL

    Any MP with even a modicum of integrity would refuse to participate in this witch hunt against Jaffer and Guergis. The vicious Committee interrogation that happened yesterday is one of the worst attacks on a private citizen that I have ever seen. It is also a blatant misuse of government resources. I am so ashamed of our MP's — including the Conservative ones who should be boycotting this performance. I hope Jaffer sues.