Hanky Panky hits anti-Alberta Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allen: Why give $905K (more than 1/3 the entire budget) to Dentons Canada, law firm where Allen’s son is partner, Steve Harper works and Alberta Justice Minister Schweitzer was partner. Why such expensive advice to catch some witches flying on brooms made with a few foreign parts?

Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allan donated to justice minister’s (Doug Schweitzer) leadership campaign by Charles Rusnell and Jennie Russell, Nov 15, 2019, CBC News

The commissioner for Alberta’s public inquiry into alleged foreign-funded attacks on the oil industry made a $1,000 donation to the United Conservative Party leadership campaign of Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer.

The $1,000 cash donation in 2017 by Steve Allan, using his legal first name, Jackson Allan, serves as further evidence to an environmental charity targeted by the UCP that the inquiry is a political witch hunt.

… Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer is one of three ministers who serves on the board of directors of the Canadian Energy Centre, more commonly known as the War Room.

… A spokesperson for Schweitzer has previously said Alberta Justice officials are “not aware of any conflict that would prohibit the Inquiry from contracting with Dentons for services.”

… Duff Conacher, co-founder of Ottawa-based Democracy Watch said the $1,000 donation to Schweitzer’s campaign creates yet another potential conflict of interest, this time between Schweitzer and Allan.

And if Schweitzer participated in choosing Allan to head the inquiry, that also could be a conflict “because he took part in a decision that furthered the interest of a person directly associated with him.”

… “The commissioner,” Allan’s contract states, “will act with independence and impartiality in the conduct of the inquiry and preparation of the report.” [Anyone who believes that’ll happen needs a new head]

One of the comments to the article above:

Willy Mozorotti
The scam and scandal started with the election of Kamakzie Kenny as leader of the United Corruption Party. It will spread like terminal stage 4 cancer till it is permanently removed and destroyed.

***

Steve Allen’s $291,000.00 annual salary (terribly excessive) and Dentons Canada $905,000.00 (also terribly excessive) = half the witch hunt budget.

Hank Hols
And certain people want these guys to run your pensions?!

Paul Squires Reply to @Hank Hols:

Well, Mr. Kenny didn’t want the teachers and other Government Employees pension plans free to invest their money in green energy. Now it’s safe for oil.

And if he creates an Alberta Pension Plan, that too will be under the control of the Alberta Government, money to invest in real things like oilsands, not that renewable energy stuff!

Onager Smith Reply to @Hank Hols:

It’s embarassing how so many Albertans wanted this party in government, and how shamelessly corrupt they’ve already been, only months in (in addition to before the election with the UCP leadership fraud).

They talk about saving money, but shovel it all over the place to partisan cronies while real Albertans get cuts and job losses. Sneaking fundamentalist-friendly funding and rules into place that were NOT talked about during the election campaign.

Kenney’s strategy, if you can call it a strategy, seems to amount to paying Albertan’s taxpayer dollars to take Alberta’s oil out of the ground, just to give it to oil companies, while letting them pay nothing in taxes or royalties. Today, he’s even talking about reducing their obligations to clean up after themselves by questioning the Redwater ruling. It would be pretty hard to have a worse long term financial plan for Alberta than this.

Martha Rex
So how does Kenney defend this? UCP supporters getting what they wished for and a whole lot more. Not properly fact checking Kenney and his clan, this is just the start of the “we will do whatever we want” mantra from the UCP.

Don Cheer Reply to @Martha Rex:
First Kenney hires his old mentor Preston Manning
Next Kenney flies Conservatives on a charter flight
Next Kenney’s staff take expensive vacations to London
Now Kenney’s appointed one gives a million dollars to his kid and the law firm that Harper works for. Though Harper isn’t a lawyer and his only real job was mailroom clerk for daddies oil company so I suspect Harper is just working in the mail room.

If Trudeau or Notley did this type of thing there would be a massive mushroom cloud over Alberta from Lorne Gunters head exploding.

Jack Hill

$900k corruption case, coupled with a $45k vacation case, all on the very same day that Kenney begs Canada for $1.7b.

Does it get any better?

Harper’s New Job: The Tax Haven Connection by Canadians for Tax Fairness

The mega-law Canadian law firm that provided advice to KPMG clients about using tax schemes to hide assets during divorces has hired former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Dentons says Harper, who has no law training, will provide clients with advice on maximizing value in global markets.

“Under Harper, money flowing to tax havens jumped to $270Billion – it’s no secret he was a fan,” says Dennis Howlett, executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness. “Now he will be paid big bucks, likely helping wealthy clients navigate the tax-dodging tax treaties that were signed under his watch.”

A self-described “elite” law firm, Dentons provided KPMG with a 17 page legal opinion that said clients could possibly “avoid provisions in the Canada Divorce Act and similar provincial legislation” if they bought in to the Isle of Man tax scheme which is now under investigation by the CRA. The Parliamentary Finance Committee heard that KPMG used the legal opinion letter in their sales pitch to clients.

“Tax haven use robs billions from Canada and the rest of us have to make up the difference,” says Howlett. “When former prime ministers benefit from the system, it is no wonder that repairing the damage is taking so long.”

The law firm has on its roster former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien, former ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer, and James Moore, Harper’s former industry minister.

UCP budget cuts pay out to foreign-owned corporations, not ordinary Albertans Press Release by Canadians for Tax Fairness, Oct 24, 2019

OTTAWA- Public service cuts expected in today’s United Conservative Party’s budget will be used to bolster profits for large foreign-owned corporations and do little to create jobs and investments in the province.

“Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is giving large profitable corporations billions in tax cuts and now ordinary Albertans will pay for those unnecessary tax breaks with cuts to public services,” said Toby Sanger, executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness.

The corporate tax cut will cost the Alberta government $1.7 billion every year – the equivalent of $1,000 per household.

Most businesses in Alberta, which are small and have annual profits below $500,000, won’t benefit at all and there’s little evidence that tax cuts create jobs in the first place.

The biggest beneficiaries of Kenney’s big business tax cut will be foreign corporations and shareholders, as many of Alberta’s most profitable large corporations are majority foreign owned. More than 80% have a majority of foreign owners among their top five shareholders.

For example, Husky Energy, which just laid off hundreds of workers in Calgary, is 91% foreign-owned (including 70% by the Li family through holding companies in the tax haven of Luxembourg) and Imperial Oil, is 89% foreign-owned, including 70% by Texas-based ExxonMobil.

“It’s clear the Kenney’s Big Business Tax Cut isn’t working, except to pour money into the pockets of wealthy foreign shareholders—and it’s really disturbing that ordinary Albertans will pay the price with cuts to public services, jobs and wages,” Sanger said. [Anyone who voted UCP knew this was what they were voting for; Albertans seem to worship and love being abused and robbed by those they vote for] …

More Steve Allen Dentons Canada Dirt:

Inquiry commissioner Steve Allan handed $905K sole-source contract to son’s law firm, ‘Clear conflict of interest,’ says Democracy Watch co-founder by Charles Rusnell and Jennie Russell, CBC News, Nov 14, 2019

The commissioner heading Alberta’s public inquiry into allegations of foreign-funded reputational attacks on the province’s oil and gas industry personally handed $905,000 in legal business to a Calgary law firm in which his son is a partner. [And, where Steve Harper gets a paycheck and the firm his consultancy firm is affiliated with]

Commissioner Steve Allan granted the sole-source contract, for legal advice to the inquiry, to the law firm Dentons, where his son Toby is a partner.

The contract was issued 11 days after Allan was named by Premier Jason Kenney to head the $2.5 million Public Inquiry Into Funding of Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns.

“I think it’s a clear conflict of interest,” said Duff Conacher, co-founder of Ottawa-based Democracy Watch.

“Whether any code (of conduct) applies to Steve Allan, or even if his son doesn’t financially profit from it, it is his son’s company and it is a clear conflict of interest, and (the commissioner) should not have taken part in any decision to hand a contract to Dentons,” said Conacher, an adjunct professor of law and political science at the University of Ottawa.

As first reported by The Edmonton Journal last week, Alberta’s database of sole-source contracts shows the government will pay Dentons $905,000 during the course of the contract, which began July 15 and is to run until March 31, 2020.

Despite requests, Allan did not make himself available for an interview over the past two days. In a text, he said his son will not benefit in any way from the contract, and said it was “vetted with government and Dentons before engagement was finalized.” [Harper running Kenney’s War Room and Witch Hunt? It’s right up Stevie’s nasty alley]

In an email Wednesday night, Allan said he chose Dentons because he has “a long and successful history of working with counsel at Dentons through my professional career” and has confidence in the services they will provide to the inquiry.

He did not respond to the specific issue of whether his son, as partner in the firm, would share in any of the profits from the contract.

Conacher said if Dentons is like most law firms, its partners share in its revenues.

But he said even if Toby Allan somehow opted out of any financial gain from the contract, it still benefits his partners and his law firm, “so the conflict would be there whether he was taking money from the contract or not.”

At a news conference Thursday, NDP democracy and ethics critic Heather Sweet said the NDP is asking the province’s ethics commissioner to review the awarding of the contract and determine if Allan broke any ethics rules.

In September, CBC News asked how Dentons and the accounting firm Deloitte came to be chosen to conduct work for the inquiry.

In an emailed statement, the commission said: “The commissioner, per the Terms of Reference which authorize his retention of such resources, selected these firms to provide expert legal counsel and supporting accounting advice to assist him in fulfilling his mandate.”

Alberta’s Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer is also a former partner at Dentons in Calgary. [That’s some club they got going there. Perhaps the CRA ought to investigate] A press secretary for Schweitzer said in an emailed statement that the minister severed his relationship with Dentons in April and has no relationship with the firm.

“We have been advised by (Justice Ministry) officials that they are not aware of any conflict that would prohibit the Inquiry from contracting with Dentons for services,” the statement said. [Of course not, when conveniently looking the other way!]

“Large law firms are regularly required to construct ethical walls between clients in order to ensure no conflicts of interest,” the statement said. “This is standard practice and we assume it would be followed in this case if necessary.”

Conacher said there should have been an open competition for the business. [of course, but, this is Alberta where any Hanky Panky, no matter how dirty, goes]

“All contracts should be handled on a fair bidding process where the qualifications of those who are bidding, as well as the price that they’re offering to do the work for, is taken into account,” Conacher said.

“And all of that has to be decided by people who have not even any appearance of conflict of interest.”

The NDP’s Sweet said Allan’s awarding of the Dentons contract is particularly troubling given the scarce details made public about the inquiry’s work and how its $2.5-million budget will be spent.

She said even if his son will not financially benefit, Allan’s personal connection to the firm “raises a lot of questions around why he picked this firm specifically.”

Sweet said the NDP will urge the government to refer the contract to the province’s ethics commissioner if it has not already done so. If the government refuses, she said the NDP will consider its options.

“The fact that the government has approved this, knowing that there is a perceived conflict of interest, should raise a lot of questions for Albertans about the openness and transparency of what this (inquiry’s work) is actually going to be achieving for Albertans,” she said. [pfff! what dribble. everyone knows Steve Allen’s (previously with Compton Petroleum, company with a sorid history that wanted to shallow frac CBM commingled with deep sour gas in the foothills and drill for extremely sour gas in the City of Calgary near a hospital) witch hunt isn’t going to serve anything for Albertans, it’s just going to serve CAPP, big oil and gas companies and a tiny handful of greedy priviledged lawyers]

“Because as of right now, it is starting to look like it is purely a political and partisan activity.”

Refer also to:

Kenney’s $2.5 Million “Public Inquiry” Witch Hunt has paid law firm Dentons Canada $905,000 so far! Is Steve Allen’s job to steal from Alberta taxpayers to give to lawyers in exchange for Kenney favours? What a toxic circus Alberta govt is.

The back door to Steve Allen’s War Room Inquiry in Alberta

Muttart Foundation letter to UCP’s Witch Hunt Chief Steve Allen says inquiry is “polarizing, undemocratic and unfounded.” Privacy and legal experts question Kenney War Room’s FOIP exemption, raise privacy concerns [Quick! Hide your broomstick!]

Shaun Fluker: Procedural Fairness and the Alberta Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns. Since when has anything oil and gas related been “fair” except to companies profiting and bankrupting themselves to escape clean up, and politicians and regulators enabling them?

Excellent Must Read by Law Prof Martin Olszynski: Everything You Wish You Didn’t Need to Know About the Alberta Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns

CAPP/Kenney’s Snitch Submission Email for $2.5 Million “McCarthy style witch hunt” of courageous concerned citizens, to help polluting, job-decimating, billion $ profit-taking, largely foreign-owned multinationals. The Inquiry lies, says not linked to Kenney’s war room even though inquiry is reportedly paid for out of war room’s budget! Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allen is industry-biased of course: Was Director of Compton Petroleum, chaired Compton’s Audit Committee (company with a greedy sordid sour history)

Sputtering laughter! Watch the news clip! Jason Kenney’s corporate welfare war room launches $2.5M inquiry into magic land

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