“Right now, the U.S. can take one step by denying the Keystone XL oilsands pipeline. Otherwise, the U.S. is tacitly saying that it condones the ongoing mismanagement of the oil sands, and Canada’s role as America’s dirty gas tank.” [Source]
The man who wrote this is now the most powerful unelected political staffer in charge of Canada’s environmental policy – Chief of Staff, Marlo Raynolds.
Raynolds wrote this in 2010, as an open letter to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. At the time, he was the Executive Director of the Pembina Institute, an organization that self-describes as providing “policy research leadership and education on climate change.”
How did a guy who fought against the oil sands get past the PMO’s screening to become Chief of Staff to Minister of the Environment, Catherine McKenna?
Ask Justin Trudeau.
Raynolds lobbied now-Prime Minister Trudeau as far back as 2008. What was the subject of their meeting? Well, according to the Monthy Communications Report filed with the Lobbying Commissioner, they talked about “Oil sands development.”
This is a guy who co-wrote an article titled “Canada’s Reputation Tarnished by Tar Sands.” While the Canadian economy was being hit by the recession caused by the housing collapse south of the border, Raynolds was chatting up Trudeau about our “head-in-the-sand approach to global warming.”
Marlo Raynolds is in the news this week, but for another reason. There’s evidence to suggest that he has an open-door policy for anybody who wants to lobby Trudeau’s government – so long as you share his radical environmentalist policy.
The Globe and Mail is reporting that a company set up by a former Liberal staffer is offering access to “internal planning discussions regarding the federal government’s $950-million Innovation Clusters program.” They’re selling access to Liberal decision makers for $10,000 a year. Marlo Raynolds met the group three times since October.
And if you think that Raynolds might have moderated his views since leaving the Pembina Institute, think again. Another report filed with the Commissioner says he met with the Pembina Institute just six months ago, on December 2, 2016.
The guy who lobbied Raynolds is Ed Whittingham. Not only is Whittingham a former employee of Raynolds’ at the Pembina Institute, but his wife is a donor.
You see, Raynolds is a failed Liberal candidate in Banff-Airdrie. Elections Canada’s records show that Ed Whittingham's "partner," Yuka Whittingham, donated $1,000 to Marlo Raynolds’ riding association.
Marlo Raynolds lobbied American and Canadian officials against Alberta’s oil sands.
His own employee's family donated to his political campaign.
He is now Chief of Staff to the Minister of the Environment. And he’s being lobbied by the same former employee whose family donated to his campaign.
Does it come as any surprise that Marlo Raynolds is at the centre of a cash-for-access scandal?