Prime Minister Stephen Harper's senior advisers filled their calendars in July with one-on-one meetings with some of the country's biggest oil companies, including Shell, Petro-Canada and Suncor.
Newly released federal records show that half of the lobby groups who got some face time with the PMO last month were energy companies, or their industry associations.
Oilsands giants Suncor Energy, Petro-Canada and Shell Canada also had dozens of meetings on Parliament Hill with top ministerial advisers, including some with senior Harper advisers. Additionally, Petro-Canada representatives had a one-on-one meeting with Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Shell had a meeting with Environment Minister John Baird.
Hazell said his organization has had meetings over the last 18 months with PMO staffers but says other green lobby groups have had less success. In Hazell's view, Harper's PMO tries to punish its harshest critics by limiting access to influential decision-makers within the PMO.
Strange, that as the government was supposedly putting the finishing touches on its greenhouse gases regulatory framework, nobody in this government met with anybody but oil interests. "Dozens of meetings" with oil execs, and yet nary a visit from other organizations? In fact, HALF of ALL visits for the entire month, were with oil interests, a staggering percentage, given the sheer volume of issues the government faces. You know what a cynic would say, or anybody with common sense for that matter.
Kory Teneycke was quick to point out, that this is only the first month for the database. Now that government realizes this new transparency, what do you want to bet that we start seeing a more balanced "meetings" calendar in the coming months? Optics are everything you know.