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A Different Point of View....: Will Harper protect Canadian secrets at "the Donald Trump” of law firms?

Former Conservative Prime Minister  Stephen Harper apparently isn’t satisfied with having destroyed a lot of wonderful and important things in Canada. Now he has signed on with Dentons, the world’s largest elite law firm, to spread his dark viewpoints around the globe.

Dentons proudly announced Monday that Harper – who does not have a legal degree – and his new consulting company will work from its Calgary office.

For Harper, the appointment is his reward from the corporate set for many years of stalwart service. He will now be able to stuff his pockets with greenbacks and 76-cent Canadian dollars.

The recently resigned Calgary MP will no doubt stick a Canadian flag on his suitcase as he peddles his anti-social ideology. Hopefully, this will be Harper’s final insult to our national pride.

Dentons is like an octopus. It has more than 7,200 lawyers in over 50 countries, and seems to be constantly expanding.

In easily translatable jargon, Dentons  said Harper has teamed up with the firm to provide clients with “advice on market access, managing global geopolitical and economic risk, and maximize value in global markets” – i.e. postulating himself based on the credibility he gained during none years as PM.

The Donald Trump of the legal set

“Dentons is the Donald Trump of the legal vertical,” writes legal expert and columnist Mark A. Cohen. “The firm is brash, bigger-than-life, and something entirely different. It receives a disproportionate amount of press because it is always doing something that drops jaws.”

The firm surprised the legal/business world by forming a partnership with a huge Chinese firm closely tied to the Communist Party. They employ more than 6,000 lawyers that are working on hundreds of projects, both inside the country and internationally.

Dentons isn’t fussy about which companies it represents in litigation. It works for Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, Citigroup, Duke Energy, Bank of America, Barclay’s Bank, Wells Fargo, and others.

It’s no surprise that Harper will pick up fat pay cheques from Dentons. The firm likes buying former politicians.  Former Liberal PM Jean Chretien and former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer are also on the Dentons payroll, as is former Harper Cabinet Minister James Moore. Last year, Dentons snapped up controversial former U.S. politicians Newt Gingrich.

Harper’s cold personality could damage his one-on-one work for Dentons. The former PM  once famously said: “I can’t even get my friends to like me.”

Outrageous move by Harper

It is outrageous that a former Prime Minister is able to join a massive, influential international corporation such as Dentons when his seat in Parliament has barely cooled.

Dentons is deeply involved in all kinds of wheeling and dealing at the highest levels around the world. Part of its success is based on collecting inside information on corporations and governments.
There are few legal constraints for Harper in his new job. Canada’s Lobbying Act  prevents Harper from being directly involved in lobbying the Canadian government for five years.

In addition, the Conflict of Interest Act says that “no former public office holder shall give advice to his or her client, business associate or employer using information that was obtained in his or her capacity as a public office holder and is not available to the public.”

Having been Prime Minister for more than nine years, Harper is aware of what is supposed to be confidential information concerning corporations in Canada and what are supposed to be secret arrangements among foreign governments.

Harper will claim he will not reveal privileged information, but there is no way of knowing whether he will break his word. Just imagine – if he was hosted by the King of Saudi Arabia and seeking approval for some energy-related project – would he not be tempted to spill the beans about what he knows about the fossil fuel industry worldwide?

Former PM a valuable asset

Harper will be a medium-sized fish at Dentons, but he can help the firm in countries where he has good relations with government leaders, and on some issues.

Given Harper’s record of spending little money on fighting climate change, he could work with government clients on how to avoid spending millions on carbon reductions and he probably could help corporate clients avoid carbon penalties.

Instead of marketing his skills through Dentons, it would have been more appropriate for Harper to get involved in academia. He would have been welcomed at the University of Calgary, where a group of professors and some students established the influential right-wing “Calgary school.

And Harper doesn’t need the money. Currently 57, he is receiving $127,000 in annual pension payments. When he turns 60, the amount will increase to $134,000 per year. The Canadian Tax Federation says that Harper’s MP pension pay would add up to roughly $5.5 million up to age 90 (factoring in for inflationary increases to the payments).

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. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Will Harper protect Canadian secrets at "the Donald Trump” of law firms?

Alberta Politics: Mel Hurtig, a great Canadian – and, full of beans, as we used to say

PHOTOS: Mel Hurtig with his Canadian Encyclopedia, without which, once upon a time, no respectable Canadian home was considered complete. I am grateful to Mr. Hurtig for one thing not mentioned in the short commentary below, and that is my accidental i… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Mel Hurtig, a great Canadian – and, full of beans, as we used to say

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Thank goodness we didn’t build that Firewall!

Fifteen years ago, in Jan. 2001, six prominent Conservative lobbyists and university professors, including future Prime Minister Stephen Harper and provincial cabinet minister Ted Morton, penned the Firewall Manifesto. Prime Minister Jean Chretien&#82… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Thank goodness we didn’t build that Firewall!

Alberta Politics: Guest Post by Mimi Williams: When the NDP abandoned its socialist principles, it abandoned its chance of winning

PHOTOS: Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair – whatever was he thinking? Below: Guest Post author Mimi Williams; Jeremy Corbyn, new leader of Britain’s Labour Party. Many New Democrats were shocked and dismayed at the outcome of Monday’s federal election, despite their relief that Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party government were gone at last. Long-time . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Guest Post by Mimi Williams: When the NDP abandoned its socialist principles, it abandoned its chance of winning

Dead Wild Roses: What has happened to Canada? – Jean Chrétien

I can’t say I disagree with the little man from Shawinigan.

“In 2003, to the dismay of our American and British allies, we refused to go to war in Iraq because the UN refused its consent to what is now universally acknowledged as a big mistake. Canada was noticed and respected for this decision.

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: What has happened to Canada? – Jean Chrétien

Alberta Politics: Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone: As PM, Stephen Harper’s economic performance is a bust!

PHOTOS: From the sublime to the ridiculous? Liberal Lester Pearson, the top postwar economic performer among Canadian prime ministers. Below: Stephen Harper, the bottom. Below him: Pierre Trudeau (second best) and Brian Mulroney (second worst). Below them: Unifor economists Jim Stanford and Jordan Brennan. One of the most effective ways to keep a population quiet . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone: As PM, Stephen Harper’s economic performance is a bust!

Alberta Politics: The effort to engineer regime change in Greece could lead to a much bigger disaster

PHOTOS: Leaders of the Greek military government of 1967 to 1974. Is something similar waiting in the wings if the eurozone leadership’s effort to terrorize the Greeks into voting Yes to never-ending austerity fails today? Below: Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras, former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien and Nobel-Prize-winning American economist Paul Krugman. Recent Western . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: The effort to engineer regime change in Greece could lead to a much bigger disaster

Alberta Politics: Does advertising plagiarism suggest Harper Government’s running on intellectual fumes?

PHOTOS: A screen shot from the new Harper Government anti-Tom-Mulcair advertisement. Actual Harper government plagiarism may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Scenes from the nearly identical 2011 Manitoba NDP 30-second spot and 2015 Harper Con spot. If political ads were popular songs, the Manitoba NDP would probably be getting ready to sue the Harper . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Does advertising plagiarism suggest Harper Government’s running on intellectual fumes?

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Iraq Debate: The Center Of Gravitas Shifts

…to Jean Chretien.  Mind you, I’m not particularly set in my opinions re Canada’s contribution to the fight against ISIS.  These thoughts still apply, more so, perhaps, now that the tide seems to have turned in Kobani.  But JC’s main point, that there are more roles to be played in this situation beyond bomb-lobbing, and . . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: Iraq Debate: The Center Of Gravitas Shifts

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: As lacklustre PC leadership race winds down, by-elections are on the horizon

TweetWith one day left before the vote, Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Ric McIver’s campaign took to the radio airwaves, attacking frontrunner Jim Prentice for being “an insider.” It was an strange move for Mr. McIver, as the general public appears largely disinterested in the contest and the deadline to purchase memberships has already passed. While . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: As lacklustre PC leadership race winds down, by-elections are on the horizon

The Ranting Canadian: March 12, 2014 was the day that the Canadian government…

March 12, 2014 was the day that the Canadian government officially ended its 12-year occupation of Afghanistan. What a pointless waste of lives, money and resources for a so-called “mission” that was never clearly defined and kept changing whenever the previous excuses stopped fooling the public.

Hopefully the Canadian military does actually . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: March 12, 2014 was the day that the Canadian government…

Calgary Grit: Canada’s New Government Turns 8

Today marks the 8th anniversary of Stephen Harper’s election as Prime Minister. At the time, a lot of Liberals figured they could turn him into Joe Clark after a quick leadership change. Yet, by this time next year, Harper will have passed Louis St. Laurent, Robert Borden, and Brian Mulroney, to become the 6th . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Canada’s New Government Turns 8

Calgary Grit: The Year in Photos

You know what they say: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have

Those left-wing media elites at the Toronto Sun have always had it in for Ford.

Tim Hortons provides the ultimate pick-me-up for a normally subdued Rob Ford

Harper deals with the . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: The Year in Photos

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s South Africa Trip Starts Badly

Well I see Stephen Harper's trip to the Mandela funeral started off on a high note, with a macabre political version of the Mile High Club.With Harper obviously glad to leave the sordid Senate scandal behind him, and consorting with three former Prime Ministers.Even tweeting this photo of him and his old arch enemy . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s South Africa Trip Starts Badly

Alberta Diary: Stephen Harper to Canada: ‘It’s not my fault! Now shut up and vote for me’

Trying to change the channel: Unfortunately for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the remote seems to have disappeared under a pillow and the movie stuck on the TV screen stars Mike Duffy, shown above moving toward the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary Friday night. Actual Canadian Senators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Stephen Harper to Canada: ‘It’s not my fault! Now shut up and vote for me’

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The ghosts of senate reform haunt the Harper Conservatives

TweetThe ghosts of Senate reform will haunt Prime Minister Stephen Harper as his party establishment gathers in Calgary on Halloween to discuss and debate party policy. After more than seven years in office, Mr. Harper’s Conservatives have accomplished little on the issue of reforming the Canadian Senate. Who would have thought that a Senate scandal . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: The ghosts of senate reform haunt the Harper Conservatives

Alberta Diary: Campaign Diary Vol. 1: The actual dark secret of democratic politics

The front page of Saturday’s St. Albert Gazette. A good first week of campaigning.

ST. ALBERT, Alberta

Well, I reckon the first week of my campaign for city council here in St. Albert has to be judged a success – at least by the measure of the excellent coverage I received in our . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Campaign Diary Vol. 1: The actual dark secret of democratic politics

Calgary Grit: The man still looks better than Stockwell Day in a wetsuit

Not bad for 79!

The Ranting Canadian: ●          “People have got to know whether or not their…

● “People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.” – disgraced American president Richard Nixon

● “I don’t recall. I don’t recall that.” – disgraced American president Ronald Reagan

● “A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: ●          “People have got to know whether or not their…

Alberta Diary: Former Tory strategist Allan Gregg rips Harper Cons’ ‘systematic attack’ on facts and reason

A couple of old guys born just before the last King passed on, one of them your blogger, the other the pollster and former Tory strategist Allan Gregg. Below: Mr. Gregg in his iconoclastically Conservative heyday.

Long-time Tory pollster and strategist Allan Gregg ripped into the Harper Government on Saturday for what he . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Former Tory strategist Allan Gregg rips Harper Cons’ ‘systematic attack’ on facts and reason

The Liberal Scarf: Winners and losers in the LPC leadership race – besides the obvious winner

Was in Ottawa for the leadership reveal, and I’ve been meaning to write a blog reflecting on the race. First off, let me thank all the volunteers and party staff who worked during the weekend and throughout the race.

While the obvious winner was Justin Trudeau, and congratulations to his team are due, . . . → Read More: The Liberal Scarf: Winners and losers in the LPC leadership race – besides the obvious winner

The Liberal Scarf: Winners and losers in the LPC leadership race – besides the obvious winner

Was in Ottawa for the leadership reveal, and I’ve been meaning to write a blog reflecting on the race. First off, let me thank all the volunteers and party staff who worked during the weekend and throughout the race.

While the obvious winner was Justin Trudeau, and congratulations to his team are due, . . . → Read More: The Liberal Scarf: Winners and losers in the LPC leadership race – besides the obvious winner

Alberta Diary: Count on it: Alberta’s doctors got more than the government’s press release indicates

Dr. Michael Giuffre jots down the Alberta Medical Association’s wish list before yesterday’s agreement with the provincial government. Actual AMA negotiators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne, Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.

It will take a while to sort out what really happened in yesterday’s deal between . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Count on it: Alberta’s doctors got more than the government’s press release indicates

Alberta Diary: Hockey-starved Canucks pray for brawl as Peter Van Loan channels Darrel Stinson

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien gets up close and personal with a protester. Below: NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, Tory chuck-a-bub Peter Van Loan, Liberal Fuddle-Duddler Pierre Trudeau, New Democrat Nathan Cullen, known for his gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.

Maybe I’ve just spent too much time hanging . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Hockey-starved Canucks pray for brawl as Peter Van Loan channels Darrel Stinson

Calgary Grit: Canada’s Greatest Losers

Last week, Martha Hall Findlay and Karen McCrimmon declared their candidacies for the Liberal leadership race. This week, George Takach has taken the plunge. I’ve posted one blog interview with David Merner, and will have others with David Bertschi and Alex Burton next week. Deborah Coyne, meanwhile, has already released more fresh ideas than we’ve seen from Stephen Harper during his entire tenure as Prime Minister. These are seven very different candidates with seven very different messages, but the one … . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Canada’s Greatest Losers