Tory aide applied to firms to which he leaked information - Macleans.ca
 

Tory aide applied to firms to which he leaked information

Pre-budget leak grinds budget consultations to a halt


 

Russell Ullyatt, the aide to Conservative MP Kelly Block who was fired after leaking a pre-budget committee report to lobbyists, has testified that he applied for jobs at the five firms to which he sent the confidential information. This revelation comes after the report was shelved because of the leak, meaning the next federal budget—which will trigger an election if voted down—will be written without input from Parliament. “I understood after the fact the gravity of the error that I made,” Ullyat told the House of Commons procedure committee. Four of the lobbyists who received the report from Ullyatt had worked for the Conservatives before, while the fifth has contributed money to the party.  The Tories have come under fire for the party’s close ties with lobbyists before, and tried to curb criticisms with new regulations on lobbying in 2006, but they only applied to MPs, ministers and cabinet staff, not staff to backbench MPs.

The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail


 
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Tory aide applied to firms to which he leaked information

  1. How unusual for the Conservatives to try and push through something without any input from Parliament. Also very convenient that there's no other option.

    • Its not the Conservatives trying to stop pre budget consultations its the idiots in the opposition parties. I suspect most Canadians have no idea about what was in the documents leaked. However, the opposition thinking they can play games are refusing to release their report. Well, it will be to their detriment. The budget will come out and they will not have had any input and they get what they get.
      I hope there is a majority government after the next election. I am sick of all the political games on all sides and suspect a lot of Canadians feel the same.

      • Canadians are sick of sleazy lying Conservatives.

        • Holly….the polls don't say that. We know you and the rest of the lefties hate Harper but don't interpret that as all Canadians. Despite all of the faux scandals, the town halls, the magical mystery bus tour and the outrageous accusations Canadians ain't buying it. So I know Liberals want to believe that Canadians hate Harper but the polls are saying different.

          • OK; so only two thirds of us (more or less, depending on the day and who conducts the poll) want to see him tossed. Sadly, our first-past-the-post democratic structure in a multi-party environment means we are always stuck with the tail wagging the dog…

      • Wait a sec…a con staffer releases insider information to a pack of lobbyists who used to work for the CPC or made contributions to that party and you're upset with the opposition for playing games?

        You might want to re-think your assessment of blame here. You'd have to go through some pretty impressive mental gymnastics (more commonly known as cognitive dissonance) to find the opposition responsible for this little mess.

        If the government gets rewarded with a consultation-free budget process this way, their "leaks" will become an annual event preceding every budget.

        • Read my comments again. I am not condoning anything. However, to suggest this is a conspiracy by the government to stop whistleblowers is assinine. She was an independent officer of parliament. The government could not fire her. Like the AG she could have done and said anything she wanted.
          The opposition are being silly. Canadians haven't seen what the reports say. So in essence they are playing games. Do I care if the opposition has any say in the budget process. Absolutely not. They will vote against it anyway because it is a budget done by the Conservative government.

          • "She was an independent officer of parliament. The government could not fire her"

            Sorry, I have no clue to whom you're referring here or how whistleblowing is even a factor. The leak came from a CPC staffer named Russell Ullyatt. The issue isn't what "Canadians" know or don't know at this point. It's about a staffer leaking insider information to sympathetic lobbyists. It's akin to insider trading, if you will. It empowers those lobbyists to influence the budget development process (or at least creates the perception thereof). The only way to level the playing field after this kind of breach of confidentiality is to either deep six the report (neutralizing the value of the information) or release it to the world and open up the budget development process to a whole circus of lobbying and public scrutiny.

            It doesn't matter whether or not you "care if the opposition has any say in the budget process" because, sorry to break this to you, it's a lot bigger than you.

          • This is hilarious. Hollinm's either talking about some other scandal altogether (what's really non-humorously funny is there are so many to choose from), or he never reads the blog posts he comments on. Either way, it isn't "the opposition" being silly.

  2. This Russell what'shisname, got paid off to fall on his sword. Anybody that believes this brainwashed "aide" is even more shallow than the ridiculous alibi he was forced to spew out, courtesy of the Harper "Tiger Team" (A backroom Harper goon squad covers up and performs damage control) which is straight out the Bush/NCC/Northern Foundation playbook.

    • Take a pill buddy. You don't know what you are talking about.

      • Really? Did you know that Harper was a member of the Northern Foundation back in 1989? Look it up. In Trevor Harrison's book "Passionate Intensity"…interesting reading trust me. I think Bush and the NCC are fairly well documented on Harper's involvement. And as for the Tiger Team? Ask or connect yourself with any journalist that works the Hill. They'll set you straight if you don't believe what you read here. Otherwise, you just go ahead and vote Harper…you'll be the first one screaming blue murder when he takes aways something you may value…

  3. CBC Question of the day:
    Should lobbyists who obtain leaked information be barred from bidding on any government contracts or work?

    Sounds like a good start.

    • If so it's a good way to submarine the bids of any contractor you don't have ties to…

      Hit your "send" button on some inside information and their blacklisted. I'm sure that's worth more to "your" contractor than the information itself.

      Be careful what you wish for.

  4. Our very own "Ullyleaks."

    He's a hero I tell you…a real hero.

  5. Outlaw lobbyists . The conservatives have proven that it is sleazy, greasy and very undemocratic something like the Senate.

    • Good idea Gary. Let's make sure the government never talks to anyone but themselves before they make decisions. Because we all know that MPs are all-knowing, all-seeing and will always have a full understanding of all sides of an issue before they make a decision right?

      You know who fought to outlaw lobbyists but was forced to write them into the constitution-of-the-day? King John. Ever wonder where "the right to petition the government" comes from? Magna Carta. Ever notice where else it's enshrined? The US Bill of Rights.

      "Outlawying" lobbyists the knee-jerk reaction of people who just assume that the government will run better if it doesn't have to listen to anyone but its own internal advisors.

  6. Is the lobbyist Lynne Hamilton related to Conservative party lawyer Arthur Hamilton?

    • No there is no connection between the two

  7. That is "Ex Tory Aid"! Stop the misinformation.

  8. What if you lobby for disabled children?…or mothers against drunk driving?…or the arts?…or environmental causes?…or gay baby whales?

    Just pointing out that there are a lot more people and groups lobbying the government than the "big business" boogeyman.

    In fact…is there any group that doesn't actually lobby government?

    Lobbying in itself is not an inherently bad thing…unless of course you hate the group doing the lobbying…then it's terrible and should be banned.

    Not defending this guy though…bring him up on charges.

    • Unfortunately only the "big business" boogeyman are the ones with unfettered access. For example the Tobacco lobby with an army of conservative faithful lobbyists have had over 80 accesses to government with the result the government folded to big tobacco pushing the tobacco war back years. The lobbyists made tons of money, Harper hopes to see some of it because it is his friends that have benefited and to hell with the Canadian public.

      However I agree we should have lobbyist but the rules must change . Anyone with a political affiliation past or present is barred , and priority given to non profit charitable organizations where the lobbyist is unpaid and does so on a pro bono basis. With that last rule you would see the present lobbyists running from Parliament Hill like rats leaving a sinking ship.

      • How about lobbyists are barred from seeing any one MP, or any several MPs from one party, at any time? Or telephone calls. Lobby committees, in other words.

  9. Ulyatt sent his leak to 5 CONSERVATIVE lobbyists. ?All in the family.remind you of the Mafia.

  10. I'm wondering when the far left and their compatriots in the media will figure out that "death by a thousand cuts" doesn't apply to ginned up faux scandals.

    Quiet the opposite.

    They have cried out about the political sky falling so many times on this petty issue or that, that there may actually be a day when the conservatives are engaged in a real scandal, and the public will have learned to yawn at another uneaten wafer, 105th prorogue (but this one was soooo different that the previous 104!!), shortening the FORTY page census(gate),

    all the while the leftists will be crying out BUT THIS TIME IT REALLY IS A SCANDAL,

    and all the while Harper continuing to hover around majority territory.

    Tell us, liberal friends, about this latest "scandel". Is it as bad as conservatives spending thier own money but accounting for it on the national level vs. local?

    • I don't know what you're on about, but this story is quite unseemly.

  11. Remember the good ol days when a scandal meant stealing tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and funnelling back to the political party via money laundering and brown paper bags passed under the table?

    The days when the Liberals were in power that is?

    • Chat, in your little universe, has there been ANY scandal in Canadian history before or since Adscam? That event has seriously arrested your cognitive development to the point where you seem unable to grapple with any other issue…a veritable one-trick pony.

      Rather sad, really.

    • Remember the good ol days when a scandal meant delivering brown paper bags full of $100 bills to the sitting Prime Minister to get him to advocate for the purchase of specific airframes from a specific company? Or perhaps for a scheme of questionable value to build military vehicles in Cape Breton that never actually took off?

      The days when Mulroney was in power, that is?

  12. Methinks Russell Ullyatt is a good candidate to break in one of those new jail cells the Tories are so keen on building…

  13. Russell Ullyatt… who was fired after leaking a pre-budget committee report to lobbyists, has testified that he applied for jobs at the five firms to which he sent the confidential information.

    Were those job applications BEFORE or AFTER he was fired for being the leaker?

    Either way, is this the dumbest, most politically tone-deaf moron since Mr. Entitlements Dingwall? Or is he a turncoat willing to further solidify his reputation as an idiot in order to exert maximum damage to the governing party?

    • "Either way, is this the dumbest, most politically tone-deaf moron"

      My first thought, too, MYL. How did this person get to be a backbench staffer?

      • He's a Conservative Young Jurk who fits right in with the rest of the sleazy unprincipled crowd.

  14. Here's the thing – these lobbyists have pretty much bastardized an entire profession by their actions. Meanwhile this guy tries to score a job and, in the process, has virtually assured that he will a) never be hired by any firm whatsoever and b) that he is now persona non grata by the CPC. So effectively he's screwed himself. As for the 5 who likely asked him for the report (this crap about it just being "sent" as a surprise is complete garbage), it's revolting to see how fast they threw their "friend" under the bus. Save yourselves — so much for honor, but then these 5 idiots pretty much demonstrated the degree to which they hold Parliament as well as their professional relationships.

    I honestly was beyond revolted hearing the "As God is my witness" line coming from that one lobbyist's mouth, and then this other chump who was all "Oh, now that I have been caught and now that I have in fact sent the report to my clients, let me apologize". What a joke.

    So to recap: 5 lobbyists probably assured themselves of never being able to pick up a phone again on behalf of anybody, so their reputations and professional worth are in the toilet, while some other guy hoping that maybe – just maybe – he could score a break, winds up with squat… and will probably have to leave town if he wants to find work. Awful all around.

    I'd also like to add that Bob Fife on CTV ended his segment by saying "And all the firms contacted confirmed they will not be hiring Mr. Ullyatt". Of course, these "firms" will retain the 5 morons that helped get the guy in to this mess.

    Alot of people got screwed today – six through their own decisions, Parliament & Canadians because of breach of trust, and some honest men & women in a profession who will now be made to feel like criminals because of the actions of five lobbyists who define the term "dirty lobbyist".

    Great work folks, really really bang-up job.

  15. Ullyatt has a Conservative Party lawyer, Paul Lepsoe. He also has a political mail-order business – does that mean he's been mailing Conservative ten-percenters?
    http://creekside1.blogspot.com/2010/12/inside-pro

  16. I think that one female lobbyist is hot.