‘We don’t fully understand some of the things the school was involved in’

by Aaron Wherry

Greg Weston looks into what Bruce Carson was doing after he left the Prime Minister’s Office.

In an exclusive interview with CBC News, Turner said the board has simply written off about $15,000 of taxpayers’ money that Carson spent on personal travel and other expenses during his last month on the job. The school — a think-tank set up at the University of Calgary with a $15-million federal grant — withheld another $13,000 it owed Carson when he left under a cloud of controversy in March…

The Canada School of Energy and Environment was supposed to bring together the best and brightest from the public and private sectors to create new clean energy technologies and strategies. Instead, Carson effectively turned the school into a one-man advocacy centre to promote the Canadian oil industry in general, and the oilsands in particular, a role he had played through most of his time in the Prime Minister’s Office.




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‘We don’t fully understand some of the things the school was involved in’

  1. Is this what they mean when they refer to Ethical Oil?

  2. So many issues to choose from, but I think you missed the most important one.

    So, you are a member of a Board of Directors.  You hire someone to lead your organization because he came recommended (or at least was able to bandy the name about) by your political master.  And, apparently that’s good enough for you because you don’t spend a minute or a nickel further looking into this guy.  And then, you basically leave him alone to do whatever he wants–to the point that you don’t demand a reporting to the Board of Directors as to what he’s doing!  For two years!!

    How can these people continue to a) hold their heads up after failing so spectacularly in their fiduciary duties, and b) keep cashing their director’s fee cheques?

    • I suspect it was a package deal – the $15 million came with Carson.

      Since Harper threw him under the bus, the others are piling on. If the APTN hadn’t discovered the scandal, I’m sure he’d still be flying hither and yonder and racking up the personal expenses.

  3. Suing in civil court might be one option for getting him to repay the expense funds, but I’ve heard (or maybe it was on TV) that there are criminal laws against taking money for one purpose (business expenses) and using it for another (personal expenses).

    Now, I’m not a high-powered lawyer and board member, but I would think if there were questions about misappropropriation of funds I would CALL THE POLICE.

    • You wouldn’t call the police if your funding arrived with this guy and his PMO referral, would you?  Your institution wouldn’t exist if not for the funding.

      This is so wrong, no matter how you slice it.  And I lay the whole mess at the feet of steven harper, who funded this institution into being to get his slippery buddy a good job. 

      • Well I would, but I guess that ensures I won’t be appointed to a board like this any time soon.

  4. Have I got this right – the Canadian taxpayers are funding the oil lobby?

    • Yes, and any day now the US Congress is going to implement a countervailing tariff for Canadian oil and gas because of the unfair subsidy by provincial and federal governments.

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