Tories knew about Carson's criminal record

Former aide had disclosed his background prior to joining PMO

Stephen Harper’s disgraced former aide, Bruce Carson, had disclosed his entire criminal record, which included five counts of fraud resulting in psychiatric treatment, prior to being hired by the PMO. Carson became the subject of an RCMP investigation after a report by the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network alleged he lobbied Indian Affairs on behalf of a water company which employed his fiancee, a 22-year-old former escort.

Court documents show Carson was charged with defrauding Budget Car and Truck Rental, the Bank of Montreal and Toronto-Dominion Bank in June 1990, when he was working as a researcher for the Library of Parliament. He pleaded guilty to three counts and was sentenced to 24 months probation on condition he receive psychiatric counseling. Carson’s lawyer, Patrick McCann, said his crimes were the result of a mental breakdown from an ugly divorce, and that the light sentence demonstrated that the charges weren’t serious. The revelations raise new questions about Prime Minister Harper’s judgment in hiring Carson, particularly since he was quoted as saying “had I known these things, I would not have…hired him.” As Harper’s chief policy analyst and troubleshooter, Carson would have had access to top-secret government files and had close access to the Prime Minister.

The Globe and Mail

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.