Proving once again that accountability is always applicable to thee but never to me, Canada’s New Government™ appears to have some issues. Via the Globe and Mail:
A spokesman for the Prime Minister and a Conservative fundraiser made separate backroom interventions in favour of a real-estate firm that faced losing a $50-million complex to the federal government in 2006, sources told The Globe and Mail and Radio-Canada.
Dimitri Soudas, a key architect of Stephen Harper's Quebec policies and his deputy press secretary, got involved in the battle between Ottawa and the Rosdev Group a few months after the Tories took office with a promise to bring the highest ethical standard to public life.
Mr. Soudas called an extraordinary meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Langevin Block on August 2, 2006, with senior ministerial staffers from Public Works.
Conservative officials said there was a clear sense in the party at the time that Rosdev and its influential president, Michael Rosenberg, could become strong allies in Montreal, especially in a riding like Outremont with a strong Jewish community.
Sources said Mr. Soudas's position during the meeting was favourable to Rosdev and that he raised the possibility of Public Works dropping its plan to exercise an option to claim the complex for $0 in 2010.
Well, that sounds just the tiniest bit ... hmmmm, what’s the word I’m looking for? Starts with a "C" - I know! Crooked. But it gets better.
Mr. Soudas and Mr. Housakos are prominent members of the Greek-Canadian community in Montreal, worked together on the 2001 mayoral election and are supporters of the Action Démocratique du Québec.
While they are long-time friends, they said they have never discussed the Rosdev matter. Mr. Housakos, who works in marketing, added he has never acted as a lobbyist.
“I have no client, none whatsoever, that does business with the federal government,” he said.
Nevertheless, sources said that Mr. Housakos has been in contact with officials from a military company that was interested in selling hardware to National Defence. In addition, The Globe and Radio-Canada have learned that Mr. Housakos introduced officials from the company to Mr. Soudas of the PMO at an informal meeting last year.
Mr. Housakos said he has no memory of dealing with a military company.
“I don't know anyone in that sector,” he said.
(Mr. Lemieux, the lawyer who acted on behalf of Rosdev, recently registered to lobby federal officials on behalf of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Canada Inc., a firm that is in the running for a Defence purchase of two military supply ships.)
Ooopsie. I do believe we're going to need even more popcorn.