Saturday, February 06, 2010

What the left hand giveth, the right hand taketh away.

Oh, man ... where can I get a gig like this?

Bernard Prigent, Pfizer’s inside man
PM Harper's appointment of drug company's VP to Canadian Institutes of Health Research is also a registered lobbyist ... to CIHR.

Last October, the Harper government appointed Bernard Prigent to the governing council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the federal agency that distributes about a billion dollars annually for health research. That appointment was met with near-universal condemnation from medical ethicists, because Prigent is a vice-president of Pfizer Canada, a firm that stands to profit from the decisions made at CIHR.

And here's the latest punchline (emphasis tail-waggingly added):

... not only is Prigent a vice president of Pfizer, but he is also a registered lobbyist for Pfizer. That information is only now coming to light, and has never been previously reported. According to the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada, the government agency that regulates lobbyists, Prigent's position as Pfizer lobbyist is to sway policy at the "Canadian Institute of Health Researchers (CIHR) and other Research Oriented Spending Programs as it relates to private/public research and development partnerships," and Prigent is to achieve these aims through both oral and written techniques.

In other words, Prigent the Pfizer lobbyist is paid to lobby Prigent the CIHR official.

On the bright side, being both the briber and the bribee has its advantages -- paper bags of money are so much easier to hand over, don't you think?

(Wag of the tail to e-mailer "CA".)


The Seer said...

Truly, CC, it pains me to have to educate you in these premises. But —

(a) the Hon. Bernard Prigent may be a “registered libbyist,” but that is only because he forgot to withdraw his registration;
(b) upon his appointment he became “a person who is appointed to any office or body by or with the approval of the Governor in Council or a minister of the Crown” and thus a “public office holder” under the provisions of § 2 § 1 (1) of The Lobbying Act. Therefore, he no longer is a lobbyist.
BUT OTOH – and, in your defense — this is an important “BUT OTOH” —§ 5(1) of the Act seems inescapably to mean that any other employee of Pfizer Canada, or any other Pfizer entity organized in any other country, who talks to the Hon. Bernard Prigent about the business conducted by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is a lobbyist and is thereby required to register and otherwise comply with the form and effect of the Act.

Yours & c

double nickel said...

He forgot? Tell me another one.

sooey said...

Ah, the Peter MacKay defence.

The Seer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Seer said...

Dear Sooey

I googled "the Peter Kay defense; came up nil, but found that Finn — the guy who wants a "Wants a Pfützenhüpfer," thinks Peter Kay is a god-like genius. So I gogled Pfützenhüpfer and again came up nil. At least I know what a hinterlogger is. (WWI rear-loading German howitzer)

wv, for wiw. "pande[r]

double nickel said...

Sooey might have meant the Maxime Bernier defense.

The Seer said...

I get "the Maxime Bernier defense." Don't even have to google that one.

Jon Pertwee said...

Seer you googled Peter Kay for the "Peter McKay defense"? Seriously? Would you like me to send you a copy of Phoenix Nights or is Peter McKay also doing British Comedy.

Holy shit that made me laugh.

sooey said...

The Seer said...

So maybe I spelled Pete's last name wrong when I did the google on him. It's a small ooops.

Jon Pertwee said...

Shorter The Seer: I can dish it out but I sure can't take it.

The Seer said...


Help me here.

What is it I can't take? For that matter, what is it I dished out?

As far as you and your dishes — I believe I can handle anything you've got.

My breath is bated.

BTW: The champeen disher-outer around here is Ty-Guy. Never heard of you before.

The Seer said...


Sorry Pertwee, I just got the "what I dished" part. Saw your comment on email, didn't realize which thread you were talking about.

So, to correct myself, I guess I can dish it out, though I still recognize Ty-Guy as the champeen disher-outer in these parts.

And I can still take what you've got.

Metro said...

"So maybe I spelled Pete's last name wrong when I did the google on him. It's a small ooops."

With respect Seer, 'cos you're usually fairly civil ... No it bloody well isn't.

It's like confusing "Obama" with "Osama," for example. Or would you consider that also a small ooops?