Barrick Gold and Visa hired former advisers to Harper gov’t

Companies taking advantage of “20 per cent” loophole: NDP

Corporations like Barrick Gold and Visa Canada both hired former government staffers to act as lobbyists last year, despite a 2006 law that aimed to end such political influence. The New Democrats say that’s because a loophole exists that allows politicians and ministerial staff to advise corporations so long as they spend less than 20 per cent of their time doing so. For example, Alanna Heath, a former adviser to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, was hired to advise Barrick Gold last year but wasn’t required to register as a lobbyist because of the loophole. (Heath was paid to help stop a bill that would have required the government to probe alleged human-rights abuses by Canadian mining companies in other countries.) NDP MP Pat Martin tells Bloomberg News the hirings violate “the spirit of the law.”


Looking for more?

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