Turns out it wasn’t just Pierre Trudeau that thought of MPs as “nobodies fifty yards off Parliament Hill” …

The drafters of the Federal Accountability Act apparently felt the same way, which is how defeated Quebec Conservative backbencher Luc Harvey was able to slide into his new career as a consultant lobbyist for two Quebec-based companies — Télécabines Skylink and Composte GL — without the bother of waiting out the five-year cooling off period that applies to ministers, senior civil servants and political staffers. Staffers like, well, this guy, for instance.

Formerly an intern in the office of then-Government House Leader Peter Van Loan, he would likely have worked on the Hill for less than a year, but was nonetheless obliged to apply for an exemption to the five year ban, which was granted late last month. There’s no record of when he applied, and as yet, he hasn’t filed registrations on behalf of any clients, which isn’t all that surprising, since a cursory Googling reveals that he subsequently landed a job at TVO, where he is an associate producer for The Agenda.

Luckily for Luc Harvey, who, as an MP, would have been privy to any and all information shared during closed-door caucus meetings, and got to hang out in the government lobby with cabinet ministers, no such arduous process was required for him to hang up a shingle as a lobbyist for hire. He just had to fill out a form, disclose his brief tenure as MP for Louis-Hebert, and he was good to go, although we’d advise his clients not to count on his ability to make inroads with the Bloc Quebecois, given the unpleasantness that unfolded at a Duceppe event during the final days of the last campaign.

ITQ’s views on the five year ban are reasonably well known, at least amongst those who have read our lengthy screeds on the subject. But honestly, does this system not seem ever so slightly unfair to anyone else?

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