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Stephen Harper's "Mr Fixit": Bruce Carson

From March 30, 2011

One would think that a Prime Minister would be able to choose among the best and brightest to be his advisers. Unfortunately, Stephen Harper can't say no to his corrupt Conservative cronies. And Canadians end up the losers.

Bruce Carson had a history before he set foot in Stephen Harper's office, and it's a wonder they even opened the door. Carson was once a lawyer, but he was disbarred and went to jail for fraud after forging the signature of clients and stealing from them over $20,000. Later, after his release, he made connections within the Conservative party, and began acting as adviser to Conservatives at all levels of government. Despite this, he found himself in money trouble again, and declared bankruptcy in 1995.

But even though his debts had been erased just seven years earlier, by 2002 he had accumulated another $369,000 in debt. Around this time, Carson also took a lackadaisical approach to paying his taxes, over which he almost declared bankruptcy again.

Any reasonably conscious person would have told Bruce Carson to take a hike. But far from slamming the door, Harper's crew welcomed him in with open arms. He worked for a while in Indian Affairs under Jim Prentice, and acted as one of Stephen Harper's top advisors for nearly three years, so much so that he became known as the PMO's Mr Fixit. So, after using his salary from the PMO to finally pay off all his back taxes in 2008, Carson left... to become the new director of the Canada School of Energy and Environment in Calgary. Is it any wonder that earlier that same year, that same school received $15 million in funding from the Harper government?

The CSEE–a partnership between the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, and the University of Lethbridge–was supposed to focus its efforts on research in support of environmental responsibility. But under Carson's leadership, the school's mandate changed, becoming the Harper government's environmental policy propaganda arm. Instead of focusing its policy research on sustainable energy or cleaning up toxic waste, school resources were actually directed toward rehabilitating public perception of the oilsands, and blocking international climate change policies.

But some how this wasn't enough for Bruce Carson. At age 65 he left his wife for a 22 year old escort, Michele McPherson (aka Leanna VIP). Later that year he lobbied his former colleagues in Indian Affairs on behalf of a company called H2O Pros, which sought to supply millions of dollars worth in water filtration systems to First Nations. And interestingly enough, as APTN News uncovered, McPherson was to receive a 20% cut of the proceeds.

Carson has since taken a leave of absence from the CSEE, and for some reason Harper and his cronies want nothing to do with him. Finally.

It seems the Harper Conservatives have only one rule: don't get caught.

At least, not more than four times.