Secret Scheer Strategy Session Included Oil Execs and Trump Official Connected to the Koch Brothers
The Globe & Mail has reported that Andrew Scheer delivered the keynote address at a secret election strategy session attended by Big Oil executives and Trump administration officials.
The day-long session at the Azuridge Estate Hotel was attended by Michael Binnion, CEO of Questerre Energy Corp.; Patrick Ward, CEO of Painted Pony Energy Ltd.; Perpetual Energy Inc. CEO Susan Riddell Rose; and her husband, Mike Rose, head of Tourmaline Oil Corp.
Also among the attendees: Mike Roman, a special assistant and director of special projects and research under Donald Trump.
Roman also ran an opposition research unit for that according to Politico, conducted “surveillance and intelligence gathering on its liberal opponents.”
Roman spoke at a part of the event called titled “litigation as a tool”, sharing advice on how energy companies can silence environmental critics through frivolous lawsuits.
The revelation that Andrew Scheer spoke at an event attended by a foreign Trump operative who provided advice on influencing Canadian politics comes at an awkward time for Conservative politicians. Both Jason Kenney and Scheer have been attempting to draw links between their political opponents and foreign organizations.
At the Association of Mineral Exploration event in January of this year, Scheer promised to crack down on foreign-funded groups, claiming “I don’t believe that foreign actors should play a role in advocacy here in Canada.”
Kenney made opposition to foreign-funded environmental groups central to his election campaign, promising to launch a $30 million “war room” to wage a public relations battle against groups who interfere in the energy sector.
Ironically, it appears that it is the Conservatives themselves who are opening the door to foreign actors — including Trump officials — to provide advice on how to influence Canadian politics.
Conservatives are no strangers to foreign funding and influence. The Atlas Network, a Koch-funded organization, whose members include the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Manning Centre and the Fraser Institute, provided of thousands of dollars in 2016 to right-wing Canadian partner organizations.