Jean Charest gave political advice to members of a federal panel reviewing a major TransCanada Corp. pipeline project in a private meeting while he was under contract with the Alberta-based company, says Grégory Larroque, the spokesman and counsel for the former Quebec premier.
The meeting, held at the downtown Montreal offices of Charest’s law firm – McCarthy Tétrault – was requested by members of Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) who were seeking advice about how to engage with Quebecers, explained Larroque, a former political staffer to provincial cabinet ministers in Quebec. The NEB’s chairman and CEO Peter Watson attended the meeting along with two board members, Lyne Mercier and Jacques Gauthier, who are both on a three-member panel reviewing TransCanada’s Energy East application.
Energy East is the dominant issue facing the NEB in Quebec where the proposed pipeline faces fierce public opposition. Several critics contacted by National Observer said the meeting appeared to be inappropriate and that the revelations could further erode public faith in the ongoing review of the cross-country pipeline proposal. MORE >>