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MP says he never met lobbyist

MP John Duncan says he never met the prime minister’s former advisor who’s now under investigation by the RCMP.

“I can tell you that I have never met with, been spoken to, or been lobbied by Bruce Carson on these matters,” Duncan said in a statement issued by his office. “My ministerial staff met with Bruce Carson on one occasion (Jan. 11/11). My staff provided publicly available information to Bruce Carson and recommended he work directly with First Nations. This meeting did not result in any business being given to this individual.”

Duncan is the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, and the Conservative member representing Northern Vancouver Island.

Carson is a former senior advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper who’s been working on behalf of H2O Global Group. The company is attempting to land government contracts to sell water systems to First Nations reserves.

His lobbying efforts are now under investigation by the RCMP, at the prime minister’s request, and by federal ethics and lobbying commissioners.

“People in Vancouver Island North deserve to know more about the connection between John Duncan and Conservative insider Bruce Carson,” said federal NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard, in a news release.

Last week, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network reported that Carson lobbied the minister’s office through e-mail. But Duncan maintained that his office did nothing wrong.

“I also want to reiterate that my staff regularly attend meetings with a variety of individuals and stakeholders. This is normal and common practice,” he said in the statement.

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