Provincial New Democrat energy and mines critic John Horgan is "unapologetic" about taking former premier Dan Miller with him on a trip to Calgary to meet oil and gas executives. In an interview with Public Eye, Mr. Horgan explained, "He's an old friend of mine - a former minister of energy - who has a lot of experience in these areas. And we went together. And I used his knowledge of the sector and the individuals in it to sit down with people and tell them what I was all about. So I suppose you could say he helped open doors. But I'd like to think that these individuals would have met with me in any event. But I went with Dan in the interests of expediting the trip and making sure I could see as many people as possible." And did you have any optical concerns about having Mr. Miller accompany you, we inquired? After all, he's now working as a lobbyist for National Public Relations Inc. and sitting on the Campbell administration's British Columbia Competition Council.
"No. Dan is a friend of my first of all. We worked very long and hard together on a whole host of issues." In fact, Mr. Horgan was Mr. Miller's chief of staff when he was premier. "So we established a friendship. I've now been given responsibility for energy. (Mr. Miller) has an enormous amount of experience...Dan has expertise. He was able to help me do a better job. So I took him up on the offer. And we went and had very productive meetings with a whole bunch of people."
Mr. Horgan, whose travel expenses were covered by the New Democrat caucus, declined to say which people he met with. He couldn't say who paid Mr. Miller's bill - although it wasn't caucus. The trip took place between September 18-20.