Adair: "I was no longer doing government relations but was doing communications."

Former WCG International Consultants Ltd. communications and government relations vice-president Robin Adair, the provincial Liberals' candidate in Saanich South, has told Public Eye he didn't re-register as a lobbyist in 2004 because he ceased doing lobbying work. According to government records, Mr. Adair's registered on January 13, 2003 to lobby the government about "Privatization and Outsourcing" on behalf of the job placement firm. That registration wasn't renewed when it expired a year later.

Asked why, Mr. Adair explained WCG initially hired outside communications companies to do its advertising, marketing and event-planning. But, between 2004 and 2005, the firm decided to do that work "in-house and asked me if I would run it...So then my function shifted and I was no longer doing government relations but was doing communications."

Mr. Adair said he continued to liaise with the Campbell administration about WCG's advertising and marketing materials. "So I would deal with government on that basis." But the candidate said he didn't participate in any negotiations between the company and the government or attend any meetings with public officials discussing the "operations of the company."

Mr. Adair confirmed none of his activities after de-registering would have been considered lobbying under the Lobbyists Registration Act. So why was he both vice-president of communications and government relations at WCG?

"I did give WCG my best advice on how to proceed with things they were doing with government. They'd say, 'Robin, we're going to do this and that and the other thing. We're going to meet with this minister. What messaging do you think we should take to the table.' But I wasn't part of the meetings. And I didn't have anything to do with the operations of the company. And anything that happened - good or bad with that company - it was just up to me to be the face for it."

Mr. Adair also said he approached the lobbyists registrar in 2006 about "renewing on the lobbyists registry. But I decided I didn't really need to because I wasn't doing that kind of work."

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Mr. Adair said:

"I did give WCG my best advice on how to proceed with things they were doing with government. They'd say, 'Robin, we're going to do this and that and the other thing. We're going to meet with this minister. What messaging do you think we should take to the table.'.....

Wow.

Making yourself the ultimate cut-out is some catch.

One can only wonder if such a catch has a number in the lobby trade?

And if it does, is that number double digits of double trouble?

______

Look.

This is ridiculous and, to my mind at least, shameful parsing.

Firstly Mr. Adair, by his own admission, was acting as a lobbyist for a company.

Secondly, he got kicked upstairs by that company so that he could 'liaise' (ie. work with) the very same government people he had previously been lobbying.

And simulataneously he was giving the company advice on how to lobby the very same government people.

So, again, leaving aside all the semantics and parsing, how, precisely(!), is this not lobbying?

Unless, of course, to coin a new phrase, 'insider lobbying' is somehow not.

Lobbying, I mean.

Sheesh.

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