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Publications - April 21, 2010
 







CANADA

Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates


NUMBER 011 
l
3rd SESSION 
l
40th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1530)  

[English]

The Chair (Ms. Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East, Lib.)):
    Members of the committee, welcome to meeting number 11. We are studying the renewable energy project funding by the government.
     We have before us, from Green Power Generation Corporation, Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Patrick Glémaud.
    Gentlemen, I know that you probably know, but I want to reaffirm that whatever you say here is privileged information, because you're before a parliamentary committee, and you need not be concerned about any information that you share.
    With that, I understand you have opening remarks. Mr. Jaffer, would you like to go first?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Green Power Generation Corporation):
     Thank you, Madam Chair.
    I would like to thank all the members of this committee for the opportunity to be here today as witnesses.
    We've been invited here today to participate in a study being undertaken by the committee that relates to renewable energy project funding by the Government of Canada, and lobbying activities associated with that funding.
    Madam Chair, when I was elected to Parliament in 1997 as the first Muslim MP, many people, including my family, were very excited about this achievement, especially because of where we came from and the circumstances around our arrival to Canada. As you are aware, Madam Chair, we share the same cultural background. Many of our families escaped persecution in Uganda and we were fortunate to come here as refugees.
    Starting our lives as proud Canadians, we left behind the murderous regime of Idi Amin, where people were killed on the basis of allegations without any ability to defend themselves. We embraced the idea of becoming Canadians and we were proud to make this our home. The ideals of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law are ideals many take for granted. These were things that meant so much to us starting our new lives here in Canada.
    I remember my family teaching me that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. They were right. Who would have imagined that a poor refugee family, 24 years later, would have their son sitting in the national legislature as a federal member of Parliament? I was proud of that achievement and honoured to have had the opportunity to serve in this capacity.
    After the last election, my life changed. After nearly a dozen years of serving as an MP, it was time to shift gears and start a new direction. I got married and I hoped to start a new family. Having just finished my executive MBA, I joined with my university friend on work to start a new business, Green Power Generation, GPG, specializing in helping to commercialize innovative technology solutions that are profitable and good for the environment. The strength I bring to this company as a director is my ability to communicate with various stakeholders and mainly to develop new opportunities in emerging markets such as India and China.
    Initially, when our names appeared as witnesses, I found it unusual that the committee wanted to speak to us, as our business does not conduct any lobbying activities, nor do we attempt to secure any public funding for our work. Then it became clear, from the vicious attacks from media sources and in particular the opposition parties, that the reason we were being hauled in front of this committee was due to second-hand allegations, rumour, and innuendo, all based on political agendas that have been playing fast and furious with people's reputations, destroying their lives without any basis in fact and not allowing them to defend themselves appropriately.
    In regard to the subject matter being studied at this committee, for the record, the facts of this case are as follows. One, GPG and its directors have not received any money from any grant, contribution, or other financial benefit, or on behalf of the Government of Canada. GPG and its directors, number two, have not received any compensation or payments on behalf of any person or organization to undertake any lobbying activities.
    It is my understanding that the matter I have been called upon to appear before this committee as a witness has been referred to an officer of Parliament, the commissioner of lobbying. Her office is the appropriate venue under the Lobbying Act to establish whether any of these allegations are founded or not. I find it passing strange that the Liberal Party of Canada, which demanded that the office of the commissioner investigate this matter, is not prepared to follow due process and wait for her findings. Instead, for short-term political gain, they are undermining any appearance of fairness by requesting witnesses to testify in front of this committee on the same matter.

  (1535)  

    With that being said, many of you have known me personally over the years I served this country. I have held in high regard the friendships I have developed on both sides of the House. After the devastating result of my last election loss, there is no doubt that many of those friends, be they MPs, ministers, or senators, would naturally inquire about me. If we had the opportunity to meet, it would be socially to catch up. Obviously, people would be curious as to the type of career I was embarking upon, and I would update them on the work we were doing in trying to build a new business. That would be the extent of the conversation as it related to my business affairs. In fact, over the past eight months I have had no interaction with anyone, due to the challenges I faced last fall.
    I would like to take a moment to say a couple of things about those challenges, Madam Chair.
    As most people know, I exercised poor judgment when I decided to drive home on the night of September 10, 2009. I was careless. I had a few drinks, and I should never have taken the risk of operating a motor vehicle. I want to apologize to those communities for being irresponsible, and I assure them that I have learned my lesson. I do want to state for the record, however, that I have never partaken of any illegal substance, nor have I ever endorsed this type of behaviour. This is why I believe the charges were dropped against me. But with that being said, I should have taken more care not to be put into this compromising situation.
    I want to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to my former colleagues for the trouble this whole episode has caused them. I believe they know me well enough to agree that this was very out of character and not my usual behaviour.
    I also want to apologize to my family, both immediate and new. The pain and suffering they have had to endure because of my actions have been immeasurable. If it were not for their unconditional love and support, I don't know how we would have made it through this incredibly difficult time.
    Finally, I want to apologize to my wife, Helena. I've always tried to support her in her work, and I know the error of this judgment created significant problems for her politically. She's been a good minister, a great MP for her constituents, and I want to thank the people of Simcoe—Grey for their continued support of her hard work and dedication. She is the most important person in my life and I love her dearly. It is very unfortunate that her good name has been dragged into my problems so unfairly.
    To conclude, Madam Chair, I would like to ask all members of this committee, and by extension all members of the House, to take a step back and take a look at the precedent they are setting. Instead of setting the bar at a record low, where people's lives are being destroyed on the basis of rumour and unsubstantiated allegations for short-term political benefit, set the bar at a higher standard. Base your arguments on fact and allow people to defend themselves fairly, not hide behind parliamentary privilege to level these personal attacks.
    The foundation of our system is based on the rule of law and the presumption of innocence, something completely absent in the treatment of me, my partner, and particularly my wife. All Canadians deserve no less from their political representatives. If this were the standard, I am certain that I would not have had to be here today.
    Thank you.

  (1540)  

The Chair:
    Thank you, Mr. Jaffer.
    We'll now go to Mr. Glémaud, for ten minutes.

[Translation]

Mr. Patrick Glémaud (Green Power Generation Corporation):
    Thank you, Madam Chair.

[English]

     Madam Chair, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates as a witness pertaining to a study of renewable energy project funding by the Government of Canada and associated lobbying and advising activities associated with such funding.
    My name is Patrick Glémaud. I was born on August 13, 1968, in Haiti. I am married to a beautiful, extremely patient, and intelligent lady, Lenore, and I have four great and wonderful sons. Our new baby boy, named Bena, was born just four weeks ago.
    My family moved to Canada when I was a teenager. We first settled in Montreal, we moved to Toronto, and we came to Ottawa in 1988. We were a family of six living in a two-bedroom apartment. My dad was sick and had to go on disability. My mom managed to get a part-time job as a supplementary teacher. I appreciate the sacrifice my parents made for me by leaving their home country to make a better life for their children in Canada. I'm a proud Canadian and I'm proud of my parents.
    Through hard work and the guidance of my parents, I was able to overcome the obstacle of living in a low-income immigrant family and put myself through university and law school. I became heavily involved in student and community-based organizations. My motivation for community volunteering was my desire to share my knowledge and expertise and to learn from others. Being a new Canadian, I felt the need and responsibility to give back to this great land and people. I have a strong sense of pride in my community work.
    Madam Chair, I am a hard-working Canadian. My first job was as a delivery boy for the Journal de Montréal . From there, I was fortunate to enjoy a variety of fantastic jobs with great social learning potential--as a farm seasonal worker, a porter for VIA Rail, a dishwasher at the CN Tower, and a guardsman with the Canadian armed forces reserve for the Governor General's Foot Guards, where I participated in the changing of the guard on Parliament Hill.
    My first professional job after university, in 1995, was as a law student at community legal services, providing free legal representation and advice to low-income families. As a lawyer, I volunteered with the RCMP community police. I was also involved as a business mentor for immigrant and ethnic minority entrepreneurs, being board members of community-based organizations in and around Ottawa.
    In 2002, Madam Chair, I became a public servant, and joined the Department of Justice of Canada. I later was promoted as senior counsel for corporate and commercial matters related to renewable energy and climate change. I had the opportunity to undertake and direct a wide range of assignments. I was asked to draft the first agreement of purchase of carbon credits by the Government of Canada, in 2002, in relation to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's announcement in Johannesburg that Canada would ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
    I advised the federal government, mainly under the previous Liberal administration, and received various awards of excellence for my work. One that I am most proud of is being a recipient of the international visitor leadership program of the U.S. Department of State, climate change and energy security policy, in June of 2008.
    In November of 2008 I incorporated GPG, Green Power Generation Corp., under Canadian law, as its first director. My friend Mr. Rahim Jaffer became a director in April of 2009.
    Madam Chair, as stated on GPG's website, GPG specializes in commercializing “innovative technology solutions...in greenhouse gas mitigation”. As well, “GPG advises commercial enterprises on the course of action required to integrate and expand renewable energy capacity, improve energy efficiency, and...implement...cost-effective green power solutions to every corner of our planet.”

  (1545)  

     Madam Chair, based on the invitation to appear in front of this committee, it is stated that our testimony is restricted and is regarding a study of renewable energy project funding by the Government of Canada and lobbying and advising activities associated with such funding.
    Madam Chair, as you are aware, the same subject matter in study by your committee was raised in a letter from the Liberal Party of Canada sent to the commissioner of lobbying dated April 12, 2010. It is stated in the said letter that the commissioner of lobbying has the authority to conduct an investigation into whether the activities of representatives of GPG are fully compliant with the provisions of the act and the lobbyists code of conduct.
    Madam Chair, in response to the letter from the Liberal Party of Canada, a letter was sent to the commissioner of lobbying giving notice that GPG and its directors intend to cooperate fully with the office of the commissioner if any investigation or review is initiated regarding the alleged violations raised by the Liberal Party of Canada.
    Last Friday, Madam Chair, I had a conversation with the director of investigations from the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada concerning the allegations raised by the Liberal Party of Canada. For the record, it is our position that having the same subject matter, based on the same facts, being heard by this committee while it is being reviewed by the office of the commissioner is contrary to natural justice and creates an appearance of double jeopardy, unfair treatment, and, simply put, the results of ongoing political machination.
    However, Madam Chair, I decided to appear in front of this committee to defend my good name and reputation against allegations and innuendo that are completely unfounded and untruthful in law and in fact. Madam Chair, the ongoing circus, as acknowledged by one member of this committee, and these lies being perpetrated by the opposition parties are causing irreparable harm to my reputation and my ability to provide for my family.
    Madam Chair, I am a hard-working new Canadian who abides by the rules. I am lucky and proud to be living in Canada. The cornerstone of this great country is the rule of law, based on the presumption of innocence.
    In regard to the subject matter being studied by this committee, for the record, the facts are as follows.
    GPG and its directors have not received any money from any grants, contributions, or other financial benefits by or on behalf of the Government of Canada. And GPG and its directors have not received any compensation or payments on behalf of any person or organization to undertake lobbying activities.
     Madam Chair, based on the summary of new requirements dated June 2008 published by the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists: “The Lobbying Act defines activities that, when carried out for compensation, are considered to be lobbying”.
    As someone who believes in encouraging Canadians—
The Chair:
    Mr. Glémaud, you'll have to wrap up.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Indeed I will, Madam Chair.
    As someone who believes in encouraging Canadians in developing new technologies and businesses that are profitable, create jobs, enhance our productivity and competitiveness while protecting the environment, Madam Chair, I continuously gather information on policies and initiatives in that regard.

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, I am now available to take your questions on the topic and the scope, as stipulated in the invitation we received from the clerk.

[English]

The Chair:
    Thank you.
    We'll go to the first round of questions.
    We have Ms. Siobhan Coady, for eight minutes.
Ms. Siobhan Coady (St. John's South—Mount Pearl, Lib.):
    Thank you very much.
    Thank you to you both for appearing today. I think you both mentioned in your opening statements that you appreciate the opportunity to appear so that you can bring forward your perspective on some of the things that have been said, and so that you can bring what you want to say forward. So I'm glad that you're both here today.
    First of all, I'd like to ask Mr. Jaffer a question.
    Mr. Jaffer, on your website you offer to help secure support from the Canadian government. That was on your website. Is it a fair representation of what you do for your clients?

  (1550)  

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
     Our business, as I mentioned in my opening remarks.... The extent of our business is to advise people, from experience that both Mr. Glémaud and I have had with government. By no means do we ever try to secure public funding. We give the information that we gather to people we speak with, as to how they can go about doing that. But we don't do it.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Thank you.
    I'm going to be rather quick, because we have only eight minutes. As you can appreciate, being a former member of Parliament, that's very quick.
    Even though you say “secure support from the Canadian government”, you're saying that's not really what you do. You advise people.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Yes.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Thank you.
    Now, we know that you spoke with Brian Jean, who's the parliamentary secretary to Minister Baird, who's responsible for infrastructure, in particular for a billion dollars of the green fund. We know that you spoke with MinisterPrentice, the Minister of the Environment. And we know that you had dinner with Mr. Baird; that has been established.
    Mr. Jaffer, have you spoken with any other members of the Conservative caucus or senior government officials on any business projects in which you have a direct or indirect financial interest?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I would like to clarify, because it's—
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Please do.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    You're suggesting that I may have discussed business with the particular members you identified in your question. As I mentioned in my statement, most of my interactions with any of my former colleagues have always been social. I've never discussed any business, never even asked them for anything, other than to give them an update on what I've been working on.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Just for clarity purposes, because we know Mr. Jean had said that you gave him three proposals, are you saying that's not correct?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I hadn't submitted any proposals. I had asked him initially for some information—as I said, information-gathering about the green infrastructure fund when it was launched by the government in the former budget. He directed me to his assistant, who would provide that information, and she did. That was the extent of my involvement in any interaction on any other file with their office.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    We know that you spoke with Minister Prentice, because he acknowledged that you spoke to him about the green fund.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    When I ran into Minister Prentice, I think he even mentioned that it was a very short conversation. We ran into each other, I believe, at a social event here on Parliament Hill. He just asked me what work I was doing, and I told him. We had never talked at all about the green fund, that I recall.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    I think he said you asked whether he was responsible for the green fund.
    I want to go back to the question I asked. Have you spoken with any other member—we know of those three—of the Conservative caucus or senior government official on any business project in which you have direct or indirect financial interest?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Okay.
    When was the last time you spoke with the Prime Minister or the Prime Minister's Office? Are you saying you have not, based on what you just...?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    The last time I had any discussion with the Prime Minister was ten days after the 2008 election. The Prime Minister was kind enough to find out what my plans were in the near future. I hadn't made any decisions at that time. But I assured him at that time, because of my wife's involvement in the government, that I would never ever undertake any business that involved any sort of lobbying activity or that would put any unfair demands on the government to put them in any conflict of interest. I have to stress that.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Thank you.
    I'm going to go back to what you said about Brian Jean. He's the parliamentary secretary to Minister Baird. He did say that you submitted three proposals to him, so I'm a little confused as to.... We have on the one hand Mr. Jean saying that he's seen three proposals, and you're saying that you did not submit three proposals. Can you clarify or give me some indication of what you're...?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Sure. I'll let my partner clarify that, because he is the one who was dealing with their office on that.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Yes.
    Let me add, Madam Chair, that I am the individual who sent an e-mail to Brian Jean's office with respect to three of what we call “executive summaries”.
     Madam Chair, I am not sure whether the members of this committee have had the opportunity to actually go to the website of the green infrastructure fund to get an understanding of the terms and conditions of that program or to get an understanding of the policy on the transfer payment program that establishes how this program works and functions.
    Based on that program, Madam Chair, there is a three-stage process. In the first process, you submit an executive summary, or a summary. If there is an interest, then you have to submit a full proposal, and after a full proposal a contribution.
     Madam Chair, we only got to the first stage, which is basically submitting a letter of interest.

  (1555)  

Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    I know that. So you submitted executive summaries to Mr. Jean. It was you who did that?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    It was to his office.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Okay.
    I'm again going back to that little point of confusion. Let's get this clear.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Go ahead.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Mr. Jaffer, you said the extent of your business is advising companies.
    Mr. Glémaud, I understood from The Toronto Star, and perhaps it's not quoted correctly, that the goal of GPG was to “build businesses“--that “we were going to own many pieces of projects and then go public”.
    That's a little different from “advising”. Could you just clarify it for me, please?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
     Madam Chair, if this committee were relying on a statement from Kevin Donovan from The Toronto Star, I think you'd be starting in the wrong direction. These are allegations, innuendoes, or whatever. We even intend to take legal action against Mr. Kevin Donovan himself for talking with false information.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    That clarifies it. It appears that it is a direct quote; that's why I asked for clarity.
    Going back to what Mr. Jaffer said, you're in an advisory role only. I want to go back to that a little bit.
    But first, Mr. Jaffer, before we move on, you spoke to the Prime Minister ten days after and you haven't spoken with him since. What about anyone in the Prime Minister's Office at all? We have another allegation, and that's why we're here to clarify things, from Mr. Gallani, whom I believe you've had contact with. He wrote to a group of businessmen last year—we know that has occurred—and the e-mail stated something along the lines of Mr. Jaffer's having opened up the Prime Minister's Office.
    You're saying that statement is actually false. Did you correct Mr. Gallani on that?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I never even saw this e-mail that he may or may not have sent out.
    Ms. Siobhan Coady: I think you're copied on it, though.
    Mr. Rahim Jaffer: He claims that I have never seen this e-mail. I would have been happy to clarify it, had it been the case.
    Anyone who knows how this place works knows that no one has access to the Prime Minister's Office, nor would I ever say such a thing, because it wouldn't be accurate and it wouldn't reflect the business we're involved in. Unfortunately, often when members of Parliament or others in senior roles interact with public people, we can't control the puffery they may use to advance their own cause.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    So for clarity purposes, you did not see this e-mail from Mr. Gallani; therefore, that's why you did not refute his claim.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Absolutely. But I also have to say that during any business process—and I don't know whether you have the experience of building your own business—
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    I absolutely do.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    So you know the process you have to go through to explore who you may want to work with, what sorts of relationships you're going to build, or what focus your business is going to have. Over the course of the last year, Mr. Glémaud and I have met different people and have taken the time to explore whether or not there are synergies with their companies. Mr. Gallani was one of those, but we realized very quickly after a few meetings with him that our firms were very divergent and that we had no real synergies whereby we could develop a relationship, so that exploration ended at that stage. Unfortunately, as a result, we've still been pulled into something in which we don't even know Mr. Gallani's business and his dealings that are out there.
The Chair:
    Thank you, Mr. Jaffer.
    Madame Bourgeois, vous aurez huit minutes, s'il vous plaît.

[Translation]

Ms. Diane Bourgeois (Terrebonne—Blainville, BQ):
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Good afternoon, gentlemen. Thank you for being here.
    My first question is addressed to both witnesses. Gentlemen, please tell me, yes or no, whether you are registered as lobbyists.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    No, we are not registered, because the legislation does not require it, given the nature of our activities.

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No. I don't perform lobbying activities, so I'm not registered.

[Translation]

Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
    On your company's website, it stated, up until last week—your site is no longer accessible—that your company provided advice to the Government of Canada on investing the $3 billion renewable energy fund. Is that correct?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Yes, it is absolutely correct.
Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
    It also states that your company has built a long-term relationship with government agencies. Is that correct?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Yes, it is.
Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
    Who is answering the questions here? Is it the new owner? I have the impression that there are two administrators.
    Mr. Glémaud, you were the administrator until 2008.

  (1600)  

Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    From the beginning, Ms. Bourgeois.
Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
    And the new administrator is Mr. Rahim Jaffer. Is that correct?
    A voice: Yes.
    Ms. Diane Bourgeois: I would like both of you to answer me each time. Is it true that your company has built a long-term relationship with government agencies?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Madam, the first thing to do is to read everything that appears on the website. It states there quite clearly that this refers to our experience as members of the company.
    As for the reference to $3 billion, that relates to work carried out by myself, Patrick Glémaud, in the past. In the past, I was part and parcel of every one of the Government of Canada's environmental projects from 2002-2008. Most of the amounts involved amount to more than $3 billion. Therefore, names are mentioned such as Canadian Wind Power, the Municipal Renewable Energy Program, the Ethanol Expansion Program, and so on.
    In terms of government connections, they refer to relationships I developed as a government lawyer.
Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
    So, it is correct to say that you have truly built a long-term relationship with government organizations.
    Mr. Jaffer, is it true, as is stated on the website, that your company facilitates consultations between the government and the private sector and that you closely monitor green energy policy and legislation?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No, not at all.
    All we do is provide advice to people we have contacts with, if they want to get in touch with the government and know how to go about doing that. But we have never had any meetings or engaged in facilitation--
Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
    You have never shown anyone how to connect with the government?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No, never.
Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
    And yet you were chair of the Conservative caucus, Mr. Jaffer. You are involved in business development for several different companies, which includes securing grants. Is that correct?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No.

[English]

     It's true that I had relations with the current members of government, but to protect my wife and to protect the friendships I had, I made it clear before I started this business that I did not feel comfortable ever approaching them for anything, especially anything related to my business, and that I never wanted my wife in any conflict situation, so I refused to do that sort of work.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    If I may add to that, this is not something unusual. If you look at most law firms in Ottawa and talk about--

[Translation]

Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
    Mr. Glémaud, the question was not addressed to you. It was addressed to Mr. Jaffer.

[English]

The Chair:
    Mr. Glémaud, she has the right to question.

[Translation]

Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
    Mr. Jaffer, if you have privileged relationships with members of the Cabinet—you are friends with Cabinet members by virtue of the fact that you are a former member of Parliament and former chair of the Conservative caucus—would it be correct to say that this is one way of making contact with these individuals and telling them about your business?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    As I stated at the outset,

[English]

for me, my extent of discussions with anyone in the current government would be simply to tell them what sort of work we were doing, and that's where it would stop.
Most of my interactions with members would be, “How are things going? How is your family? How are things back home?” As the chair of caucus, I had intimate friendships in which one got to know about their families and got to work with them for close to a dozen years. It's not unusual that you'd have these kinds of discussions.
    I also understand the importance of the measures we introduced when I was a member in the government--including the Accountability Act and the Lobbying Act--and I wasn't going to be in contravention of those.

[Translation]

Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
    Well let's talk about the steps that you seem to have taken to comply with the Lobbying Act. When you are friends with someone, it is possible for a person to say that he is doing business development in a given area and for a minister or someone else in his entourage to respond, in the course of the conversation, by saying that he will remember. Is that possible? No?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No, it's not, not if you're not looking for anything from government. If you're just telling them about your business and not looking for anything from government, there's no need to even have any expectations, and that's the way Mr. Glémaud and I operate our business. We don't look to government for anything for our work.

[Translation]

Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
    Well, then please explain why Mr. Gillani wanted to work with you. What did you have to offer him, someone who was part of your entourage? Once again, were you friends?

  (1605)  

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No. Ha, ha!
    As I was saying, when you start up a new business, you have to take the time to decide whom you want to work with and explore strategies for working together. Over the course of the last year, we have focused on that a great deal.

[English]

    If you are a businessman who is smart, you don't jump into bed with anyone immediately. You take the time to learn about them, and if you find there is no synergy, you leave them in good nature and you don't work with them. That is what happened with Mr. Gillani. We had the chance to meet with him; we had a few exploratory meetings and realized that our businesses were not convergent, and we didn't do any business with him.

[Translation]

Ms. Diane Bourgeois:
    Mr. Jaffer, I have followed somewhat the same path as you did, initially, because I, too, owned a small business which expanded at one point. I am sure you will agree with me that having political friends is very useful for doing business.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Not for me because, as I already stated, I never asked politicians for anything. I do want to stay in contact with my former colleagues, because I consider many of these people to be my friends. However, my business is completely separate.

[English]

The Chair:
     Thank you.
    We'll now go to Mr. Warkentin for eight minutes.
Mr. Chris Warkentin (Peace River, CPC):
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Mr. Jaffer, we've heard some testimony with regard to your business dealings and the business you were working to set up. I don't think that I fully understand exactly the scope of your business, the nature of your business. I don't understand what exactly your business set out to do and to accomplish and what services you provided for your clients. I'm wondering if you could give some clarity to that for me.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I'll make it quick, because I think my partner would like to respond as well.
    Our focus over the course of the last year, as we've been establishing this business, has been twofold. One is to source out potential environmental technologies, using the expertise of my partner, to see what stage they're in in their development, and to look at ways to help them commercialize, namely in new markets like China and India.
    I won't mention the name of the company, but we're working with one currently to develop renewable energy in China with partners in China. That's a major part of our business. The other part of our business is to develop potential solar projects here in the province of Ontario, under the FIT program, which is something many people are involved in. We look for sites where we can develop solar projects, and then we put the financing together through private sources to be able to develop that.
    We haven't developed one yet. We're in the process of developing one, and we hope to have one done by the end of the summer.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    To add to this, our business is basically threefold. The first fold is us developing actual projects ourselves, like the solar project that we are doing, and the projects in China. In other instances, what we do basically is we do assessment, a feasibility study of technology. In the case of Mr. Nazim Gillani, the work that we were supposed to do for him was to do a feasibility study of a technology, but we didn't even get to that stage. We didn't receive any funds from him. We didn't enter into any contracts with him whatsoever.
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
    Okay, and I appreciate that. I suppose that's of some interest.
    For me, what I'm trying to establish.... You've stated that you did not lobby on behalf of others, and you didn't receive compensation based on that. I'm just curious, what is your current cashflow? You've talked about developing and trying to establish emerging energy sources, and different things like that, but I guess for us we're trying to get a sense as to how you make your money. Where's the current cashflow coming from? What does the business look like today? I think that's going to help us understand what business you may have had as it relates to the allegations that are before us.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Yes, and that's a great question.
    First of all, it's easy for you to find out if there is any contract or funding agreement between the Government of Canada and GPG. My answer to that is zero, not a penny, from taxpayers has ever come into our pockets or into our bank account whatsoever. Second, we also have not received any funds from anybody whatsoever, for any lobbying activities.
    The way we work our project, as simple as it is, is we enter into an MOU with a potential project developer or with a financier. For the project we are working on right now, the funds will be coming mainly from the U.S. And for the project in China, the funds will be coming mainly from China. We bring the expertise, we bring the know-how, and we bring also other partners who have other capacities.

  (1610)  

Mr. Chris Warkentin:
    I appreciate that. What confuses me is I hear that on one hand, and yet I hear media reports that tell us that on your website, Mr. Jaffer, at some point it said that you could secure support from the Canadian government. I'm just trying to align that statement with what we're hearing today, that you're going after other markets and other projects and it has nothing to do with the Canadian government. I'm just trying to establish maybe why the claim was put out there and why that was established.
    I'm wondering if Mr. Jaffer might be able to answer this, because that's the confusing part for me, and I assume for some of my colleagues as well.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
     Right. To my knowledge, when we created the website I know that one of the things we tried to ensure was that we wanted to maintain that we had experience, obviously, from our backgrounds, dealing with government. But by no means do we want to confuse anyone that we could have any undue influence, because that is not the direction of our business.
    At the same time, I know you asked particularly about the condition of our financial situation. When Patrick and I started this company, we put in a significant amount of capital of our own to build this business, and to date it's been extremely difficult, because when you want to build a new business you have to put in a lot of sweat, blood, and tears.
    Obviously this whole episode that we're dealing with is not helping our business in any way. Even though we've done nothing wrong, of what we've been accused of, it has been a difficult year, given that we put all our own resources into trying to build a very strong foundation that has now been derailed to some extent.
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
    Just so that I'm completely clear, I haven't seen it, but it was reported that on your website at one point it said that you would be able to secure support from the Canadian government.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I don't even recall that that was what it said, and—
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
    I haven't seen that, but I—
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    —we would have never put that in there because that's not the nature of our business. So I would even say that those particular reports are inaccurate.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    I can categorically tell you it is not on our website.
    It was raised in one article, again by The Toronto Star, that it was in Mr. Jaffer's website, but it is not on GPG's website whatsoever. In our website, the only link we talk about is knowledge of government legislation and facilitate government consultation. And if you look at the Treasury Board policy on transfer payments, this is one of the cores of the policy, to facilitate communication and consultation between stakeholders such as potential recipients and the Government of Canada. And this is not a lobbying activity: it's an exchange of information, and it's a gathering of information. I would advise you to check that Treasury Board policy on transfer payments, and I hope you did before calling us to testify.
The Chair:
    Thank you.
    We now go to Mr. Martin for eight minutes.
Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP):
     Thank you, Madam Chair.
    You know what I really hate, Rahim, is you're making us all look really bad—seriously. I remember we were elected the same year. I remember you rode in here on Preston Manning's white horse, and you guys were going to clean up government. You were going to drive the moneylenders from the temple. It was very sanctimonious, and frankly you were vilifying so many people in those days, you and your party, you actually hurt a lot of careers.
    And you also, frankly, in accusing everybody in Ottawa virtually in those days of being sleazy hog-troughers or whatever the terminology you used, added to the cynicism in the voting public about their democratic institution. So it's a little rich for you to be lecturing us today on raising the bar of ethical standards when it's you, Rahim, that we're here to talk about a paucity of ethical standards in your—never mind your personal life, I don't even want to know about that, but how could you not think that the work you're doing doesn't fit into the category of lobbying? You were around when we did the Federal Accountability Act. You know it as well as I do.
    Your old website—you deny that it's there now, but we didn't just take this from The Toronto Star, we went to the website, which was still up and running, and it said things like that Rahim will help you “through his countless relationships developed from his former career as a parliamentarian”. Anybody, any client would read that and say, “Well, if I hire Rahim, he will help, through his countless relationships, develop my business.” I honestly don't know how, I don't know what's wrong with your ethical radar, personally, that some alarm didn't go off in your head and say “I'm crossing a line here.”
    Before I let you speak, I also want to comment on this. You said you left that meeting with Gillani with the feeling that there was no synergy there. Well, you left him with a completely opposite point of view, that he had hit a gold mine here. He was excited. I mean, you left with a feeling of no synergy and a pocket full of cocaine; he was left with the opinion that you guys were going to be great business partners and it was full steam ahead, and next stop the PMO. That's a serious contradiction, though.
    I'll ask you, you said you didn't receive any money for services rendered from any client. Did he give you that cocaine in terms of part of your payment for services to be rendered?

  (1615)  

Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
     I am objecting to this type of question, Madam Chair. We came here, Madam Chair, with the understanding--
The Chair:
    Mr. Glémaud, calm down.
    Mr. Martin, we are here to study the green energy fund. I do not think we should touch matters that have already been dealt with by the courts. So if you could stick to whether--
Mr. Pat Martin:
    We're talking about fee for services rendered, Madam Chair, and that can take many forms.
The Chair:
    Let's keep it at a professional level.
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Okay, if you won't answer that, then let me discuss--
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Maybe you should raise these types of allegations in the public forum. You should raise them outside of this Parliament with privilege--
The Chair:
    Mr. Glémaud, please stay calm.
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Influence peddling is a serious criminal offence.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Do you have any evidence of that?
Mr. Pat Martin:
     I'm making this statement. Influence peddling undermines--
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    You don't have any evidence of that, Mr. Martin.
Mr. Pat Martin:
    --the most fundamental basic tenets of our democracy.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    You're setting a new ethical standard right now, because you have no evidence of anything and yet you're throwing out these allegations.
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Your statement that none of your clients ever received any government grants and contributions is of no comfort to me, because you don't have to actually succeed to be guilty of influence peddling. You can be a lousy influence peddler and not bear any results. If you promise somebody that you can use your influence to further their personal private interests, that's the very definition of influence peddling. And it's a very serious offence, which is one of the reasons I actually didn't want you here today. I don't want you to be able to hide behind parliamentary privilege if in fact the investigation of your actions leads to criminal charges some time in the future.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Maybe you should wait for that, because obviously you're not the judge and jury, Mr. Martin.
    But I think it will be clear that we haven't done anything wrong. As I mentioned throughout this exchange today, that's not the nature of our business. You can allege from any reports that you wish and slander me if you wish.
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Rahim, I'm not slandering you.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    The damage is already done to me, and I don't think it will make any difference.
    But in the end what we're trying to get to is how fast and furious people play here with people's reputations when there is no evidence to the contrary that we've done anything wrong. And that's one of the reasons we're here in front of you today.
    We read the exact parts of the Lobbying Act that would apply if we were doing any lobbying. We would have registered and we would have done that. But that's not the nature of our business.
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Let me just ask you, under oath, have you ever suggested to anyone that you have better access to these government funds by virtue of your relationship as a former member of Parliament?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Absolutely not. And I can't control--
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Have you ever used your previous MP's business card during the course of promoting any private business?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Again, you're pulling these things out from a great source--your source--The Toronto Star.
Mr. Pat Martin:
     I want you to clarify this.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I can tell you, sir, that none of these things--
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Have you ever circulated your MP's business card after you ceased to be an MP?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I don't even understand what good that would provide. It would--
Mr. Pat Martin:
    It would only imply that you still have some sort of relationship to Parliament, even though you're no longer a member of Parliament.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    As I said, I'll go back to my opening statement, because I think it's clear that--

  (1620)  

Mr. Pat Martin:
    Can you answer that question first?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I told you I never did those things. These are allegations. I never would make unsubstantiated claims that I couldn't follow through.
    We're building a new business--
Mr. Pat Martin:
    This is your opportunity to make that case.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Will you let me finish, or do you want to keep cutting me off?
    If we're trying to build a business from the ground up that's based on credibility to deliver, the last thing we're going to do is make any claims that we can't deliver. I've told you over and over again throughout my testimony here, as well as in questions, that my number one concern was that my wife, who still served in the government, would never be in any conflict of interest. So I operated my business in that capacity.
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Then would you mind tabling all of the e-mail records from the parliamentary account in your wife's office that you were using? I'm not saying you were using it for anything untoward, but will you table that? In fact we could call for the production of that, but we'd like to see the parliamentary e-mail account from your wife's office, whether it's a BlackBerry or a stationary computer.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I'm glad you're raising that. I would like the opportunity to respond to that.
    There were a number of allegations again that I was using parliamentary resources in an untoward way. I can say that as a member of Parliament, when I served as a member of Parliament, I never abused the parliamentary resources that were given to me for working on behalf of my constituents.
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Did you use your wife's e-mail account?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Nor would I abuse my wife's resources in any capacity.
    What had happened, and where the confusion had developed, was after the last election, as you know, we had two weeks to clear my office here in Centre Block. I had no place, I had no office set up, no place to set anything, so I sent whatever boxes I couldn't throw away or couldn't go through to my wife's office. I very rarely ever went in there, other than to do spousal things, like helping her with Christmas cards, sitting in on scheduling meetings, things maybe your spouse does, because my role has changed now.
    And ultimately we had a separate office all through the time that I was trying to establish a new business, and we have records of that. The only reason I ever used the BlackBerry was to keep track of what my wife's schedule was, and that was it. I have separate business accounts, separate business e-mail--everything. And I never even went into the office for any work-related business of ours. It was simply to help in any way that I could, as a spouse to my wife.
    So it's unfortunate that you're pulling out all these things, again based on allegation, without any facts.
Mr. Pat Martin:
     This is your opportunity to state your case, as you've just done.
The Chair:
    Thank you, Mr. Martin.
    We now go to the second round of questions.
    And I'd like to remind you, Mr. Glémaud, please don't interrupt. I will otherwise have to stop you from talking. So let's be respectful.
    I have to apologize to Mr. Martin. He had the right question.
    You had the right question, because you asked about the fee, and I made an error in judgment.
    Madame Mendes, for five minutes.

[Translation]

Mrs. Alexandra Mendes (Brossard—La Prairie, Lib.):
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Mr. Jaffer et Mr. Glémaud, thank you for being here today.
    I would like to come back to the three executive summaries of the business proposals you submitted to Mr. Jean or to his office. Would you have us believe that you submitted them out of a desire to be generous to the companies you were dealing with, and who were ultimately your clients?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    We submitted them with a view to ascertaining whether the “terms and conditions” of the programs would match the projects these companies were working on. We are in the process of finding the information. If you look at the Treasury Board policy on transfer payments, you will see that it clearly states that recipients must be able to access certain information. We submitted them in order to…
    Supposing you submit a letter of interest as part of a business deal. If there is interest expressed, you submit an application. However, there was no interest expressed by the government, and therefore, there was no application.
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    Mr. Glémaud, you are dealing with the government here; you are not dealing with another business. Basically, all you want to know is whether you meet the program criteria. Anybody can do that by simply consulting the program website. You do not really need to submit something to the Minister's parliamentary secretary.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Madam, if you know anyone working in this area, they would certainly tell you that most consumers and most recipients have problems understanding the terms and conditions of government programs, because of the way they are written and because some of them do not even provide enough information about the funding available and the time for submitting an application.
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    I would like to come back to the fact that you told your clients you had expertise in dealing with government. You worked for at least six years for the Canadian government. So, you are supposed to be familiar with the project terms and conditions.
    Could you act as an interpreter for your clients? There is no real need for a submission to the parliamentary secretary, is there?

  (1625)  

Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Madam, programs change. Every program has its own “terms and conditions”. If you were aware of the process, you would know that there is a memorandum to Cabinet that sets policy, that this is then presented to Parliament, which allocates the necessary budget. It then goes to Treasury Board in the form of a submission. It is based on that submission that the “terms” are set. All programs have specific terms.
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    Yes, I am very much aware of that.
    You say that you submitted these three summaries for your clients' businesses, without there being any benefit for your company?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    They were not clients, Ms. Mendes. In order to have a client, you have to have a business relationship, a contract, an agreement, an understanding or a promise of some kind.
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    So, are you telling me you did this out of the goodness of your heart?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    In our line of work, we try to gather as much information as possible to see which projects might be attractive from a business perspective. If the government has programs that would be a good fit with the project, we are then able to raise money privately and go forward with the project.
    For example, in the case of Ontario, solar panel programs will not exist if the Ontario government does not create appropriate programs to buy electricity. And when we approach the Government of Ontario, we want to be sure that our programs meet the “terms and conditions”, because otherwise there is no point in continuing.
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    You are really getting into the whole detailed government process. I would like to ask you—both Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Clémaud—whether you could submit a list of your current and past clients, going back to April 2009—it seems that is when Mr. Jaffer became the business administrator—so that we can have a better understanding of your client base.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    First of all, those relationships are confidential. Second of all, this matter is currently being debated and reviewed by the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying. We are interested in pursuing that process and providing the necessary information to the Director of Investigations. He will make his decision based on the legislation.
    If this Committee decides to remove the authority of the Commissioner and withdraw the Lobbying Act, at that point, you will replace them and we will answer. But so far--
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    You are confirming, then, that you received no payment for a submission you made to government.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Absolutely none.
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    I am talking about payment from your client; I am not talking about the government, obviously. I am talking about the client. You received no payment--
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    We have received nothing from any client, Madam. We can swear on the bible, or whatever else you may like, that we have received no payment and no compensation from anyone for lobbying activities.
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    I have one last question for you, Mr. Jaffer. Are you able to share your opinion on the way the Prime Minister managed this affair, particularly as it concerns your wife, Ms. Guergis?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
     That's not within the scope of our study here today, so I don't see the relevance, Madam Chair, of responding to that question. I understand and I hope that the matter will be cleared up shortly by those authorities who are looking at this whole matter. I'm certain it will be, and I'm certain that my wife will clear her name and be back in Parliament with her caucus and colleagues soon.
The Chair:
    Thank you, Madame Mendes.
    We now go to Monsieur Nadeau, pour cinq minutes, s'il vous plaît.

[Translation]

Mr. Richard Nadeau (Gatineau, BQ):
    Thank you, Madam Chair. Good afternoon, gentlemen.
    As far as I know, Mr. Glémaud, you were a candidate in the last federal election, were you not?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Yes, and based on the attacks against me in recent weeks, I have the impression that my only crime, in the view of some people, is that I was a candidate for the Conservative Party.
Mr. Richard Nadeau:
    I understand that you are not yet a member of Parliament, but you must still follow procedure. When we address questions to Mr. Jaffer, you must let him answer; he is capable of answering on his own. Do not take offence at the questions; simply let the process take its course.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    The question was addressed to me, Mr. Nadeau.
Mr. Richard Nadeau:
    Mr. Jaffer, of everything that we have been hearing in the last little while, one thing greatly surprises me. It looks as though your business survived on nothing more than fresh air and that you were content to collect information. But, to collect information to do what with it, exactly? Did you give it to other companies? Did you sell it to other companies? Did you use it for a specific purpose, such as to benefit other companies or try to secure contracts with the federal government? What did you do with that information?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    As I mentioned, we have a bigger goal for our company, and that is to take many new technologies to new markets. That's where we would like to go. In the process, if we can help them direct themselves to where they may want to look for help at any government level, whether provincial or federal, we direct them in that direction. Then it's up to them to make contact with the appropriate officials or departments or programs to carry on with the process, if they would like to secure any form of government aid. That's not the basis of our—

  (1630)  

[Translation]

Mr. Richard Nadeau:
    So, the idea was to gather specific information related to areas of expertise, which Mr. Glémaud talked about a few minutes ago, for businesses that could benefit from knowing more about the workings of the federal government, the main players and the programs it delivers. Is that correct?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Most of this information is made public through government websites or various other departments. Often, many of the people we are working with either don't have government affairs.... They are newer companies with new technologies and don't understand how to go about finding information. So what we do is gather it for them and give it to them, with the goal of looking at working with them in a different capacity. What they wish to do with that information is their choice.

[Translation]

Mr. Richard Nadeau:
    As I understand it, these companies paid you to collect that information.

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No, because our goal for our business was much larger, not to sign any contract for payment for lobbying or any contract that would force us to be in a situation where we would have to be lobbying. That's not what we wanted to do. We wanted to build and take these technologies into new markets, and that's what our goal was. So if we could help them achieve their goals on their own by their going down their own path and talking to whomever it was they felt might may help them, that's great. But our goal was to sign agreements internationally to represent their technologies.

[Translation]

Mr. Richard Nadeau:
    So, how did your company generate revenue, if they were the ones who would be receiving the funding?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    That's what my partner said. We budgeted a significant amount of capital out of our own pocket for the first year to build this business, and that's how we've been paying for it. We haven't received any revenue yet. When I mentioned to you the goal that we have of executing, hopefully, a deal in China very shortly, that will be the first major opportunity for us to generate any revenue with the new technology the Chinese are interested in. But for now, we've paid for all of this all through our own blood, sweat, and tears, and our own capital.

[Translation]

Mr. Richard Nadeau:
    So, as I understand it, you conducted business in the last year, or since you have been in your current position, for which you generated no income.

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
     No. That's the way it goes. When you build a new business, it takes time if you have a bigger goal in mind. Unfortunately, we're running into some challenges now, given all this attention we've had, but—

[Translation]

Mr. Richard Nadeau:
    Why did the former Minister for the Status of Women Canada write a letter to Wright Tech Systems? Was it to try an influence them? Was it to try and put you in contact with them? What was the purpose of that action on the part of the former Minister?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    You will have the opportunity to ask her that question, I'm sure, at some point. But I can clarify to you that the company in question I believe is located in or has a home in my wife's riding. We had been introduced to that company and realized, through some exploration, that it did not have a technology we would ever work with.
    I believe he asked me if he could pursue, through my wife's office, the opportunity to educate her about his business. I said, “That's fine, if you want to do that, as we're not doing any business together.” My wife also asked me, “Are you doing any business with this company”, and by that time we had decided we weren't going to be doing any business. I think that's how their interaction began. But I assured her that we didn't have any business dealings with that company, and that we didn't plan to have any business dealings with that company at all.
The Chair:
    Thank you.
    We now go to Mr. Gourde for five minutes, please.

[Translation]

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, CPC):
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    I only have one question, and I will be sharing my time with my neighbour to the right.
    Monsieur Jaffer, you are acquainted with the Federal Accountability Act and what it involves. With hindsight and in all honesty, do you not think that, since you made yourself out to be someone who could lobby the government, you should have registered as a lobbyist to carry out the kind of work you were doing?

  (1635)  

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Thank you, Mr. Gourde.
    I've never presented myself as a lobbyist. If that were our business, yes, I would have registered. I would have gone through the process to make sure that I followed all the rules under the Lobbying Act. But that was not the nature of our business, and I never told anyone I interacted with that I could help them in securing any form of government support. I was able to advise them on the process, if they wished to do so, and was able to direct them to the proper government departments where they could make their own contact. But by no means did I ever plan to do any lobbying in our business; otherwise, yes, I would have gone through the procedure to register as a lobbyist.
The Chair:
    Monsieur Lukiwski.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, CPC):
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Rahim, Mr. Martin brought this up, and I think it's crucial to the understanding of this committee and the discussion in it, and that's the impressions you may have been giving potential clients. Mr. Martin calls it “influence peddling”, others are calling it perhaps unethical behaviour, but I think you probably owe it to yourself, and certainly to the committee, to answer a couple of questions about some of the statements made on your website.
    One, my understanding is that your website said you could “secure support from the Canadian government”. My question would be, did you claim that on your website? And if you did, do you not think that statement is inappropriate, because it implies that you have influence within the government?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I can assure you, Tom, that statement was not on our website, because that's not something we offer anyone we deal with.
    Just to back up—
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    If I could maybe clarify that, did you have a personal website and your company, GPG, have a website as well?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Yes.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    Did you have this statement on your personal website?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No, not at all on my personal site.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    And it was not on the GPG website?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Not that I'm aware of. That's not something that we do, Tom.
    But if I could say, there's only been one person—and unfortunately we don't know all of his business dealing, but we see that he's had some other issues—who has made this claim. We don't do that kind of work. And for whatever reason, if he's made that claim or not, as we've seen in reports, it's unsubstantiated. It's not something that we do in our business and it's not something that we offer to people. That's not the goal of our business.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    Further to that, let me ask you whether this statement on your website is true or not. Your website apparently claims that you are a “key player in coordinating future policy between various branches of both the Canadian and U.S. governments”. Was that statement ever on your personal website or your corporate website?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    That was, I believe, on our corporate website, because that was the experience Mr. Glémaud had in his prior life when he worked in the government, and he still continues to do some of that work with different levels of government in the U.S. and here in Canada. He could answer that question.
    The Chair: Go ahead, Mr. Glémaud.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Yes--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    If the statement was on your website, what I'd like to know is whether you claim this statement was factually correct, or were you implying an offer of some service that you actually could not provide?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    It was not stated on the service page. If you look at the service page, it outlines clearly the services that were provided. The information is background information or biographical information, and it is not on the service page. On the service page we talk about knowledge of legislation. This is not a lobbying activity. This is an activity that most law firms provide.
    Also, please keep in mind the fact that when we talk about government consultation or knowledge of government legislation on our website, that doesn't imply lobbying activities. To have lobbying activities, you have to go back into the legislation. We cannot be making allegations or innuendoes of what lobbying is, or what this or that is, without going back to the legislation. There is a Parliament that passes laws, and based on these laws there is a certain threshold. If you have the threshold, then you are subject to this treatment and that treatment, and so on. That's why the commissioner of lobbying is asked to deal with that matter.
    This committee doesn't have a perfect understanding of the Lobbying Act. The person who has that understanding is the commissioner of lobbying, who is an officer of Parliament. That was the power given to her by Parliament, and therefore she should be the one addressing these issues.

  (1640)  

The Chair:
    Thank you, Mr. Glémaud. And thank you, Mr. Lukiwski; I'll be getting you back on another round as well.
    Go ahead, Ms. Coady, for five minutes.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Thank you very much.
    This is quickly becoming a he-said, she-said scenario, and there is a matter of public trust, Mr. Glémaud.
    I'm looking at Mr. Rahim Jaffer's website. It's rahimjaffer.com. Under the biography, it clearly states that Mr. Jaffer provides the company with "business expertise in industry financing" in order to help "secure support from the Canadian government and to obtain contracts abroad" and also plays a "crucial role in business development and marketing through his countless relationships developed from his former career as a parliamentarian".
    It is clearly stated on the website that this is the case.
    I'll go back to my he-said, she-said point. Mr. Glémaud, when I asked questions earlier about your meetings with Mr. Jean and how they advanced and what actually occurred, you said, “Look, I just made a phone call to the parliamentary secretary's office, and they told me to go this avenue. I did submit the executive summary.” Now Mr. Jean says that's not exactly accurate. He said that you did submit proposals and that he had the paperwork in front of him.
    Again there is this he-said, she-said aspect, and there are many instances today. I could talk about Mr. Gallani's statement that you had a business relationship as well.
    However, as an entrepreneur, I have a question. I'm a former entrepreneur. I've started many companies, and I'm confused about your business model. If you're just assisting or advising, I'd like to know how you actually get paid for your services.
    I'll ask you a question. If the projects that you submitted to Mr. Jean for review had been successful, would you have had any financial or other benefit accrue to you?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    In response to your first question, with regard to Mr. Brian Jean, there is no he-said, she-said. Basically, it's on the words that have been used. Mr. Jean mentioned there was a proposal; we mentioned that it was an executive summary. However, at the end it's a document that was submitted for the purpose of establishing whether there was an interest and for the purpose of gathering information and submitting information.
    If there was an interest, then there would be a request to submit a detailed business plan with all the details of the project. That would be viewed as the actual grant or contribution agreement application, and that's when lobbying will start. We didn't get to that stage. Our understanding is that if we were ever in a position to be at that stage, then I would have decided to register myself as a lobbyist. It was not complicated.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
     Could you just tell me what those three proposals or executive summaries were that you submitted to the parliamentary secretary? I would suggest that not many people have access to the parliamentary secretary. There is a normal process and channel where you would get those questions answered. It wouldn't normally be the parliamentary secretary.
    Would you have benefited in any way, shape, or form had those proposals been successful?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    No, because at that time we basically said if there is an interest, then we go back to the client, we sit down with the client, and we say okay, based on the terms and conditions of the program, the government is of the view that it fits the terms and conditions of the program. At that time we would decide if they are submitting an application or we are submitting an application on their behalf.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    So using your words, if there was interest by Mr. Jean or his department, then you would have made a business arrangement that would have given you some financial benefit.
    Mr. Patrick Glémaud: No.
    Ms. Siobhan Coady: Well, that's what you just said.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    No, I cannot speculate. I said “if” there is an interest, then we go back and sit down to see if there is the potential to do business with them or not. If there is a decision to do business with them, then we submit the registration under the Lobbying Act.
    That would be the normal--
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Then you would have submitted a registration if there had been interest by the parliamentary secretary's office. Is that what you just said?
    Mr. Rahim Jaffer: Well, that's not the process.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Well, I mean, look....
    Mr. Rahim Jaffer: That's not the process. Just so you're clear--
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    I have one final question. We'll stop there; one final question.
     Mr. Jaffer, you said you didn't have a relationship with Mr. Gillani or International Strategic Investments. I think Mr. Martin's correct that Mr. Gillani thought you had.... You met with him over five or six times; that's in the public domain.
    Did you ever discuss with Mr. Gillani the Wright Tech system, or was it part of those discussions? Was that ever part of your discussions, and possible fit? You say you didn't have a fit, but was that part of the fit with Mr. Gillani?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    My partner addressed that. Initially, as we mentioned, we were introduced to Mr. Gillani on the basis that he wanted us to do a review on this technology. We were never asked to do a formal.... In the end, we never did a formal review. We were never paid for it. There was no--

  (1645)  

Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Okay. Great. Thank you.
    So you're telling me that the Wright Tech system was not one of the three proposals that you put forward?
    Mr. Rahim Jaffer: I don't think so.
    Ms. Siobhan Coady: Was that one of the three? Was the Wright Tech system one of the three proposals that you put forward to Mr. Jean in the executive summary page?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Look, our position has always stayed the same. Our position has always been that we did not submit any application or any demand for funding. You see--
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Could you just tell me whether Wright Tech was one of those three proposals? It's a simple question.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    I went back and checked my e-mails. I was able to check: two different proposals were submitted, and in those two proposals, Wright Tech was not one of them.
    I don't know if Wright Tech has been--
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    There were three.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Well, look, I have a copy--
The Chair:
    Order.
    Can you say yes or no, you do not know that the Wright Tech proposal was part of it?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Based on my recollection, I do not know.
The Chair:
    Fair enough.
    We will move now to Mr. Lukiwski for five minutes.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    Thank you, Chair.
    I have a couple of questions I wanted to ask both of you on your lobbying...or non-lobbying activities, because it seems that's another crucial question here.
    This is for my own clarification. I'd asked the question whether certain statements that we had been told were on your website, either corporately or individually, were true or not. I think you had mentioned that they were not, except for the “key player in coordinating future policy”. You mentioned that Mr. Glémaud had that on, and that was in relation to his previous work within government. That's fair enough. But I believe I heard from Madam Coady that she had a piece of paper that said that on Mr. Jaffer's website you did say that you could secure support from the Canadian government.
    That's unless I misheard. I'm just trying to clarify that, because it's a fairly big difference. You're saying something was not there. Ms. Coady said it was. If it was, then that takes us into a whole bunch of other questions.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I understand.
    One thing we can't confuse.... My personal website talked about my experience when I was in government, not related to my business website. Our business website spoke directly on what type of work we were doing in our company.
    A number of things that were outlined in my personal website talked about my experience, as I served as a member of Parliament, and the work that I did. One of those things was securing government support for different initiatives while I was an MP--in Edmonton, for instance--and that's what it was referring to.
    I'm sorry if it's created a confusion, because it's obvious that this is what has happened, but by no means was it making any statements that were related to my business operation.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    I thank you for that.
    Let me go back to something else I wanted to ask, and that again goes to, I think, the crux of whether or not either one of you, or both of you, should have registered as lobbyists.
    First, is GPG your only business interest, or do you do personal or private consulting as well?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
     We don't do any private consulting.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
     I believe I heard you mention that you had advised other companies on how to either deal with government, access government, or something to that effect. Is that correct?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    There have been people who have come to us and said, “Can you help us with this?“ We would say, “That's not the business we're in, but this is where we can direct you. Either talk to the department person, call the minister's office yourself, or whatever it might be, but this is what you can do. That's not the type of business we're involved in.” But if we could share that information, that was fine with us.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    Did you ever charge for that advice?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No, because that's not the focus of our business.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    You mentioned you're familiar with the Federal Accountability Act and the specific provisions contained within it on lobbying. As you know, there are two different types of lobbyists. One is consultant lobbying, where one charges to advise clients. You have stated that you have never charged for advice you've given to others on how to deal with government. The other type, of course, is the in-house lobbyist. One of the determinants of that definition is if an official of a company who is given the responsibility of contacting, communicating, and working with governments spends in excess of 20% of their work day communicating with and dealing with governments. Then they are considered to be a lobbyist who needs to be registered.
    Did you at any time in your communications with the federal government, whenever they might have happened, consider yourself to be spending more than 20% of your time, either individually or combined, on discussing with government about information, government programs, etc.?

  (1650)  

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No. I can say wholeheartedly that was never the case.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    So you would state for the record at this committee that as both the definitions imply--the definitions of in-house lobbyist and consultant lobbyist--you did not fall within either of those categories, and that is why neither one of you registered as a lobbyist.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    That's right. As I said, that wasn't the focus of our business.
The Chair:
    Thank you very much.
    We now go to Monsieur Guimond pour cinq minutes, s'il vous plaît.

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ):
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Mr. Glémaud, in your previous testimony, you stated that you were a senior lawyer with the government and that you had even provided advice or opinions on the management of a green fund.
    On the other hand, why would the company want to retain your services, Mr. Jaffer? What is your specific area of expertise? What more do you have to offer than anyone else?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I think for me the experience came from a couple of different fronts. One was obviously that through a number of years of serving as an MP you make a number of connections in the private sector. One of the things I wanted to focus on, in trying to develop a business that was focused on the private sector, was working with a number of individuals and businesses to look particularly--as I said in my statement--at new technologies and opportunities in emerging markets. That's exactly where my strength is. That's exactly what I've been trying to do. We've created links with some of the partners--that's what we're trying to do in both India and China.

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    I understand.
    However, you say that you had political experience and that you were National President of the Conservative Party. So, that is the primary asset that you, Rahim Jaffer, have to offer.

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No, because you have to take a step back. Prior to being in politics--and even in the time after and when I was in politics--I had my own private business. Before I entered politics I ran a small business, owned property, and was involved in family business. I've had different experiences in business. I've also done my master's in business administration. So I think that gives me some experience in looking at how to open up new markets and leave my political life behind. That was my goal.
    Unfortunately, I keep getting dragged back into things that don't really have credibility to stand water. My goal has been to build a business in the private sector. That's where I focus my attention.

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    I see.
    However, did you specifically talk about Wright Tech Systems with your wife, the former Minister for the Status of Women Canada, Ms. Guergis?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
     After we were introduced to the company, I recused myself because we decided we were not going to do any business. There was no ability to do business with them. So I believe that Mr. Wright approached my wife for a separate issue. I think it was to do with a landfill problem in part of her riding. I'm not privy to those discussions, nor did I take any interest, because we had recused ourselves. We weren't going to work with this company in any capacity.

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    Did you go to Belize or Panama? Did you travel to Belize and Panama?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I don't know how this is relating to this study.
    Mr. Michel Guimond: No, no—
    Mr. Rahim Jaffer: But I will answer the question.

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    Just answer the questions.
    I am asking you a specific question. Did you go to Belize and Panama?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    No, I have never been to Panama.

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    And to Belize?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    But I don't understand the questioning here. Why is this relevant?

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    Just let me continue; I am the one asking the questions.
    Did you go to Belize?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Madam Chair, is this a valid question with what we're studying?
The Chair:
    Mr. Guimond, can you explain?

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    I am trying to understand how companies were created in Belize.
    Mr. Rahim Jaffer: No, of course not. I don't have any--
    Mr. Michel Guimond: Did you go to Belize?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Pardon?

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    Did you go to Belize?

  (1655)  

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I've been to Belize, yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    I see.
    Then how do you explain that companies were created in Belize? Were companies created in Belize?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    If you will let me, these are based on allegations—

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    My time will soon be up, so please provide a quick answer.

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Well, this is important. Would you rather I answer or not?

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    Yes, but quickly, because my time is being clocked.

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I have no understanding of any of these things that were dug up by The Toronto Star. I have no idea about any of these types of business dealings in Belize because I have no interest in Belize. I don't think I would be having the financial difficulty that I'm having trying to build a new business if I had interests in Belize. So this was complete rumour and innuendo and has nothing to do with the trip that the secretary of state I believe for trade had gone on when she went on her own trip.

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    When did you learn that you and your wife were the subject of an investigation ordered by Prime Minister Harper? When was this brought to your attention?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
     I'm not subject to any inquiry from the Prime Minister's Office.

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    When your wife was removed from her ministerial post, the Prime Minister told us, in the House, that it was connected to your business dealings. He is still refusing to provide more of an explanation.
    When were you made aware of this? You share the same bed and you live together with your wife. Did you find out at the same time as I did, through the media? Please don't try to make us believe that.

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    My parliamentary experience says these questions are not in order, even if the chair doesn't want to rule them out of order, but I will answer this—

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    It is not up to you to--

[English]

The Chair:
    Mr. Guimond—
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Being a former member of Parliament—
The Chair:
    Can we have order?

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    All he has to do is answer!

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    —and the chair of caucus, I understand the importance of cabinet secrecy, caucus secrecy, and I made a point after I left politics never to ask my wife about what is going on in that capacity, nor would I tell her about businesses I was involved in, so as to protect her. That's simply an understanding that I have from my experience in politics.
The Chair:
    Mr. Guimond, your time is up, I'm sorry.
    I was going to ask for relevance, and I was just looking at the section. Mr. Jaffer, don't worry, we were looking at the relevance of the question.
    Mr. Martin, for five minutes.
Mr. Pat Martin:
     Rahim, your company's name is Green Power Generation Corp., but you don't really generate any green power with that company. In fact, I put it to you the only marketable commodity you have is the influence that you're advertising for sale on your website, with the Conservative Party logo next to it.
    We all have copies of this now. So when you denied any knowledge that you were leading people to believe that you could secure support from the Canadian government and that you had countless relationships developed from your time as a parliamentarian, what is a client or what is a prospective company to believe when they see this promotion? It says to me that for a price, I can sell you this service, which is to provide access.
    It seems to me you've gone to the Frank Moores school of government relations or something--influence peddling, offshore bank accounts, and holding out for the big score. There's either an equity share in the business you say you're developing or a contingency fee, which you should know is wrong as well.
    Your former government just sued David Dingwall for a contingency fee that he got from that drug company for the ten-year vaccine contract. You can't go for contingency fees within the Lobbying Act. You can go fee-for-service. You can charge $600 an hour, like Don Boudria. That's pretty good money. You don't have to hold out for the big score.
    Everything you've told us just paints an unsavoury picture, Rahim. As much as I like you as a person, this really disappoints me, and it doesn't do the image of parliamentarians or our parliamentary system any good at all when as soon as you get the opportunity, you get your nose in the trough worse than the people you used to vilify when you got here.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Mr. Martin, I am disappointed that you continue to allege things that you have no basis of truth for--
    Mr. Pat Martin: There's a compelling pile--
The Chair:
    Mr. Martin, I would ask you to respect the witnesses. They are here.... Let's ask relevant questions if we could, please.
    Thank you.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I find it ironic that the one member who said he didn't want this committee to turn into a circus has now turned it into one, Madam Chair.
    I think the crux of the matter and the only thing I can come back to say is that, specifically, our business as outlined under GPG's mandate is to look at new opportunities for new technologies in new markets and to work with those particular clients to see how we can access those particular markets. There were never any contingency fees that you speak about. There was never any involvement with government.
    If you have proof of that, Mr. Martin, please bring it forward, and I'll address it. But there is absolutely no truth in what you're saying, and you're throwing around allegations that are very spurious. I can't believe you're doing this.

  (1700)  

Mr. Pat Martin:
    What was the nature of the business that Mr. Gillani wanted you to undertake? You say you chose not to get involved with Mr. Gillani, and that's fine; I take you at your word. Was it a “pump and dump” scam that he wanted you to promote, or securities--
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I'll respond to your question if you wish me to.
    The initial reason we were introduced to Mr. Gillani was for a review of a technology that he may have done a deal with. He approached us to look at this technology. We looked at it--
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Was that right?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Yes. We looked at it, and we thought the technology was good, but it was clear that the way Mr. Gillani was modelling his business, there was no way our business was going to go in that direction. We don't raise money to take companies public. We don't do any of this work. So that was his business.
    In the end, he never compensated us for reviewing the material he sent us, so we decided that there were no synergies available here, and we backed away from the deal and backed away from the technology.
The Chair:
    Mr. Martin, you have one minute left.
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Well, you certainly left that meeting leaving Mr. Gillani with the impression that everything was fine and all systems were go. When did you formally inform him that you were not going to do business, that you weren't interested in his proposal?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I don't understand what you're referring to.
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Well, there are two differing views of the meeting you had on that fateful night of September 10, I believe it was. You said you left that meeting not interested in doing any further business with him, and the very next day he was advertising to all of his friends, bragging perhaps--perhaps it was puffery--that you had a very successful meeting, and that he did want to do business with you, and in fact that the doors to the PMO had been opened for him. When did you clear that up?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I can't recall the exact dates, but the business potential of exploration didn't end that night. It had just begun a couple of weeks ahead when we were introduced to Mr. Gillani for, as I said, this technology.
Mr. Pat Martin:
     So you had further contact with him after September 10?
The Chair:
    Mr. Martin, no more questions, please.
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Only to return the material he sent to us and to say that it doesn't look like we will have any involvement moving forward. I sent back that material and that was the end of it.
The Chair:
    Thank you.
    We now go to Mr. Warkentin, for five minutes. You're sharing your time with Mr. Holder.
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Mr. Jaffer, not even an hour ago, I asked you specifically if it stated on your website that you would be able to secure support from the Canadian government. You said that it didn't. You made it absolutely clear. I don't think there's anybody in this room who heard it differently.
    I have a copy now. I looked, actually.... When the news report came out, your website had come down. There was no cache of it. I hadn't been able to see it, so I was relying on news reports. You denied that those news reports were accurate.
     I now have in my hand the biography, I guess from rahimjaffer.com, which states exactly that. It also goes on to talk about the important role that your former relationships, or the relationships you developed over your career as a politician, might avail you in terms of assisting in your current career.
    I don't know why you would deny it if in fact it had been there. Clearly it was there when the reporter wrote the story, and then it subsequently went down. You must have been aware that there was something within that website that was untoward or not correct, or that at least appeared to be unethical.
    Considering this, I don't even know what question I have. I mean, the evidence is before me. The statement is obviously untrue--at least it could imply unethical behaviour. What bothers me more is that we have you before our committee and you've stated, as a matter of fact, one thing and I now have a copy that indicates something different.
    We all entered politics to do something good for Canadians. I don't doubt that this was your intention, Mr. Jaffer, but you have to understand that this type of behaviour sullies all of our names.

  (1705)  

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    May I respond, Mr. Warkentin?
    As I mentioned to you, and I'm glad you're clarifying this, we were discussing my business website earlier and I told you that on that website there is no reference to securing any sort of government support--on our business website. Now, there was some sort of reference to that on my personal website.
    I tried to clarify.... The only explanation that I could try to give to you was that in reflecting on the experience I had as a member of Parliament working to secure support for different things--and I know what's happening, still, in my old riding with the community centre, the GO centre, or other things--we worked hard to secure government support to support these sorts of initiatives.
    These websites are completely different in what they're promoting. My personal website talked about all my experience; my business website talks about what business we're trying to build here today. That's what I've been trying to explain to you.
    I'm sorry if there's been confusion, because by no means has there been any type--and I can assure you--of promotion on behalf of myself or my partner that we can secure any sort of government support for anything. If that wasn't the case, we would have been interacting with government members, we would have registered as lobbyists, we would have done all the things that we would have done. But that's not the focus of our business. That's why it's not on our business website.
The Chair:
    Mr. Lukiwski, you've got one minute.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    One minute, Chair?
    Just to follow up--and it's difficult with 60 seconds--you would know, having been a former politician, that we are held to higher standards. We have to observe propriety in everything we do. It's also more than that; it's the appearance of propriety.
    Do you feel, based on all of the things that might have been confusing to the general public--you have explained why certain statements on your website might have been misinterpreted--that the appearance of propriety has been tarnished because of some of the things you've had on your website or your corporate website, given the fact you were a former member of Parliament? Do you believe that the impression might have been left with potential clients or members of the general public that you could provide some access to government?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
     Mr. Lukiwski, the only thing I can say to you is that I personally feel that was never the intention of anything we were trying to do. And in particular, the proof is always in the pudding. Did we actually do the kind of work we are alleged to have said we had done? I can only say to you that I took great care to avoid any type of activity, whether lobbying or trying to influence anyone in any capacity, because that wasn't where I wanted to be. It wasn't the type of business I wanted to do, and it still is not the focus of our current company work.
The Chair:
    Thank you, Mr. Lukiwski.
    I have been asked to provide this website information to you, because I think members on all sides have a real concern. I think Mr. Warkentin did refer to this website and Ms. Coady did as well. So could you just give this to Mr. Jaffer for his clarification?
    We will now go to the last round.
    Ms. Mendes, for five minutes.

[Translation]

Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    I would like to ask you, Mr. Jaffer, if you have acted in the past as spokesperson for any business connected to Mr. Gillani or to International Strategic Investments? I will mention some of them, although this is not a complete list: HD Retail Solutions, Fluidform Corp., Cultural Exchange Network, and so on. Have you acted as spokesperson for these companies?

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Not only have I not been a spokesperson, I don't even know the business Mr. Gillani conducts in his firm, other than what we basically were introduced to the first time we met.

[Translation]

Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    Thank you. You have just confirmed that you never entered into any kind of financial arrangement with Mr. Gillani. However, when you were questioned on CTV, on April 13, you stated that Mr. Gillani had been in touch with you about the feasibility of a green technology, and you stated that your role was basically to determine whether that technology was marketable or had market potential. Did you provide that advice free of charge to Mr. Gillani?

  (1710)  

[English]

Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Initially, as I mentioned, when we were contacted by Mr. Gillani, he said he had big plans for us to work together and to do a technology review and that he was going to retain our services. There were a lot of things he said that never materialized. We were familiar with the technology as a result of getting the material, but after the fact it seemed that nothing was materializing in any business relationship. And because, as I mentioned, his other business activities were not in line with where we were going in our business, we returned all the material and we ended any form of business relationship. We never got one going to begin with, other than reviewing this technology, and we realized there wasn't going to be a potential for it in the future.
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    So there was never any payment for services?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    Oh, no, absolutely not. That was the reason.

[Translation]

Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    Mr. Glémaud, if you don't mind, I note that, in a registration you submitted to the Commissioner of Lobbying on behalf of the International Centre for Infectious Diseases, you said that you had never been a public office holder. Can you explain that statement?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    First of all, I believe that question is outside of this Committee's mandate, based on the invitation we received. We are supposed to be talking about renewable energy and green funding. Therefore, I fail to see the relevance of that question.
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    It is your credibility that is at stake. You say that you never registered as a lobbyist because you felt no need to do so. However, in that case, you did register as a lobbyist and you declared that had never been a public office holder.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Madam, that statement was made as follows: I had discussions with a potential client and the client asked me to perform work which, in my opinion, was lobbying. At that point, I decided to register, as a preventive measure. The following day, the client told me he had retained the services of another firm here in Ottawa.
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    But you were a public office holder previously.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    No, no. I did not engage in any lobbying on behalf of that company. It decided that I was not the right person for the job and retained someone else's services. Therefore, I had no opportunity to engage in lobbying, just as I had no opportunity to go back and correct anything in that statement.
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
    Thank you. I have one last question, Madam Chair.
    Did you submit proposals to Mr. Andrew House, when he was Director of Operations at the Office of the Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario? What arrangements did you make with the businesses submitting proposals, and why did you not disclose that meeting to the Commissioner of Lobbying?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    First of all, I submitted no application to Mr. Andrew House. I had one meeting with Mr. Andrew House, along with another person, with a view to collecting information about the program for which Mr. Andrew House was Director of Operations. I knew absolutely nothing about the program, and I wanted some details. But I did not submit any application myself, and I ask that you produce evidence in that regard.

[English]

The Chair:
     Ms. Coady, you may have a quick question, very quick.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    I have two quick points.
     First of all, Mr. Jaffer, on your personal website you do identify yourself as one of the founders of Green Power Generation Corporation. Just to let you know, you were differentiating, but you do recognize yourself as such.
    I have a question, as well, for Mr. Glémaud. There was such discrepancy and concern about whether it was two or whether it was three. Mr. Jean said there were three applications, and you're saying there were maybe three, maybe two, and just executive summaries. Would you please provide those executive summaries to the committee?
The Chair:
    And a quick response, please.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    That is something I have to discuss with the director of the investigation of the commissioner of lobbying. My understanding is I am supposed to be submitting documents to him with respect to his own investigation, so I will have to discuss this with him.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    Would you submit the names, then? If you don't want to submit the documents, can you tell us the three names? Just let us know the names.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    I am not at liberty to submit those names right now. This is something that has been referred to the commissioner of lobbying, and she decided to do an administrative review. You will have to wait until it's over.
The Chair:
    Point of order, Mr. Martin, yes.
Mr. Pat Martin:
    Madam Chair, Mr. Glémaud does not have the right to remain silent at this committee. He doesn't have the right to pick and choose which questions he will answer. We can compel him to answer those questions through the power of the parliamentary committee. He doesn't get to choose, and I hope you will rule to that effect and get him to tell us the names of those three companies.

  (1715)  

The Chair:
    Mr. Glémaud, Mr. Martin is right, so you will have to tell us the names of the three companies.
    Does the entire committee agree that he needs to answer that question?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Okay, Mr. Glémaud, you have to.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    I do not recall these names.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Patrick Glémaud: Madam Chair, if I can--
The Chair:
    Mr. Glémaud....
    Order, order.
    You know, this is a contempt of Parliament. Therefore I would suggest you do not act in that manner and--
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Madam Chair--
The Chair:
    No, let me finish.
    Act responsibly. If you know the names.... You had two names, and I guess they are asking for the third name. If you're not supplying us....
     I will ask you, do you have the three names of the proposals that you submitted, the executive summary that you submitted to Mr. Jean? Yes or no?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    No.
The Chair:
    That means you do not remember who you submitted, or what names were....
    Just one second. I have an issue here.
    They are asking that you then submit it. We will make a request that you undertake to supply the names to us.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Madam Chair, I am not in contempt. Madam Chair, this matter was referred to the commissioner.
The Chair:
    You do not rule. You do not--
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    But Madam Chair, may I insert? You asked me a question.
The Chair:
    Order.
    Mr. Glémaud, this is a parliamentary committee. You are going to be in contempt if you do not supply the information that has been requested by the total committee. It's not one side asking for it. It has been a request. If you can't, then you undertake to supply that. And that is final.
    Madame Coady first, and then you, Mr. Martin.
    Yes, Madame Coady.
Ms. Siobhan Coady:
    I'm sure the clock was stopped, so if Mr. Glémaud does not remember, perhaps, Mr. Jaffer, you do. There were three submissions to Mr. Jean, the parliamentary secretary to the minister responsible for infrastructure. There were three submissions.
    There's been a discrepancy from Mr. Glémaud saying it was executive summaries. Mr. Jean says they were full proposals. My question to you is, may I have the names of the three proposals submitted to Mr. Jean, please?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    As I said from the beginning, one of the things I tried to do always in any of the dealings we had with any members of the government was to recuse myself from anything that would either ask for information or request anything. I would not be involved with that, just simply because I was aware that there may be a conflict. So I wasn't involved in those submissions.
The Chair:
    Thank you.
     Mr. Martin, and then I have the last word from Mr. Lukiwski.
Mr. Pat Martin:
    The only thing I'd like to add to my point of order from before, Madam Chair, is that you set a strict timeframe. I would say 24 hours would be a reasonable amount of time for Mr. Glémaud to get home and look up those names....
    Even though I don't believe you for a minute, buddy. I don't believe you as far as I can throw you.
    If you could put a strict timeframe that he gets that information back to us, I would ask that the clerk circulate that to us immediately upon receipt of that information.
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
     Based on the innuendo you've been raising you would like to hang me, right?
The Chair:
    Mr. Glémaud, nobody asked you to respond. Thank you.
    Mr. Lukiwski, you have two minutes if you wish.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    Thank you.
    We've heard a lot of testimony and a lot of back and forth today, but I think there's an elephant in the room--I think Mr. Martin brought it up.
     Mr. Jaffer, do you believe or understand that your actions have tarnished the reputation of politicians from all parties? Do you believe that to be true? Do you get that?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    I think that's quite a statement, Mr. Lukiwski. I know I've maybe made some mistakes. I've taken responsibility for those mistakes. I've tried to do the best job I can embarking on a private sector endeavour. I think you've known me long enough to know that I've never asked for anything from any member of this government in trying to do that.
    I'm quite surprised and shocked that I'm being treated in this capacity, given that I've always tried to respect what we established when we were elected together with the Accountability Act and the Lobbying Act. Now it seems that despite some of these allegations, we're being completely hung out to dry, without any real evidence that we've done anything wrong.
     I'm looking forward to the commissioner of lobbying doing her thorough review and responding as to whether or not we've done anything wrong. As we said at the outset, this is something she is best suited to deal with. I'm confident that in the behaviour and actions I've tried to take with my business, I've been following the highest standards possible without causing any conflict for anybody.

  (1720)  

Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    I have a final quick question.
    You mentioned that the commissioner of lobbying has contacted you. Is that a correct statement? Are you cooperating with the commissioner of lobbying as we speak?
Mr. Rahim Jaffer:
    We were proactive. We contacted her when we heard that the Liberal Party had sent that letter to her. We sent a letter to her on behalf of both of us saying that we were willing to cooperate in any way to ensure that our names were cleared. She is now conducting a review of the material and will be getting back to us.
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    Thank you.
The Chair:
    Mr. Martin's point of order requested that documents be provided within 24 hours. Does the committee agree with that?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Fair enough. So the clerk will send that out, and we will have a commitment from Mr. Glémaud to provide that information.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Guimond, do you have a point of order?

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    I have a question. I would like to know Mr. Glémaud's reaction to what he has been asked to do, which is to submit the list.
    Are you going to provide that in the next 24 hours?
Mr. Patrick Glémaud:
    Mr. Guimond, the only thing I want and the only thing I expect is to cooperate--

[English]

The Chair:
    Mr. Guimond, it's the committee's request. It's an order, and that will be fine.

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Guimond:
    It seems to--

[English]

The Chair:
    He doesn't have to. It doesn't matter, because we have a point of order, we have a motion from the committee, and the committee will be requesting it.
    Ladies and gentlemen of the committee, considering the time, I don't think we'll be able to get into business. The bells will ring and we will have to go to vote. So if everybody is in agreement, I'd like to break.
    I thank the witnesses for being here. If there's more information we want, we will invite you again.
    Thank you, Mr. Jaffer.
    Thank you, Mr. Glémaud.
    The committee is dismissed.
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