Published in 24 Hours Vancouver | April 1, 2014 | Circulation: 280,000+
An anti-oil sands group is “concerned about disclosure” regarding Premier Christy Clark’s relationship with Enbridge after a document listed her as a “partner” in her ex-husband’s lobbying firm — which worked for the energy company until 2006.
Clark worked with Mark Marissen’s Burrard Communications before she re-entered politics, Marissen confirmed in an interview, but was only involved in TransLink-related lobbying — not the Enbridge file.
“She was listed as a partner in Burrard on one project, but that was the only project she worked on,” he said. “It was between the time she was a politician and the time she took on her full-time job at CKNW.”
Marissen confirmed the authenticity of a 2008 “Government Relations Plan” document — obtained by the Vancouver Observer. The document boasts that as a company “partner” Clark “brings a wealth of knowledge about government and decision-making to Burrard Communications.”
Some pipeline critics questioned why she didn’t disclose her involvement with Burrard before the election — especially since her “five conditions” for Northern Gateway became a key election plank.
“It was definitely an election issue, and people needed to see strong leadership,” said ForestEthics Advocacy’s Nikki Skuce. “She agreed to stand up for the coast, but people definitely would have been suspicious had this come out beforehand.”
The premier’s press secretary Sam Oliphant told 24 hours allegations she lobbied for Enbridge weren’t true and “by the time she briefly worked at Burrard, Enbridge was no longer a client.”
Skuce pointed to Burrard’s business address being listed at Clark and Marissen’s residence as another cause for concern.