Profit

The former Kenney chief has won thousands of dollars after leaving PO for a non-profit that receives provincial funding

Prime Minister Jason Kenney’s former acting chief of staff made more than $200,000 last year, including thousands from a consulting contract he landed for the Department of Energy after leaving the Prime Minister’s Office to run a government-funded nonprofit.

Lawrence Kaumeyer was working as Kenney’s acting chief of staff until August 2021. He joined Ducks Unlimited Canada as CEO on Oct. 4, 2021, organization spokeswoman Janine Massey said.

A month later, on Nov. 11, 2021, Kaumeyer was awarded a consulting contract with the Department of Energy at a rate of $118.91 per hour. In this role, he reported to Kenney’s chief of staff. His contract ran until April 4.

Ducks Unlimited is registered to lobby the federal government and the government of British Columbia. Kaumeyer was registered to lobby Ottawa on behalf of Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Ducks Unlimited Canada is also a registered charity with the CRA. Charities are not required to register to lobby in Alberta.

Due to employee vacation schedules, Ducks Unlimited Canada was unable to confirm details of “government relations efforts in Alberta during the relevant period,” Massey told True North.

Ducks’ 2021 annual report says it partnered with Alberta Treasury Branch and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to implement the Renewable Land Conservation Program, which placed 5,998 acres placed into conservation easements with $10.5 million in loans.

Ducks Unlimited Canada is also a partner in the Alberta North American Waterfowl Management Plan, which conserves Alberta’s wetland resources. Alberta Environment and Parks did not respond to True North’s inquiry as to whether it is providing funding and how much funding it is providing to this partnership before the publication deadline.

Asked to provide funding numbers for this partnership, Massey said Ducks has “a lot of different programs that involve a variety of funding partnerships.”

“Based on all available information, no new funding was granted or received by CIC from the Government of Alberta between the period of October 04, 2021 to June 09, 2022,” she wrote in an email. .

Kaumeyer ended fiscal 2021 with $161,724 in earnings, plus $44,009 in cash benefits. His earnings were deposited as part of the Department of Energy contract, even though Kaumeyer spent most of the year as acting chief of staff, a position on the executive board.

This indicates a sunny list reporting issue, said Brock Harrison, Kenney’s executive director of communications.

“Mr. Kaumeyer’s employment contract with the Government of Alberta through the Department of Energy has been approved by the Ethics Commissioner,” Harrison said in an emailed statement.

Reached by phone Friday, Kaumeyer referred True North to Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Prime Minister’s Office. He said his roles with both organizations have been erased.

“I have no concerns,” Kaumeyer told True North.

As Kenney’s chief of staff, Kaumeyer was deeply involved in federal government negotiations on energy issues, namely carbon capture, said Alex Puddifant, press secretary for Energy Minister Sonya Savage.

“The Minister of Energy felt that his experience and connections on these files would be a unique asset in moving them forward,” Puddifant said in a statement to True North. “As such, Mr. Kaumeyer’s services have been temporarily extended within the Ministry of Energy to continue working on these files.”

The cash benefits were paid for vacation hours and benefits in lieu of pension, not as bonuses, Puddifant said.

Ducks Unlimited Canada never saw Kaumeyer’s contract with the province, Massey told True North.

“The only knowledge (from Ducks Unlimited Canada) of Mr. Kaumeyer’s engagement with his former employer was in the transition efforts to extricate himself from all issues,” Massey said in an email. “This transition work, as described to (Ducks Unlimited Canada), was not considered to raise any issues of compliance with (Ducks Unlimited Canada) policies.”

Kaumeyer left Ducks Unlimited to “pursue other opportunities,” she added. His last day with the company was June 9.

UCP leadership candidate and UCP MP Brian Jean said he was concerned the Prime Minister’s Office was rehiring people who left on hourly contracts. Jean said he would change the laws to prevent this from happening again, if elected.

“When you leave the Prime Minister’s Office, you have to leave,” he said in a statement to True North. “Having one foot in the Prime Minister’s office and one in the private sector is just an invitation to trouble and abuse.

Before being named Kenney’s acting chief of staff in January 2021, Kaumeyer was the prime minister’s principal secretary, a role he started in September 2020.

He ended fiscal 2020 with $156,835 plus $21,410 in bonuses.

Kaumeyer was also present at the infamous Sky Palace dinner party, at which Kenney and key ministers were pictured dining outside during Covid restrictions. The Prime Minister has since apologized.

Kenney cited enduring anger at his Covid policies as the reason for his impending resignation. The prime minister will step down when UCP members choose a new leader on October 6.

Rachel is a seasoned political journalist who has covered government institutions at various levels. A journalism graduate from Carleton University, she has worked as a multimedia reporter for three local Niagara newspapers. His work has been published in the Toronto Star. Rachel was the first recipient of the political affairs internship, placing her in the parliamentary desk of The Globe and Mail. She spent three years covering the federal government for iPolitics. Rachel is True North’s Alberta correspondent based in Edmonton.

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