You know something is afoot in Ottawa when the lobbyists are worried. When those brave souls who venture to Parliament Hill in search of handshakes and backslaps—and make a small fortune in the process—get their hackles up, something is surely out of order.
Since Jaffer was hauled before a Parliamentary committee, it’s been a bit awkward for even the best influence peddlers in the nation’s capital. That’s because lots of people who usually don’t pay too much attention—mostly journalists but civilians too—are talking about the ethics of lobbying.
Of course, one organization has been talking about these issues, as well as others, for the better part of two decades. Democracy Watch has fought for stronger ethics rules since the final months of the Chrétien Era. And the organization’s public face, Duff Conacher, has been there the whole time.
I had a chance to interview Conacher about why he does what he does, what’s left to do (hint: a lot), and how he puts up with it all. Under our normal schedule we wouldn’t put the interview up until May 3rd, but we’re moving it up to Monday, April 26 because the issues that Conacher and I talked about have quickly become hot topics. (Depending on scheduling, we’ll either return to our regular podcast schedule with a three-week gap, or just embrace this lost week and keep going every other Monday. Haven’t decided yet.)