Hill and Knowlton lobbying for Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline
In addition to top spy watchdog Chuck Strahl, Enbridge enjoys the lobbying services of Hill and Knowlton, an international public relations firm with a coterie of high profile clients and strong ties to Harper's Conservatives.
Hill and Knowlton consultants Josh Christensen and Sarah Waddell are listed along with Chuck Strahl on the BC Lobbyists Registry as lobbyists for Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. They're reinforced by an army of 17 Enbridge executives and staff who registered as lobbyists on December 19, 2013, two days before the Canadian Energy Board's Joint Review Panel recommendation to approve the tar sands pipeline.
When an Enbridge pipeline leaked 843,000 gallons of bitumen into Michigan's Kalamazoo River in 2010, the company hired Hill and Knowlton for PR and communication to handle its image, as authorities and the company dealt with local residents about the company's spill response efforts, which continue today.
And in 2012, Enbridge paid Hill and Knowlton $5 million to sell the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline proposal to British Columbians. Like Chuck Strahl, Hill and Knowlton consultants have moved back and forth between roles in the company and in Canada's Conservative government.
Hill and Knowlton's clients include companies as various as the Athabasca Oil Sands Corporation and SNC-Lavalin. In 1990, the Kuwaiti government paid Hill and Knowlton $12 million to influence U.S. public opinion in favour of President George Bush's plan to declare war on Iraq. As part of this campaign, Hill and Knowlton coached a Kuwaiti girl to falsely describe incidents of Iraqi soldiers tearing Kuwaiti babies out of their incubators, according to the CBC.
The Conservative Party seems to have particularly strong ties to the firm.