Sunday, October 21, 2012

Setting the NCC Record Straight

Last week, in his Toronto Sun column, Warren Kinsella  took a negative swipe at my old group, The National Citizens Coalition. Alas, I was certain the people currently running the NCC would fail to respond to this attack; so I decided to send the following letter to the editor. It was published today:

Dear Sir/Madam:

Re “Justin Trudeau’s resume compares favourably to Stephen Harper’s” (Oct. 14): Warren Kinsella took a cheap shot at Prime Minister Stephen Harper, by taking an even cheaper shot at the National Citizens Coalition. 
Mind you, Kinsella doesn’t actually mention the NCC by name; he just says some nasty things about the “group” Prime Minister Harper used to head up. As a former employee of the NCC, I’d like to set the record straight. 
Yes, Prime Minister Harper was indeed NCC president, back in the late 1990s. But he was not, as Kinsella asserts, a “lobbyist.” 
As NCC president, Harper’s job was to use advertising campaigns, constitutional court challenges and media appearances to raise public awareness about the importance of free markets, smaller government and individual freedom. 
To my mind, that’s an important job. And yes, any job where you have to argue policy, articulate a clear and consistent message to the public and deal with the media, prepares you for a life in politics. At least it seemed to work for Harper.
Gerry Nicholls
Former vice president
National Citizens Coalition


haselcheck said...

Great Explanation....Kinsella is 100% proof that Liberalism is a Mental Disease....

Warren K said...


You've opened the door, so perhaps you can answer this question, on the record:

During his tenure with the NCC, did he at any time:

(a) communicate with a public office holder in respect of

(i) the development of any legislative proposal by the Government of Canada or by a member of the Senate or the House of Commons,

(ii) the introduction of any Bill or resolution in either House of Parliament or the passage, defeat or amendment of any Bill or resolution that is before either House of Parliament,

(iii) the making or amendment of any regulation as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Statutory Instruments Act,

(iv) the development or amendment of any policy or program of the Government of Canada,

(v) the awarding of any grant, contribution or other financial benefit by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada, or

(vi) the awarding of any contract by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada; or

(b) arrange a meeting between a public office holder and any other person.

I look forward to your answer, on the record.


Gerry Nicholls said...


Here's a story which appeared in the CBC on November 25, 2005.

Brison apologizes to Harper

Stephen Harper has accepted the apology of Public Works Minister Scott Brison who had claimed the Conservative leader engaged in illegal lobbying as president of the National Citizens Coalition.
Brison had said Harper operated as an unregistered lobbyist, that his past was littered with examples of questionable if not illegal behaviour and that the coalition was charged with breaking Canada's Elections Act six times.

Brison made the statements in a news release after Harper unveiled his party's anti-corruption proposals earlier this month.

But in the House of Commons Monday, Brison said: "I now understand [the allegations] to be untrue."

Harper and coalition vice-president Gerry Nicholls had threatened legal action against Brison.

Brison had withdrawn the accusations in an e-mail to Nicholls and in a letter to Harper.

gensti said...

Gerry, I like your blog, but you didn't really answer his question.

Gerry Nicholls said...

Pretty sure Scott Brison answered it for me.

gensti said...

I might be wrong, but I think this Warren character simply asked if he engaged in these activities. Brison made specific claims that Harper broke the Elections act, and that his past was littered with questionable activities.