Crestview Strategy lobbyist (and former assistant to the now Attorney General David Lametti), Zakery Blais, renewed his official registration as a lobbyist on behalf of the Gates funded GAVI. Effective August 1st. To clarify, Lametti was only a Parliamentary Secretary when Blais worked for him, but that hardly excuses the behaviour.
1. Zakery Blais Worked For David Lametti
Zakery Blais is a Consultant with Crestview Strategy. With a focus on Canada-U.S. relations and international development, Zakery services clients globally.
His experience spans both the public and private sectors. He previously worked as a Legislative Assistant to a Canadian Member of Parliament, providing strategic political and communications advice. Prior to joining Crestview Strategy, Zakery also worked in various capacities in public affairs, including as an analyst focused on the energy and natural resources sectors.
Zakery holds an Honours BSocSc in Political Science from the University of Ottawa, and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Queen’s University
Although the Member of Parliament is not identified in Blais’ Crestview profile, looking at his LinkedIn, we can tell it is David Lametti. Lametti was a Parliamentary Secretary at the time, but is now the sitting Attorney General of Canada.
Bit of a side note: Blais’ profile also has him spending almost a year working for the Liberal Research Bureau.
2. Lack Of Transparency In Public Office Holding
Blais claims to have never been a public office holder. While true in a technical sense, it is very misleading. Blais WORKED FOR Lametti, who was a public officer holder, and now sits as the Attorney General of Canada. But you wouldn’t get that information from looking at the Lobbying Commissioner’s website.
Crestview lobbies on behalf of GAVI, trying to get government grants to vaccinate the planet. So far, Ottawa has shelled out some $800 million. And it needs to be emphasized, there is no arms-length relationship here at all.
Most readers will know this, but for those who don’t: GAVI is the Global Vaccine Alliance, which is heavily funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
3. Crestview’s M-132 Conflict Of Interest
M-132 was introduced in November 2017 by Liberal MP Raj Saini. It was covered here and here. One might wonder why GAVI is interested in lobbying on a motion to finance drugs and drug research for Canada and the entire world.
4. CS Co-Founded By Katie Telford’s Husband
Liberal strategist and former pundit Rob Silver said Monday he has left the government relations firm he helped create, citing his wife’s position as Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff.
“Effective Dec. 31, 2015 I am no longer a shareholder or employee of Crestview Strategy,” Silver said in an email Monday afternoon.
Silver was a partner in the Toronto- and Ottawa-based public affairs agency that, among other things, lobbies the federal government on behalf of clients.
Rob Silver, husband of Katie Telford, Trudeau’s Chief-of-Staff, helped start up Crestview Strategy, the lobbying firm that GAVI hired to push the vaccine agenda.
5. Rob Silver’s New Conflict Of Interest
OTTAWA – The Trudeau government is paying up to $84 million to a company that employs Chief of Staff Katie Telford’s husband as a senior executive to administer its COVID-19 emergency commercial rent assistance program for small businesses.
Due to the ties between Telford and her husband, Robert Silver, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) assures that their chief of staff has recused herself from any decisions that may involve MCAP, Silver’s employer.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Silver became Senior Vice-President, Strategy, Policy, Risk at MCAP in January 2020. MCAP bills itself as one of Canada’s largest private mortgage companies, with over 300,000 customers and $105 billion in assets under management.
According to LinkedIn, this is Silver’s first job in the private sector since leaving Crestview — the government relations firm he helped create — following the October 2015 elections. At the time, he cited his wife’s job as new chief of staff to the prime minister as the reason for his departure.
Silver may have left Crestview Strategy, but it appears his old ways haven’t changed. Yet another conflict of interest that should never have happened.
This was addressed in Part 5, but Crestview Strategy has many political connections, and they extend across party lines. In some sense, it really doesn’t matter who is actually in power. Crestview has connections. And Zakery Blais is still at it.