The Gates Foundation lobbies the Canadian Government, but not directly. It uses proxies. GAVI (the Global Vaccine Alliance), is heavily funded by Gates, and it employs a lobbying firm called Crestview Strategy. Crestview was co-founded by Rob Silver, husband of Katie Telford, and is well connected. Lobbyists are dispatched to Ottawa to try to get more taxpayer money.
The most recent to sign up is Ashton Arsenault.
Keep in mind, lobbying is legal (for the most part), as long as all meetings are documented, and available to the public. Doesn’t make it any less underhanded though.
1. Ashton Arsenault Latest Shill For GAVI
Ashton Arsenault is a senior consultant with Crestview Strategy based out of the Ottawa office.
Prior to joining Crestview, Ashton worked as a political aid on Parliament Hill where he was responsible for parliamentary affairs and issues management for the Minister of National Revenue. Prior to that, he worked as a legislative researcher in the Official Opposition Office in Prince Edward Island. He continues to volunteer in electoral politics at the federal level.
Ashton has been involved in politics for several years, serving as a campaign manager for a Conservative candidate in the 2015 General Election. As well, he served as the University of Prince Edward Island’s Chair of Council from 2011-2012.
Ashton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Prince Edward Island and a Master of Political Management from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Zakery Blais worked for (Liberal) MP David Lametti, and Jason Clarke volunteered for (Liberal) candidates in Ottawa for the 2015 election. Arsenault has ties to the Conservative Party of Canada, showing that this is not simply a partisan issue.
Make no mistake, lobbying is a very effective way for corporations to get what they want. In total, GAVI has secured over $1 billion in funding, from different administrations.
2. Arsenault Also Represents Medicago
Arsenault is also lobbying on behalf of Medicago, which is working with GlaxoSmithKline to develop a plant-based vaccine for the coronavirus.
3. Arsenault Frequently A CPC Talking Head
Ashton Arsenault regularly appears on television in order to sell CPC talking points to a gullible crowd. This is, of course, not unique to Conservatives. All of these “debates” on screen are arranged to address pre-planned scripts for the public.
Arsenault has donated several times to the Conservative Party of Canada, but the amounts aren’t enough to draw much attention.
4. Arsenault Replaces Zakery Blais
Zakery Blais was previously a lobbyist for Crestview Strategy, on behalf of GAVI. He appears to have since left the firm. Blais also worked for David Lametti (yes, the sitting Attorney General), back when he was a Parliamentary Secretary.
5. What Else Crestview Strategy Does
Drive winning arguments.
Crestview Strategy effectively represents the interests of corporations, not-for-profits and industry associations to achieve results with governments around the world.
No longer is a winning outcome based on ‘who you know’ or the ‘magic meeting’. It is about contributing to the policy process, presenting a case that is supported by authentic community voices, verified impact and compelling insight. And getting in front of the right decision makers and opinion leaders to make that case.
Drive winning engagement.
We build and run campaigns that mobilize support and impact change for both political and corporate clients.
Mobilization campaigns are premised on the simple fact that for elected officials, the single most influential voice in shaping their decision is that of their local voters, influencers, and community leaders.
The benefits of mobilization go beyond just a one-off campaign. The long-term goal of mobilization is to increase engagement potential, provide greater value for members, and to increase the share of voice and influence outcomes.
Keep in mind that firms like Crestview Strategy employ operatives who cover multiple parties. By doing this, it ensures that influence peddling will be effective, regardless of who officially sits in power. It’s important to note that few politicians actually make their own decisions.