By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
A former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled to face trial on a charge of influence peddling next May.
The judge-only trial of Bruce Carson, who was once acting chief of staff in the Prime Minister’s Office, is scheduled to begin on May 26 and run until June 6.
Carson is facing an influence peddling charge stemming from a now shuttered Ottawa water company’s plan to sell filtration system to First Nation reserves grappling with clean water woes.
Carson’s trial was originally set for this past July 22, but the discovery of a suspected cancer growth on his lung forced its postponement. He underwent surgery on July 15.
Carson’s current health status remains unclear. His lawyer Patrick McCann did not return phone calls last week seeking an update on Carson’s health.
Ewan Lyttle, who appeared in Ontario court Monday morning on behalf of McCann to set the trial dates, said he could not comment on the issue.
“I have nothing to say about his health,” he said. “It’s not for me to say.”
Carson’s then-fiancee, a former Ottawa escort, had a deal with the Ottawa water company, H2O Global, giving her a large percentage of revenues from the sale of filtration systems to First Nations communities. Carson, who lobbied on behalf of the company, initialed the contract.
Carson was once a confidant of Harper’s and the Conservative government forked over $15 million to create a think tank in Calgary, the Canada School of Energy and Environment, that the former PMO aide ended up heading.
Carson was heavily involved in designing a strategy to promote the tar sands.
Carson left the think tank after Harper’s office asked the RCMP, the lobbying and ethics commissioners to investigate his activities on behalf of the water company.