OTTAWA-The Supreme Court of Canada says a one-time senior aide to former prime minister Stephen Harper is guilty of influence peddling.
Bruce Carson’s case will now be sent back to the trial judge for sentencing after the court rejected his interpretation of the influence-peddling law in an 8-1 decision.
He could face up to five years in prison.
Carson was acquitted at trial over allegations that he tried to use his government connections to push the sale of water-purification systems for First Nations communities to provide a benefit for his then-girlfriend, Michele McPherson, 22, an escort.
Carson’s lawyers argued he couldn’t be guilty of influencing “any matter of business relating to the government” because it was the First Nations communities, not the government, that purchased the water systems.
The Supreme Court took a broad view of the statement, saying the phrase should include anything that depends on or could be facilitated by the government, such as changing funding conditions that favour one company over another.