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Re: Power Corporation of Canada - Canadian Government Connections
For more: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -  March 14th, 2008   more click here

Power Corporation of Canada  is a major Canadian company with assets in North America and Europe in a number of industries. These industries include media, pulp and paper, and financial services.

Current members of the board of directors of the company are: Laurent Dassault, André Desmarais, Paul Desmarais, Paul Desmarais, Jr., Anthony Graham, Robert Gratton, Don Mazankowski, Jerry Nickerson, James Nininger, Robert Parizeau, Michel Plessis-Bélair, John Rae, Amaury-Daniel de Seze, and Emöke Szathmáry.

Directors Emeritus of the company are: James Burns and Michael Pitfield.

The company is controlled by Paul Desmarais, Sr.. Paul Desmarais, Jr. is one of thirty members of the North American Competitiveness Council, a group whose advice directs the policies of North American Security and Prosperity Partnership. Additionally, the company has long been a close ally of the Liberal Party of Canada, although former or current members of other Canadian political parties have also worked for Power Corp. A brief summary of the connections between Power Corp. and those with political power in Canada is below.

  • Former Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin, was hired in the 1960s to work for Paul Desmarais, Sr. by Maurice Strong. Martin became President of Canada Steamship Lines, a subsidiary of Power Corp., and in 1981 Desmarais sold the company to Martin and a partner. Martin went on to make his personal fortune as an owner of CSL.
  • Former Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chrétien sat on the board of Power Corp. subsidiary Consolidated Bathurst in the late 1980s before he became the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Chrétien's daughter France is married to the son of Paul Desmarais, Sr., André. Also Chretien's chief of staff Eddie Goldenberg worked in the past for Power Corp.
  • Former Prime Minister of Canada, the late Pierre Trudeau, served in the mid-1990s on Power Corp.'s international advisory board. Trudeau's assistant Ted Johnson also worked for Power Corp. During the Trudeau administration Michael Pitfield held a variety of positions in government but during his time in the private sector he was at one time a Vice-Chairman of Power Corp. and is currently listed as a Director Emeritus.
  • Former Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney also has a relationship with Power Corporation. Mulroney's friend Ian MacDonald described Desmarais as “Mulroney’s mentor in the business world,” and it is believed that Mulroney has done legal work for Power Corp. since the end of his term as Prime Minister. Additionally, former Mulroney Minister of Transport Don Mazankowski is currently Power Corp.'s company director.
  • Former Premier of Quebec Premier Daniel Johnson, Jr. worked for Power Corp. from 1973 to 1981 and in the last three years of this term was a Vice-President in the company.
  • Power Corp.'s international advisory board has featured individuals such as former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, former oil minister of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, former head of the US Federal Reserve Board Paul Volcker, and the previously mentioned former Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau.

  • Maurice Strong, who is apparently confined, for health reasons, to his home in Beijing. Since Beijing is one of the smoggiest cities on earth, and Mr. Strong is a severe asthmatic, this is a somewhat strange hidey hole Mo. Presumably it is the bracing air of Communist rule in which his lungs rejoice rather than the ambient pollution. Beijing is also probably attractive as being a long way from any echoes of that unfortunate UN oil-for-food fandango in Iraq, in which Mr. Strong so inexplicably found himself embroiled. Still, we wish Mr. Strong a full recovery. The world would be a much less interesting — if considerably safer — place without him.
  • Power Corporation of Canada made headlines in 2005 when it was revealed that the man handpicked by the UN secretary general to probe the UN’s scandalized Oil-for-Food program, Paul Volcker, had not disclosed to the UN that he was a paid adviser to Power Corporation. This was a clear conflict of interest as Power Corporation had ties to the French oil giant, Total, which was being investigated under the Iraq Oil-for-Food program for lucrative contracts to develop and exploit the Majnoon and Nahr Umar oil fields in southern Iraq.Most currently, Total is building a pipeline in Eastern Burma that has caused the violent relocation of thousands of people and is being built using forced labor. The Total/UNOCAL Yadana natural gas pipeline is one of the largest sources of revenue for Burma’s despotic regime.

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