Update: This article has been edited to correct the suggestion Mr. Butts was to receive payment or work on the contract, further information has revealed that his employers will be the ones to receive the funds.
Former principal secretary and long-time friend of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s latest employer was proposed as the recipient of a contract for nearly $200,000 dollars from Natural Resources Canada “to provide energy market analysis,” according to a new report from Sheila Gunn Reid from The Rebel.
Eurasia Group, a New York-based company which Butts had joined in May of this year was listed in the official advance contract award notice as the “proposed contractor” for the project. The group would receive nearly $200,000 CAD to “identify regulatory and policy risks in the context of carbon and environmental policy, supply disruption issues, market access, oil prices, and supply and demand fundamentals in North America and globally.”
Butts has since stated that he will have nothing to do with the contract and will not receive any of the funds that ensue from the work.
The contract aims to award someone that can show expertise through “trade and fiscal policy, through an established intelligence network … comprised of government officials, energy industry CEO’s, executives and industry insiders…”
Butts is, of course, no stranger to being associated with anti-Canadian oil measures. In an op-ed in the Toronto Star, Butts described oil and gas as a cancer to society, stating: “Keep smoking kids. We need the tax revenue. Trust us, we will cure cancer by the time you get it. So goes our national political leaders’ myopic view of the tar sands.”
Butts was also heavily involved in the Ontario Green Energy Act, which led to a 150 percent increase in off-peak electricity rates which struck Ontarians.
Butts had previously stepped down from his role as the top advisor to Justin Trudeau in February of 2018 after the SNC-Lavalin scandal. He has since returned to Trudeau’s fold as a member of his 2019 campaign team in late July.
The following update was also issued by The Rebel on the story.
“UPDATE: Eurasia Group has contacted us to advise that they have received other grants from the Trudeau government when Butts worked there, before Butts joined their firm. They claim he was not involved with this grant. We have asked the Eurasia Group if Butts was involved in steering those earlier funds to them, and we will let you know of their reply.”