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This article was published 17/8/2016 (1289 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Conservative political heavyweight David McLaughlin has been hired on by the Pallister government as their senior adviser for climate change — and is being compensated handsomely for it.
McLaughlin will be making about $10,000 a month and is slated to stay on until March 31, 2017.
The former chief of staff to Brian Mulroney helped steer the Tories to victory on April 19 as the campaign manager for the Progressive Conservatives.
First order of business for McLaughlin will be to prepare Premier Brian Pallister for the upcoming First Ministers' meeting this fall and to develop a "made-in-Manitoba" climate action plan.
Canada's premiers met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in March and agreed carbon pricing would be part of the overall climate change plan. Trudeau said they would reconvene in the fall, after four working groups report back on broad policy areas, "where we will finalize a pan-Canadian plan" to combat climate change. The date for the meeting has not been set.
In his maiden throne speech, Pallister pledged to develop a climate action plan that "will include carbon pricing that fosters emissions reduction, retains investment capital, and stimulates new innovation in clean energy, businesses, and jobs."
McLaughlin is based out of Ottawa and will be commuting between the two cities for the duration of the contract.
Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox said in an email statement, McLaughlin will be focused on the "opportunities associated with local innovations in green technology."
"His work as President and CEO of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy resulted in some ground-breaking work on climate change and sustainable natural resource management following consultations with experts from industry, academia and environmental groups," she said. "David’s focused engagement and unique experience will be an asset to our government as we work with our provincial and federal partners to develop a comprehensive and results-driven Green plan."
The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy was a federally funded advisery agency founded in 1988 by former Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney. McLaughlin was president and CEO from 2007 to 2012.
It researched how business and government policies can work together for sustainable development — including the idea of introducing carbon taxes.
Funding for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) was cut in 2012 by the Harper government.
At the time, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the shuttering of the round table had to do with what the reports were "promoting."
"Why should taxpayers have to pay for more than 10 reports promoting a carbon tax, something that the people of Canada have repeatedly rejected? That is a message the Liberal Party just will not accept," Baird said during question period in 2012.
McLaughlin also served as deputy minister to Progressive Conservative Premier Bernard Lord in New Brunswick from 1999 to 2005 and was the chief of staff to Conservative finance minister Jim Flaherty from 2006 to 2007.
With files from the Canadian Press
Updated on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 12:00 PM CDT: Adds photo
12:25 PM: Updates photo information
3:04 PM: Updates
August 19, 2016 at 1:29 PM: Corrects typo