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Canada’s Carson Scandal Dissected on APTN

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What do you get when you mix a broke prime minister's aide, an escort cum fiancée, millions of dollars in potential contracts and the Alberta oil sands? Why, a scandal involving First Nations water, of course.


If this has you scratching your head, tune into the Aboriginal People's Television Network's APTN Investigates, the award-winning news show, for an in-depth look at the story that APTN broke last week. The show, which won an investigative-journalism award from Amnesty International last year, is preempting the network's regular National News on March 25 to broadcast a one-hour special devoted to its investigation into the activities of Bruce Carson, a former PMO staffer and senior advisor to the prime minister, the network said in a release.

All this and more will be explained in the special, airing on Friday, March 25, 2011 on APTN East and APTN HD at 6 pm ET; on APTN West at 6 pm, MT; and on APTN North at 6 pm CT.

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The crux: Last week APTN broke the news that Carson, a former aide to the prime minister, had been lobbying the Department of Indian Affairs on behalf of an Ottawa-based water company, trying to procure land water contracts that could be worth millions of dollars. The water company happens to employ one Michele McPherson, a 22-year-old former escort who is now engaged to the 66-year-old Carson.

When APTN brought its information to the attention of the prime minister's office, the prime minister initiated an investigation of Carson by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Commissioner of Lobbying and the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to investigate Carson’s activities, APTN said.

Since then Carson has stepped aside from the 12-member panel evaluating the Alberta oil sands for environmental issues. He heads the Canada School of Energy and Environment, which so far has stood by him.

In the special, the network's release said, APTN Investigates host Cheryl McKenzie will interview Kenneth Jackson and Jorge Barrera, the APTN reporters who broke the story. The two will discuss how they uncovered the story that has since spread quickly through national media and Canadian Parliament. The show will also recap the APTN news stories produced and aired to date regarding the Carson matter, the network said.

For more information please see the APTN website.