By Kenneth Jackson and Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
RCMP investigators have yet to launch a formal investigation into the activities of Bruce Carson, a former aide to the prime minister, but the file remains open, APTN National News can report.
After an RCMP spokesperson twice told APTN that the investigation requested by the Prime Minister’s Office into Carson’s activities had been wrapped up and no charges would be filed — and that story was reported by APTN online — a different RCMP officer called to apologize, saying the original RCMP officer had been incorrect.
APTN National News, however, has learned that the RCMP’s “A” Division commercial crime section has yet to open an investigation into Carson’s activities.
Last March, Carson admitted to APTN he was lobbying in support of an Ottawa water company that had financial ties to a former escort who Carson said was his fiancee.
The first officer that APTN spoke to, RCMP Const. Julie Morel, said Thursday morning investigators reviewed the file and determined no formal investigation was warranted.
Morel, a police spokeswoman, said Carson was notified of the decision last month.
Carson could not be reached for comment.
On Thursday afternoon, the second police officer, Sgt. Marc Menard, said Morel had been referring to a different file and made the mistake because she was tired after getting off a long flight. He said she got her “wires crossed.”
An apologetic Menard said the Carson file was still with the RCMP’s commercial crime section in A Division and nothing had changed since March.
“She was very tired and we have a lot of things on the go today,” said Menard. “There was another file earlier, not that long go, where what she said is what happened on that particular file…it is not a Carson at all. She was very tired…I can’t undo what was done, all I can tell you (is) the truth of what happened.”
APTN contacted RCMP A Division Thursday morning to find out about the status of the Carson file.
Morel phoned back and was asked if the RCMP had wrapped up their investigation into Carson. Morel said “yes,” but added she had to check the file and would call back.
About 10 minutes later Morel phoned and said the RCMP had concluded no further investigation was warranted after reviewing the Carson file.
Morel said Carson was notified about a month ago.
About 30 minutes later, APTN again contacted Morel to confirm that she was referring to the Bruce Carson who the Prime Minister’s Office had requested that the RCMP review.
Morel again confirmed the information.
When pressed, Menard insisted that nothing had changed on the file since March 16 when the Prime Minister’s Office asked the RCMP to investigate Carson.
“No change. It is still in front of the commercial crime section,” he said. “It is still a matter in front of the RCMP, it is still being looked at by the RCMP.”
A source with knowledge of the file confirmed to ATPN the RCMP had yet to launch a full probe into Carson.
The PMO made the written request after an official met with APTN reporters investigating Carson’s lobbying activities for an Ottawa-based water filtration company.
The company was seeking to sell its product to First Nations communities hard hit by dirty water.
The company, H2O Pros which later formed H2O Global Group to deal with potential contracts, also had a financial agreement with Michele McPherson, a former Ottawa escort who Carson said was his fiancee.
APTN obtained emails written by Carson where he promoted the company to Indian Affairs officials. Carson also claimed to have inside government knowledge in the emails.
The PMO also asked the Lobbying Commissioner and the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to look into Carson’s activities.
The offices of both commissioners said Thursday they had open and ongoing investigations into Carson’s activities. They would have to press pause on their investigations if the RCMP launches a full blown police investigation.
Eppo Maertens, director of investigations for the Ethics Commissioner, said the office opened an investigation into Carson’s activities in April.
Natalie Hall, a spokeswoman for the Lobbying Commissioner, said the office had opened their investigation into Carson.