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RCMP found no evidence Jean Chretien lobbied illegally on N.S. visit: premier

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HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s premier says the RCMP has found no evidence that former prime minister Jean Chretien carried out illegal lobbying during a visit to his Halifax office last year.

Stephen McNeil said a complaint that Chretien carried out lobbying without registering had been investigated and dropped, citing a news release from the Mounties.

The Mounties declined to confirm if Chretien was the unidentified subject of a release Wednesday that stated an investigation into unregistered lobbying had been dropped because “there was no evidence of lobbying.”

Retired union activist John McCracken launched a complaint last year to the RCMP, alleging the former politician should have registered under the provincial Lobbyists Act.

McCracken said Wednesday’s decision suggests it’s difficult to find evidence if lobbying has occurred when talks are held behind closed doors, while McNeil says he trusts the RCMP’s process and says it “proves no lobbying occurred.”

At the time of the March 21, 2018, meeting, Chretien was an international adviser to Sydney Harbour Investment Partners, which was seeking investor support for the Cape Breton container port project.

According to the registrar of lobbyists, the former prime minister was not a registered lobbyist, and she sent him a letter at the time informing about requirements of the act.

Aides to the former prime minister did not respond to emails asking for comment on the news release.

The Canadian Press

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