BC-TC-Energy-topic-page-Parkinson (1)

Inside the TC Energy Tower

“You’d be surprised how much work I actually get done in the cooler at Costco because I bump into a significant minister or bureaucrat that I really want to spend some time with and I can do that next to the strawberries or the romaine lettuce.”

That’s a quote from Liam Iliffe, now a former executive at TC Energy (and an ex-BC NDP staffer), talking about the energy company’s ambitious lobbying efforts that he claimed leveraged all sorts of political connections to get pro-pipeline messaging “stuck on government letterhead.”

He was talking at a “lunch and learn” session in late March at TC Energy, the Calgary-based pipeline giant that owns Coastal GasLink — and The Narwhal obtained a leaked two-hour recording of the call.

That leak spurred weeks of meticulous reporting by northwest B.C. reporter, Matt Simmons, and managing editor, Mike De Souza, as they sought to look into all the claims made on the recording. (Both TC Energy and the B.C. government deny Iliffe’s claims — and B.C. Attorney General Niki Sharma has asked for a watchdog probe into the alleged lobbying tactics.)

Part 1: The Costco cooler

Leaked recordings reveal how a TC Energy exec claimed to influence the B.C. government on climate policy — “leveraging” everything from relationships with ambassadors to shopping at the same grocery stores. Read the story here.

Part 2: Attorney general requests a probe

B.C. Attorney General Niki Sharma asks a provincial watchdog to look into a series of bold claims about how the company had leveraged political connections to persuade the provincial government to significantly weaken its environmental policies. Read the story here.

Part 3: Former Trump staffers — and Canada’s spy agency

We pull back the curtain on internal company discussions, including apparent strategies about how to influence governments, benefit from geopolitical crises and leverage existing relationships with a range of senior government officials — including the head of Canada’s spy agency. Read the story here.

Part 4: Influencing the media

Another exec claimed credit for getting “really good content” published in the Wall Street Journal. “Our communications team packaged that for the Journal editorial page and they went with it.” Read the story here.

Part 5: An influence playbook

From claims of ghostwriting briefing notes to “leveraging” relationships with Canadian diplomats, the leaked recordings revealed key strategies allegedly used by TC Energy staff. Read the story here.

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