A couple people have written me recently, and one has commented, asking me whether I know much about the entry into Canada of private prison contractor GEO Group, on a mission to soak up government funding running the public prisons that the Harper regime is currently shutting down. I’m afraid I don’t. I could launch into a long rant about the stupidity of public-private partnerships, but you could get that from any number of authors.
What I do know a little about, though, is GEO Group’s lobbyist, and that fits more into the themes of this blog, so I’ll comment on that today, instead. In Ottawa, there are dozens of lobbying firms, ranging from tiny outfits with a couple of high-profile former staffers and a few people just out of public policy school, all the way up to branch plants of giant international outfits like Hill & Knowlton (which is now “Hill + Knowlton,” I’m sure for very important reasons, so everyone update your contact lists.)
Among the most interesting, though, are the specialized “former public official” firms. For instance, if you want a firm that specializes in using retired Canadian Forces generals to land military contracts for their private-sector clients, there’s CFN Consultants. If you want to talk to a retired deputy minister or the former head of a Quango, there’s the Sussex Circle. And then again, if what you want is to buy a former MP for a day, there’s the Parliamentary Group:Tweet