Here’s a hint for organizations that don’t want to look like dubious fly-by-night operations: the moment one of your philandering associates gets called on the carpet for his dubious activities, don’t shut down your website. This advice comes too late for Bruce Carson’s company, H2O Water Pros, the ones that he was going to illegally lobby for in the halls of Indian Affairs. Their main website, H2Owaterpros.com, went offline when this affair started and hasn’t come back up yet.
Interestingly, H2O Pros’s subsidiary H2O Global Group, created to handle the reserve water filtration contracts that it thought Carson was going to land, is still up and running. They look like a separate company, complete with a downtown office at O’Connor and Metcalfe, just a couple of blocks from the Prime Minister’s Office and a long ways away from the company’s shabbier digs out in Gloucester. According to a brochure for this group, which I’ve saved for posterity, this is the company for which Michele and her mother Christine worked. Michele’s name can no longer be found on the public website.
Now, I don’t want to break out the word “scam” unnecessarily, but it does seem to me that H2O Pros’s front-line business was not, shall we say, the sort of thing that wins awards for respectable corporate citizenship. Online Ottawa, in recent months, has been festooned with job ads for “reps to book appointments for water evaluations,” which sounds like glorified cold-calling if you ask me. The Kijiji ad was placed by Binder, so he’s still working there, at least. Also unclear is their connection to Simple H2o, a company which lists the same Gloucester office unit as its Ottawa distributor. Supposedly that company really is a scam, not paying its employees the promised rates and fobbing off barely functioning cheap gimmicks, not quality water purifiers. You can judge for yourself, but it wouldn’t be the first time we tried to sell a bill of goods to an Aboriginal band or two, or two hundred.
Now, drinking water on Aboriginal reserves in this country really is an urgent public health problem — which is why it deserves a serious, mature, concerted solution from government, rather than woo-woo gimmickry from mysterious contractors of doubtful repute. And they are definitely of doubtful repute. Ottawa customers were told on the website that when their salesmen “separate (your) water from what’s in it,” you’ll never want to drink tap water again.
Sorry, not buying it. Doubtless the demonstration works just like an ionic foot bath, which is to say that it is an illusion. Filtered water might taste better than tap water, but a good urban water system is just that: there’s not enough impurities in it to produce an impressive quantity of sludge unless you have a lot of water to work with. The head of the company, Patrick Hill, actually claims that our water systems went wrong when they started regulating to a “safe” level, not a “healthy level.” It certainly sounds like health pseudoscience to me. Elsewhere they imply that drinking tap water is as bad as smoking cigarettes.
One more bit of scamminess to close off. The site encourages you to go into business yourself as an H2O Pros distributor by filling out an online form. This is a classic hallmark of a pyramid business model. A good profitable company usually doesn’t need to hire salesmen that way. It really is worth wondering how an experienced high-level Conservative operative got mixed up in all this.Tweet