Following a National Observer investigation that triggered questions in Parliament about Mike Duffy's relationship to Enbridge and Prime Minister Harper, the company responded on Friday by attempting to distance itself from Duffy.

The suspended senator’s journal shows a flurry of conversations and emails with or about top-level Enbridge executives, then-PMO chief of staff Nigel Wright and the Prime Minister between January and June of 2012, just as the National Energy Board commenced hearings on the hotly contested Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal.

Enbridge VP D'Arcy Levesque provided the following response to CBC and the Calgary Herald:

"Senator Duffy made a number of unsolicited contacts to Enbridge representatives offering advice regarding Northern Gateway, as well as to recommend that Enbridge consider hiring his communications colleague, Bill Rodgers. I personally interviewed Mr. Rodgers but elected not to retain him."

NDP Senate critic Charlie Angus said the company's statements were “concerning and odd” and make it sound like Duffy, appointed by Prime Minister Harper in 2009, was annoying Enbridge about its multi-billion dollar pipelines.

“There appear to be numerous contacts between Enbridge and Mike Duffy. If Mike Duffy is ‘pestering’ them, [Enbridge] is certainly picking up the phone it seems,” he said.

“It doesn’t end the questions about their meetings with Mike Duffy. Mike Duffy is a public office holder. This is a very politically sensitive file. They say we’re so concerned, [so] why did they not contact the Lobby Commissioner to make sure this is all very clear and above board?”"

Bill Rodgers, a longtime Duffy associate and former Harper cabinet communications director, is named several times in the diary, and the Crown alleges Duffy used his senate expenses to pay Rodgers for work on “energy issues” in 2012. Virtually all diary entries concerning Rodgers reference Enbridge. Entry mentions of Rodgers also include Enbridge’s then-President of Liquid Pipelines, Steve Wuori and Ottawa pollster Dave Crapper.

Emails and a cheque entered into evidence suggest Duffy had his friend, Gerry Donohue, pay Rodgers for advice on energy issues, the CBC has reported.

"Bill Rodgers has been helping me with background on energy issues this month. Do we have enough on hand to send him $2K?" Duffy wrote in an email to Donohue, according to the CBC.

The only "energy issues" Duffy mentions in his diary in reference to Bill Rodgers concern Enbridge or Steve Wuori. This appears to be the period in which, according to Enbridge's statement, Duffy was also pressing the company to hire Rodgers. In their statement to the CBC, the company maintains that all contacts during this time originated with Duffy.

"At no time did Enbridge solicit Senator Duffy's help to lobby the federal government. In the interest of clarity, we also took the extra step to notify the Prime Minister's Office at the time, that Senator Duffy did not represent Enbridge or our interests."

But Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said, “It looks to me like Duffy was working for Enbridge to influence Harper. It may be equally true that Duffy was working for Harper as an errand boy to Enbridge to make sure Enbridge knew what Harper was doing. To find out new information. To make sure the wheels were being greased.”

Steve Wuori Jim Blanchard MIke Duffy diary
[Enbridge's then President of Liquid Pipelines Steve Wuori and Enbridge Board of Directors member Jim Blanchard]

"The issue is, why would they be taking Mike Duffy’s calls if they didn’t want to receive them — why would they be giving interviews to someone, if they felt that this was inappropriate?” asked Angus.

The National Observer contacted Enbridge repeatedly about the company's relationship with Duffy before publishing its first story, but received no response.

The Prime Minister's Office has not responded to requests for comment as well, but Parliamentary Secretary Paul Calandra, Conservative MP for Oak Ridges-Markham. told the House of Commons Thursday:

“Mr. Duffy is facing some very serious charges that stem from an independent audit and an RCMP investigation, Mr. Speaker. These of course are in front of the courts so it would be inappropriate to comment further."

The relevant entries from the Duffy diary concerning Rodgers and Enbridge include the following:

  • January 6, 2012 - 6 p.m. “Telcons Steve Wuori, Dave Crapper, Vivian Krause + Bill Rodgers” (with strike outs)

  • January 11, 2012, 4:30pm “Telcon Bill Rodgers re: Enbridge” (with strike outs)

  • January 11, 2012, 7:35pm "More Bill call back from Enbridge” (with strike outs)

  • February 9. 2012, 6:30pm - “Dinner @ Eastside Mario’s emails Nigel Wright on CTV, Bob Fife etc + Telcons Steve Wuori & Bill Rodgers re pipeline” (strike outs)

  • February 9, 5pm - “Telecon Bill Rodgers re: Enbridge

  • February 17, 2012 - “PM asks “Send me a note on Enbridge Line #9 problems” (strike outs)

  • February 20, 2012 - “Send note to Jim Blanchard & Steve Wuori + Nigel Wright re: Enbridge”

  • February 21, 2012 - “Telcon - Jim Blanchard re Enbridge”

  • March 1, 2012 - “Call Gerry Donohue re: contract for Bill Rodgers

  • April 2, 2012 - "Telecons - Steve Wuori, Bill Rodgers & Dave Crapper

  • April 4, 2012, 9:30am -“National caucus - MD speaks to PM re: Enbridge Gateway pipelines” (strike outs)”

  • April 4, 2012, 6pm - “MD call Steve Wuori re: Bill Rodgers & Dave Crapper”

Enbridge statement to the CBC in full:

"Senator Duffy made a number of unsolicited contacts to Enbridge representatives offering advice regarding Northern Gateway, as well as to recommend that Enbridge consider hiring his communications colleague, Bill Rodgers. I personally interviewed Mr. Rodgers but elected not to retain him." ​

At no time did Enbridge solicit Senator Duffy's help to lobby the federal government. In the interest of clarity, we also took the extra step to notify the Prime Minister's Office at the time, that Senator Duffy did not represent Enbridge or our interests.

"Enbridge complies with the Lobbying Act and its regulations," he said. "The nature of our lobbying communications with the Federal government are governed by the provisions of the Lobbying Act, are disclosed in accordance with that Legislation and are recorded in the public registry."

Senator Duffy's diary showing Enbridge, Prime Minister and Bill Rodgers conversations about pipelines