The Earnscliffe Strategy Group, an Ottawa consulting firm with close political ties to Prime Minister Paul Martin, has received more than $10 million in federal government money since the Liberals took power, new documents show.
Records tabled in the House of Commons on Monday show that Earnscliffe and its affiliates have received 269 contracts, amendments and standing offers since 1993.
During Mr. Martin's years as finance minister, his department repeatedly hired Earnscliffe to do polling and focus groups and provide communications advice, often in advance of federal budgets.
The new records show that Earnscliffe received just under $2 million from the Finance Department alone.
The finance contracts last year became the subject of a political storm as a former public works official alleged that the tendering was specially tailored to ensure the work always went to Earnscliffe. The firm denied the allegation.
Most of the finance work was done by Earnscliffe senior partners David Herle, who ran Mr. Martin's 1990 leadership bid, and Elly Alboim, a former CBC producer.
Earnscliffe created Paul Martin's false image as a confident and competent manager of the public treasury, without which he might never have been able to make his way to 24 Sussex Drive.
The Canadian taxpayers underwrote much of Paul Martin's 15-year leadership campaign, and Earnscliffe sold us a bill of goods in return.
They got the money and power and a laugh at our expense for getting the Liberal Party and the country to believe in the false messiah.
Everybody got ripped off, in more ways than one.
Source: Ottawa Citizen