New Bruce Carson charge linked to work at University of Calgary

A new criminal charge laid against Bruce Carson is directly linked to his work with the Calgary-based Canada School of Energy and Environment.

Former PMO adviser used to head Calgary-based Canada School of Energy and Environment

Bruce Carson, a former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, headed the Canada School of Energy and Environment at the University of Calgary. (CBC)

A new criminal charge laid against Bruce Carson is directly linked to his work with the Calgary-based Canada School of Energy and Environment.

Carson was already facing accusations of influence peddling relating to the sale of a water purification system to First Nations. Now, RCMP have laid four additional charges against Carson including three counts of lobbying while prohibited and one count of influence peddling. One of the charges involves the CSEE, a university research organization Carson headed.

Carson, a former top adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left the Prime Minister's Office in 2009 to become the executive director of the CSEE in Calgary. 

RCMP allege that between Aug. 26, 2009, and March 17, 2011, Carson communicated with public officeholders, for payment, on behalf of CSEE while he was the head of the organization. 

When contacted by CBC News, The University of Calgary replied that it does not comment on ongoing police investigations.

Current CSEE executive director Robert Skinner also declined to comment on the new charge against Carson. Skinner calls it a personnel matter between employer and employee. Carson left CSEE in 2011.

Carson's lawyer said he didn't understand how police could lay the new charges.

"I don’t have any details of the evidence yet. From what I do know, I have difficulty understanding the basis for these charges," Patrick McCann said in an email to CBC News.

"My understanding is that Mr. Carson was simply attempting to gather support for the creation of a national energy policy."

None of the allegations have been proven. Carson is scheduled to appear in an Ottawa court June 18 to face the new charges.

The CSEE is a joint research organization established by the universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge. Its website states the school's core purpose is to focus on coordination and support of research and commercialization in energy and environment at the universities.

The CSEE has financially supported a number of research projects since its inception in 2007. It is currently wrapping up operations over the next six months as its funding has come to an end.