DeSmog

High Park Group

High Park Group (HPG)

Background

The High Park Group (HPG) describes itself as a Toronto-based “public affairs firm,” that has been in operation since 2001. HPG’s roster of clients includes large corporations, industry associations and not-for-profit organizations.1About Us,” High Park Group. Archived December 3, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/0ioJN

In 2007, DeSmog found that two of the the Directors sitting on the board of Natural Resources Stewardship Project were also senior executives of the High Park Group. They included former HPG president Timothy Egan and NRSP Executive Director Tom Harris. Timothy Egan urged Tom Harris to start the NRSP in order to lobby the government on climate change. NRSP, unlike the High Park Group, would be able to lobby without declaring its funding sources.2James Hoggan. “NRSP Controlled by Energy Lobbyists,” DeSmog, January 18, 2007. 3Richard Littlemore. “NRSP: Lobbying Without Accountability,” DeSmog, February 1, 2007.

According to the High Park Group’s website, “We have advocated for the needs of a broad range of Canadian and international companies in the areas of natural gas, nuclear, mining and hydropower, among others. Through projects we have worked on with industry associations in the energy and natural resources sector, we have helped shape the direction of regulatory reform of environmental legislation and energy policy.”4Our Experience,” High Park Group. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Gib4t

Stance on Climate Change

The Natural Resources Stewardship Project, of which HPG has been closely connected to, believed that “Global climate change is primarily a natural phenomenon and so governments should focus on solving environmental problems over which we have influence (air, land and water pollution being obvious examples).”5The NRSP Strategy: First Year Action Plan; ‘Understanding Climate Change‘,” The Natural Resources Stewardship Project. Archived July 2, 2007. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/2Dia1

Funding

According to a December, 2016 search of the Lobbyists Registration System, Government of Canada, the High Park Group has been a registered lobbyist for numerous energy and natural resource companies including the following:6The Registry of Lobbyists,” Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada. Archived data on file at DeSmog.

  • Canadian Electricity Association
  • Canadian Gas Association
  • Association of Canadian Search Employment and Staffing Services (ACSESS) – Ottawa Chapter
  • Areva Canada Inc. (The Areva Group is the world’s largest nuclear power company)
  • Arise Technologies Corporation
  • Jyoti Structures Limited
  • Cepa (Canadian Energy Pipeline Association)
  • Transcanada Corporation
  • Canadian Coalition Against Terror
  • Golden Band Resources Inc.
  • National Airlines Council Of Canada
  • Algonquin Power Development
  • Columbia Power Corporation
  • Canadian Hydropower Association
  • Macdonald Dettwiler And Associates Ltd.
  • Encana Corporation

Key People

The HPG appears to have two parallel websites (here, and here), one of which may be out-of-date. Their more recent site lists only one team member:7High Park Group homepage. Archived December 5, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/nXbZM 8Our Team,” High Park Group. Archived December 5, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/nXbZM

  • Patricia Armstrong — President

Whereas the other website has listed a range of team members over the years:

Name20062007200820092016Position
Bernadette CorenYYYY Senior Associates
Carolyn Foster YYProject Co-ordinator
Catherine Mathie Y Associates
Christopher Mahon YY Associates
David Tingle YYAssociates
Jean d’CruzY Y Office Manager
Julio LagosY Director, Regulatory Affairs
Kara Johnson YYYYDirectors
Kathleen McGinnisYYYY Directors
Marlo LairYYYYYPresident
Maureen Cassidy YYYSenior Associates
Michael Connell YYYDirectors
Patrick Brown YYYSenior Associates
Sheryl Saperia Y Senior Associates
Susan J. Trites YYYOffice Manager
Timothy M. EganYYYY President
Tom HarrisY Director, Ottawa Operations

Actions

2010

The Globe and Mail reports that the High Park Group was commissioned by the department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to gather industry and business observations about the habitat protection provisions of the Fisheries Act.9Gloria Galloway. “Controversial changes to Fisheries Act guided by industry demands,” The Globe and Mail, August 5, 2013. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/0QLLt

According to the Globe and Mail, future adjustments to the bill, which some ecologists called “the biggest setback to conservation law in more than 50 years,” may have been influenced by wording offered by industry associations.10Gloria Galloway. “Controversial changes to Fisheries Act guided by industry demands,” The Globe and Mail, August 5, 2013. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/0QLLt

The HPG had consulted 23 organizations including the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA), the Canadian Hydropower Association (CHA) and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SKCC), all which “roundly criticized the law.”11Gloria Galloway. “Controversial changes to Fisheries Act guided by industry demands,” The Globe and Mail, August 5, 2013. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/0QLLt

May 2006

Tim Ball admitted that the High Park Group had “brought me in and set me up in a room to give a talk and present my views” on climate change. The following is from the interview between Tim Ball and the Ottawa Citizen, as reported at Deltoid:12What does Tim Ball mean by ‘to my knowledge’? Deltoid, July 5, 2006. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/i0Qxz 13Kevin Grandia. “Dr. Tim Ball On CFC’s and the Sponsorship Scandal,” DeSmog, June 7, 2006.

TB: The High Park Group brought me in and set me up in a room to give a talk and present my views.
Q: You didn’t get paid for those speeches?
TB: Oh I get paid of course.
Q: Did you ever look into where the conference got their money from?
TB: I don’t know.
Q: You got paid yesterday to speak?
TB: Yes.
Q: But you don’t know who paid you?
TB: The High Park Group paid me. I don’t know who paid them.
Q: Which is a public relations group?
TB: I have no idea where they get their money from. … I make a point of not trying to find out who’s paying me. I don’t care.

High Park Group Contact & Location

As of May 23, 2016 the High Park Group was located at the following addresses:14“Contact Us,” High Park Group. Archived May 23, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/A2ONI

Toronto Office:

303 Jane Street
Toronto, Ontario M6S 3Z3
(416) 535-2815 [phone]
(416) 531-4769 [fax]

Ottawa Office:

130 Albert Street, Suite 912
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G4
(613) 231-5666 [phone]

http://www.highparkgroup.com/

According to Tom Harris, the idea behind the NRSP project came from Timothy Egan, then-president of the High Park Group.15Peter Gorrie. “Who’s still cool on global warming?Toronto Star, January 28, 2007. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ffZrx

Other Resources

Resources

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