Kinross lobbying Ottawa over sanctions – by Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – June 17, 2014)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

Kinross Gold Corp. has been working feverishly to ensure that its prized Russian mines do not become a casualty of the diplomatic spat between Russia and the West.

During a difficult period in which the company has struggled to placate both sides, federal lobbying records made public in June show that Kinross’s chief executive Paul Rollinson and a lobbyist for the Toronto-based gold miner have had numerous communications with the Canadian government’s top officials, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s foreign affairs policy adviser.

The high level of interactions with the federal government comes as investors fret over Western sanctions against Russia, which were imposed in an attempt to curb the country’s aggression in Ukraine.

In April, Kinross hired three lobbyists with ties to Mr. Harper’s Conservative government. The lobbyists include Michael Coates, the chief executive of Hill and Knowlton Canada and a former adviser to Mr. Harper who helped him prepare for elections in 2004, 2006 and 2008.

In the same month, Mr. Rollinson had communications with Mr. Harper’s foreign affairs policy adviser as well as with the deputy minister of foreign affairs, Daniel Jean, and another top diplomatic official, federal records show.

After Mr. Rollinson risked Ottawa’s ire by attending an economic forum in Russia in mid-May, the federal records indicate that Kinross has kept up its efforts. Mr. Rollinson communicated with Canada’s ambassador to Russia, John Kur, later the same month. Mr. Rollinson’s lobbyist registration, as well as the registrations of the three consultants, state that the subject of the lobbying is policies and regulations related to the imposition of economic sanctions.

Also in May, Hill and Knowlton Canada president and former Canadian Conservative aide Goldy Hyder communicated with the Canadian government’s deputy minister Mr. Jean.

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