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Canadian Press NewsAlert: Former Harper aide not guilty of influence-peddling

OTTAWA — A former top aide to Stephen Harper has been found not guilty of influence- peddling.

Bruce Carson was charged in connection with his attempts to promote the sale of water purification systems for First Nations communities by a company that employed his former escort girlfriend.

Carson's lawyer, Patrick McCann, acknowledged during the trial that his client tried to help H2O Pros sell water treatment equipment to indigenous communities.

But he argued there was nothing in law that prohibited Carson from lobbying First Nations communities.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Bonnie Warkentin has ruled that while it was clear that Carson was trying to use his influence to benefit his former girlfriend, the Crown failed to show the federal government had a direct say over what kind of water purification equipment First Nations communities can purchase.

Carson was a senior adviser to the former prime minister from the time the Conservatives took office in 2006, until he left the post in 2008.

The Canadian Press

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