Internal emails reveal that The 3M Company was awarded pandemic subsidies within a week after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, following the hiring of a Liberal lobbyist.
Emails released by Blacklock's Reporter show that Kevin Bosch, a former deputy director of the Liberal Research Bureau, was quickly in contact with the Prime Minister's Office at the behest of 3M, while competitors were told to register and await a call from the government.
The documents show that on March 17, just days after the pandemic declaration on March 11, Bosch reached out to the PMO to lobby for 3M to receive a contract. Staff responding that night were then directed to “resolve an issue that Kevin Bosch urgently raised.”
The federal government quickly sprung into action, with 3M executives being in touch with a pair of cabinet ministers, including Public Works Minister Anita Anand. Anand's chief of staff arranged a call for the minister, writing that “I haven’t connected with Kevin. Could someone run this down and work up an email to the boss on who to call and a couple of bullets to say?”
Vice president of Hill & Knowlton Strategies and a registered lobbyist, Bosch touted his government contacts in an email sent to 3M's director of government affairs:
Hi Elise: I am connecting you via this email with Kelly Murdock who heads up procurement for Minister of Procurement and Public Services, Anita Anand. Kelly is a good friend of mine and one of the smartest people I know for navigating the government and getting things done.
She will be a great contact for you to have during the Covid-19 situation and beyond.
I briefed her about some of your current issues and mentioned that your CEO is speaking with Minister Bains at 6:30 pm tonight. Kelly told me her Minister would also be available to speak with your CEO in the future, if required.
A Memorandum To The Minister written in early October obtained by Blacklock's showed that 3M won the contract for masks in a competition with 499 others. The memo highlighted 3M's price, manufacturing and supply chain length and security, as well as product quality, experience and more as reasons for the decision.
“This agreement with 3M Canada highlights the Government of Canada’s commitment to protecting those who are doing so much to keep their fellow Canadians safe,” Prime Minister Trudeau said of the deal.