Canada Liberal campaign co-chair resigns over pipeline advice

Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:30pm EDT
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AJAX, Ontario Oct 14 (Reuters) - A co-chair of the Canada's Liberal election campaign, Dan Gagnier, resigned his position on Wednesday after news emerged that he had advised TransCanada Corp on how to lobby the next government after the Oct. 19 election.

TransCanada is trying to win approval for its Energy East oil pipeline across the country, and The Canadian Press reported on Wednesday on a detailed email Gagnier sent on Monday to TransCanada officials on how to lobby a new government, possibly Liberal, on energy projects.

"In order to avoid becoming a distraction to the campaign, I have decided to take a step back from my responsibilities to the Liberal campaign," Gagnier said in a statement distributed by the Liberal campaign.

"I deeply regret that the campaign has been affected by these negative, personal attacks. I have always conducted my business openly and in full accordance with the rules. In the best interests of the party, I have taken this decision."

It was bad news for Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, currently campaigning in Ontario, as he tries to capitalize on a surge in support that has vaulted him into first place in the polls with less than a week before the election. (Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)