An aerospace company owned by a billionaire Calgary oilman who took Rona Ambrose aboard his yacht in the Caribbean has recently updated a lobbying report from almost four years ago that brings it in line with the Conservative interim leader's version of events.
The president and chief executive officer of Magellan Aerospace Corp. last Friday issued a "clarification" to a June, 2013, monthly communication report on the lobbying commissioner's website that corroborates the explanation from Ms. Ambrose's office that she did not have an official meeting with Magellan after she said she recused herself from dealing with the company.
The change was made the day after The Globe and Mail reported that Magellan received tens of millions in federal funding during Ms. Ambrose's tenure in cabinet, and that Ms. Ambrose was thrice lobbied by the company in 2012 and 2013 when she was Public Works Minister.
Ms. Ambrose has vehemently denied any link between her relationship with businessman Murray Edwards, the chairman and majority shareholder of Magellan who is a close friend of her spouse, and the fact that the company received federal contracts from the Conservative government.
Neither Ms. Ambrose's office nor Magellan responded to a request for comment on Tuesday, which specifically asked whether Ms. Ambrose contacted the company to issue the clarification.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Edwards, who also co-owns the Calgary Flames and recently relocated to London, England, told The Globe in an e-mail, "We have no comment." Mr. Edwards is not a lobbyist for Magellan, but is listed to lobby for one of his oil and gas companies, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.
Archived public records show Magellan, or one of its divisions, won federal contracts or benefited from funding worth almost $100-million between 2008 and 2015, when Ms. Ambrose held a series of cabinet roles, including public works.
Ms. Ambrose's office, as well as her former chief of staff, previously told The Globe that she set up a self-imposed screen in her office in February, 2013, to remove herself from dealings with Magellan around the time that her relationship with her spouse, J.P. Veitch, was becoming more serious.
In a letter to The Globe, Ms. Ambrose's lawyer said she had no relationship with Mr. Edwards prior to July, 2010, when she met Mr. Veitch.
But Magellan's former president and chief executive officer James Butyniec, now the company's vice-chairman, filed a report with the lobbying commissioner that recorded a meeting with Ms. Ambrose and her officials on June 17, 2013, four months after she said she stopped dealing with the company.
The subject matter of the communication is "government procurement."
Both Ms. Ambrose's office and her former chief of staff, Lynette Corbett, told The Globe last week there was no recorded meeting with Magellan in her calendar but Ms. Ambrose was at the Paris Air Show that day.
"She toured the pavilion at the air show, and spoke at a reception in the evening. She also had a few other meetings, but not with Magellan," Ms. Ambrose's spokesman, Mike Storeshaw, said in an e-mail. "So I don't know why Magellan would have recorded a communication. I suppose it's possible they bumped into her at one of those two events and decided to record it as a matter of practice."
Magellan's current president and CEO, Phillip Underwood, is listed as the officer responsible for an amendment on the lobbying commissioner's website posted last Friday about the June meeting between Magellan and Ms. Ambrose, Ms. Corbett and John Knubley, deputy minister at Industry Canada, now called Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
"For clarification, this was an incidental meeting in an open forum at the Paris Airshow in France," it said.
It said the meeting was reported by Scott McCrady, Magellan's then-corporate director of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program. Mr. McCrady did not return a call for comment on Tuesday.
Lobbying Commissioner Karen Shepherd's office said it will not comment on a specific report.
"It is the lobbyist's responsibility to ensure that the information contained in the registry is accurate," the office said in an e-mail.
Last week, Ms. Ambrose's office also produced a primarily blacked-out letter from the ethics commissioner dated Feb. 13, 2013, in which Ms. Ambrose was told the chances of conflict are "very minimal considering your portfolio and Mr. Veitch's private interest," and a public declaration of a conflict-of-interest screen was not necessary.
Magellan has also received contracts from the Liberal government, recently announcing a $45-million contract from Public Services and Procurement Canada for engine repair and overhaul on the CF-188 Hornet aircraft.
Ms. Ambrose has come under fire in recent days for criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his December trip to the Aga Khan's private island.
On Jan. 12, Ms. Ambrose slammed Mr. Trudeau for embracing the "billionaire lifestyle" in a tweet that was sent at the same time she was aboard Mr. Edwards yacht. Ms. Ambrose contacted the ethics commissioner's office the same day she sent the tweet to clear her vacation. The ethics commissioner said she broke no rules under the MP conflict of interest code for her January trip.
When asked about her tweet on Monday, Ms. Ambrose told reporters, "I've answered those questions, and I followed all the rules. I don't have anything to add to that."
Meanwhile, the ethics commissioner announced Monday that she was opening a second investigation into Mr. Trudeau's Aga Khan trip to determine whether he broke the Conflict of Interest Code when he stayed at the Aga Khan's private island.
The inquiry follows the commissioner's decision last month to launch an investigation to determine whether the same trip had been a breach of the Conflict of Interest Act.