Two high-profile Tory lobbyists have joined the Conservative war room in Ottawa to help work on tour management and campaign scripting.
Ken Boessenkool, a consultant who previously was an adviser to Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and later chief of staff to B.C. Premier Christy Clark, has been working in Mr. Harper's war room on scripting, while Ian Todd, a Calgary consultant and a former chief of staff to Harper government cabinet ministers, has been working on the tour, said people familiar with the campaign who asked to remain anonymous.
"They're both very strategic individuals. They both have a very good sense of campaigns and are veterans of campaigns, both federal and provincial," said John Capobianco, a Conservative consultant with FleishmanHillard in Toronto and head of a group of lobbyists called the Public Affairs Association of Canada.
Mr. Boessenkool has worked on some of Mr. Harper's previous campaigns. In 2013, he co-created the consulting firm Kool Topp & Guy Public Affairs, which has been rebranded as KTG Public Affairs after one of its key consultants, former Jack Layton adviser Brian Topp, left this year to become Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's chief of staff.
Mr. Todd, a partner in Calgary with Maple Leaf Strategies, has returned to the war room to work on the leader's tour after serving as co-director of tour for Mr. Harper's 2008 and 2011 campaigns.
Lobbyists have traditionally played volunteer roles in local and national political campaigns, providing strategic advice, helping with fundraising or working on planning and communications.
Working on a campaign builds relationships with elected officials and key aides, and adds to a consultant's experience and credentials.
But most lobbyists who work federally are staying out of this year's campaign because recent interpretations of federal ethics rules restrict how they can lobby after the election. Lobbying commissioner Karen Shepherd has said lobbyists must not communicate with people in government whom they helped to get elected. Those who worked on a cabinet member's campaign could not communicate with the minister's department.
Mr. Todd and Mr. Boessenkool can still lobby provincially, where the federal rules do not apply. They could also offer strategic advice to clients federally without communicating with, or lobbying, the federal government.
"They may very well decide not to do any lobbying on the federal side, and they may decide to focus only on provincial lobbying," Mr. Capobianco said.
He said he is advising members of the PAAC who want to continue lobbying federally to avoid playing leadership roles in the parties' campaigns, either nationally or in a riding.
Conservative campaign spokesperson Kory Teneycke said that, while the party will not comment on staffing, "I can assure you that the Conservative Party has implemented strict ethics guidelines for all staff."
When Kool, Topp & Guy Public Affairs launched in 2013, the firm said its partners would do no lobbying themselves and would instead offer strategic advice to clients.
After Mr. Topp left, KTG hired former senior NDP adviser Jamey Heath as senior strategist, as well as former Alberta NDP candidate Ramiro Mora as an associate.
Two former staff from the now-closed Sun News TV channel are also working in the Conservative war room. Mr. Teneycke, formerly a top aide in Mr. Harper's Prime Minister's Office who later was a vice-president at Quebecor Media Inc. for the launch of the Sun News channel, is handling communications.
Dennis Matthews, another manager at Sun News before the channel went off the air in February, is playing a senior role in the war room on advertising, people familiar with the campaign said. Mr. Matthews previously was the advertising manager in the Harper PMO, working with then-senior PMO strategist Patrick Muttart. Before that, Mr. Matthews worked as a legislative aide to Conservative MP Rona Ambrose, according to his LinkedIn page.
About 20 staff from the Prime Minister's Office have taken leave from the government to work on the Conservative campaign.
Mr. Harper's chief of staff, Ray Novak, is on the road with the leader, while Sean Speer, formerly a special adviser in the PMO, is working on the Tory platform. Rachel Curran, a policy adviser in the PMO, is also working in the war room on scripting.
Heading the Conservatives' campaign is the party's top adviser, Jenni Byrne, considered one of the most influential people in Ottawa. Guy Giorno, a government ethics lawyer with Fasken Martineau in Toronto, is a campaign chair.
Simon Doyle covers lobbying and the intersection of business and politics in Ottawa. He writes for Politics Insider, which is available only to subscribers of Globe Unlimited.