Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, left, asks a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Conservative strategist and minority shareholder of the government and public relations firm, Jenni Byrne + Associates, waits to appear as a witness before the procedure and House affairs committee meeting in Ottawa on May 11.Sean Kilpatrick/ Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

On the first business day after Pierre Poilievre’s election as Conservative Leader, the senior staff of a lobbying firm run by his top adviser established a second company housed out of the same office, with many of the same staff – but dropping the name Jenni Byrne.

Ms. Byrne is one of the most powerful Conservative operatives in the country. She attends Conservative caucus meetings and is directly involved in the party’s strategy and election planning. She is also CEO and minority shareholder of Jenni Byrne + Associates, a government and public relations firm.

But on the Monday after Mr. Poilievre’s Sept. 10, 2022, leadership win, the president and senior vice-president of Jenni Byrne + Associates incorporated Forecheck Strategies. Many of the staff who work at Ms. Byrne’s firm also lobby federally for Forecheck.

Clients who booked meetings on Forecheck’s website were redirected to the booking system for Jenni Byrne + Associates. That function was removed, as was Ms. Byrne’s headshot posted to the website, after The Globe’s inquiries about the connection between the two firms.

Open this photo in gallery:

On the Monday after Pierre Poilievre’s 2022 leadership win, executives from Jenni Byrne + Associates incorporated a new company, Forecheck Strategies. Clients who booked meetings on Forecheck’s website were redirected to the booking system for Jenni Byrne + Associates, but that function was later removed,Handout

The Conservative Party did not respond to The Globe’s requests for comment. In a brief statement Mr. Poilievre’s office only said Ms. Byrne is not paid by Mr. Poilievre’s office. No clarity was given if she is paid by the Conservative Party.

In e-mail statements to The Globe, the companies did not address the many overlaps between the two firms, including how the dual roles of staff working at both companies are kept separate. They also did not answer The Globe’s questions about whether they had consulted the lobbying commissioner prior to establishing the separate firm.

In a brief statement to The Globe, Ms. Byrne stressed that her firm only lobbies provincially. “I have no role in Forecheck Strategies in any capacity,” she said. “I have not received financial compensation from Forecheck. I do not speak to clients or do business development.”

The president and senior vice-president of Jenni Byrne + Associates, Andrew Kimber and Simon Jefferies, hold the same titles at Forecheck and are the registered directors. Both firms are provincially incorporated at the same address and Mr. Kimber is also a director of Ms. Byrne’s firm.

In a statement, Mr. Kimber said that given Ms. Byrne’s political work, they sought legal advice “in order to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest” with their federal work. As a result, he and Mr. Jefferies established Forecheck Strategies, which he said is “its own entity.”

He said Ms. Byrne is not involved in Forecheck and her photo was uploaded in error.

“JB+A also has not and does not receive any resources or financial compensation from Forecheck Strategies,” Mr. Kimber said.

The federal lobbying commissioner’s office said it does not comment on individual cases.

With a report from Rick Cash in Toronto.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe