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Energy firm allegedly promoted by Rahim Jaffer named

Former Tory MP Rahim Jaffer and his business partner Patrick Glemaud perpare to testify at the Commons government opertions committee in Ottawa on April 21, 2010.

FRED CHARTRAND/The Canadian Press

The company that former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer is alleged to have promoted to the government in his wife's parliamentary office last year is a U.S.-Canadian firm that is developing technology to reduce mercury emissions in coal plants, sources say.

The office of Environment Minister Jim Prentice forwarded documents Tuesday to a parliamentary committee that is looking into allegations of unregistered lobbying by Mr. Jaffer and Patrick Glémaud, the co-owners of Green Power Generation.

The new documents relate to Mr. Prentice's statement last Friday that Mr. Jaffer had discussions with one of his ministerial aides, Scott Wenger, on behalf of an unspecified company last year.

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Sources said the company was RLP Energy Inc., and that the documents give details of "multiple exchanges," including one meeting, between Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Wenger in relation to the company.

The documents are expected to be made public Wednesday as the House committee on government operations resumes its hearings into the controversy.

RLP Energy was launched in North Dakota, but was also incorporated in Canada in 2008. According to a federal website, the company has been testing its technology to control mercury emissions at a power plant in Nova Scotia. Officials at RLP did not respond to a phone message Tuesday.

In addition to his alleged actions on behalf of RLP Energy, Mr. Jaffer's company proposed three projects to federal officials last year as part of the Green Infrastructure Fund, documents show.

Federal officials insist that none of Mr. Jaffer's dealings with the government have resulted in funding or contracts, but a number of MPs asked him during a committee appearance last week why he did not register as a lobbyist.

Mr. Jaffer said he was never hired to lobby and never received a penny for that type of work, thus did not need to register as a lobbyist. He told a parliamentary committee last week that he has avoided lobbying to prevent any conflict of interest for his wife. Still, Conservative MPs expressed their anger at his conduct since he lost his seat in the 2008 election.

The opposition, meanwhile, is slamming the government's slow release of information on the contacts between Mr. Jaffer and government officials.

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"It has been like pulling teeth to get any information about Jaffer's relationship with ministers or government officials," NDP MP Pat Martin told reporters. "It shouldn't be this tough, and this information shouldn't be so well shielded because they only release these tantalizing little tidbits when they absolutely have to."

Mr. Prentice revealed on Friday that Mr. Jaffer made "representations" a year ago to Mr. Wenger, and confirmed on Monday that the meeting occurred in the offices of MP Helena Guergis, Mr. Jaffer's wife and the minister of state for the status of women at the time.

Mr. Jaffer had told the government operations committee of the House a week ago that he never used Ms. Guergis's parliamentary resources for business purposes.

The government operations committee of the House is scheduled to hear Wednesday from Toronto businessman Nazim Gillani, who explored business ventures with Mr. Jaffer's company last year.

Mr. Jaffer's alleged representations on behalf of RLP Energy last spring predate his collaboration with Mr. Gillani, which occurred in August and September.

RLP Energy works in collaboration with the University of North Dakota's Energy & Environmental Research Center.

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"Mercury control is one of the major global challenges associated with the development of clean coal technologies," the EERC website says.

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