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With Sun TV behind him, Kory Teneycke picks up Potash file

Kory Teneycke announces his resignation vice-president of development for Quebecor Media at a Parliament Hill news conference on Sept. 15, 2010.

CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

The former Harper spokesman behind the creation of Sun TV News has found a fresh assignment in the takeover battle for Potash Corp.

Kory Teneckye is working for Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton, which has launched a $39-billion bid for the Saskatchewan company.

Mr. Tenecyke is not lobbying Ottawa though. He's prohibited from doing so under the terms of the Harper government's Federal Accountability Act, which forces former political staffers to wait five years before lobbying former employers.

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He declined comment on his work Thursday, aside from saying it doesn't require him to knock on doors in the federal government.

The Globe and Mail has learned the Saskatchewan-born politico - who counts Premier Brad Wall as a friend - is helping BHP talk to the provincial government in Regina. He's also offering BHP communications advice.

Mr. Wall has opposed the BHP bid and urged Ottawa to reject its takeover, saying he has no faith in Ottawa's ability to extract enforceable promises for additional investment or job creation from the mining concern.

Mr. Teneycke, who worked for Mr. Wall's Saskatchewan Party in years past, served as the director of communications for the Harper government for about a year before leaving the job in the summer of 2009.

He later led a drive, funded by Quebecor, to build a right-leaning cable news network called Sun TV. It's supposed to launch in January of 2011.

But Mr. Teneycke abruptly quit the project in September, saying increasingly bitter public controversy over his role had made him a liability to the controversial TV venture.

His exit followed a list of incidents where the colourful but combative former political staffer courted controversy to publicize his new venture - actions that he later acknowledged had "contributed to the debasing of [the]debate" over Sun TV.

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Mr. Teneycke's departure also raised questions about whether Quebec billionaire Pierre Karl Péladeau would proceed with Sun TV. Quebecor has said it still plans to launch the station, but without special help from federal regulators as originally requested.

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About the Authors
Parliamentary reporter

Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, arriving there a few months before 9/11. He previously worked in the paper's Vancouver and Calgary bureaus. Prior to that, he reported on Alberta politics for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, and on national issues for Alberta Report. More

Global Energy Reporter

Shawn McCarthy is an Ottawa-based, national business correspondent for The Globe and Mail, covering a global energy beat. He writes on various aspects of the international energy industry, from oil and gas production and refining, to the development of new technologies, to the business implications of climate-change regulations. More

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