Gar Knutson

Gar Knutson P.C.


Executive Summary

The Honourable Gar Knutson is counsel at the Ottawa office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Gar practises exclusively in the area of government relations both in Ottawa and internationally.

He is the Ottawa regional manager of the Government Relations Group.

In December 2003, Gar was appointed by Prime Minister Paul Martin as Minister of State for International Trade for New and Emerging Markets, a role promoting trade and investments with India, China and Brazil. Gar travelled extensively to these countries, including a trade mission to Central America.

Between 2002 and 2003, Gar served as a Secretary of State in the government of the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien. Gar's responsibilities included Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, representing Canada abroad through trade missions as well as political missions at a ministerial level. He visited several countries in Central Asia transitioning from the old Soviet Republic to independent sovereign states. He also promoted trade and investment extensively in the Gulf region.

Gar was first elected to the Parliament of Canada in October 1993. He served on a number of committees including Environment and Sustainable Development, Justice, Public Accounts, and Citizenship and Immigration.

Representative Work

  • Serves as General Counsel to a major Arabian Gulf country, providing general advice and assistance to nationals within Canada.
  • Guided a non-profit corporation in lobby and communications campaign, resulting in additional funding from the Government of Canada of $500 million for investment in new technologies.
  • Helped devise and implement a multi-year lobby and communications campaign focusing on Members of Parliament, ministers and key advisors, which resulted in an increase of funding for the Canadian cultural industry of $250 million.
  • Increased BLG's profile within the embassy community in Ottawa, resulting in an increase in billings to foreign governments by a significant percentage.
  • Successfully worked on a number of projects for clients, which resulted in a change in legislation, change in regulations, change in policy, or an increase in funding.
  • Provided intelligence to key clients on government plans and activities, thereby helping clients achieve their strategic objectives.
  • As a Secretary of State, promoted trade and investment in the Gulf region in such sectors as oil and gas, infrastructure, education, healthcare and others. Also promoted trade and investment in Turkey, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Russia and the Ukraine.

Publications & Presentations

  • Presents annually at Federated Press workshop on changes to lobby law in Canada.
  • Presents quarterly to ambassadors' group in Ottawa on updates to political environment and Canada's foreign policy.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Repeatedly listed in "The Top 100 Lobbyists 2011" of The Hill Times.