U of Calgary names who will head review into Enbridge corporate donation

CALGARY – The University of Calgary has named who will head an independent review into concerns about corporate influence at the institution.

Retired justice Terrence McMahon is to examine the creation and operation of the Centre for Corporate Sustainability and whether there was a breach of university policies.

Mark Starratt of the school’s board of governors says in a release that McMahon is one of the most senior lawyers and mediators in Alberta.

The board initiated the review following reports that alleged Enbridge (TSX:ENB) interfered at the centre after the company provided a donation.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has said the former chairman of the centre claims he was fired after raising concerns about Enbridge’s influence.

McMahon is to provide his report to an ad hoc committee by Dec. 14 and Starratt says its conclusions will be released to the public.

Enbridge had promised the university $2.25 million over 10 years for the centre. In October 2014 the company says it decided to move $1 million of that to the university’s School of Public Policy and agreed to having its name removed from the corporate sustainability centre.

Board chairwoman Bonnie DuPont and university president Elizabeth Cannon are not taking part in the review.

DuPont is a former Enbridge executive and Cannon recently stepped down from her paid position as a director of the Enbridge Income Fund.

Cannon has said that there is a written agreement set out with expectations when funds come from the private sector, but the university makes decisions on day-to-day operations and staff.

McMahon had a long professional career with the Calgary law firm of Atkinson McMahon. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1978 and, in 1992, he was named an Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench justice. He retired from the bench in 2012 and now works as a senior arbitrator.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said Enbridge had cut its donation by $1 million