A former president of the Liberal Party of Canada will be paid up to $250,000 to head the federal negotiations with the Mohawks of Oka next year.

Lawyer Michel Robert was appointed to the part-time position by federal Indian Affairs Minister Ron Irwin last May. There was no public call for applications for the job. Robert still hasn’t actually sat down with the Mohawks in person. They are refusing to deal with him. Talks have been held through an intermediary, judge Rejean Paul.

Robert took over the job from Bernard Roy, who held the job under the Conservatives.

Roy, previously Brian Mulroney’s chief of staff, works at the prestigious Montreal law firm Ogilvy, Renault, which coincidentally enough is where both Mulroney and Michel Robert work as well.

When Roy held the job, he was criticized because he gave federal compensation money to yet another partner at Ogilvy, Renault who owned land in Oka during the 1990 Oka crisis.

Even though his land was nowhere near the Mohawk barricades and his property was not damaged, Roy’s friend still collected thousands of dollars in compensation money.