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Making Waves

Conflicts Of Interest

Ross

By Ross Kentner

It turns out there are other Liberal cabinet ministers besides Bill Morneau who retain control of assets they would be required to divest if this wealth wasn't being held indirectly.  As proof that the law is an ass, confidentiality rules prevent the Ethics Commissioner from telling us which cabinet ministers may have conflicts, and under the Conflict of Interest Act, they are not required to divest themselves of such assets.

Last Tuesday, the Liberals defeated a motion to close such loopholes in the Conflict of Interest Act.  The Ethics Commissioner has been asking for this since back when Stephen Harper was Prime Minister.  The Conservatives failed to make her suggested change.

As things stand, the Ethics Commissioner is looking into whether Mr. Morneau was in a conflict of interest when he sponsored Bill C-27, legislation that would enable federally regulated businesses to create pension plans that would shift any risk from employers to employees. The bill was introduced without notice to unions, pension plan members or retirees, and no public consultation.  Nice, given what's just happened to thousands of Sears employees.  This is not a very sunny scenario and Mr. Trudeau seems to be in conflict with the cornerstone of his election platform.

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