July 12th, 2017

NDP calls for investigation into minister’s relationship with Liberal-linked organization

OTTAWA – NDP Ethics Critic, Nathan Cullen, has asked the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to open an investigation into an arrangement between a Liberal Cabinet Minister’s Office and an industry group with deep Liberal ties.

“It is my duty to once again write to you in order to request yet another investigation into the actions of a Liberal Cabinet Minister and the conduct of her office, in relation to preferential access and other potential violations of Ethics and Conflict of Interest legislation,” Cullen wrote in a letter to Ethics Commissioner, Mary Dawson.

In exchange for a $10,000 membership fee, the group, known as the Council of Canadian Innovators, offers “unique benefits and privileges” to their members, including exclusive and regular meetings with the Chief of Staff to Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. CCI was founded immediately following the 2015 election and is currently staffed by a majority of well-connected Liberal insiders and donors.

“At the heart of all of this is the question, what deal has been struck between the Liberal government and CCI that guarantees consistent and regular access to the highest ranking member of Minister McKenna’s senior staff,” wrote Cullen.

Cullen’s letter asks Commissioner Dawson to determine whether any violations have occurred under the Conflict of Interest Act including Section 7, which prohibits “preferential treatment to any person or organization.”

Full text of Nathan Cullen’s Letter to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner can be found here