Trudeau defends LeBlanc’s sister-in-law taking top ethics role

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has defended the appointment of senior Liberal Party minister Dominique Leblanc’s sister-in-law as Canada’s interim ethics commissioner.

“The interim ethics commissioner has been a senior official in the ethics commissioner’s office for over a decade. [She] Initially set out under Stephen Harper, who has done an excellent job under the former Ethics Committee, I replaced him when he was on leave due to a serious health problem.

“And secondly, when there is an office in the country that understands how to manage issues of conflict of interest and ethical perception, it is that which has always done an extraordinary job of ensuring the trust of Canadians. office,” Trudeau said. The first prime minister to find himself on the wrong side of federal conflict of interest rules.

On Tuesday, the Office of the Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Commissioner quietly announced that Martine Richard will assume the role of Interim Commissioner. Richard has been a senior staff member of the office for his ten years.

However, As The Hill Times first reportedin his previous role within the office as senior legal counsel, had to decline involvement in at least two investigations into liberal ethical issues due to perceived conflicts of interest.

Ethical reviews continue to be conducted to protect Richard from future conflicts of interest, according to the government.

The Conservative Party was the first to denounce the appointment in the House of Commons, with Conservative leader Pierre Polivre on Friday saying the Liberal Party would become a “party of family and friends” and that friends and family would seek to protect them. From accountability that jokingly suggested to nominate the ”

“What worries me is that liberals will run out of friends and family and end up in these top positions…There are about 40 million people in Canada. Are you also the sister-in-law of one of the ministers?

Dominique Leblanc, who appeared alongside Trudeau on Friday, told reporters that he was not at all involved in the process leading up to Richard’s appointment. In 2018, LeBlanc violated a conflict of interest rule in connection with licensing Arctic surf clams to a company that employed one of his wife’s 60 cousins. It turns out.

LeBlanc claimed he did not have a close relationship with the family in question at the time, and said, “Obviously, I didn’t think this would fall under the definition of relative or family member of the act.”

Richard will hold the position for six months, and after Dion retires in February, an “open, transparent and merit-based selection process” will be underway to nominate the next permanent ethics observer. It’s inside.

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