After reports emerged about a group selling access to the Trudeau government for $10K, an MP is calling for an investigation by the Ethics Commissioner.
As I recently reported, a group called the Council of Canadian Innovators has been selling access to a top level staff member in the Trudeau government for the cost of $10,000.
The group formed after the election, and it’s run by Benjamin Bergen – who was an Executive Assistant to Chrystia Freeland before she entered government.
Now, the Globe & Mail is reporting that NDP MP Nathan Cullen is asking the Ethics Commissioner to investigate to see whether Bergen broke ethics rules.
Here’s part of what Cullen wrote in a letter to the Ethics Commissioner:
“Canadians will certainly be suspicious that this organization was created soon after the Liberals were elected, that it is made up of many well-connected Liberal insiders and donors, and that it offers exclusive and preferential access to Liberal government agencies and senior staff of at least one cabinet minister. This relationship undoubtedly warrants further investigation.”
According to the Globe & Mail, the Council of Canadian Innovators sent letters to clean-technology firms that promised their CEO’s monthly meetings with the top member of the Environment Minister’s staff – after paying a $10,000 fee of course.
Additionally, they promised that the CEO’s would get access “to internal planning discussions regarding the federal government’s $950-million Innovation Clusters program.”
It turns out that since October, three meetings have been held between the group and the head of Minister Catherine McKenna’s office.
Democracy Watch letter
It’s not just Cullen calling for a closer look at the Council of Canadian Innovators. The non-partisan advocacy group Democracy Watch is also asking for an investigation into whether the council broke the Lobbyist Code of Conduct in their dealings with Chrystia Freeland’s office.
As noted in the Globe & Mail, while the Council did not reportedly meet directly with Minister Chrystia Freeland or her top political staff, “The federal lobbyist registry shows the council has had 203 meetings with federal officials since it was formed, including 13 meetings with Global Affairs Canada, where Ms. Freeland first served as trade minister and then Foreign Affairs Minister.”
In Trudeau’s Ottawa, only the elites get access
Both Cullen and Democracy Watch are right to be pushing for investigations. We have seen how Trudeau’s Ottawa serves the powerful elites at the expense of the rest of us. This is a total subversion of our political system, and it must be stopped. However, an investigation won’t be enough. Trudeau’s core ideology is about serving those with wealth and connections, and only his decisive defeat will give us a chance to take back our government and put it in the hands of the Canadian people.
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