As many as four cabinet ministers are using the same loophole utilized by Moneybags Morneau to retain control of assets instead of putting them in a blind trust, raising doubts about every decision made by this government.
This revelation reveals a deeper level of potential conflicts-of-interest at the core of the Ottawa power structure under the Trudeau government, and casts doubt on every decision made by the Trudeau government up until now.
The information was revealed by the Globe & Mail, and shows that there are as many as four Trudeau government cabinet ministers using the loophole:
“Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson’s office declines to identify the ministers, citing confidentiality rules, but confirms that a handful hold these assets indirectly and therefore aren’t required to sell them or place them beyond reach. The office would only say “fewer than five cabinet ministers currently hold controlled assets indirectly.”
As a result of using this loophole (AKA the “Morneau Loophole), the cabinet ministers are able to retain control of their assets, even as they knowingly make government decisions that could impact the price of those assets.
It creates a clear conflict between what should be the sole duty of cabinet ministers – serving the Canadian people – and their incentive to profit from their decisions.
Opposition says cabinet ministers must be revealed
The report notes that both the Conservatives and NDP are calling on the Trudeau government to come clean and reveal which cabinet ministers are using the loophole.
Deputy Conservative Leader Lisa Raitt said “Let’s clear the air so we can understand what these ministers were holding so we can judge from their past actions what kind of decisions that they took.”
Meanwhile, NDP Ethics Critic Nathan Cullen pointed out that “If they don’t come clean, then every move and all the decisions – not just the Finance Minister – but of Mr. Trudeau’s cabinet, will be suspect. Are they using the same loophole that Mr. Morneau did to be in an indirect but direct conflict of interest?”
Both Raitt and Cullen make good points here. Until Canadians know who is using the loophole and what assets the ministers have, there is no way we can be sure about any decisions made by the Trudeau government. It casts a shadow across every decision they’ve made, and will destroy what little remnants of trust may be left in this dishonest and deceptive government.