Liberal Cabinet Minister Broke Ethics Rules

Nothing new from the Liberal government.

The Liberal government has continued their ongoing trend of violating ethics rules.

The latest to be found to have contravened the Conflict of Interest Act is Trade Minister Mary Ng.

Here is the ruling from Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion:

“The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Develop​​ment, contravened the Conflict of Interest Act by participating in the process that led to the awarding of two government contracts to a company owned by a friend, Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion explains in an examination report​ released today.

In March 2019 and April 2020, contracts for media training services were signed on behalf of the Minister with a company co-founded and run by Ms. Amanda Alvaro. Commissioner Dion determined that Ms. Ng and Ms. Alvaro were and are friends within the meaning of the Act.

Commissioner Dion found that Ms. Ng was exercising an official power, duty or function when she participated in the process that led to the awarding of the contracts to her friend’s company, which is a contravention of subsection 6(1) of the Act. Given their friendship, obtaining services from the company improperly furthered its interests and placed Ms. Ng in a conflict of interest as defined by the Act.

Commissioner Dion found that Ms. Ng also contravened section 21 of the Act by failing to recuse herself from the contract decisions.

He launched the examination after receiving a request in May 2022 from James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk–Interlake–Eastman, then the Official Opposition’s Shadow Minister for Ethics.”

Dion said Ng twice failed to recognize a conflict of interest:

“The decision to trigger the steps that resulted in obtaining services from a company owned by one of her friends placed Minister Ng in a conflict of interest. She should have known to instead withdraw from the process that led to the awarding of the contracts and obtain similar services from another provider.”

“Minister Ng twice failed to recognize a potential conflict of interest involving a friend, an oversight of her obligations under the Conflict of Interest Act.”

“There is simply no excuse for contracting with a friend’s company. This includes the need to quickly obtain media training services to help Minister Ng respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020.”

“Ministers are expected to uphold the highest standards of accountability, including those set out in the Conflict of Interest Act. Complying with the Act is a condition of appointment and employment for all public office holders.”

On Twitter, Minister Ng responded to the ruling with an apology, but expressed no plan to resign:

What does ‘accountability’ mean?

When Liberal MPs – including Justin Trudeau – are found to have violated ethics rules, they always claim they are taking ‘accountability.’

But what does that mean?

In reality, it just ends up being a small fine, and then the continuation of that individual in their role.

There is no real consequence.

The government clearly sees ‘accountability’ as nothing more than a word they use to try and get beyond a negative news cycle and hope everyone forgets.

By turning accountability into an empty word, the Liberal government continues the erosion of trust in Canadian institutions.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube


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