Ethics commissioner responds to report on ex-Harper aide
Published Tuesday, September 29, 2015 10:06PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 30, 2015 5:32PM EDT
Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson is reviewing whether she has “reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a contravention” of the Conflict of Interest Act by Jason MacDonald, the prime minister’s former spokesman.
MacDonald served until March as Director of Communications in the PMO and to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANCD).
Two months after leaving government, he contacted AANDC Director General Bernard Etzinger to discuss federal contracts, sources told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife.
Sources say they arranged a meeting at a Starbucks with Hill+Knowlton vice-president David Rodier, now on leave from Hill+Knowlton to work on the Liberal campaign.
Hill+Knowlton was later awarded two contracts by AANDC for communications advice. One was worth $12,658 and the other $15,809.
The Conflict of Interest Act prohibits former ministerial staff from “making representations” to any government organization with which they had “significant dealings” for one year after leaving office.
“At this time, Commissioner Dawson is reviewing whether she has reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a contravention of the Act,” her office told CTV News on Wednesday.
MacDonald issued a statement Tuesday saying he is “conscious of the rules governing the activities of designated public office holders once they leave government.”
“All of my post-government activities are in compliance with those rules.”
NDP candidate Charlie Angus said he wants Dawson to launch an immediate investigation.
“You just step out of the prime minister’s office, go into private practice, step back in and contracts get awarded,” said Angus.
With a report from CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife