Ethics probe clears PM’s chief of staff
The federal ethics watchdog has dismissed Conservative allegations of conflict of interest involving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff and her husband.
Ethics commissioner Mario Dion says the allegations are “speculative” and do not provide “a factual basis to support the belief that a contravention” of the Conflict of Interest Act may have occurred.
Consequently, Dion says he’s informed Conservative MPs Pierre Poilievre and Michael Barrett that their request for an investigation does not meet the requirements of the act.
His conclusion was relayed in a Sept. 15 letter, obtained by The Canadian Press, to Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford.
The Conservatives’ allegations revolved around a report that Telford’s husband, Rob Silver, had lobbied aides in the Prime Minister’s Office and the finance minister’s office to change the rules for the federal emergency wage subsidy program so that mortgage finance company MCAP would be eligible.
Silver is a senior vicepresident with MCAP, a post he has held since January.
Telford has set up an ethics screen to prevent her involvement in any decision related to MCAP, even though Dion’s office had advised her it wasn’t necessary.
But in their letter to Dion requesting an investigation, Poilievre and Barrett alleged an elaborate scheme to benefit Silver and, by extension, Telford.
They included a graphic of a so-called “silver triangle,” detailing what they referred to as a “trinity of interests” between Telford, Silver and Mike McNair, a former policy adviser in the PMO.