A cosy relationship
It all looks a little too cosy. Wes Sheridan, P.E.I.’s former minister of finance, has a new job as a pension investment consultant with Morneau Shepell in Halifax. The problem is Morneau Shepell supplies financial services to the provincial government. The firm worked for him for most of his eight years as finance minister and now he works for them. At what point did the roles reverse or become jointly self-serving?
Mr. Sheridan resigned in late February 2015. There is a six-month cooling-off period required before a cabinet minister can accept a position with a firm which did business with government. Within days of that time limit expiring, Mr. Sheridan was officially on the company’s payroll.
He is a valuable resource for Morneau Shepell which still works for the P.E.I. government on various projects. When did the first overture for employment come, and from which side?
The province was heavily involved with pension reform negotiations with its public sector unions throughout 2013. Morneau Shepell was at Mr. Sheridan’s right hand right through those talks. The company knew what the minister wanted to hear, so was the information provided accurate and was the browbeating applied to the unions fair?
The shared risk program was devised by Morneau-Shepell so did unions pay too high or unfair a price?
The optics is all wrong on this file.