Democracy Watch questions whether Ethics Commissioner’s senior lawyer is Liberal Cabinet Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s sister-in-law?
Today, Democracy Watch raised questions about whether federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion’s senior lawyer, Martine Richard, is the sister of Jolène Richard, who is married to Trudeau Cabinet minister Daniel LeBlanc (see also here). Ms. Richard heads the Investigations and Legal Services division of the Ethics Commissioner’s office.
If so, in addition to this conflict of interest, Mr. Dion was chosen by the Trudeau Cabinet after a secretive, Cabinet-controlled process that failed to consult with opposition parties as required by the Parliament of Canada Act. As well, Mr. Dion also has a record 8 unethical and questionable actions when he was federal Integrity Commissioner.
If Ms. Richard has this connection with Minister LeBlanc, and given Mr. Dion’s current prolonged medical leave, Democracy Watch again called on Commissioner Dion to delegate to a provincial ethics commissioner (who has no ties to any political party) the investigation of its complaint concerning who tried to influence former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene and stop the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC).
Democracy Watch filed the first complaint with Ethics Commissioner Dion about the PMO/Attorney General/SNC-Lavalin situation on February 8th, alleging that anyone covered by the federal Conflict of Interest Act, including the Prime Minister and PMO staff, who tried to pressure the Attorney General violated section 9 of the Act by using “his or her position as a public office holder to seek to influence a decision of another person so as to… improperly further another person’s private interests.”
Ethics Commissioner Dion sent Democracy Watch a letter on February 26th confirming his investigation of its complaint. Democracy Watch sent a second letter to Ethics Commissioner Dion on March 5th requesting that he expand the investigation into all 11 people whom Ms. Wilson-Raybould named in her testimony before the Justice Committee on February 27th.