Ethics watchdog concerned that Scheer’s office advised MP to contravene code


OTTAWA — The federal ethics watchdog says he’s concerned that Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s office encouraged a Tory MP to violate the conflict-of-interest code for members of the House of Commons.

Mario Dion says Calgary Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie contravened the code last March 29 when she posted on social media a letter she’d sent the ethics commissioner that day asking him to investigate Raj Grewal, who was a Liberal MP at the time.

But Dion says he’s imposing no sanction on Kusie because she was acting on the advice of her leader’s staff.

He says Scheer’s office encouraged Kusie to post her letter, despite knowing that other MPs — including Scheer himself — had previously run afoul of the code by prematurely disclosing their requests for investigations.

Under the code, an MP who requests an ethics investigation is prohibited from making any public comment on the matter until the commissioner confirms that the subject of the inquiry has received a copy of the complaint or 14 days after the request is made, whichever is earlier.

Dion also says that the leader’s office, not Kusie, leaked the letter to the National Post several hours before the ethics commissioner received it.

The Canadian Press