(Ottawa) The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner concluded that Justin Trudeau was not involved in a decision that saw Liberal lawmakers use their taxpayer-funded budget for the services of a run company by an old friend of the prime minister. had to maintain.
In a letter to Mr Trudeau, Commissioner Mario Dion said he was convinced the prime minister was not involved in the Liberal Research Bureau’s decision to enter into a contract with Data Sciences, a firm owned by his old friend Tom Pitfield.
Accordingly, Mr Dion concluded that he had no reason to believe that Mr Trudeau acted in any way to unreasonably promote Mr Pitfield’s personal interests. The Ethics Commissioner, therefore, is of the view that there is no need for investigation in the matter.
It was Conservative MP Michael Barrett who asked Mr Dion’s office to investigate when the Globe and Mail wrote that most Liberal MPs were paying NGP vans and data sciences firms to help them manage their files . constituency.
NGP WAN, an American company, provides the Liberal Party of Canada (PLC) with the software used to manage its campaign database. Mr. Pitfield’s firm, Data Sciences, is the only Canadian provider of technical support for this US software.
The Liberal Party maintains that the two companies maintain a tight wall between the political services provided to the LPC and the services provided to support MPs in their constituency work.
Mr Dion noted that the NGP van has been helping Liberal MPs manage their constituency files since 2009. He also recalls that plc decided in 2016 that additional data science services were necessary due to the increasing size of the liberal caucus. After the 2015 elections.
According to Mr Dion, documents show that Liberal lawmakers’ payments for the services of the two companies are coordinated by the Finance Department of the Liberal Research Bureau and the Clerk of the House of Commons Management Group.
Mr Trudeau is the member responsible for the Bureau of Liberal Research, but Dion believes the prime minister has delegated his powers, including the power to contract with companies, to the director general of the bureau.
Tom Pitfield and Justin Trudeau are childhood friends: Michael Pitfield, the father of the former, was clerk of the Privy Council and secretary of Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s cabinet. Years later, Tom Pitfield led all-digital activities for the Liberal Party of Canada in the last two elections. His wife, Anna Gainey, was also the chair of the LPC.
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