Ottawa, ON – James Bezan, Conservative Shadow Minister for Ethics and Accountable Government, released the following statement on his letter to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner regarding a sweetheart deal to a Liberal insider:

“I’ve written to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner requesting an investigation into a sole-sourced, sweetheart deal to a Liberal insider.

“Recently released documents tabled in the House of Commons reveal that Liberal International Trade Minister Mary Ng gave a nearly $17,000 contract to Pomp & Circumstance, a company founded and led by Ms. Ng’s friend Amanda Alvaro.

“This contract was issued less than one month after the country began the first COVID-19 lockdown.  At a time when many Canadians were without a source of income, and many small businesses were peering into the abyss, one well-connected Liberal was thrown a nearly $17,000 contract by her close pal inside Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet.

“It is well known that Ms. Ng and Ms. Alvaro are part of a longstanding group of close-knit friends, dating back to Toronto Liberal circles during the days of former premier Dalton McGuinty’s provincial government. This same group remains at the heart of power in today’s federal Liberal government and includes ministers, like Ms. Ng, activists and commentators, like Ms. Alvaro, and senior staffers, like the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Katie Telford and former Principal Secretary Gerald Butts.

“Section 4 of the Act notes that a public office holder, such as Ms. Ng, would be in a conflict of interest when she “exercises an official power, duty or function that provides an opportunity to further [the] private interests … of his or her relatives or friends”.

“Subsection 6(1) of the Act prohibits a public office holder’s participation in decision-making which could lead to a conflict of interest.  Ms. Ng awarding the contract to Ms. Alvaro’s company would certainly count. Furthermore, section 21 of the Act, imposing a duty to recuse on Ms. Ng, would also be applicable in the circumstances.

“Unsurprisingly, this is just another instalment in a long-running saga of members of this Liberal government making a mockery of both the letter and spirit of the ethical laws that govern them.

“It is unacceptable that well-connected Liberal insiders continue to get sweetheart deals, as everyday Canadians continue to struggle with the cost-of-living crisis with no end in sight, and no help from the Liberals.”

MP Bezan’s letter to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner can be read here.