Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake today released his report into a complaint regarding Bob Chiarelli, then Minister of Energy and currently Minister of Infrastructure, and Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance. The complaint was filed by Jagmeet Singh, Member of Provincial Parliament for Bramalea-Gore-Malton, under section 30 of the Members’ Integrity Act, 1994.
The complaint alleged that the ministers contravened the Act by receiving a fee, gift or personal benefit connected to their attendance at a Liberal party fundraising event on December 7, 2015, and their involvement in the decision-making process related to the privatization of Hydro One.
The Commissioner found that Minister Chiarelli and Minister Sousa did not breach the Act.
“It is my opinion that while the ministers may have received political benefits from their attendance at the event, they did not receive any personal benefits and accordingly did not contravene section 6 of the Act,” Commissioner Wake said in his report.
The Commissioner also considered the issue of whether the ministers breached the conflict of interest provisions set out in section 2 of the Act.
“As the ministers did not receive any personal benefits from their attendance at the event, I am not able to conclude that the ministers were in an actual conflict of interest. Given the language in the Act, I do not have the authority to conclude that an apparent conflict of interest is prohibited under the Act. I would encourage the Legislature to review the Act with a view to clarifying whether it should apply to the appearance of conflicts of interest.”
The full report can be found at www.oico.on.ca under MPP Integrity. The Commissioner is not available for interviews.
About the OIC
The Office of the Integrity Commissioner has five key responsibilities: members’ integrity, ministers’ staff ethical conduct, lobbyists registration, disclosure of wrongdoing (whistle-blowing) and expenses review for Cabinet Ministers, opposition leaders, and selected agencies.
An Officer of the Legislative Assembly, the Integrity Commissioner is independent of government.
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Cathryn Motherwell, Director
Office of the Integrity Commissioner