Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Ethics watchdog says Trudeau did not advance interests of lifelong friend Pitfield

OTTAWA—The federal ethics watchdog has concluded that Justin Trudeau was not involved in a decision in which Liberal lawmakers used their taxpayer-funded budgets to hire the services of a company run by one of the prime minister’s lifelong friends. did.

In a letter to Trudeau, Mario Dion said he was satisfied that the prime minister was not involved in the Liberal Research Bureau’s decision to enter into a contract with Data Sciences Inc., a company owned by Tom Pitfield.

As a result, Dion says he has no reason to believe that Trudeau acted in any way to unreasonably advance Pitfield’s personal interests.

The ethics commissioner says that there is no need for investigation and he will not pursue the matter further.

Conservative MP Michael Barrett asked Dion to investigate when the Globe and Mail reported that most Liberal lawmakers were paying NGP Vans Inc. and Data Sciences Inc. to help manage the constituency’s casework.

NGP VAN Inc., a US company, provides the Liberal Party with the software it uses to run its campaign database; Data Sciences Inc. of Pitfield is the only Canadian provider of support services for the software.

The party maintains that a strict firewall is maintained between the political services provided by the two companies to the party and the political services provided to MPs to help them with their constituency work.

Dion says NGP Vans Inc. has been helping Liberal lawmakers manage their constituency casework since 2009. He says it was decided that the additional services of Data Sciences Inc. were needed in 2016 because of the increasing size of the Liberal caucus after the 2015 election. .

Documents show that Liberal lawmakers are paid for the services of the two companies by the Liberal Research Bureau and the House of Commons chief financial officer co-opted by Justin Trudeau, Dion says.

While Trudeau is the member responsible for the research bureau, Dion says Trudeau has delegated his authority, including the right to enter into contracts, to the managing director of the bureau.

“Given the timeline of events and the information provided in your written representation, including supporting documents, I am satisfied that you were not involved in the decision for LRB to contract with NGP Vans Inc. Data Sciences Inc..” Dion said in a letter sent to Trudeau on Tuesday.

“As a result, I have no reason to believe that you acted in any way in the performance of your parliamentary duties and functions to unreasonably advance the personal interests of Mr. Pitfield.”

Pitfield and Trudeau have been friends since childhood. Pitfield ran the Liberal Party’s digital operations during the last two elections. His wife, Anna Gainey, is a former chair of the Liberal Party.

by Joan Bryden

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News From – The Epoch Times

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