Sunday, June 13, 2021

The lobbying commissioner removes Rob Silver, who is the husband of the prime minister’s chief of staff

Chief of Staff Katie Telford, left, watches as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his inaugural address at the Prime Ministers’ meeting in Ottawa on December 9, 2016. (The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick)

OTTAWA – Rob Silver, the husband of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff, has been purged by the federal commissioner for lobbying for any offenses.

Nancy Belanger says Silver, on behalf of mortgage lender MCAP, spent about 70 minutes talking cumulatively with public officials about two different first aid programs.

She says MCAP staff put in another two hours of preparation time for the discussions.

Important concludes that the “low volume and short duration” of Silver’s communications falls “well too short” as the threshold that MCAP or Silver would require to register their lobbying activities.

Last September, Federal Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion dismissed conservative allegations of conflict of interest against Silver and his wife, Katie Telford.

The Lobbying Act requires a company to register internal lobbying activities when communication with public office bearers is an ‘important part’ of the duties of its employees, whether individually or jointly.

The commissioner interpreted it to be equivalent to 20 percent or more of one employee’s duties, including preparation time – about 32 hours over a four-week period.

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