[Minister of Agriculture has been warned that his chief of staff has a conflict of interest]]
Six months into their mandate and the federal Lieberal party is regularly reminding Canadians of why they were tossed out of office a decade ago. Things have not changed nor have lessons been learned.
The Federal Ethics Commissioner (on review of hard evidence) has determined that Mary Jean McFall, Chief of Staff for Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture has been found to have a valid conflict of interest pertaining to a number of key files before the Ministry.
The Ethics Commissioner has ORDERED MacAuley to prevent Mary Jean McFall from handling or providing advice on the three main files handled by MacAuley’s department: (1) Supply Management, (2) poultry and (3) international trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Mary Jean McFall, has lost her bid to seek election as the Liberal candidate last fall in the riding of Leeds-Grenville (Ontario). McFall’s family are multi-millionaire owners of one of Canada’s largest egg producing corporations; Burnbrea.
The matter is even (perhaps) more comical. MacAuley, who represents St. Peters Bay, Prince Edward Island lists his previous work as “farmer”. The record shows that MacAuley’s pst 27 years have been in parliament, thus casting doubt about whatever agricultural knowledge he may/may not have gleaned from a background in the Maritimes. Doubtless, the world of agriculture as it existed 30 years ago may have little bearing on present day agriculture in the rest of Canada.
Of course, MacAuley still stands by his appointment of Mary Jean McFall claiming that she has modern, contemporary agriculture knowledge. She also (according to the Ethics Commissioner) has more than a “little bit of personal vested interest” in matters pertaining to her own corporation.
MacAuley is now saying that he will continue to retain McFall and (at the same time ) will comply with the Orders from the Ethics Commissioner. That (in and of itself) begs another answer. If MacAuley’s Chief of Staff is not allowed to handle the keys files required in her job; what EXACTLY is she doing to earn the $160,000 per annum reportedly being paid to her.
Campaigns cost money. That is for certain. But does a millionaire owner of a large agri-corp need a hand out from Canadian taxpayers in order to cover off her campaign expenses??
Moreover, why would Justin Trudeau appoint MacAuley given Mr. MacAuley’s lack of knowledge of contemporary agricultural issues.
…no matter how things change, they remain the same and (apparently) the Liebreals learned nothing after beign tossed from office ten years ago.
Copyright Thunderbird Rising 2016
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