Mario Dion discontinues examination of post-employment activities of former public office holder

Ottawa, June 7, 2018

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion today signalled his discontinuance of an examination under the Conflict of Interest Act of the conduct of Mr. Bruce Carson, a former senior advisor in former Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office.

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It had been alleged that Mr. Carson contravened section 33 of the Act by trying to use his influence to have federal funding approved for the purchase of water filtration systems on indigenous reserves, so his then girlfriend could earn lucrative commissions on their sale. Section 33 prohibits former public office holders from acting in such a manner as to take improper advantage of their previous public office.

"The examination was launched by my predecessor in April 2011," Commissioner Dion said. "In November of that year, it was suspended, as required by the Act, after the RCMP began a criminal investigation of Mr. Carson's conduct in respect of the same subject-matter."

That investigation led to a charge of influence peddling being laid under the Criminal Code. As required by the Act, the examination remained suspended until the charge was finally disposed of in this case by the Supreme Court of Canada on March 23, 2018.

"As a result of the court proceedings, all of the relevant facts related to Mr. Carson's post-employment activities have been made public, and the matter has been dealt with with finality by the Supreme Court of Canada," Commissioner Dion said. "Therefore, there is no need to expend further public resources by continuing this examination.

The Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner was created under the Federal Accountability Act. The Commissioner administers the Conflict of Interest Act and the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. These two regimes seek to prevent conflicts between the public duties of elected and appointed officials and private interests.

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