Mario Dion finds Conflict of Interest Act was contravened in new examination report


Ottawa, December 12, 2018

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion today reported on an examination under the Conflict of Interest Act of the conduct of Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer of the National Capital Commission (NCC). Commissioner Dion found that Dr. Kristmanson contravened, on 12 different occasions, subsection 11(1) of the Act by accepting invitations to events extended by Place des Festivals, the National Arts Centre, the Canadian Museum of Nature, VIA Rail and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Invitations to events are considered gifts or other advantages under the Act and are subject to the acceptability test set out in subsection 11(1): public office holders are prohibited from accepting gifts or other advantages that might reasonably be seen to have been given to influence them in the exercise of an official power, duty or function.

The organizations that extended the invitations to Dr. Kristmanson and his spouse are stakeholders of the NCC and each had ongoing or foreseeable official business with the NCC when he accepted the invitations.

"I determined that each of the 12 invitations that Dr. Kristmanson accepted was a gift that could reasonably be seen to have been given to influence him in the exercise of his official powers, duties and functions," said Commissioner Dion.

While the Act provides, under paragraph 11(2)(c), an exception to the prohibition if the gifts are considered normal expressions of courtesy or protocol or are within the customary standards that normally accompany a public office holder's position, Commissioner Dion determined that the exception did not apply to any of the events examined in the report. "There was no evidence to suggest that Dr. Kristmanson was asked to perform an official function at any of the events when he accepted the invitations," Mr. Dion said.

Please click on the following link to read the Kristmanson Report.

The Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner was created under the Federal Accountability Act. The Commissioner applies the Conflict of Interest Act for public office holders and the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. Follow us on Twitter! @CIEC_CCIE

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