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Democracy Watch’s Government Ethics Complaints and Court Cases from 2016 on

Please help support all these government ethics complaints and court cases here and/or support complaints and cases against the federal government by clicking here, and please help support complaints and court cases against the Ontario government by clicking here.




TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. Commissioner of Lobbying (Federal)
1. Complaints
2. Court Cases

B. Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner (Federal)
1. Complaints
2. Court Cases

C. Elections Canada and the Commissioner of Canada Elections
1. Complaints

D. Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (Federal)
1. Complaints

E. Integrity Commissioner, Conflict of Interest Commissioner, Auditor General (Ontario), and OIPRD and Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC)
1. Complaints

F. Chief Electoral Officer (Ontario)
1. Complaints

G. Conflict of Interest Commissioner (B.C.)
1.Complaints
2. Court Cases



A. Commissioner of Lobbying (Federal)

1. Complaints

(a) Complaint concerning various lobby groups giving the gift of “sponsored travel” to various MPs from all parties between 2009 and 2016 (filed May 26, 2016)

(b) Complaint about Council of Canadian Innovators staff lobbying Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland after working on her 2015 federal election campaign (filed July 12, 2017)

(c) Complaint about the Aga Khan’s gift to PM Trudeau of two trips, and Liberal MP Seamus O’Regan of one trip, to his Bahamas island (filed December 20, 2017)

(d) Complaint about Facebook not having employees registered as lobbyists, and doing favours for federal politicians (filed April 25, 2018)

(e) Complaint about Liberal Party of Canada fundraising events in recent years that involved Cabinet ministers, their staff and lobbyists, and similar events held by other federal parties (September 17, 2018)

(f) Complaint about lobbyists possibly assisting Liberal Party with fundraising that puts Cabinet ministers in a conflict of interest (November 28, 2018)

(g) Complaint re: questions about Kevin Lynch lobbying for SNC-Lavalin (March 13, 2019)

(h) Complaint to Elections Canada, Commissioner of Canada Elections, and Commissioner of Lobbying requesting audit of donations and lobbyist fundraising back to 2007 (May 1, 2019)

2. Court Cases

(a) Case challenging the appointment of new Lobbying Commissioner Nancy Bélanger because Trudeau Cabinet ministers were in a conflict of interest when they made the appointment. To support this case, click here

(b) Case challenging former Lobbying Commissioner Karen Shepherd’s ruling that the Aga Khan is not covered by the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct and, therefore, his Bahamas trip gift to Prime Minister Trudeau was legal. To support this case, click here. WE WON! — for details, click here.

(c) Case challenging new Lobbying Commissioner Nancy Bélanger’s ruling ending the investigation into whether Barry Sherman of Apotex Inc.’s fundraising activities for the Liberal Party violated the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct. To support this case, click here.

(d) Case challenging new Lobbying Commissioner Nancy Bélanger’s ruling that a Clearwater Seafoods shareholder and board member hosting a fundraising event in August 2014 attended by Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau did not violate the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct. To support this case, click here.

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B. Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner (Federal)

1. Complaints

(a) Complaint about federal Cabinet ministers attending fundraising events organized by lobbyists (filed December 6, 2016)

(b) Complaint about the Liberal Cabinet reappointing the Ethics Commissioner for a second six-month term while she is investigating Prime Minister Trudeau and other Cabinet ministers (filed December 14, 2016)

(c) Complaint about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau inviting top Liberal Party donors to a gala dinner with the Chinese Premier (filed December 16, 2016)

(d) Complaint about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accepting the gift of a trip from the Aga Khan whose organization lobbies the federal government (filed February 8, 2017)

(e) Complaint about Conservative Party Interim Leader Rona Ambrose accepting the gift of a trip from the Murray Edwards whose company lobbies the federal government (filed February 8, 2017)

(f) Complaint about Liberal MP Seamus O’Regan accepting the gift of a trip from the Aga Khan whose organization lobbies the federal government (filed February 8, 2017)

(g) Complaint about some of former federal Minister of Justice Peter MacKay’s judicial appointments, including his appointment of Vic Toews (filed April 24, 2017)

(h) Complaint about federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s relationship with his Advisory Council on Economic Growth (filed May 8, 2017)

(i) Complaint about federal Cabinet’s relationship with BlackRock Asset Management Canada Ltd. (filed May 24, 2017)

(j) Complaint about Council of Canadian Innovators staff lobbying Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland after working on her 2015 federal election campaign (filed July 12, 2017)

(k) Complaint about Liberal Party of Canada fundraising events in recent years that involved Cabinet ministers, their staff and lobbyists, and similar events held by other federal parties (September 17, 2018)

(l) Complaint about Liberal Party possibly rewarding lobbyists who did fundraising for the party (November 28, 2018)

(m) Complaint about PMO trying to influence Attorney General to stop prosecution of SNC-Lavalin (February 8, 2019) and expanded complaint (March 5, 2019)

(n) Complaint about Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick giving preferential treatment to SNC-Lavalin Chair Kevin Lynch (April 17, 2019)

(o) Complaint about SNC-Lavalin Chair and Bank of Montreal Vice Chair Kevin Lynch, and SNC-Lavalin and Citibank Canada board member Eric D. Siegel, possibly violating federal ethics law (May 7, 2019)

(p) Complaint to Ethics Commissioner about Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s participation in decisions to appoint judges with connections to him (July 4 , 2019)

2. Court Cases

(a) Case challenging Ethics Commissioner’s conflict of interest “screens” that she has set up for more than 20 Cabinet ministers and senior federal government officials. To support this case, click here.

(b) Case challenging the Ethics Commissioner’s ruling that Finance Minister Morneau didn’t have to sell his millions of shares in his family’s company. To support this case, click here.

(c) Case challenging the appointment of new Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion because Trudeau Cabinet ministers were in a conflict of interest when they made the appointment. To support this case, click here.

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C. Elections Canada and the Commissioner of Canada Elections

1. Complaints

(a) Complaint re: Prime Minister Trudeau violating his 2015 election promise to change Canada’s voting system (February 22, 2018)

(b) Complaint to Elections Canada, Commissioner of Canada Elections, and Commissioner of Lobbying requesting audit of donations and lobbyist fundraising back to 2007 (May 1, 2019)


D. Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (Federal)

1. Complaints

(a) Complaint about Ethics Commissioner’s senior lawyer Martine Richard having a conflict of interest as her sister is the spouse of Liberal Cabinet minister Dominic LeBlanc


E. Integrity Commissioner, Conflict of Interest Commissioner, Auditor General (Ontario), and OIPRD and Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC)

1. Complaints

(a) Complaint re: Premier Wynne and her Cabinet ministers selling access to themselves at high-priced, exclusive fundraising events (March 31, 2016)

(b) Complaint about Premier Ford and his Cabinet using public money to pay for video ads on social media (September 26, 2018)

(c) Complaint about Premier Ford and his Cabinet hiding their private financial interests while they make major decisions in the first 6 months of their government (November 13, 2018)

(d) Complaint about Premier Ford appointing his friend as the head of the OPP (December 4, 2018)

(e) Complaint about Premier Ford’s appointment of one of his top election campaign advisers to a plum job in Washington, and increasing his pay by $75,000 (December 18, 2018)

(f) Complaint about Premier Ford’s appointment of his campaign adviser and staffperson Jenni Byrne to the Ontario Energy Board (January 17, 2019)

(g) Complaint about Premier Ford’s appointment of his family lawyer to chair the Public Accountants Council (March 11, 2019)

(h) Complaint about Premier Ford’s staff and deputy minister giving preferential treatment to his friend Ron Taverner (March 25, 2019)

(i) Complaint about Premier Ford offering his friend Ron Taverner an executive job at the Ontario Cannabis Store (April 2, 2019)

(j) Complaint to Ontario Ombudsman about Premier Ford’s staff and others giving preferential treatment to Ford’s friend Ron Taverner, etc. (April 9, 2019)

(k) Release calling on Ontarians to file complaints with Ad Council about Ford government’s false carbon tax ad (April 26, 2019)

(l) Complaint to Ontario Integrity Commissioner re: Ford-government appointed LCBO Chair’s selling access to Finance Minister violates provincial ethics rules (May 9, 2019)

(m) Complaint to OIPRD and Ontario Civilian Police Commission about Premier Ford’s Chief of Staff Dean French demanding government employees pressure police to change law enforcement practices (May 16, 2019)

(n) Complaint to Integrity Commissioner about lobbyists helping organize Premier Ford’s fundraising dinner (June 13, 2019)

(o) Complaint to Integrity Commissioner about Premier Ford’s former Chief of Staff Dean French giving preferential treatment to family members, friends and PC Party people with government appointments (June 27, 2019)

(p) Complaint to Integrity Commissioner about lobbying of Premier Ford and Cabinet ministers by Melissa Lantsman, who advised Ford and the PC Party during the 2018 election and is a Regional VP of the PC Party (July 11, 2019)

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F. Chief Electoral Officer (Ontario)

1. Complaints

(a) Complaint calling for public inquiry into parts of Election Ontario’s running of the provincial election (June 26, 2018)

(b) Complaint about oil and gas industry’s ads during Ontario provincial election (August 1, 2018)

(c) Complaint to Elections Ontario about Ontario Proud’s election ads not identifying that they were 90% paid for by development and construction companies (January 10, 2019)

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G. Conflict of Interest Commissioner (B.C.)

1. Complaints

(a) Complaint concerning conflicts of interest created by former B.C. Premier Christy Clark holding high-priced, exclusive fundraising events. The Commissioner rejected the complaint, and so Democracy Watch filed the court case linked below under 2(a).

2. Court Cases

(a) Case challenging Conflict of Interest Commissioner’s ruling that the fundraising events held by former B.C. Premier Christy Clark do not create apparent conflicts of interest (filed October 26, 2016). The B.C. Court of Appeal decided not to rule on the case on Oct. 18, 2017 — see details here.

(b) Case challenging former B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline (filed January 31, 2017). The B.C. Supreme Court judge indicated he was going to rule against Democracy Watch and PIPE UP, and so the case was withdrawn in fall 2017.

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