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Federal Government Ethics Court Case Fund

Democracy Watch has several ongoing court cases challenging the appointment of, and rulings by, the federal Ethics Commissioner and Lobbying Commissioner.

The new Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion, and new Lobbying Commissioner Nancy Bélanger, were handpicked by the Trudeau Cabinet at the same time the commissioners were investigating situations involving Trudeau and other Cabinet ministers.

During their time in office from 2007 to the end of 2017, both Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson and Lobbying Commissioner Karen Shepherd let more than 80% of people who have violated the rules off the hook. Their dangerously weak enforcement let hundreds of federal politicians, government officials, and lobbyists get away with violating federal laws. You can also help call for an audit of both commissioner’s weak enforcement records by clicking here.

Your support is needed for the following complaints about unethical actions by Trudeau Cabinet ministers, lobbyists, and federal government officials:

  1. Complaint to Ethics Commissioner about Finance Minister Morneau and/or anyone acting on his behalf participating in the contracting process with WE Charity in spring 2020, and announcing WE Charity funding in August 2019 (July 27, 2020);
  2. Complaint to RCMP about Minister Morneau and/or anyone acting on his behalf participating in the contracting process with WE Charity in spring 2020 (July 27, 2020)
  3. Complaint to Ethics Commissioner about Prime Minister Trudeau and/or anyone acting on his behalf intervening in the contracting process with WE Charity (July 13, 2020)
  4. Complaint to RCMP about Prime Minister Trudeau and/or anyone acting on his behalf intervening in the contracting process with WE Charity (July 13, 2020)
  5. Complaint to Ethics Commissioner about Finance Minister Bill Morneau participating in approval of WE Charity sole-source contract (July 13, 2020)
  6. Complaint to Ethics Commissioner about Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s participation in decisions to appoint judges with connections to him (filed July 4 , 2019)
  7. Complaint to Elections Canada, Commissioner of Canada Elections, and Commissioner of Lobbying requesting audit of donations and lobbyist fundraising back to 2007 (filed May 1, 2019)
  8. Complaint to Lobbying Commissioner re: questions about Kevin Lynch lobbying for SNC-Lavalin (filed March 13, 2019)
  9. Complaint to Lobbying Commissioner about Facebook not having employees registered as lobbyists, and doing favours for federal Liberal Cabinet ministers (filed April 25, 2018)

Your support is needed for the following cases:

  1. Challenging former Lobbying Commissioner Karen Shepherd’s ruling that the Aga Khan is not covered by the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct and, as a result, his Bahamas trip gift to Prime Minister Trudeau was legal;
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Challenging the Ethics Commissioner’s August 2019 ruling on the SNC-Lavalin scandal because he let off many government officials who, like PM Trudeau, pressured the Attorney General.
  5. Challenging new Lobbying Commissioner Nancy Bélanger’s ruling that Council of Canadian Innovators staff Ben Bergen and Dana O’Born did not violate the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct when they lobbied senior officials of Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland after co-managing her 2015 federal election campaign and serving in senior roles in her riding association.

We need your help to pay the costs for all of these lawsuits – please donate now and Share and Tweet this page to spread the word to anyone you think may be interested in supporting these lawsuits.

Thank you for your support,
Duff, Josephine, Brad
and the entire Democracy Watch team

P.S. Please also click here to send a letter to your federal and provincial politicians calling for stronger rules, enforcement and penalties to stop unethical actions and decisions by politicians, government officials and lobbyists.


Latest News About the Cases

News Release — Democracy Watch pursuing lawsuit challenging Ethics Commissioner’s ruling that let everyone off except PM Trudeau for pressuring Attorney General to stop SNC-Lavalin prosecution (March 3, 2020)

News Release — Federal Court of Appeal rules Trudeau Cabinet was biased when appointing Ethics Commissioner and Lobbying Commissioner (February 13, 2020)

News Release — Trudeau Liberals’ appeal of Federal Court ruling ordering Lobbying Commissioner to investigate Aga Khan’s Bahamas trip gift to PM Trudeau in court today (December 12, 2019)

News Release — Democracy Watch’s lawsuit challenges Lobbying Commissioner’s ruling letting Clearwater Seafoods board member off the hook for fundraising event Trudeau attended (April 30, 2019)

News Release — Democracy Watch’s lawsuit challenges Lobbying Commissioner’s ruling that investigation should not continue into former Apotex Chairman Barry Sherman’s fundraising for Trudeau Liberals (March 6, 2018)