Nine senior members of the Trudeau Liberals, including Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, have been barred from meeting with former U.S. ambassador David MacNaughton, as ethics watchdogs say former meetings broke the Conflict of Interests Act.
Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion listed the following names in the issuance of order:
- Ms. Leslie Church, Chief of Staff to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada;
- The Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry;
- Mr. Ryan Dunn, Chief of Staff to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry;
- The Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs* (*As she then was.);
- Mr. Simon Kennedy, Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada;
- Mr. Bill Matthews, Deputy Minister, Public Services and Procurement Canada;
- Mr. Rick Theis, Director of Policy and Cabinet Affairs, Prime Minister's Office;
- Ms. Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister, Department of National Defence;
- General Jonathan Vanc?e, Chief of Defence Staff, Canadian Armed F?orces. ?
"This order is listed under the name of each of these individuals in the public? ?registry and will remain in place for one year," wrote the ethics commissioner.
Dion started looking into the matter following an investigation into MacNaughton, who Politico says is a "close ally of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau."
Dion found that MacNaughton had met with top advisors to offer pro bono assistance on behalf of Palantir Technologies, which he was named president of last year.
Dion wrote that the meetings did not result in Palantir being awarded any contracts, though MacNaughton "has acknowledged, with the benefit of hindsight, that these communications and meetings, to the extent they could have furthered the interests of Palantir, were contrary to [the Conflict of Intersts Act.]"