Thursday, February 17, 2011

Conservative Lisa Raitt Hangs Fundraiser's out to Dry

My question is, how is it possible that the lobbyists are guilty but Lisa Raitt isn't?

Shepherd found Michael McSweeney and Will Stewart in breach of the code for selling tickets to a $250-a-ticket fundraising dinner for Raitt, then the minister of natural resources. The event was attended by lobbyists who were registered to lobby her department.

Ethics commissioner Mary Dawson cleared Raitt, now the minister of labour, of any wrongdoing in May 2010, but referred the matter to the lobbying commissioner. Today Shepherd found that the lobbyists' actions put Raitt in an apparent conflict of interest, in breach of the code.

A third lobbyist, Bruce Rawson, was found in breach of the code for failing to properly register before arranging meetings with public officials for representatives of B.C.'s mining industry in 2006.

And Raitt's thank you to the boys for raising all that money for her?

In response to a request for comment, Raitt's spokesperson in an email again referred to the Ethics Commissioner's May 2010 report:

"Minister Raitt has and continues to follow all of the rules.

"We thank the Lobbying Commissioner for her report, and note that it is another example of our Conservative government's approach to ethics and accountability.

"The Ethics Commissioner is clear in her report that 'Ms. Raitt did not contravene the Conflict of Interest Act (Act) or the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons (Code).'

"The [Ethics] Commissioner went further to clear Minister Raitt when she said the Minister 'did not accept any gift or other advantage in connection with the September 24, 2009 fundraising event ... Ms. Raitt was not involved in the recruitment of these volunteers or the organization of the fundraiser and therefore did not accept these services or contributions.'"

No comments: