PM's chief of staff builds "ethical wall" -

PM’s chief of staff builds “ethical wall”

Nigel Wright pledges to avoid conflicts of interest


Nigel Wright, managing director of private equity fund Onex. Corp. and Prime Minister Harper’s new chief of staff, is promising to construct and “ethical wall,” around himself to avoid conflicts of interest as the PM’s top aide. The opposition says the temporary position—Wright is taking a leave of absence from Onex. Corp. but hasn’t resigned—will lead to inevitable conflicts because of his business experience in the aerospace and defence industries. Wright told a parliamentary committee investigating his appointment that he’ll avoid any issues the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner says should stay on the other side of the “ethical wall.” These matters include: any dealing with the Onex Corporation, the taxation of the Canadian private equity industry, and the tax deductibility of cross-border interest expense with corporate groups. Wright goes before the parliamentary committee on Tuesday, when he’ll give a brief opening statement and then answer questions.

Vancouver Sun

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PM’s chief of staff builds “ethical wall”

  1. right, we need another corporate shill hand picked to push conservative ideology in a key government role.
    This guy will feed his private interests just by the nature of his job and when his job is over, he will go back to the corporate world with all new ways to abuse the system and lobby for issues that hurt regular people.
    Like we didn't see enough with jaffer illegally using his connections and his wife to pursue private business interests. We need to stop allowing this process of politicians rewarding their friends and industry connections with access, input and position.

    • Yeah, and I guess Igsnotief will go back to wherever he came from once his particular brand of ideology is defeated.

  2. So why is this 'news'?

    • Because the opposition made it so. The most inept, incompetent and irrelevant opposition in the history of the Commons wanted this.

      • You're essentially arguing that Harper is incapable of achieving a majority against the most inept, incompetent, and irrelevant opposition in the history of the Commons. I'd have to agree.

    • Because it's the opposite of the norm?

      Just look at Kory Ten… I can never remember how to spell his name.

  3. This guy is setting up this scheme so he doesn’t have to respect the cooling off period. It is one thing to go back to the private sector. It is quite another to take a 12 month leave of absence to run the most powerful government office in canada.

  4. This is a challenging balancing act.

    We should WANT proven managerial competence, and such candidates have to come from somewhere. And yet, there will be inevitable bleatings about conflicts of interest. The problem lies in that these bleatings may end up being perfectly justified — and we will only get to find out after it's too late.

    • It shouldn't be that difficult to find managers without conflicts, and people should understand they will forego some public opportunities by taking certain private jobs.

  5. I know he's trying really hard, but will the wall be able to keep ethics out of the current government completely?


  6. Give the guy a break. He's acknowledged the potential difficulties and measures have been taken: can't we just accept them and see how this goes before crying that it's all going to hell?