Andrew Cash: History’s most-conflicted monster?

‘We haven’t had any issues about Dragon’s Den come up’

The Sun reported Wednesday night that NDP MP Andrew Cash has been debating and voting on matters related to the CBC while also being paid for some soundtrack work he did for Dragon’s Den. David Akin has helpfully posted the paper trail of correspondence between the Sun, Mr. Cash and the ethics commissioner. And here is a quick search of Hansard for every time Mr. Cash has uttered the acronym “CBC.”

Thing is, the ethics commissioner reports “no reason to believe” Mr. Cash broke the rules. Mr. Cash’s defence seems to rest on the argument that he wasn’t dealing with anything that directly related to Dragon’s Den.

Later that month, Mary Dawson, parliament’s conflict of interest and ethics commissioner, sent Cash a letter to clarify what his obligations were under the government’s conflict of interest code. In the letter, she said that the code prohibits you from participating in debate or from voting on matters specifically related to CBC’s funding or planning priorities that may affect your private interest. She added that Cash was able to participate in debates and votes that are of general application or that affect the CBC as one of a broad class.

Cash said that because his private interest is Dragon’s Den and not the CBC as a whole, this means he can participate in debate about the CBC in general but would not be able to participate in a discussion about, for example, axing the department that hosts the show. So far, he has not had to excuse himself from any debates or votes and said he doesn’t anticipate he will ever have to. “We haven’t had any issues about Dragon’s Den come up in the House of Commons or in committee,” he said.

Update 3:35pm. In a letter to the NDP MP, the ethics commissioner confirms that Mr. Cash has not done anything inappropriate.

Yesterday, in response to a request from my Office and further to recent media attention, you provided a list of the debates and votes in which you participated, both at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and in the House of Commons, that involved the CBC. These included five votes in Committee on main estimates, which included general CBC funding, one debate in Committee in which you questioned the President of the CBC about its five-year strategic plan and four instances in which you asked broad questions touching on the CBC in the House of Commons.

In light of my previous advice as well as my review of the information that you have provided, I can confirm that, to date, the matters in question in the debates and votes in which you have participated affect you as one of a broad class and, therefore, that you met your obligations under the Code in doing so.




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Andrew Cash: History’s most-conflicted monster?

  1. Everyone who said Mr. Cash had a true conflict should be feeling pretty dumb now that the ethics commissioner set the record straight.

    • I’m sure David Akin thinks he’s brilliant, for what it’s worth. My opinion on him has always compared him unfavourably to pond scum, but Akin hisself probably isn’t feeling dumb.

    • Don’t think you’ve heard the end of this yet.

      • On that you’re likely correct. constant repition of simple stupid messages, with no concern for truth is pretty much Harper team S.O.P.

      • As an antidote to Duffy/Wallin I can’t believe you couldn’t come up with something a little sexier.

  2. So a carbon tax loving socialist is writing theme songs for tv shows extolling the virtues of unbridled capitalism – what is wrong with this country? Put me down as outraged.

    • Lol! He was actually a pretty good singer/songwriter; I have one of his solo albums – “Boomtown”

  3. If only…if only he’d vote leary off that show.

    There’s an O’ !! before it. What a surprise.

  4. So, if they did discuss Dragon’s Den, then his next excuse would be that they never discussed the soundtrack? And if they did discuss the soundtrack, then his next excuse would be that they never discussed the specific work he did on the soundtrack?

    As far as I know, his employer was the CBC. Dragon’s Den is a show, not an employer.

    Anyway, we know that such things are only a problem then they’re donations to Rob Ford’s football charity. When they’re payments to Andrew Cash’s bank account, it’s OK.

    • Speculative stupidity in the service of the ugly is perhaps at its worst when comments like the one above are made.

      • Your comment is twenty words of nothingness. Congrats, you’re very good at writing words devoid of any meaning.

    • Cash at least did something for the money. AND he didn’t use CBC employees we’ve paid to moonlight for him either.

      • Great point. Charities are about doing something for the money, or in other words, they’re not charities. Or maybe you’re saying it’s better that Cash kept the money rather than give it to a charity. Or maybe you’re saying it’s not a conflict of interest as long as the money was in exchange for something else and the something else was not charity.

        And your moonlighting point is… heck, who knows what you’re saying, I’m sure it’s really good whatever it is.

        • Think about it. It’ll come to you.

          • On this blog thinking is forbidden.

          • Is that why you contribute your pithy insights?

          • Please direct me to some conservative nirvana [ outside of a couple of individual private blogs] where all this thinking goes on.

        • And your moonlighting point is… heck, who knows what you’re saying

          Presumably this is a reference to Mayor Ford using staff from his office to help out with his football team while on the clock (not just writing letters on City letterhead asking lobbyists for donations to the team when he was a Councillor, but also using mayoral staff to work with the team directly). There are some who don’t see it as a happy “coincidence” that Ford happened to hire a former U of T Varsity Blues quarterback as a “special assistant” to the mayor.

    • He may have been commissioned or contracted by the CBC. It’s highly unlikely he was ever on CBC’s payroll (“employed”) just to create soundtrack(s).

      And the case has no similarity whatsoever to Ford’s solicitation of donations to his football charity.

      • I see. So only permanent employees can have conflict of interests. Temporary employees (aka contractors) cannot. Great point.
        Another great point about how it’s not the payments that matter, it’s whether they were employed to create soundtracks or employed to do something else.
        Your third point is also fantastic, two incidents are not similar even though they are both conflicts of interest involving payments and elected officials. But there’s no similarity otherwise. Yeah.

        Your genius is Emily-esque.

        • Ah, I’m beginning to see the Ford connection here: neither you nor his hizzoner has any understanding of the nuances of law.

          • You are such a genius, I’m amazed.

          • I know. And largely unrecognized in my own time.

    • I was ready to thumb this up until the Rob Ford reference.

      • Oh shoot, I was having a good day til I did not get your thumbs up.

        • Buck up, kiddo – it’s Friday.

  5. The CBC Television network is vile the dragon den is even vile’er eh, but sweet Joesph Harper what is a Dipper doing – even – I – but – can’t – CIRCUIT OVERLOAD!!! must shut down to protect my socialist leanings – Oy Vey eh!!!

  6. What was the origin of this story? PMO or CPC talking points; communication to reporter/ reporters.
    Press Gallery, Find some real stories please, and on your own.

  7. “Mr. Cash’sdefence seems to rest on the argument that he wasn’t dealing with anything that directly related to Dragon’s Den.”

    David Foster Wallace – Consider The Lobster:

    “Am I a good person? Deep down, do I even really want to be a good person, or do I only want to seem like a good person so that people (including myself) will approve of me? Is there a difference? How do I ever actually know whether I’m bullshitting myself, morally speaking?”

  8. “Thing is, the ethics commissioner reports …. ”

    Orwell – political language ….. is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

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