PM's chief of staff builds "ethical wall" - Macleans.ca

PM’s chief of staff builds “ethical wall”

Nigel Wright pledges to avoid conflicts of interest

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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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