The absent-minded defence minister

Peter MacKay forgot his stake in two family-owned companies

Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson is looking into what could turn out to be a costly lapse in memory by Defence Minister Peter MacKay. According to the Halifax Chronicle Herald, MacKay failed to disclose his involvement in not one but two businesses owned by his father, legendary Mulroney-era cabinet minister Elmer MacKay, an oversight that might put him at odds with the current government’s much-vaunted ethics code. MacKay the Younger is adamant that the omission was unintentional — in a letter sent to Dawson earlier this week, he claimed that he “had forgotten” that he was on the books as vice-president of Beaver Lumber, and director of Lorne Resources, both of which positions from which he has now formally resigned. But that’s not good enough for Democracy Watch’s Duff Conacher. “His father never mentions the company or ever lets him know anything about it, as an officer, and we’re supposed to believe that? […] It’s his father’s primary source of income, and he’s an officer, and he forgot. So he manages but he doesn’t know that he manages it. Ignorance is not a defence of violation of the law.”

The Chronicle Herald