Liberal asks ethics commissioner to probe federal heritage minister's fundraiser

WINNIPEG – Liberal MP Ralph Goodale is calling for the federal ethics commissioner to investigate questions over a fundraiser in Heritage Minister Shelly Glover’s Winnipeg riding.

Goodale says in the letter to Mary Dawson that his request follows a CTV report that said invitees to the Jan. 16 event in Winnipeg were mainly from the city’s cultural community.

Goodale notes in the letter that the Conflict of Interest Act states that no public office holder shall personally solicit funds from any person or organization if it would place the public office holder in a conflict of interest.

Glover, herself, said in the CTV report that she has contacted the ethics commissioner to determine if the fundraiser poses problems.

Her office acknowledged some guests at the fundraiser did have dealings with her department so she isn’t going to accept any of the $1,200 dollars raised.

Goodale notes in his letter that Dawson’s office issued a bulletin regarding fundraising and conflicts of interest, which advised against soliciting funds from companies or organizations that politicians or their departments have official dealings with, or anticipate dealing with in the future.

“Any breach of the Conflict of Interest Code undermines the confidence that Canadians have in our elected representatives, and as such, warrants an investigation by your office,” Goodale states.

Goodale notes that the bulletin also warns politicians to take particular care when lobbyists or other stakeholders become involved in political fundraising activities that are organized by their electoral district associations or political parties.

Glover’s department is responsible for arts and culture.

Federal conflict-of-interest rules forbid cabinet ministers from soliciting funds from anyone who has lobbied or is likely to lobby the minister’s department.

Glover also told CTV her riding association sent the invitations and she didn’t draw up the guest list.