Ethics watchdog bites former envoy to U.S. over company conferences with ministers

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

Revealed Wednesday, September 16, 2020 three:10PM EDT

OTTAWA – Canada’s former ambassador to the US has been cited by the federal ethics watchdog for improper lobbying after he left workplace.

David MacNaughton was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s level man in Washington for three-and-a-half years earlier than he left one 12 months in the past.

After leaving workplace, he organized a number of conferences over March, April and Could of this 12 months between senior authorities officers, ministers and Palantir Applied sciences Canada.

Amongst these within the conferences have been Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Business Minister Navdeep Bains and chief of defence employees Gen. Jonathan Vance.

Ethics commissioner Mario Dion says none of these officers can contact MacNaughton for a interval of 1 12 months on account of improper lobbying.

Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel based the data-analytics firm the place MacNaughton now works.

The conferences got here as governments have been on the lookout for methods to trace COVID-19 instances.

Dion says in a ruling that MacNaughton organized conferences with key Liberal authorities gamers as a part of professional bono assist for the corporate to get in on the federal government’s pandemic response.

Dion says not one of the conferences resulted in a contract for Palantir.

Nonetheless, federal ethics guidelines prohibit former holders of public places of work from utilizing their earlier posts to improperly open authorities doorways.

Dion writes that MacNaughton realizes now his actions ran afoul of the regulation.

“Mr. MacNaughton has acknowledged, with the good thing about hindsight, that these communications and conferences, to the extent they might have furthered the pursuits of Palantir, have been opposite” to the ethics regulation, Dion writes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Sept. 16, 2020.