ontario news watch

Federal Liberals have gone more than six months without appointing ethics watchdog

OTTAWA — It’s now been more than six months since Canada has had a federal ethics watchdog. 

Mario Dion retired in February after serving as the last permanent ethics and conflict-of-interest commissioner. 

A longtime staffer in that office, Martine Richard, took on an interim role in April — but she resigned within weeks amid controversy around the fact she is the sister-in-law of Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

Investigations that would normally be conducted by a commissioner are on pause until a permanent replacement is found.

Dion says the vacancy also means people can go unpunished — and violations can go unnoticed — until a new person is appointed.

Dion, who is helping with the hiring process, says it’s not surprising that a candidate hasn’t been chosen yet because the field is narrow and few people would qualify for the job. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 15, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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