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N.L. premier’s trip to billionaire’s fishing lodge did not break rules: commissioner

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A trip by Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey to the lodge of a billionaire with significant energy interests in the province did not break ethics rules.

The Office of the Commissioner for Legislative Standards issued its findings today, ruling out a formal inquiry on the matter.

Progressive Conservative member Barry Petten had filed the complaint against Furey, suggesting the premier violated the House of Assembly’s code of conduct by taking a vacation in 2021 to the property of John Risley.

Risley is chair of a company looking to develop the province’s hydrogen energy sector and the premier’s personal friend.

A report by the commissioner says Furey’s trip to Risley’s Rifflin’ Hitch Lodge, in Labrador, was paid for by personal funds, as a gift from the premier’s wife.

Furey has maintained he was not in a conflict of interest.

The premier has told reporters that he visited the lodge to fish for salmon with his father, Senate Speaker George Furey. Furey has said that although Risley was at the lodge at the same time, they did not discuss his business interests nor other government affairs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 1, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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