Report suggests Minister of Industry may have used his influence to favour father’s associate

RIMOUSKI — NDP Quebec caucus chair Guy Caron (Rimouski–Neigette–Témiscouata–Les Basques) filed a complaint today with the Ethics Commissioner regarding a possible conflict of interest involving Conservative Industry Minister
Christian Paradis. 

In a letter, Caron called for an inquiry into this troubling story. “It is essential that public office holders like Minister Christian Paradis maintain a neutral position and guard against favouring their friends,” he wrote.  

An investigation by the newspaper Le Devoir shows that Minister Paradis approached colleagues in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office about moving the Rimouski employment insurance centre to his riding in a building owned by an associate of his family, Ghislain Dionne. Dionne and Paradis’ father are partners in the Paradis-Dionne law firm. Christian Paradis was a partner himself before running for office.  

Caron wrote that these actions contravene articles 4, 6(1), 7 and 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act. The Act stipulates that “a public office holder is in a conflict of interest when he or she exercises an official power, duty or function that provides an opportunity to further his or her private interests or those of his or her relatives or friends.”

“While the Conflicts of Interest Act doesn’t prevent public office holders from speaking in favour of their own riding, it does prevent them from furthering the interests of relatives or friends, which seems to be the case here,” Caron wrote in his letter to the Ethics Commissioner.  


For more information, please contact:

David Patry, Press Secretary, Quebec Caucus Services 514-238-8240 or david.patry@parl.gc.ca