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News Release

Democracy Watch Files Complaints With Federal Ethics Commissioner About Possible Preferential Treatment of Rahim Jaffer by Conservative Government Representatives

Thursday, May 6, 2010

OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch released the letter it sent this morning to federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson requesting that she investigate to determine whether various representatives of the Conservative government gave preferential treatment to organizations and people represented by Rahim Jaffer in violation of the Conflict of Interest Act.

To see the letter, click here (PDF).

In the letter, Democracy Watch refers to the documents (PDF) disclosed last Wednesday to the House of Commons Government Operations Committee and other recent admissions that show various representatives of the Conservative government responding very quickly to communications from Rahim Jaffer, as well as granting and arranging meetings for him and/or letting him use their parliamentary resources and office for business activities.

"Democracy Watch's opinion is that the documents and admissions provide enough evidence to believe that preferential treatment was given to Rahim Jaffer by Conservative government representatives, and as a result investigations and rulings by the Ethics Commissioner are required," said Democracy Watch Coordinator Duff Conacher.

Section 7 of the Conflict of Interest Act states that:

"No public office holder shall, in the exercise of an official power, duty or function, give preferential treatment to any person or organization based on the identity of the person or organization that represents the first-mentioned person or organization.”

Democracy Watch's opinion is that the Ethics Commissioner must find that Conservative government representatives gave preferential treatment to Rahim Jaffer unless those representatives can prove that they have responded to everyone who approaches them about government decisions and programs in the same way they responded to Mr. Jaffer.

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For more information, contact:
Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch
Tel: 613-241-5179

Democracy Watch's Government Ethics Campaign webpage


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