Sunday, 20 Sep 2020

Ethics watchdog probing Ottawa MP’s endorsement of husband’s election bid

An Ottawa member of Parliament is under investigation by the federal ethics watchdog for her “conduct” in endorsing her husband’s municipal election bid.

Anita Vandenbeld is the Liberal MP for Ottawa West–Nepean. Her husband Don Dransfield ran as a candidate for city councillor in Bay ward in Ottawa’s 2018 municipal election.

The conflict of interest code for MPs spells out that members are forbidden from using “his or her position … to influence a decision of another person so as to further the Member’s private interests or those of a member of his or her family, or to improperly further another person’s or entity’s private interests.”

CBC News reported earlier this month that residents in Bay ward had received automated phone calls from Vandenbeld, in which she identified herself as an MP and asked voters to cast a ballot in support of her husband.

Vandenveld’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In a statement on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion said the office opened its investigation into Vandenbeld’s conduct “following a preliminary review.”

“We cannot provide any other information at this time,” the spokesperson said in the statement.

On Oct. 22, Dransfield lost the race in Bay ward to school board trustee Theresa Kavanagh. He came in second with just short of 18 per cent of the vote.

Source: Read Full Article

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