Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wonder if he knows Vic Toews?

Good Day Readers:

Recall in May of this year when Winnipeg MP Pat "The Mouth" Martin filed a complaint against now former Conservative Pubic Safety Minister Vic "No Conflict" Toews for "allegedly" breaking the 2-year cooling off period. The former Members of Parliament and now "The Honourable" Manitoba Queen's Bench Justice it seems was a paid lobbyist for various business interests running billings through his common law wife's numbered company.

So along came "Yappy" Martin to file a complaint with Conflict of Interest and Federal Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson. That was back in May of this year. So what did "Tricky" Vic do? He filed a counter claim against "Yappy" alleging he had violated a confidentiality clause in the federal government's conflict of interest guidelines. In early April of this year Ms Dawson tossed out "The Midnight Mover's" complaint so now we await her final report.

If found guilty could "Tricky Vic" be turfed from the Bench? Hope, hope, hope .....

That's right Conservatives keep it all in the family.
Clare L. Pieuk

Jenni Bryne's brother-in-law broke ethics rules by joining lobby firm

By Glen McGregor
Tuesday, September 16, 2015
Dan Kosick, right, at his wedding (Facebook)

The brother-in-law of Conservative Party campaign manager Jenni Byrne broke ethics rules by taking a job with a lobbying firm during the so-called “cooling off” period required of former ministerial staff, the federal ethics commissioner said Tuesday.

Dan Kosick, who is married to Byrne’s sister, Jerra, and now works for Human Resources Minister Pierre Poilievre, was found to have breached the Conflict of Interest Act after leaving government in 2013.

Kosick had served as a policy adviser to then-Human Resources minister Diane Finley from 2010 until August 2013, when he joined lobbying and public relations company Flagship Solutions, Inc. – a firm he had dealings with in his job with Finley.

Under the ethics law, public-office holders must wait one year after leaving their jobs before working for someone they had significant dealings with in government.

“I concluded that that Mr. Kosick clearly had direct and significant official dealings with Flagship during his last year in office,” Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson concluded in her report, released Tuesday.

“By accepting the offer of employment with Flagship during his cooling-off period, he contravened subsection 35(1) of the Conflict of Interest Act.”

Kosick’s wife, Jerra, was included in a group photograph of staff working in the party’s “war room” in Ottawa, posted by her sister, Jenni, who is managing the Conservative campaign, as she did in 2011. Jerra Byrne and Kosick have been married since 2012.

Jenni Byrne’s performance in the job was the subject of recent media reports that suggested some Tories – who spoke only under the veil of anonymity – were unhappy with the direction of the campaign.

The Conservatives have been beset by numerous ethics allegations in the years proceeding the election, but the Kosick case is the first in which someone involved is literally related to a senior party figure.

The party did not respond to a request for comment.

While he was at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Kosick had five meetings with Serge Buy, a Flagship lobbyist who lobbied on behalf of the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC), Dawson found. Three of the meetings were in the year before Kosick left his job in Finley’s office.

The NACC was lobbying to have the rules change for Canada Student Grants to make those enrolled in programs of less than two years eligible.

A few weeks after Kosick left his job in the summer of 2013, he met with Buy at a downtown Ottawa cafe to discuss taking a job with the NACC. Buy was also chief executive officer of the association.

Kosick called Dawson’s office the next day to check if this was acceptable. The same day, he told Buy he couldn’t take the job.

But Kosick two weeks later accepted a job through Flagship that would see him function as a Director of Communication with another Flagship client, the Canadian Ferry Operators Association, under contract to Flagship.

Kosick maintained that he didn’t violate the cooling-off provisions because he believed Buy was representing NACC directly in his role as CEO and was not lobbying through Flagship when they met at HRSDC.

“While it is possible that Mr. Kosick did not realize that he was being lobbied by Flagship at the time of the lobbying, it is less credible that he did not recognize the situation in the last days before Mr. Buy’s offer of employment with Flagship,” Dawson found.

“He had enough information then to determine the nature of the interrelationship between the NACC and Flagship and should have been alerted to the likelihood that Flagship had lobbied him on behalf of the NACC.”

Buy said Kosick left the firm last summer and joined Poilievre’s office.

“In my mind his ethics were very good and I don’t think there was any intent to do anything wrong,” he told the Citizen.

There are no penalties for violations of the Conflict of Interest Act.

Kosick was listed as a policy adviser for Poilievre as recently as March but does not currently appear in the government’s online phone book, suggesting that, like many ministerial staff, he has taken a leave to work on the election campaign.


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