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Liberal minister's sister-in-law appointed as interim ethics commissioner

Infrastructure and Communities Minister and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc rises during Question Period, Thursday, March 23, 2023 in Ottawa. An in-law of a Liberal cabinet minister has been appointed interim ethics commissioner. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — The sister-in-law of a Liberal cabinet minister has been named interim ethics commissioner as her office launches a search for a permanent new conflict-of-interest watchdog.

Martine Richard, who has been employed in the office as a lawyer since 2013, was appointed for the six-month stint this week.

Richard is the sister-in-law of Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc. 

A spokesperson for the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner says that as a result, she has had a screen in place for her entire tenure.

The spokesperson said the screen is designed to shield the person from becoming aware of a situation that would place them in a potential conflict.

LeBlanc was found to have breached conflict-of-interest rules in 2018 for approving a lucrative fishing licence for a company run by a family member while he was fisheries minister. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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