Nearly four years after leaving politics, former Conservative Minister Vic Toews is caught up by the federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.
Mary Dawson concludes that Mr. Toews violated the Conflict of Interest Act twice shortly after leaving politics by working for two Manitoba First Nations with whom he had had reports when he was The Minister.
Mr. Toews was an influential Minister in Stephen Harper’s Cabinets between 2006 and 2013, including Justice and Public Safety. He had also been a “Senior Regional Minister” for Manitoba.
Commissioner Dawson does not have the power to impose penalties on offenders. Mr. Toews is now a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba.
The Conflict of Interest Act prohibits any former senior public office holder from entering into an employment contract or accepting appointment to the board of directors of an entity with which he has had “direct and In the year prior to the end of its term. This prohibition applies to ex-ministers for a period of two years from the end of their term of office.
Commissioner Dawson pointed out that Mr. Toews, during this two-year restriction period, was a legal advisor to the Peguis First Nation and was involved in drafting a settlement agreement in a barracks dispute Military in Winnipeg. It was Mr. Toews who approved the sale of these barracks at the time he was a minister.
In the other case, Mr. Toews worked for the Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. In the final year of his tenure, Mr. Toews, as Manitoba’s senior regional minister, met with representatives of this nation twice, Commissioner Dawson said.