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Dominic LeBlanc broke conflict of interest rules by approving lucrative surf clam license to wife’s cousin

Global News logo Global News 2018-09-12 Amanda Connolly
Dominic LeBlanc attends a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. © The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick Dominic LeBlanc attends a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

Former fisheries minister Dominic LeBlanc broke conflict of interest rules earlier this year by awarding a lucrative license to fish for Arctic surf clams to a company that was set to be run by his wife's cousin.

In a ruling issued Wednesday morning, Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion said the plan to award the contract violated the section of the Conflict of Interest Act that bars public office holders from making decisions that would place them in a conflict as well as the section requiring officials to recuse themselves from such matters.

READ MORE: New fisheries minister explains reversal on controversial surf clam licence

"A first cousin of Mr. LeBlanc's spouse, Mr. Gilles Thériault, could have benefitted financially from an Arctic surf clam licence being awarded to the Five Nations Clam Company," Dion said. "Mr. Thériault would have served as the company's general manager if the process to grant it the licence had been completed."

Dion said that the decision by LeBlanc to pursue issuing the license -- which was announced in February 2018 -- "provided an opportunity to further Mr. Thériault's private interests."

— More to come ... 

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