Morneau could make millions in profit from pension bill: NDP

OTTAWA – The NDP has called on the Federal Ethics Commissioner to launch a formal investigation into Finance Minister Bill Morneau and an unprecedented conflict of interest relating to his vast financial holdings and government legislation tabled in his name.

“The Minister could make millions in profit resulting from a bill before Parliament that he wrote,” said Guy Caron, Parliamentary Leader of the NDP. “This is perhaps the most egregious conflict of interest case we’ve ever seen.”

The case involves Bill C-27, which would increase the usage of a certain type of pension plan which Minister Morneau’s former company Morneau Shepell actively promotes and manages related services. Minister Morneau owns approximately $43 million worth of shares in Morneau Shepell which he did not divest after becoming Finance Minister nor did he place in a blind trust.

“It is undeniable that if Bill C-27 were to become law, Morneau Shepell would significantly benefit in additional business and revenue,” NDP Ethics Critic, Nathan Cullen, wrote in a letter to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. “Consequently, as a massive investor in that company, Minister Morneau would personally benefit from the passage of that law.”

While Bill Morneau was at the helm of the company, Morneau Shepell lobbied for increased use of targeted benefit plans and became the lead consultant for the government of New Brunswick in implementing their new targeted pension program.