The Liberals say that the chief of staff of the Minister of Culture, Nathalie Roy, is in a situation of apparently unacceptable conflict of interest because of the links he has kept with a record company that receives subsidies from ‘a Crown corporation that he oversees.
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MNA Christine St-Pierre, Liberal culture spokesperson, notes that Sandy Boutin is still involved in the management of his company, Simone Records, of which he is the sole shareholder and administrator.
“His company, of which he is the sole shareholder, receives money from the State and we are talking about very large sums,” she said in an interview.
Our Investigation Office reported Thursday that Mr. Boutin complied with the rules in force by declaring his interests to the Ethics Commissioner of the National Assembly, Ariane Mignolet, upon taking office in Ms. Roy’s cabinet. , in 2019.
Guidelines aimed at reducing the risk of conflicts of interest have been put in place. But experts believe that Mr. Boutin should no longer communicate with his company, contrary to what he always does. Governance consultant Michel Nadeau suggests that he put his assets in a blind trust.
The Liberals believe that this option would be desirable now, even if it is only intended for ministers in such a situation.
“Could someone with a pharmaceutical company be the Minister of Health’s chief of staff?” I think the answer is no, said Ms. St-Pierre. It is a conflict of interest that is clear. “
According to Ms. St-Pierre, the current rules should be tightened to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest.
Liberal justice spokesperson Marc Tanguay directly called on the Minister of Culture to ask her to “put an end to this unacceptable situation”.
“The minister must imperatively put an end to this unacceptable situation,” he said in a statement.
Ms. Roy’s office did not respond to our interview request.
Simone Records received nearly $ 400,000 in grants last year from the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), a Crown corporation.