November 06, 2017

Ches Crosbie calls for conflict of interest protections amid Liberal lobbying concerns

St. John’s, NL (November 6, 2017) – PC Party Leadership candidate Ches Crosbie is calling on Premier Ball to answer questions related to the previous lobbying activities of his Chief of Staff, Greg Mercer.

“It has come to my attention that Dwight Ball’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Greg Mercer, was lobbying the Provincial Government just two months prior to his employment within the Premier’s Office,” said Crosbie

“In the interest of transparency, and my commitment to restoring confidence in our political institutions, I ask the Premier, what conflict of interest walls were put in place for his Chief of Staff?"

Prior to his employment, Mercer was engaged in lobbying activities on behalf of Quest Rare Minerals Ltd, a Quebec-based mining company. In Mercer’s lobbyist disclosure from March 2016, he declared that he expected his activities to include lobbying the Premier’s Office in the following six-month period. Less than one month later, Mercer declared he terminated lobbying activities on behalf of the company on April 1st, 2016. Subsequently, Mercer entered the Premier’s office as staff two months later on June 1st, 2016.

Ches Crosbie is proposing a cooling down period for lobbyists entering the senior public service.

"When MHAs or senior public servants leave the Provincial Government, they are forbidden to lobby government for a period of time. The ethical need to prevent conflicts is equally strong for lobbyists entering the public service."

Crosbie pledges that, if elected Premier, reforming the provincial lobbying laws will be a priority of his mandate.

 

Contact:

Devin Drover
Communications and Policy Advisor
1.709.222.9092
devin@chescrosbie.ca

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