Chief of staff Katie Telford, left, looks on as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks during the Meeting of First Ministers in Ottawa on Dec. 9, 2016. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)
OTTAWA—Rob Silver, the husband of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the federal lobbying commissioner.
Nancy Belanger says Silver spent about 70 minutes cumulatively talking to public office holders about two different emergency aid programs on behalf of mortgage finance company MCAP.
She says MCAP staff put in another two hours of preparation time for those discussions.
Belanger concludes the “low volume and short duration” of Silver’s communications fall “well short” of the threshold that would have required MCAP or Silver to register their lobbying activities.
Last September, federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion dismissed Conservative allegations of conflict of interest against Silver and his wife, Katie Telford.
The Lobbying Act requires a company to register in-house lobbying activities when communications with public office holders constitute “a significant part” of the duties of its employees, either individually or collectively.
The commissioner has interpreted that to mean the equivalent of 20 per cent or more of the duties of any one employee, including preparation time—about 32 hours over a four-week period.