Mary Ng under ethical investigation over contract with company co-founded by liberal strategist

The federal Ethics Commissioner has opened an investigation into the conduct of International Trade Minister Mary Ng in relation to a contract awarded to a company co-founded by a Liberal strategist.

Tory MP James Bezan had asked Commissioner Mario Dion to review the contract given to the firm Pomp and Circumstance by Ng’s office for media training in the spring of 2020.

The contract itself was only worth around $17,000, but conservatives said the deal raised questions about whether any conflict-of-interest rules were breached because Amanda Alvaro, one of the co-founders of company, would be Ng’s friend.

Bezan had pointed to several sections of the Conflict of Interest Act that he thought Dion could investigate to see if any rules were being broken.

In a response letter sent today, Dion said he would look into the matter to see if Ng put himself in a conflict of interest, used any influence to advance someone’s private interests and s was challenged from the decision.

A spokesperson for Ng said the minister “has always rigorously followed all the rules” and that contracts are reviewed to ensure compliance with procurement protocols.