May 18, 2017 4:31 pm

Former cabinet minister Vic Toews challenges ethics ruling in federal court

Vic Toews, seen here in 2013, is challenging a conflict of interest ruling against him in federal court.

Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press

Former cabinet minister Vic Toews says ethics commissioner Mary Dawson made findings that are “inaccurate and inconsistent with the evidence” in ruling he violated conflict-of-interest provisions.

In an application filed with the Federal Court of Canada to have Dawson’s April ruling thrown out, Toews also says he was unable to properly respond to the accusations because witnesses were barred from speaking to him.

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RELATED: Former cabinet minister turned Manitoba judge broke ethics law: Commissioner

Toews served in the cabinet of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in various portfolios from February 2006 to July 2013.

Dawson ruled that Toews, now a Manitoba judge, violated the Conflict of Interest Act in matters involving two First Nations after he left politics.

In the first case, she said Toews broke the rules by providing consulting services to Norway House Cree Nation despite having direct and significant dealings with the First Nation during his final year in office.

Dawson said Toews breached another provision of the act by giving strategic advice to counsel for the Peguis First Nation about a land transfer, even though he was involved with the same file as a minister.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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