April 23, 2019 8:49 pm

Quebec’ ethics commissioner opens probe into economy minister

Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon is under investigation.

Jean-Vincent Verville/Global News

Quebec’s ethics commissioner has announced she is opening an investigation into Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon regarding assets he allegedly holds in private companies.

The investigation is to look into whether the minister broke conflict of interest rules and whether he properly declared those assets, commissioner Ariane Mignolet said Tuesday in a release.

Mignolet said she is opening the probe on her own initiative.

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The commissioner added, however, that two separate complaints filed with her office last week by opposition parties regarding Fitzgibbon will also be part of her investigation.

Québec solidaire’s Vincent Marissal filed a complaint asking Mignolet to investigate Fitzgibbon’s nomination of Guy Leblanc as president and CEO of Investissement Québec, the agency that helps finance businesses across the province.

Marissal alleges in his complaint that Fitzgibbon has personal and professional ties with Leblanc. His complaint also claims Fitzgibbon had given instructions to a trust to sell shares he allegedly owned in a company.

WATCH BELOW: Quebec economy minister denies conflict of interest (November 2018)

The commissioner added she received a second complaint from the Parti Québécois’ Martin Ouellet, who also requested she investigate Fitzgibbon’s alleged decision to sell “financial assets” in the same private company.

Mignolet said the questions raised by the two members “are connected” and they “will be treated as part of the investigation the commissioner opened on her own initiative.”

A spokesman from Fitzgibbon’s office did not return a request for comment.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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