April 29th 2021 - Today, the Speaker of the National Assembly tabled an inquiry report from the Ethics Commissioner concerning the Member for Rousseau, Mr. Louis-Charles Thouin (the “Member”). The report deals with the alleged role of the Member, at the time the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (“the Minister”) in the amendment of the revised planning and development plan (“SADR”) of the regional county municipality (the “RCM”) of Montcalm, a file that he had worked on prior to entering provincial politics as warden of the RCM.
The inquiry was conducted at the request of Gaétan Barrette, the Member for La Pinière, and Marie-Claude Nichols, the Member for Vaudreuil.
Conclusions of the inquiry
The commissioner concluded that the Member had not committed a breach under section 16 of the Code of Ethics and Conduct of the Members of the National Assembly. The evidence shows that the Member did not influence or attempt to influence the Minister so as to improperly further the interests of the RCM, of the urban planning firm BC2 or of the real estate developer Développement Saint-Roch.
“When performing the duties of office, and in accordance with the values and ethical principles to which they adhere, elected officials have a duty to provide assistance to groups and individuals who ask for their help. The rules of conduct are not intended to prohibit a Member’s involvement in a particular file because of their past experience, but rather to be concerned with the perception of a reasonably well-informed person,” stated the Commissioner.
Although there is a connection between the Member and the RCM that he worked for, the connection to BC2 is much weaker, while there is no connection at all to Développement Saint-Roch. Although the evidence shows that the Member was actively involved in the file, his role was essentially that of communication channel between RCM stakeholders and the Minister’s office. At no time did he attempt to circumvent the process in effect. Furthermore, as the RCM of Montcalm is the only one located in the riding of Rousseau, the Member could certainly not have favoured this RCM over another.
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Source and information
Communications and Institutional Relations Advisor