Quebec economy minister to step down from cabinet following ethics commissioner report

Quebec's economy minister, Pierre Fitzgibbon, will step down from his cabinet position following a damning ethics commissioner report calling for him to be banned from the House.

Premier Francois Legault said Wednesday the decision was made in a mutual agreement.
 

BREAKING: Premier @francoislegault announces economy minister @MinFitzgibbon will step down from cabinet. He will stay on as an MNA in the CAQ caucus. #assnat #polqc https://t.co/Je1ef3gS3u

— Maya Johnson (@MJohnsonCTV) June 2, 2021

If he wanted to keep his seat, the report declared he must divest himself of his holdings in two companies, ImmerVision and White Star Capital Canada.

Commissioner Ariane Mignolet was asked to look into potential code of ethics transgressions by the minister, including conflict of interest.

Last December, after a long investigation, Mignolet concluded the minister had committed multiple ethics breaches and should be sanctioned by the National Assembly. The government did not endorse the recommendation.

The commissioner said Fitzgibbon has refused to comply with the code, despite ongoing breaches.

“It is the elected official's responsibility to comply with the code,” she said. “When you're a member of the National Assembly, it's one thing. When you're a minister, it's another. It's normal that it's stricter.”

Fitzgibbon was absent from the House on Wednesday, when he was supposed to be in attendance.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 2, 2021.

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