The federal office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner says there is enough information to examine whether Toews's lobbying efforts for Peguis First Nation violated the rules. Toews had significant dealings with the Manitoba First Nation while in office.
The conflict question was raised to the office by NDP MP Pat Martin, who represents Winnipeg Centre.
CBC News reported last week that within months of leaving cabinet, Toews, the former treasury board president, met with with a lawyer representing Peguis First Nation on several occasions regarding a settlement of the Kapyong barracks, according to court documents.
The old military base on Kenaston Boulevard in Winnipeg has sat empty since 2004, tangled in court proceedings. First Nations want to claim the land under treaty entitlements.
Conflict-of-interest rules prohibit former cabinet ministers from giving advice on or consulting about confidential information they found out while in government.
Martin sent a letter to the ethics commissioner Mary Dawson outlining his concerns about Toews.
In her written response, Dawson told Martin, "I have reasonable grounds to commence an examination."
READ: Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's letter to Pat Martin