01/30/2014 08:32 EST | Updated 04/01/2014 05:59 EDT

Leona Aglukkaq Denies Conflict Of Interest Allegations


The federal minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency is hitting back at critics accusing her of conflict of interest.

The Nunavut Conservative Party Riding Association threw a $100 a plate fundraiser in Ottawa Tuesday night.

It took place at the Westin Hotel, the official hotel partner of the annual Northern Lights conference and trade show, which got underway the next day. 

Leona Aglukkaq was the guest of honour.

A media report by CTV said some of the people who attended work for organizations that get funding from CanNor, including special guest Nellie Cournoyea, chair of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, which got more than $200,000 in funding from CanNor last year. 

The event has raised questions about whether the minister is in breach of the federal Conflict of Interest Act.

In Question Period yesterday, opposition liberals challenged Aglukkaq about the fundraiser, and she responded.

“I'd like to thank the honourable member for that question so I can correct that inaccurate news story, and correct that inaccurate question,” she said in the House of Commons. “There was an event for a local riding. It was never advertised as anything more, and was fully consistent with the guidelines that are in place.”

The Northern Lights trade show highlights businesses and trade opportunities in Canada's North and Eastern Arctic. It's organized by the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce and the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce in Nunavut. 

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