OTTAWA — The federal ethics watchdog is investigating the actions of Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc over the award of a commercial licence.
The office of conflict of interest and ethics commissioner Mario Dion says confidentiality requirements prevent it from saying any more about the examination, which began May 11.
Conservative MP Todd Doherty has been pressing the Liberal government for weeks about how Five Nations Clam Co., won a multimillion-dollar licence to fish Arctic surf clam in waters off Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.
The deal, which ended a monopoly on the Arctic clam fishery held by Clearwater Seafoods Inc., was supposed to offer 25 per cent of the catch to local Indigenous communities as a way of promoting reconciliation and economic growth.
The company, it turns out, has ties to the Liberal party and several sitting Liberal MPs, including LeBlanc himself.
Court documents also suggest it may not have met some key eligibility requirements in the government's tender process when the deal was announced.