There has been an enormous backlash on social media, particularly on Twitter, surrounding Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s involvement with the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Many contend that Freeland’s membership on the WEF’s Board of Trustees represents a clear conflict of interest according to restrictions set forth in section 15(1) of the 2006 Conflict of Interest Act.
On Wednesday, while reporting in Davos, True North managed to ask Freeland directly for comment on the matter. However, Freeland ignored the question from the Canadian outlet and walked away without saying a word.
The Counter Signal reached out to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner (OCIEC) for feedback regarding Freeland’s two heads.
A representative from the commissioner’s office responded but wouldn’t comment directly on the matter due to “confidentiality restrictions.”
Values and ethics code for the public service outlined by the Government of Canada stresses the importance of preventing conflicts of interests, including apparent ones, in order for public servants to maintain public confidence and impartiality in fulfilling their duties.
Freeland‘s latest disclosure declarations show her WEF board membership, a prior board membership on the board of trustees of the Aspen Institute Kyiv (Ukraine), along with gifts from two Ukrainian-related foundations.
On Wednesday, Freeland participated in a panel discussion entitled “Restoring Security and Peace” at the WEF in Davos.
Freeland is at the summit alongside Liberal MP Mary Ng, who coincidentally was just found guilty of an ethics breach for giving her friend an expensive government contract.
Last year, a request for access to information by Canadian lawyer Daniel Ari Freiheit, revealed the WEF’s President Børge Brende telling Freeland how she can assist in advancing the organization’s goals.