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Ethics Watchdog Says Flaherty Letter Violated Rules

Canada’s ethics commissioner said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty acted improperly when he sent a letter to the country’s broadcasting regulator on behalf of a constituent applying for a radio licence.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commssioner Mary Dawson made the statement in an order posted on the agency’s website. The order instructs Flaherty not to send any similar letters without approval from her office.

Flaherty sent a letter dated March 30, 2012 to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on behalf of Doug Kirk, head of Durham Inc., supporting the company’s application for a radio licence, according to the order.

Dawson won’t investigate further, since the “facts are clear and an order has been made,” spokeswoman Jocelyne Brisebois said in an e-mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Mayeda in Ottawa at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Fournier at

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