The Toronto Star is reporting that deceased Toronto billionaire Barry Sherman, “was attempting to quash an investigation into a political fundraiser he held for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that allegedly ran afoul of lobbying rules,” days before his death.
According to the report, Sherman “had been under investigation by lobbying commissioner Karen Shepherd since October 2016, and was facing a possible five-year ban from lobbying because of the fundraiser he hosted during the last federal election.”
This stems from the rules in the lobbyists code of conduct, which “prohibits registered lobbyists, such as Sherman, from lobbying office holders they helped get elected.”
Trudeau shared his condolences on Twitter after news of the Sherman’s passing spread:
Sophie and I are saddened by news of the sudden passing of Barry and Honey Sherman. Our condolences to their family & friends, and to everyone touched by their vision & spirit.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 16, 2017
According to the Toronto Star, the government referenced the above tweet when asked about this matter.
Sherman had launched a lawsuit to block the investigation into the fundraiser.
The head of Democracy Watch – Duff Conacher – said “Mr. Sherman’s fundraising activities for Prime Minister Trudeau and Finance Minister (Bill) Morneau and the Liberal party created conflicts of interest.”
As noted by the Star, “The allegations haven’t been proven in court and the case is ongoing, but documents were filed by Sherman’s lawyers days before he died.”
Lobbying Commissioner Karen Shepherd was investigating, though there are doubts as to whether the investigation will go forward considering recent events.
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