Tory-dominated committee won’t look into tribunal’s patronage appointments

The Canadian Press
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OTTAWA — The Conservative majority on a parliamentary committee have put the skids on an NDP motion to look into what they claim are patronage appointments to a new tribunal created to hear social-security claims.

Last week, New Democrat MP Chris Charlton asked the House of Commons human-resources committee to look into several appointees to the Social Security Tribunal with Conservative ties.

But a notice for its upcoming meeting on Tuesday shows the committee will be discussing opportunities for older persons in the workforce instead of the appointments in question.

Questions about the appointments arose after The Canadian Press revealed that as many as one of every five appointees to the Social Security Tribunal’s predecessor ran afoul of federal guidelines for political donations by giving money to the Conservative party during their terms.

That prompted Charlton to ask the committee to study appointments to the new tribunal, which will eventually replace the old employment insurance Boards of Referees when they are wound down.

Government House leader Peter Van Loan insists all appointments are based on merit, but the Conservatives have yet to directly address the apparently improper political donations by members of the EI referees boards.

Organizations: NDP, House of Commons, Canadian Press Boards of Referees Conservatives

Geographic location: OTTAWA, Government House

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