Commissioner’s divestiture a start, but tougher rules still needed: Harris

February 8, 2014

QUEEN’S PARK – Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris welcomed news that Environment Commissioner Gord Miller had resigned from his board position and pulled his money out of CleanTech Capital, but said that the province still needs tougher conflict-of-interest rules.

“It’s good to see that the commissioner has taken a step back and reconsidered his investment in CleanTech Capital,” Harris said. “But to prevent any future issues, no matter who is serving as commissioner, tougher conflict-of-interest rules must be put into place.”

CleanTech Capital is a newly formed company that plans to focus its investment activities on recycling materials collected through the province’s Blue Box and used-tire programs, which are both overseen by the environment commissioner.

Once the Legislature resumes, Harris intends to introduce a private member’s bill that will amend the Environmental Bill of Rights by adding a section on conflict-of-interest rules that will apply to the environment commissioner.

“We need to ensure that the legislation and any accompanying regulations clearly spell out what type of activities the office of the environment commissioner can and cannot be engaged in,” Harris said. “I hope the Liberals and the NDP will take a stand for accountability and will support this important bill once we return to the Legislature.”