Benefiting Self, Part 2 (C05-15/16)

After serving as a member of the board of a public body for twelve years, an individual, with the assistance of two lawyers, had published a citizen’s guide to appearing before the public body. Recently, he was appointed chair of the same public body and was approached by the publisher to prepare a third edition of the guide.

Since the book was initially published long before the individual became chair, and during a period when he was not a public servant, it was the commissioner’s view that s.3 of the Regulation (benefiting self, spouse or children) would not be contravened. The individual was not currently seeking to publish a guide for the first time while chair. For similar reasons, the commissioner believed the publication of the new edition was not a contravention of s. 8(5) of the Regulation. While the chair’s association with the third edition as chair could hypothetically promote sales, the guide was initially published long before, and it was not the case that the individual was being sought out to promote sales of a new book.

The two lawyers who were assisting with research for the new edition sometimes practiced before the public body. To avoid the appearance of preferential treatment, the commissioner directed the individual to recuse himself from any hearing in which either of them appeared as parties.

O. Reg. 381/07, s. 3, 6 & 8.