Janet Annesley, former chief of staff to Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, has moved to Husky Energy as senior vice-president of corporate affairs. And Canadian Press is reporting that she considered and accepted the new gig before giving notice that she was leaving the old one.
The federal Conflict of Interest Act prohibits a “former reporting public office holder” from working for a firm with which they had “direct and significant official dealings” in the year leading up to their last day on ministerial staff, CP reports. Annesley, who left Carr’s office May 5 and started at Husky later in the month, was last lobbied by a Husky subsidiary on April 25, 2016.
“The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner’s office was advised of Husky’s employment offer and then of Ms. Annesley’s acceptance of the offer,” Husky media and issues manager Mel Duvall told CP, and the office of Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson approved the appointment. But “there is no need to report after leaving office, which means the job offer and acceptance came while Annesley was still working for Carr,” writes CP’s Joanna Smith.
Annesley, a senior executive with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers before she joined Carr, will be forbidden from dealing with NRCan during a one-year cooling-off period. But Democracy Watch co-founder Duff Conacher said the case still points to problems with federal conflict of interest legislation.
“It’s essentially saying you have no conflict of interest as long as the contact you have with the company or the organization was longer than a year ago,” he told CP. “How does she unlearn what she knows—what the public doesn’t know—about the minister, the cabinet, and the department she comes from?”