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Economic Development Minister, International Trade Minister and Small Business and Export Promotion Minister Mary Ng speaks with media on Jan. 11 in Mexico City. A parliamentary committee has voted in favour of investigating Ng's ethics violation.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

A parliamentary committee voted Tuesday to examine a recent ethics ruling against International Trade Minister Mary Ng.

Conservative ethics critic Michael Barrett presented a motion proposing a study at the House of Commons ethics committee, saying Canadians deserve a full accounting of what transpired.

The motion passed by consensus, with the study to take place over two meetings.

It follows a ruling by the federal ethics commissioner in December that Ng violated the Conflict of Interest Act when her office awarded a $17,000 contract to a friend.

The Opposition Conservatives lodged the initial complaint and pounced on the finding against Ng as an example of the Liberals doling out deals to party insiders – a suggestion Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government rebuffs.

“Canadians need to know that the expenditures that the government is undertaking is done on their behalf and not to the benefit of any individual,” Barrett said at the committee meeting Tuesday.

In his report, ethics commissioner Mario Dion concluded Ng’s relationship with Amanda Alvaro, a co-founder of public relations firm Pomp & Circumstance, constitutes a friendship under the act.

Ng apologized after Dion published his report, saying she should have recused herself from the process that led to her office awarding Alvaro’s firm a contract in spring 2020.

The ethics committee plans to call Ng and Alvaro to appear as witnesses, and will seek documents about the work that was done.

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