Quebec’s ethics commissioner has cleared Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon, saying he did not breach the ethics code by participating in a pheasant hunt last year on a private island southeast of Montreal.
Ariane Mignolet tabled her report at the national assembly today after conducting a lengthy investigation into the actions of Fitzgibbon over the hunting trip.
Opposition parties had called for a probe after noting the island belongs to businessmen whose companies benefited from subsidies granted through Fitzgibbon’s department.
Mignolet says the line between personal and professional spheres was not crossed in this case, and the invitation to the hunt was in the context of a purely private relationship.
She says the invitation was acceptable as it was not made in exchange for an intervention or a stance taken by the minister, nor was it likely to influence him in the performance of his duties.
Last December, Fitzgibbon said there was nothing improper about his involvement in the invitation-only hunt, which takes place on Province Island in traditional Austrian costume.