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The federal Ethics Commissioner’s regular investigations into the all-too-regular conflict-of-interest breaches by the Trudeau government and its ministers have taken on the feeling of a never-ending movie franchise. It’s all in the way the investigations are named.

First there was 2017′s The Trudeau Report, a holiday adventure in which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accepts a free Christmas vacation for family and friends at the luxurious private Caribbean island of the Aga Khan. Plot twist: The Ethics Commissioner finds that Mr. Trudeau violated three sections of the Conflict of Interest Act.

Then came a sequel, Trudeau II Report, in 2019. A political thriller, Mr. Trudeau pressures his then attorney-general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to give SNC-Lavalin, a Quebec-based multinational engineering firm charged with corruption, the deferred prosecution agreement it is seeking. The Ethics Commissioner rules that Mr. Trudeau used his position of authority to influence another person in the defence of the company’s private interests, a violation of the Conflict of Interest Act.

The year 2021 brought us Morneau II Report, a big-budget drama in which Mr. Trudeau’s then finance minister, Bill Morneau, violates three sections of the act when he gives preferential treatment to WE charity by permitting his ministerial staff to disproportionately assist it when it sought federal funding.

And now, just in time for Christmas, we have Ng Report, a farce in which Mary Ng, the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, racks up her own trifecta of ethics violations by giving two contracts worth a total of $22,790 to a PR firm owned by a good friend.

Calling it a farce is almost too kind. Ms. Ng’s office gave government contracts to a PR firm called Pomp & Circumstance, which is partly owned by Amanda Alvaro, a long-time Liberal strategist and a decades-long friend of the minister’s.

In doing so, Ms. Ng somehow forgot what ought to be the easiest rule for a public official to remember: You don’t give the public’s money to a buddy.

Or, as Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion put it when he released his report on Tuesday, “There is simply no excuse for contracting with a friend’s company.”

How close are Ms. Ng and Ms. Alvaro? Mr. Dion said when he asked Ms. Ng to detail their friendship, she told him that “they have celebrated special occasions together such as birthdays, that they have travelled together and that she has seen Ms. Alvaro’s children grow.”

Ms. Ng has said in her defense that the second of the two contracts for media training with Pomp & Circumstance came about in 2020 during the earliest weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, when she was bombarded with media requests about her government’s relief programs for businesses.

But the notion that urgent circumstances played a role in what she now admits was an error in judgment is undermined by the fact that her office’s first contract with Pomp & Circumstance was initiated in February, 2019, long before the heady days of the pandemic, and just seven months after she first joined cabinet.

Ms. Ng has apologized for violating the Conflict of Interest Act. She also claims she has taken “full responsibility” for her actions. But that’s not true. It is a meaningless gesture to take responsibility for a violation of the law when there are no consequences.

Ms. Ng has broken with the public in a way that is so obviously wrong that it cannot be written off as mere error. The public deserves more than spin of the type uttered by Ms. Ng when she said “my efforts fell short of my own high personal standards for transparency and accountability.” As a politician, either you have those standards, or you don’t.

Ms. Ng must resign. But her resignation, while amply merited, is not enough. The Liberals must provide a detailed explanation of why Ms. Alvaro and her Pomp & Circumstance firm were awarded those two contracts.

Above all, Ms. Ng’s breaches are just the latest in a series of Trudeau government ethics violations. No other government has as poor a record since the Office of the Ethics Commissioner was first created in 2004. No other prime minister has been as willfully blind to such ethical transgressions.

If Ms. Ng is allowed to remain in her job, then more sequels are guaranteed.