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Pedestrians pass by the Scotiabank location near Yonge and Bloor Streets in Toronto.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

The former chief of staff to federal finance minister Jim Flaherty has left Ottawa to take on a new role at the Bank of Nova Scotia.

Kevin McCarthy will become a director in Scotiabank's Canadian banking unit starting in November.

When he arrives, Mr. McCarthy will rotate through a number of different divisions in order to learn the operations. After that, "he will be considered for further opportunities within the business," a Scotiabank spokesperson wrote in an e-mail.

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Mr. McCarthy became Mr. Flaherty's chief of staff in 2010, and has been with the finance department since 2006. His move to banking follows in the footsteps of former Progressive Conservative MP Jim Prentice, who left Ottawa in 2010 to become a vice-chairman at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

It is common for former aides to take on roles in the private sector once they leave Ottawa. Derek Vanstone, a former aide to Mr. Flaherty as well as deputy chief of staff to prime minister Stephen Harper, accepted a job with Air Canada in 2012.

To prevent these aides from using their relationships with former colleagues to their companies' advantage, the federal government has set out rules establishing a cooling off period, when necessary, and prohibiting extensive lobbying.

In 2006 the Conservatives passed the Conflict of Interest Act, which governs the "ethical conduct of public office holders, both during and after employment."

Under this legislation, former public officers must adhere to a one-year cooling off period, during which they can not represent their new organizations to any departments, boards or tribunals they had "direct and significant dealings" with during their last year in office.

In 2008 the Conservatives also passed the Lobbying Act, which attempts to ban lobbying by former public office holders. However, the act has drawn criticism because a loophole stipulates that lobbying is still possible, provided it does not "constitute a significant part of their duties."

Scotiabank confirmed that Mr. McCarthy "will not be doing any lobbying."

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