Trudeau’s Employment Minister pleads ignorance on mysterious texts concerning sketchy business dealings

Text messages between executives at a pandemic medical supplier, co-founded by Minister Randy Boissonnault, requested a $500,000 wire transfer to secure a large shipment of nitrile gloves. It mentioned a certain 'Randy' repeatedly in the exchange dated September 8, 2022—almost a year after Boissonnault joined the federal cabinet.

Trudeau’s Employment Minister pleads ignorance on mysterious texts concerning sketchy business dealings
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Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault remains in hot water after a text exchange between executives—of a company which he held shares—allegedly referenced him.

Before the Commons ethics committee on Tuesday, Boissonnault denied acting as an Edmonton contractor while serving in cabinet, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

“I don’t think any of us would want to be poking our noses in other people’s personal financial business,” he testified.

However, 2022 communications between executives of Global Health Imports Corporation, a pandemic medical supplier, named “Randy” in texts while Boissonnault served as a minister. He remains subject to the Conflict Of Interest Act.

Global News obtained text messages that show GHI co-founder, Stephen Anderson, requesting a $500,000 wire transfer from a PPE company to secure a large shipment of nitrile gloves. It mentioned a certain “Randy” repeatedly.

“Anderson, it’s 13:14 MST and 15:14 EST it literally takes 10 seconds to complete a transfer, I am telling you we are NOT ALLOCATING like this, please reach out and see what the reason is now, you assured me this morning this was done first thing; and allowed you to hold this stock today; it’s midday and nothing is completed,” reads the text to Malvina Ghaoui, a PPE company principal.

The message ends by telling Anderson to be ready in 15 minutes for a “partner call.” 

Approximately half an hour later, Anderson said he spoke with “Randy” and other GHI employees on delaying the wire transfer.

Those exchanges were dated September 8, 2022—almost a year after Minister Boissonnault joined the federal cabinet.

The Conflict of Interest Act requires ministers to divest controlled assets, within 120 days of their appointment. 

Minister Boissonnault would be breaking the law if he was found to have been actively engaged with GHI after his appointment.

“I think it would be absolutely irresponsible to make a premature decision as to what we’re going to do,” testified Ethics Commissioner Konrad von Finckenstein.

Anderson told Global News he was not referencing Boissonnault, but another employee who was “head of logistics.” The entrepreneur declined to mention the employee’s full name.

A representative for Ghaoui conveyed it was her belief that Anderson referred to Boissonnault in the exchange.

“I have no connection other than holding the shares to that company,” clarified the Edmonton MP, who reportedly failed to disclose deferred payments received by private invoice.

As a cabinet minister, he allegedly continued to receive income from Global Health Imports and a separate firm 2050877 Alberta Limited, as earlier reported by Rebel News.

MP Boissonnault explained last month that all the payments were derived from contracts from 2019 and 2021, when he rendered services as a private consultant.

He served one term as MP in 2015, before losing Edmonton Centre in 2019. He returned to Parliament in 2021 as Minister of Tourism, now Minister of Employment.

“Why have a deferred payment arrangement been made and how long will you be receiving payments?” asked NDP MP Matthew Green. “I have provided all information regarding my financial affairs and my business affairs to the Ethics Commissioner,” replied Boissonnault.

“When was the last payment you received?” asked Green. “That information is with the Commissioner of Ethics,” the minister replied.

“Will you provide any financial records related to this company?” asked Conservative MP Michael Barrett. “All those documents were provided to the Commissioner of Ethics,” replied Boissonnault.

MP Barrett asked last month for an “immediate study” into Boissonnault’s involvement with GHI and payments received from Navis Group, a lobbying firm. All Liberal MPs rejected the motion in a six to five vote.

Minister Boissonnault posited that MPs should not be looking into his personal affairs. 

A spokesperson for the ethics commissioner previously said a conflict of interest screening “would not necessarily be required” in such a situation.

However, Commissioner von Finckenstein told MPs on Tuesday that he was unaware of the “Randy” texts. 

“Clearly, we will look into this and if… there’s more to it, there is substance to it, there may be contraventions,” he added. “I have the capacity to self-initiate another inquiry.”

Conservative MP Damien Kurek said the ethics committee must determine if Minister Boissonnault conducted business while in cabinet. 

“We want to get the facts,” said Kurek. “We want to ensure Canadians can find out exactly what happened.”

Global News first reported that Boissannault established a personal protective equipment (PPE) company after losing reelection in 2019. It received $8.2 million in provincial and municipal contracts for disinfectant wipes and isolation gowns.

He reportedly remained listed as a director for Global Health Imports (GHI) 16 months after a return to politics in 2021. Federal and provincial registries were not updated until 507 days after his appointment to cabinet.

Minister Boissannault maintains he resigned from the board upon his reelection, but that reportedly did not happen.

On April 30, Global News published how Boissonnault's lobbying connections secured lobbying firm, Navis Group, federal grants for the Edmonton International Airport worth $110 million.

Navis Group reportedly continues to send the minister checks stemming from his work as a private citizen for the United Nations Development Program in 2020 and 2021.

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