The prime minister is defending the appointment of the interim ethics commissioner.

Martine Richard will serve in the role for six months. She is the sister-in-law of MP Dominic LeBlanc, who is also the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Justin Trudeau says she has done excellent work in that department already.

“First of all, it’s important to understand that the interim ethics commissioner has been a senior official in the ethics commissioner’s office for over 10 years now and she started under Stephen Harper,” said Trudeau.

“There were already measures in place to ensure that the work is done professionally and without conflicts given the connections.”

Trudeau also highlighted that Richard has, in the past, also replaced the previous ethics commissioner while he was on medical leave for serious health problems.

“Secondly, if there is any office in the country that understands how to manage conflicts of interest and ethical perceptions, it is that office. It has always done exceptional work at ensuring the confidence of Canadians,” Trudeau adds.

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The Official Opposition expressed concern this week over the appointment stating it was a conflict of interest.

“When is this Liberal government going to run out of family and friends to name as independent officers?” Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre said in the House of Commons on Thursday.