Saturday, January 2, 2016

Liberal-connected CBC commentator who resigned over conflict of interest allegations is back... commentating

Bruce Anderson, the father of Kate Purchase, Justin Trudeau's Director of Communications, continues to comment on his daughter's handiwork - despite resigning from the CBC for precisely that conflict of interest.

In a Globe and Mail article published on January 1, 2016, Anderson praises Justin Trudeau for "telling us how he feels."

Anderson had to resign from his position as a commentator for the CBC when his daughter was hired as Trudeau's Director of Communications. In his own words, he regularly commented on "how the government of the day is doing, including its communications effectiveness," so "fair minded viewers might reasonably have doubts" about whether his commentary was appropriate, dispassionate, and what he would truly say if his daughter wasn't directly employed by Trudeau.

Anderson's family connections have been the subject of previous allegations of a conflict of interest submitted to the CBC Ombudsman, who ruled that the conflict was acceptable to the CBC as long as it was mentioned when Trudeau was "the main focus of discussion." The family also has close connections with Peter Mansbridge, who officiated Purchase's wedding and was given "unprecedented access" to follow Trudeau around on the day his government was sworn in.

Seeing how Anderson's Globe and Mail article directly comments on the Liberal government's communications strategy - i.e. his daughter's exact job - it's hard to see how his latest article hasn't placed him in that same conflict of interest.