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Peter Munk is (inadvertently) at the centre of the scandal surrounding Stephen Harper’s chief of staff

Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff since 2010, is facing accusations of cronyism because of his close ties to Barrick Gold CEO and founder Peter Munk, as well as Munk’s son Anthony, who is also on Barrick’s board. Of course, having rich friends isn’t a crime (Wright and Anthony worked together at investment giant Onex)—the problem is that Barrick lobbied Wright three times this spring over international trade relationships. The NDP is contemplating a formal complaint on the grounds that Wright should’ve recused himself from any discussions involving Barrick because of his relationship with the Munk family. (It can’t help that the senior Munk praised Wright effusively in a 2011 article in The Walrus, saying, “I’d rank Nigel Wright among the mere handful of people I’ve met in whom I have complete trust.”) [Toronto Star]

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