MONTREAL — Quebec’s ethics commissioner has announced she is opening an investigation into Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon regarding assets he allegedly holds in private companies.

The investigation is to look into whether the minister broke conflict of interest rules and whether he properly declared those assets, commissioner Ariane Mignolet said Tuesday in a release.

Mignolet said she is opening the probe on her own initiative.

The commissioner added, however, that two separate complaints filed with her office last week by opposition parties regarding Fitzgibbon will also be part of her investigation.

Quebec solidaire’s Vincent Marissal filed a complaint asking Mignolet to investigate Fitzgibbon’s nomination of Guy Leblanc as president and CEO of Investissement Quebec, the agency that helps finance businesses across the province.

Marissal alleges in his complaint that Fitzgibbon has personal and professional ties with Leblanc. His complaint also claims Fitzgibbon had given instructions to a trust to sell shares he allegedly owned in a company.

The commissioner added she received a second complaint from the Parti Quebecois’ Martin Ouellet, who also requested she investigate Fitzgibbon’s alleged decision to sell “financial assets” in the same private company.

Mignolet said the questions raised by the two members “are connected” and they “will be treated as part of the investigation the commissioner opened on her own initiative.”

A spokesman from Fitzgibbon’s office did not return a request for comment.

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press