22 July 2009

Better late than never: Oram version

The province’s health minister putting his business interests in a blind trust.

The issue arose when Oram  - who owns two personal care homes – was appointed to his new portfolio.
As CBC reports it:
Not only is he moving all his shares in personal-care homes into a blind trust, Oram said, but he is going even further by moving all of his business interests — including stakes in funeral homes, a grocery store and a construction company — into a blind trust.
It makes sense to do it all at once, Oram said, in case he changes portfolios.

Good idea this blind trust thing.

Heaven knows you wouldn’t want to be appointed to a portfolio  - like say the Department of Business (which Oram held at the time of his appointment to health)  – and be running businesses in the province.

That would be a conflict of interest, wouldn’t it?
Told ya so Update:  The CBC story, linked above, has grown a tail made up of people essentially tossing back and forth comments in defence of Oram and attacking him.

All wonderful stuff and all completely unnecessary.

A real or perceived conflict of interest could have been avoided in this case and others if cabinet ministers were required to place their business interests in a blind trust when they are appointed to cabinet.  It's a simple solution and one that's been used in this province before.

All you can do is shake your head in disbelief.