Commons Board Finds Former Liberal MP Broke Rules by Employing Sister

March 9, 2021 Updated: March 9, 2021

OTTAWA—Independent MP Yasmin Ratansi is being ordered to repay the House of Commons money given to her sister after she lost her job in Ratansi’s Toronto riding office.

Ratansi left the Liberal caucus in November after admitting she had employed her sister as a constituency assistant in her riding of Don Valley East, saying she “made an error.”

The board of internal economy, the all-party body that sets spending guidelines for MPs, reviewed the matter and said Monday that it decided last month that Ratansi had broken the rules.

The board ordered Ratansi to repay nearly $9,400 in termination and severance pay given to her sister once her employment in the constituency office was ended.

Speaker Anthony Rota, who chairs the board, said in a statement that Ratansi was given chances to state her case but did not co-operate during the review.

However, Ratansi said she was surprised that the board ruled on her case while it is still being reviewed by the federal ethics commissioner.

“In the past, (the board) has neither interfered nor duplicated the efforts of the independent investigation by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner,” she said in a statement.

“I had requested that the same courtesy be extended to me as it had to other parliamentarians in similar situation. It is not a lack of collaboration or co-operation but seeking fairness and a due and respectful process.”

Ratansi has represented the Ontario riding since 2015 and previously held the riding from 2004 to 2011.