Ethics commissioner rules Palantir’s MacNaughton broke conflict-of-interest rules, orders top federal officials to cease contact

OTTAWA — Palantir Canada president David MacNaughton broke conflict-of-interest rules by offering the data-mining company’s services to the federal government as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion ruled Wednesday. The watchdog also ordered nine top government officials to “restrict their official dealings” with the former Canadian ambassador to the U.S.

The watchdog’s ruling covers Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and senior staff and civil servants in several departments as well as the Prime Minister’s Office, for a period of one year.

In June, Dion’s office launched an investigation into whether the ex-ambassador and counselor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had breached conflict-of-interest rules, prompted by a letter from NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus after The Logic reported that MacNaughton had said Palantir was working with the federal government and several provinces on their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Enter your email to read this article for free

    By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

    Already a subscriber?

    In-depth, agenda-setting reporting

    Great journalism delivered straight to your inbox.

    A Virginia neighbourhood with a cluster of buildings that are the newly built Amazon Web Services data centres in the background.


    OpenAI adds Microsoft as non-voting member

    TD Bank to cut 3% of its workforce amid profit slump

    Canadian energy companies face pressure to cut emissions as COP28 begins

    Best business newsletter in Canada

    Get up to speed in minutes with insights and analysis on the most important stories of the day, every weekday.

    Exclusive events

    See the bigger picture with reporters and industry experts in subscriber-exclusive events.

    Membership in The Logic Council

    Membership provides access to our popular Slack channel, participation in subscriber surveys and invitations to exclusive events with our journalists and special guests.

    Canada's most influential executives and policymakers are reading The Logic

    • CPP Investments
    • Sun Life Financial
    • C100
    • Amazon
    • Telus
    • Mastercard
    • bdc
    • Shopify
    • Rogers
    • RBC
    • General Motors
    • MaRS
    • Government of Canada
    • Uber
    • Loblaw Companies Limited