HomeWorld NewsCanada newsMP Yasmin Ratansi found in conflict of interest over employing foster sister

MP Yasmin Ratansi found in conflict of interest over employing foster sister

MP Yasmin Ratansi found in conflict of interest over employing foster sister

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion has found MP Yasmin Ratansi violated the Conflict of Interest Act while a Liberal by furthering her family member’s private interests by employing her foster sister in her constituency office for years. 

Evidence showed that Zeenat Khatri was in fact Ratansi’s foster sister. However, Ratansi always considered her as a sister and publicly called her a sibling. 

“However, the public perception of Ms. Ratansi’s relationship to Ms. Khatri, based on Ms. Ratansi’s own public statements and actions, led nonetheless to the strong appearance of an employment relationship that was contrary to the By-law,” said Dion in a statement posted online about the report today.

CBC News has submitted a request to Rantasi for comment.

Ratansi, a longtime MP for Don Valley East, left the Liberal caucus in November 2020 after CBC News revealed that she had been employing her sister as her constituency assistant since 2017 in violation of parliamentary rules. MPs are not allowed to hire immediate family members, including siblings. 

Several former employees told CBC News Ratansi tried to “cover up” the relationship at the office by having her sister go by the first name ‘Jenny.’ Former staffers also said they saw Ratansi’s sister hide in an office or under her desk when people came into the office who might recognize her, and alleged they were instructed not to take photos of her at work events.

Ratansi, who is now an Independent MP, apologized on Facebook while announcing her departure from the Liberal caucus and said she made an error in judgment by “employing my sister in my constituency office.”

The office of Canada’s conflict of interest and ethics commissioner received a complaint about Ratansi employing her sister using public funds more than two and a half years ago, but turned it away. Then after the story made headlines last year, the office reversed course and opened a review, admitting it could have approached the case differently in 2018. 

More to come.




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