June 15th, 2024

“Nothing unusual”: Loewen sees no conflict of interest in taking over wildlife rules

By The Canadian Press on February 17, 2023.

Minister of Forestry, Parks and Tourism Todd Loewen says he's working with lawyers and the province's ethics commissioner over concerns possible changes to his department's responsibilities could put him in a conflict of interest. Loewen makes a comment during a debate in Medicine Hat, Alta., Wednesday, July 27, 2022.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

EDMONTON – An Alberta cabinet minister says he’s working with lawyers and the province’s ethics commissioner over concerns possible changes to his department’s responsibilities could put him in a conflict of interest.

Todd Loewen, who minister of Forestry, Parks and Tourism, adds it’s normal government practice to have someone with a vested interest in an industry oversee its regulation.

Concerns were raised when observers noted that the United Conservative government was considering shifting responsibility for wildlife rules, such as sport fishing regulations and hunting tags, to Loewen’s ministry.

Loewen has a financial interest in an outfitting business that offers guided hunts for a wide range of animals.

He says that’s not a problem, pointing out that agriculture ministers normally have an agricultural background.

Loewen says he understands some are concerned about the overlap, but he’s been in close touch with the ethics commissioner and doesn’t see an issue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2023.

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