Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre has a personal economic interest in the cryptocurrencies he promoted during his campaign as an inflation hedger.
The Ottawa area’s MPs’ assets include shares in Purpose Bitcoin, a Canada-based exchange-traded fund that holds cryptocurrencies, according to his May 4 revelation to the Federal Ethics Commissioner.
Poilievre’s campaign rejection to encourage crypto investment puts him in a conflict of interest.
“Mr. Poilievre spoke with the Office of the Conflict of Ethics and Ethics Commissioner before publicly commenting on bitcoin and bitcoin policies,” his spokesman Anthony Koch said in an email.
“The Bureau allowed him to do so without difficulty.”
The campaign provided an email from the Office of the Ethics Commissioner from November stating that interest in Bitcoin “does not exclude you from commenting on cryptocurrencies in general, participating in debates and voting on public policy. Related to the regulation of cryptocurrencies”.
The Commissioner’s Office also said Poilievre was free to hold talks with other MEPs “on this subject, as any policy or rules would apply to you as a member of a broad class”.
Poilievre proposed banning the Bank of Canada from developing its own digital currency, saying Canadians should be free to use alternative currencies for payments.
“We need solid money again – and also the freedom for buyers and sellers to choose #bitcoin and other technologies,” he tweeted on April 1.
In March, he hosted an event at a restaurant in London, Ontario, and paid for a shawarma using Bitcoin. And at an event in April in British Columbia, he donated Bitcoin to the BC SPCA, accompanied by a dog with a Bitcoin logo.
“A Poilievre government would welcome this new decentralized, bottom-up economy and allow people to take control of their money from bankers and politicians,” his campaign said in a press release.
Since then, the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has fallen, prompting Poilievre to criticize neo-pagans who say it is unwise to encourage Canadians to invest in something so volatile.
The value of the Purpose Bitcoin ETF has fallen almost 40% in the last six months.
The Code of Conflict of Interest for Members of Parliament requires members to declare assets and liabilities over $ 10,000. But this does not require them to disclose the value of their assets or the date of their acquisition.
Poilievre’s campaign said his bitcoin holdings were just around the detection threshold.
In his revelation, Poilievre also said he owns exchange-traded funds based on Singapore and Swiss stock indices. His campaign said that under the Conflict of Interest Code, he should disclose these ETFs, but not his holdings in a Canadian equity index fund.
“Mr Poilievre’s by far the largest investment is in the Canadian Index Fund, which follows TSX,” the campaign said.
The co-founder of the ethics advocacy group Democracy Watch said lawmakers should be barred from possessing assets like bitcoin.
“It is clearly unethical for MPs or leadership candidates to be in favor of changes that will help the companies they invest in, and the best way to stop this is to ban deputies from having investments,” Duff Conacher said in an email. .
During last week’s leadership debate in Edmonton, Poilievre was challenged for his earlier comments on Bitcoin. It should not encourage investment in “magic internet money,” said Brampton, Ont., Mayor and lead candidate Patrick Brown.
“People can make their own investment decisions,” Poilievre said in response to a question from Leslyn Lewis, Ontario Conservative MP and leadership candidate.
“I just said they should be free to decide if they want to use Bitcoin. I do not want to be like Communist China and ban bitcoin or other technologies.
Canadian investors are already free to invest in cryptocurrencies. Poilievre is actually not the only MP investing in crypto. At least seven others have declared Bitcoin or other digital currency assets in their information, including:
Ben Lobb (Conservative, Ontario): Bitcoin.
Chandra Arya (Liberal, Ontario): Coinbase Global Inc. Stock options
Taleeb Noormohamed (Liberal, BC): Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stacks and Coinbase Global Inc.
Joel Lightbound (Liberal, Quebec): Purpose Bitcoin ETF, Purpose Ether ETF, Bitcoin and Solana.
Scot Davidson (Conservative, ON): Evolve Cryptocurrencies ETF, owned by spouse.
Tony Van Bynen (Liberal, Ontario): Ethereum.
Terry Beech (Liberal, BC): Ethereum.