Jaffer, Guergis cleared by RCMP: lawyers
The RCMP has ended its inquiries into MP and former cabinet minister Helena Guergis and her husband, Rahim Jaffer, concluding there's no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by either, their lawyers said Wednesday.
"All concerns relating to Ms. Guergis have been resolved and no issues remain outstanding," Guergis's lawyer, Howard Rubel, said in a statement.
Rubel said his client still doesn't know what she was accused of adding that the RCMP concluded its investigation without interviewing her.
"There was nothing for Ms. Guergis to answer," Rubel said. "They didn't have to ask her to explain anything. They didn't have any questions for her at all after looking into these issues and I think that speaks volumes."
Jaffer's lawyer, Frank Addario, said the Mounties informed him "there is no evidence to support a criminal charge and it will be closing the portion of its file that relates to Mr. Jaffer."
"He was relieved naturally enough to know that an RCMP investigation had concluded and determined there was no evidence whatsoever of any criminal wrongdoing on his part," Addario said.
Guergis resigned from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet and was kicked out of the Tory caucus in April after the prime minister learned of "serious" allegations about her conduct. Harper referred the matter to the Mounties and the federal ethics commissioner.
Guergis, who remains the MP for the central Ontario riding of Simcoe-Grey, has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing. But sources within the Prime Minister's Office told CBC News it does not affect Harper's decision to expel Guergis from caucus.
The sources said there were "several factors" that led to her expulsion, including conduct unbecoming for a parliamentarian or minister of the Crown, failure to disclose her mortgage, and the use of her office by Jaffer, a former Conservative MP.
Ethics probe continues
Guergis still faces a probe by Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson over whether a letter she wrote promoting a waste management company to local officials in her riding violated the Conflict of Interest Act.
In a letter dated Sept. 9, 2009, Guergis wrote to her cousin, the warden of Simcoe County, and the county council, encouraging them to consider a presentation by a constituent of hers, Jim Wright, owner of Wright Tech Systems Inc. in Richmond Hill, Ont.
"I feel it is my responsibility to encourage you to consider this presentation about alternative waste management technology," Guergis wrote in the letter, which is on Simcoe County's website.
Guergis has since said she felt it was her "obligation" to support Wright's initiative as his MP and as someone opposed to a proposed new landfill site to handle the county's growing waste disposal needs.
Jaffer has been accused of trying to use his connections to former colleagues in the Conservative government to gain access to a federal green infrastructure fund for several businesses.
Documents show some staff and parliamentary secretaries of cabinet ministers, including Public Works Minister Christian Paradis and Transport Minister John Baird, treated Jaffer's inquiries about the fund on a priority basis.
Jaffer, who is not registered as a lobbyist, has denied conducting unregistered lobbying or receiving a penny of federal funds.