Disclosure statements reveal half the members of Dennis King’s new cabinet have either trusteed their shares in business interests or are in the process of winding up or divesting these interests.
According to the statements, Jamie Fox, Brad Trivers, Bloyce Thompson and Matthew MacKay all had a stake in businesses prior to becoming members of executive council. All four have either trusteed these assets or are in the process of ending their role in the businesses.
The statement of a fifth member of cabinet, deputy Premier Darlene Compton, has not yet been made public.
Under P.E.I.’s Conflict of Interest Act, cabinet ministers cannot be employed in a profession other than their legislative role, nor can they manage a company or hold shares in companies, although shares can be put into a trust.
Fox and Thompson were the sole owners of shares with their own companies. Fox’s company provided outdoor guiding services in New Brunswick, while Thompson was the owner of Eastside Farm Inc., a dairy farm. Both placed these companies in trusteeships earlier this summer.
Both Fox and Thompson list their $124,513 salaries as Cabinet Ministers as their sole source of expected income over the coming year.
Both MacKay and Trivers are in the process of distancing themselves from their business interests.
MacKay’s 2018 disclosure statement listed income from his work as a real estate agent as well as his salary as an opposition MLA. His 2019 disclosure statement states he is in the process of dissolving his company, MGM Investments Inc., and will be drawing income from a real estate sale completed prior to his appointment to cabinet.
Trivers’ statement shows he holds shares in three companies – Solar Island Electric Inc., of which Green MLA Stephen Howard is president, the web design firm Sunrise Solutions Inc. and Hot Buys Canada Marketing Inc., an advertising and “e-coupon” company.
Trivers’ shares in Solar Island and Sunrise Solutions have been placed in a trusteeship as of July. His disclosure statement notes he is in the process of selling his 10 per cent ownership stake in Hot Buys.
Compton’s 2018 disclosure statement listed seven companies with which she held shares, including four oil and gas companies – Marquee Energy, Montello Energy, Sonde Resources and Transeuro Energy – as well as the Royal Bank of Canada and Tahera Diamond.
The statements of cabinet ministers Steven Myers and Ernie Hudson do not list shares in businesses.
Dennis King lists a number of positions from which he drew income in the year before becoming premier. These included income from storytelling performances, from his employment with m5 Public Affairs and a contract with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. King lists no other source of income for the coming year aside from his $152,898 salary as Premier.
On the opposition side, three of eight Green and three of six Liberal MLAs listed sources of income in addition to their salaries. Liberal leader Robert Mitchell will draw income from a rental property in addition to his MLA salary, while Green leader Peter Bevan-Baker’s statement notes he plans to draw dividend income from his dental business.
Stephen Howard, Green critic for energy, has maintained his role as president and director of Solar Island Electric Inc. Although the company is expected to draw income, the statements do not indicate Howard will personally draw income from the company.
Charlottetown-Brighton MLA Ole Hammarlund also plans to draw income from his role as manager of the Y Lofts condominium complex in Charlottetown, as well as from his architecture firm.
Hammarlund also lists unpaid income tax from the last three years, as well as unpaid HST, as liabilities.