Conservative Party leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre has a personal financial interest in cryptocurrencies that he has promoted during his campaign as a hedge against inflation.
The Ottawa-area MP’s assets include units of Purpose Bitcoin, a Canadian-based, exchange-traded fund that holds cryptocurrencies, according to his May 4 disclosure to the federal ethics commissioner.
Poilievre’s campaign denied encouraging investment in crypto puts him in a conflict of interest.
“Mr. Poilievre spoke with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner prior to publicly commenting on Bitcoin and Bitcoin related policies,” his spokesperson Anthony Koch said in an email.
“The Office cleared him to do so without issue.”
The campaign provided an email from the Office of the Ethics Commissioner from November that said the interest in Bitcoin “does not prevent you from commenting on cryptocurrencies in general, participating in debates and vote on public policies related to the regulation of cryptocurrencies.”
The commissioner’s office also said Poilievre was free to host conversations with other MPs “on this subject matter as any policies or regulations would apply to you as one of a broad class.”
Poilievre has proposed barring the Bank of Canada from developing its own digital currency and said Canadians should be free to use alternative currencies for payments.
“We need sound money again—and also the freedom for buyers and sellers to choose #bitcoin and other technology,” he tweeted on April 1.
In March, he held an event at a London, Ont., restaurant and paid for a shawarma using Bitcoin. And at an event in April in BC, he made a Bitcoin donation to the BC SPCA, accompanied by a dog wearing 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 plunged, exposing Poilievre to criticism from opponents who say encouraging Canadians to invest in something so volatile is reckless.
The value of the Purpose Bitcoin ETF has fallen nearly 40 per cent over the past six months.
The Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons requires MPs to report assets and liabilities in excess of $10,000. But it does not require them to reveal the value of their assets or when they were acquired.
Poilievre’s campaign said his holdings in Bitcoin were right around the disclosure threshold.
In his disclosure, Poilievre also reported holding exchange-traded funds based on the stock indexes of Singapore and Switzerland. His campaign said he was required under the conflict-of-interest Code to publicly disclose these ETFs, but not his holdings in a Canadian stock index fund.
“Mr. Poilievre’s largest investment by far is in Canadian Index Fund that tracks the TSX,” the campaign said.
The co-founder of ethics advocacy group Democracy Watch said MPs should be prevented from holding assets like Bitcoin.
“It’s clearly unethical for MPs or party leadership candidates to advocate for changes that will help businesses they are invested in, and the best way to stop this is to prohibit MPs from having investments,” Duff Conacher, said in an email.
During last week’s leadership debate in Edmonton, Poilievre was challenged over his past comments on Bitcoin. He should not be encouraging investment in “magic internet money,” said Brampton, Ont., mayor and leadership candidate Patrick Brown.
“People can make their own investment decisions,” Poilievre said in response to a question from Leslyn Lewis, an Ontario Conservative MP and leadership candidate.
“I simply said they should be free to decide whether they want to use Bitcoin. I don’t want to be like communist China and ban Bitcoin or other technologies.”
Canadian investors are already free to invest in cryptocurrencies. Indeed, Poilievre is not the only MP with investments in crypto. At least seven others declared Bitcoin or other digital currency assets in their disclosures, including:
Ben Lobb (Conservative, Ontario): Bitcoin.
Chandra Arya (Liberal, Ontario): Stock options of Coinbase Global Inc.
Taleeb Noormohamed (Liberal, BC): Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stacks and Coinbase Global Inc.
Joël Lightbound (Liberal, Quebec): Purpose Bitcoin ETF, Purpose Ether ETF, Bitcoin and Solana.
Scot Davidson (Conservative, Ontario): Evolve Cryptocurrencies ETF, held by spouse.
Tony Van Bynen (Liberal, Ontario): Ethereum.
Terry Beech (Liberal, BC): Ethereum.
Tense diplomatic relations may not impact trade, investment ties between India, Canada: Experts
NEW DELHI: The tense diplomatic relations between India and Canada are unlikely to impact trade and investments between the two countries as economic ties are driven by commercial considerations, according to experts. Both India and Canada trade in complementary products and do not compete on similar products.
“Hence, the trade relationship will continue to grow and not be affected by day-to-day events,” Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) Co-Founder Ajay Srivastava said.
Certain political developments have led to a pause in negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two countries.
On September 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau India’s strong concerns about the continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada that were promoting secessionism, inciting violence against its diplomats and threatening the Indian community there.
India on Tuesday announced the expulsion of a Canadian diplomat hours after Canada asked an Indian official to leave that country, citing a “potential” Indian link to the killing of a Khalistani separatist leader in June.
Srivastava said these recent events are unlikely to affect the deep-rooted people-to-people connections, trade, and economic ties between the two nations.
Bilateral trade between India and Canada has grown significantly in recent years, reaching USD 8.16 billion in 2022-23.
India’s exports (USD 4.1 billion) to Canada include pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery, textiles, and machinery, while Canada’s exports to India (USD 4.06 billion) include pulses, timber, pulp and paper, and mining products.
On investments, he said that Canadian pension funds will continue investing in India on grounds of India’s large market and good return on money invested.
Canadian pension funds, by the end of 2022, had invested over USD 45 billion in India, making it the fourth-largest recipient of Canadian FDI in the world.
The top sectors for Canadian pension fund investment in India include infrastructure, renewable energy, technology, and financial services.
Mumbai-based exporter and Chairman of Technocraft Industries Sharad Kumar Saraf said the present frosty relations between India and Canada are certainly a cause for concern.
“However, the bilateral trade is entirely driven by commercial considerations. Political turmoil is of a temporary nature and should not be a reason to affect trade relations,” Saraf said.
He added that even with China, India has acrimonious relations but bilateral trade continues to remain healthy.
“In fact, bilateral trade is an effective tool to improve political relations. India must make special efforts to increase our bilateral trade with Canada,” Saraf said.
India and Canada have a strong education partnership. There are over 200 educational partnerships between Indian and Canadian institutions.
In addition, over 3,19,000 Indian students are enrolled in Canadian institutions, making them the largest international student cohort in Canada, according to GTRI.
According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), Indian students contributed USD 4.9 billion to the Canadian economy in 2021.
Indian students are the largest international student group in Canada, accounting for 20 per cent of all international students in 2021.
Benefits of educational partnerships are mutual and hence the current situation may have no impact on the relationship, Srivastava said.
Apple supplier Foxconn aims to double India jobs and investment
Apple supplier Foxconn aims to double its workforce and investment in India by next year, a company executive said on Sunday.
Taiwan-based Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics, has rapidly expanded its presence in India by investing in manufacturing facilities in the south of the country as the company seeks to move away from China.
V Lee, Foxconn’s representative in India, in a LinkedIn post to mark Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 73rd birthday, said the company was “aiming for another doubling of employment, FDI (foreign direct investment), and business size in India” by this time next year.
He did not give more details.
Foxconn already has an iPhone factory employing 40,000 people in the state of Tamil Nadu.
In August, the state of Karnataka said the firm will invest US$600 million for two projects to make casing components for iPhones and chip-making equipment.
The company’s Chairman Liu Young-way said in an earnings briefing last month that he sees a lot of potential in India, adding: “several billion dollars in investment is only a beginning”.
Taiwan election: Foxconn’s Terry Gou taps star-powered running mate
Last month, Foxconn’s billionaire founder Terry Gou said he would run for the Taiwanese presidency in next year’s election, as an independent candidate.
He said the ruling and independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was unable to offer a bright future for the island and left Foxconn’s board following his decision to run.
The firm operates the world’s largest iPhone plant, in the city of Zhengzhou in Henan province.
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