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“If you ask the question, ‘Can he still do his job?’ my answer is that I’m not sure he can.”

That’s NDP ethics critic Nathan Cullen speaking to The Canadian Press last week.

He was referring to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, whose conduct is being investigated for conflict of interest.

Read: No love for finance minister despite pledge to donate share earnings

Canadians weigh in

Despite that investigation — as well as recent, unpopular tax reforms — some Canadians give Morneau the benefit of the doubt.

In fact, almost one-third of polled Canadians say Morneau is doing an average job (32%), reveals a CTV Nanos survey.

Read: What Morneau’s achieved from his mandate letter

Slightly more Canadians think he’s doing a poor or very poor job (34%).

One-quarter give Morneau the thumbs-up, saying he’s doing a good job (25%); some even say he’s doing a very good job (6%).

Reflective, perhaps, of Finance’s complicated tax reforms — unveiled in July and rescinded in part last month — 9% of Canadians polled don’t know whether Morneau’s doing a good job or not.

Read: Drop remaining tax proposals: Manitoba finance minister

See full survey details.

Read: What to do when everybody hates you

Morneau’s conduct under investigation

Cullen had asked ethics watchdog Mary Dawson to investigate whether Morneau was in a conflict of interest when he sponsored Bill C-27. Dawson is launching an investigation into the matter.

The bill would allow pension administrators to convert direct benefit pension plans to targeted benefit plans — a change for which Morneau had lobbied when he was the head of Morneau Shepell, a pension administration and human resources company founded by his father.

When Morneau introduced the bill a year ago, he still held millions worth of shares in the company.

It emerged last month that, based on Dawson’s advice, Morneau had not divested or placed those shares in a blind trust. Rather, he followed her recommendation that the “best measure of compliance” would be to set up a conflict-of-interest screen that was supposed to prevent him from being involved in discussions or decisions that could benefit him through his stake in Morneau Shepell.

Morneau has said he didn’t need to recuse himself from C-27 because the bill is of general application and not specific to Morneau Shepell.

In a bid to snuff out the uproar over his handling of his personal finances, Morneau is now in the process of selling off his shares and placing his other considerable assets in a blind trust. He has promised to donate to charity any gains in the value of his shares since taking office in 2015.

About the survey: Commissioned by CTV and conducted by Nanos Research, the random survey was completed by telephone and online between Nov. 4 and Nov. 7, 2017, with 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age or older responding. The margin of error is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Originally published on Advisor.ca
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