Nancy Belanger cites the billionaire’s death in December as the reason for ending the investigation in a letter to Democracy Watch, the group that filed the initial complaints.
Barry and his wife Honey Sherman were found dead in their Toronto home on Dec. 15, 2017. Democracy Watch had asked Belanger’s predecessor to review two fundraisers Sherman, the founder of generic drug giant Apotex Inc., held for Trudeau and the Liberals in August 2015 during the last federal election, and in November 2016, a year after Trudeau had been sworn in as prime minister. At the time of both events, Apotex was registered to lobby the Prime Minister’s Office.
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Democracy Watch argued that Sherman shouldn’t have hosted the 2015 fundraiser attended by Trudeau at the Sherman home, nor helped sell tickets to a 2016 event involving Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
Former lobbying commissioner Karen Shepherd concluded Sherman didn’t break any rules with the 2016 event and her successor has now closed the book on the 2015 event.
“In light of Dr. Sherman’s passing, the purpose of the investigation to ensure his compliance with the (lobbying) code can no longer be fulfilled,” Belanger says in the letter dated Jan. 24.