Working for the Peel Watershed Planning Commission and the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources does not present a conflict of interest, says Ray Hayes.
Hayes, who became a commissioner for the arm’s-length land use planning body in 2007, also become an assistant deputy minister in the department soon after.
“It hasn’t been an issue at all,” said Hayes. “My job is totally unrelated to anything that would relate to the Peel.”
He asked for the commission to evaluate whether he presented a conflict.
“When I accepted the (Peel) job, before I started, I told them what I was going to do and if it was a problem, I would look at alternatives – leaving or not leaving – and I also had confirmed internally that it would not be a conflict,” said Hayes.
After a discussion between commission members, some conditions were put in place.
“I assured them that if a situation arose where they thought it was remotely possible that somebody would consider conflict, I would leave the room or step down if they wished,” he said.
Hayes has also had to be cleared at the Energy, Mines and Resources Department.
“I don’t get involved in any discussions on anything that’s going on internally here at the department,” said Hayes.
He runs the sustainable resources office at the department.
There’s only one other staff member in that section, according to the government’s staff registry.
“My colleagues all know I’m on the Peel and they’ve all been very good at not discussing that,” he said.
“So we don’t have any discussions about it at all.”
Officials in the Energy, Mines and Resources Department pushed for a more mining-friendly Peel land-use plan within government during the Peel commission’s draft plan stages, according to leaked documents.
At the Peel commission, other members have had to declare possible conflicts of interests, he said.
“We ensure at the beginning of every meeting that everyone is reminded that they are in conflict, they have to declare conflict; if there is any doubt, there is a discussion on it,” said Hayes.
“That’s happened on a number of cases,” he said.
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