Former immigration minister Judy Sgro handed out special visas to friends and relatives of campaign volunteers during last year's election campaign, and overwhelmingly granted requests backed by Liberal MPs, a report issued by the Ethics Commissioner says.
While Bernard Shapiro found that it was mostly Ms. Sgro's senior aide, Ihor Wons, who personally broke the rules, the former minister had at least some knowledge that the people she helped in immigration matters were working on her campaign. He concluded that she bears "major responsibility" for the misdeeds of her staff.
The Ethics Commissioner found that Ms. Sgro's staff knew that a Romanian-born stripper to whom she granted a temporary residency permit was also working on her campaign, but there was no proof that Ms. Sgro knew, or bent her usual standards.
Although that case sparked the inquiry, it was overshadowed by the conclusion that a host of special visas were rushed out of the minister's office in the last days of the campaign, that several went to friends and relatives of her campaign helpers, and that 97 per cent of the requests for visas she granted came from Liberal MPs.