Morneau Shepell CEO talking to clients about minister controversy

TORONTO _ The CEO of Morneau Shepell says he has spent a lot of time talking to clients about the conflict-of-interest controversy surrounding Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

Stephen Liptrap says he has had reiterated that federal contracts make up a fraction of the human resources and pension management firm’s total portfolio.

He added during a call with financial analysts that Morneau Shepell is not experiencing anything different from prior to the election and repeated the company’s previous statement that it severed all contact with the minister upon his election in 2015.

Morneau built up the company alongside his father before he stepped down as its executive chairman after the election.

Opposition critics have pressed the Liberal government with conflict-of-interest questions since it was revealed that Morneau continued to hold shares in the business while he served as the minister tasked with regulating the pension industry.

Morneau Shepell reported Tuesday a third-quarter profit of $9.7 million, up 85.3 per cent from the same period in 2016.