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Updated: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:04:44 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu told to apologize after dating his Senate staffer



Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu is in a war of words with Quebec's defence lawyers over the Conservative government's crime bill. Pawel Dwulit/Canadian Press

Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu is in a war of words with Quebec's defence lawyers over the Conservative government's crime bill. Pawel Dwulit/Canadian Press

Conservative Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu has to apologize to his Senate colleagues and take a course in contemporary management after twice renewing the contract of a staffer he was dating, a parliamentary committee ordered Monday.

Boisvenu eventually moved Isabelle Lapointe out of his office, but then tried to arrange for two weeks of special leave for her when she moved into her new job, also at the Senate.

Last June, Senate ethics officer Lyse Ricard found Boisvenu had broken the rules but acted in good faith, and recommended no sanctions.

The Senate conflict of interest committee reviewed that decision and is ordering "remedial action and sanction."

The committee is recommending:

- Boisvenu apologize for "the breaches of the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators identified by the senate ethics officer, not having promptly remedied the real or apparent conflict of interest situation, and having failed to prevent a real or apparent conflict of interest from arising and the resulting impact on the public confidence and trust in the integrity of each senator and in the Senate."

- Boisvenu take a course, pre-approved by the Committee and at his expense, "to ensure a proper understanding of the fundamentals of contemporary management of employer–employee relations in a public institution." 

The affair began after Lapointe began to work in Boisvenu's office. Despite the relationship, Boisvenu twice renewed her yearly contract.

A spokeswoman for Boisvenu said he had been told by the committee not to comment on the report, even though it has been released to the public.

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