James Paul litigation


In July 2019, Mr. James Paul, former President and CEO of Defence Construction Canada (DCC) filed a Notice of Application for judicial review with the Federal Court to set aside the June 2019 appointment of a new DCC president and CEO, Mr. Derrick Cheung.

In October 2019, Mr. Paul filed a lawsuit with the Ontario Superior Court against the Government of Canada and Moreen Miller (Chair of the DCC Board) seeking $2 million in damages including for loss of salary, malfeasance in public office, breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation.

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James Paul served 2 terms as President and CEO of DCC from 2009 to 2019. Ms. Miller was appointed Chair of DCC in late 2017 and was also President and CEO of Fowler Construction until she resigned from that position in September 2018. Ms. Miller consulted the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner (COIEC) on this overlap of roles and a conflict of interest screen was established.

Due to the open, transparent and merit-based Governor in Council selection process introduced in 2016, Mr. Paul was required to apply for reappointment to his position. Mr. Paul alleges that the appointment process for the new DCC CEO was biased and that he was not reappointed in reprisal for raising concerns about Ms. Miller’s alleged conflict of interest. Mr. Paul states that the PSPC Minister directed department officials to interfere with his authority and with the appointment process. Neither the PSPC Minister nor departmental officials at any time interfered with the CEO’s authority nor the GIC selection process. Senior PSPC officials worked with the DCC CEO to ensure that federal procurement policies and procedures were soundly aligned.

On October 17, 2019, a Globe and Mail article revealed that Ms. Miller performed some consulting work for Fowler Construction following her resignation as its President and CEO. The COIEC was contacted and his office confirmed that Ms. Miller did not have a private interest in Fowler and they saw no need to reinstate a conflict of interest screen.

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