Nigel Wright and Barrick

The ethics commissioner is going to follow up on CP’s investigation of contact between representatives of Barrick Gold and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has said Barrick, which has mining operations in Argentina, called Wright to discuss Harper’s performance at the Summit of the Americas in April. The prime minister infuriated the Argentine government by blocking a declaration on its claim to the Falkland Islands.

Baird has insisted Wright did nothing wrong; he merely listened to Barrick’s concerns, said nothing, passed the matter over to others responsible for the file and was not involved in any decision relating to the company. Baird has not explained why Wright would have felt it necessary to participate in three separate calls — on May 14, 25 and 29 — if he had nothing to say and no responsibility for the matter.