A Toronto lawyer who assisted David Johnston in his review of alleged misconduct by Chinese agents yesterday would not comment on her ties to the Liberal Party. The advocacy group Democracy Watch filed an ethics complaint naming lawyer Sheila Block.

“I retained Sheila Block of Torys LLP to assist me in obtaining, reviewing and analyzing the materials that I expected to receive as well as assisting with interviews,” Johnston wrote Tuesday in his First Report.

Block is a partner in the Toronto law firm. She was named to the Order of Canada last December 29. Democracy Watch identified Elections Canada filings showing a regular Liberal Party donor named “Sheila Block” of Toronto contributed a total $7,593 in the period from 2006 to last October 27.

Block yesterday did not respond to questions. “It is a violation of the Conflict Of Interest Act to participate in any decision or action when there is an opportunity to further your own interests or the interests of a friend,” Democracy Watch wrote in a statement. “Both Justin Trudeau and David Johnston are covered by the Act.”

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