The federal ethics commission has instructed a pair of parliamentary secretaries to refrain from writing letters that could influence the decisions of quasi-judicial tribunals such as the CRTC. In a pair of letters sent out Thursday, Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson said Eve Adams—the parliamentary secretary to the minister of veteran affairs—and Colin Carrie—the parliamentary secretary to the minister of health—both violated the Conflict of Interest Act with a pair of letters they sent to the CRTC last year in support of local businesses’ applications for a Toronto FM radio licence. She said it was “improper” for the parliamentary secretaries, who are considered a part of the federal cabinet, to write letters to a tribunal in relation to its decision-making, and ordered them to “refrain from writing any similar letters in the future without seeking approval from Office.” Dawson wrote a similar letter last week to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty after it was discovered that he had written to the CRTC in support of a constituent’s application for the same FM radio slot last March. Flaherty responded that the letter had been written in his capacity as a Member of Parliament, and that the use of his ministerial title in his signature was “regrettable.” Dawson said in her letters to Adams and Carrie that federal laws bar members of cabinet from potentially interfering in a tribunal’s decisions regardless of whether they do so in their capacity as an MP. “Writing such a letter would be improper regardless of whether or not you explicitly identified yourself as a parliamentary secretary,” she said. In an statement emailed to The Wire Report on Friday, Carrie said he did not realize that his position as a parliamentary secretary precluded him from writing to the CRTC. "Canadians expect their elected Members of Parliament to represent their interests and to exercise any other public office in the broader public interest," he wrote. "My intention was to write in my capacity as a Members of Parliament, as I believed I was permitted to do by the Conflict of Interest Act."