A photo capturing of NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in a rocking chair with his baby daughter looks like a sweet moment, but a post to Instagram is stirring up some trouble.
Singh and his wife Gurkiran Kaur Sidhu posted about the birth of their baby daughter on Jan. 3 and received a flood of well wishes and congratulations. A new post, however, is not going down quite as well.
On Jan. 16 Singh posted a photo of himself holding his daughter in a grey rocking chair tagging the Toronto furniture company Monte Design on Jan. 16.
“How I’m spending my time these days,” Singh wrote.
Comments on his post are congratulatory, but the tag of the Toronto furniture company has sparked concern.
It turns out that Sidhu accepted the Monte Design Grand Jackson Rocker chair as a gift in exchange for posting about it on her Instagram account, according to the CBC.
The rocking chair is listed as retailing for $1,895, far above the $200 limit listed, with conditions, in the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner rules for people in public office.
Some found the situation ironic given the fact that Singh has criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on ethics in the past.
“Accepting free gifts in exchange for Instagram posts? Very ethical. Not quite Airbus scandal worthy but you have to start small and work your way up I guess,” one person posted on Twitter.
The NDP says Singh and Sidhu will pay for the chair and that the party is now working with the ethics commissioner and intends to file a formal disclosure on the rocking chair.
“The chair was given to Gurkiran with an expectation that she would promote it on social media. There was no expectation that Jagmeet would post about it,” NDP spokesperson Mélanie Richer told CBC News.
“We are working with the ethics commissioner, as we always do, to ensure that any gifts received by Jagmeet or Gurkiran are declared and that we are in compliance with the Act.
“That being said, while they’re extremely grateful, they’ve realized their error and will be paying for the gift.”