A cabinet appointee, who is currently under an ethics investigation, stated on Thursday her vote to grant $217,661 in taxpayer subsidies to a company she owned was not a personal benefit.According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Annette Verschuren, former chair of the Canada Foundation for Sustainable Development Technology, stepped down from her position on November 20.“I am sure that I didn’t break any ethics laws, absolutely,” Verschuren testified at the Commons Industry Committee. Subsidies were “the normal course of business,” said Verschuren.As the chair of the foundation, Verschuren voted two times to allocate grants to NRStor Incorporated, a Toronto-based energy storage company that was losing money.At that time, Verschuren served as the CEO and held the majority of shares in NRStor.On Thursday, Conservative MP Rick Perkins (representing South Shore-St. Margarets, NS) pointed out foundation directors could not profit from their work.The Canada Foundation for Sustainable Development Technology Act section 16.2 states “No member shall profit or gain any income or acquire any property from the Foundation or its activities.”“Is that not furthering your private interest?” asked Perkins.“In the case of the NRStor project, this is a project, right? And the way these things work is you set up a limited partnership. And so this limited partnership, ” replied Verschuren.“It is easier if you actually answer my question. I don’t need an explanation of the corporate structure of NRStor. It was a simple question. When you voted the money for NRStor and the other directors and their interests in their companies, is that not furthering your personal interest? That is all I want an answer to, yes or no,” asked Perkins.“It certainly is not advancing my personal interest, no,” replied Verschuren.“When you own shares in a company and you are the major shareholder of NRStor as CEO, when it receives money from the government, that does not benefit your ownership?” asked Perkins.“In the case of the $217,000 that came to NRStor, it went into a limited partnership. That money was put into the assets,” replied Verschuren.“We invest in the future,” said Verschuren, adding subsidies for green technology companies were “extraordinarily important for the future of our country.” “Our companies, our investments, are being made to further these technologies,” said Verschuren. “This is the normal course of business.”Verschuren testified on Thursday after suddenly leaving a videoconference hearing with the Industry committee on Tuesday.Verschuren apologized for the incident, which she said was caused by computer problems.“Why do you think you’re here?” New Democrat MP Brian Masse (Windsor West, ON) asked on Thursday. “I personally do not understand,” replied Verschuren.