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Evan Solomon Is Back, And No One Can Remember Why He Left

The beloved political journalist and TV host is back after leaving journalism for reasons that escape us at the moment.

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Evan Solomon has returned from his mysterious vacation. The popular journalist and TV host left the CBC in June for some reason. Was he sick or something? Anyway, he's back!

CBC

Solomon is the new host of a political radio show on SiriusXM satellite radio. He's also the newest marquee columnist for Maclean's Magazine.

A wave of congratulations came in from colleagues on the end of Solomon's two-month-long vacation. No one referenced why he left the CBC, so it must have been nothing.

I'm really happy that @evanlsolomon is writing for us during the campaign. Here's his first piece. http://t.co/jemhY0MV4E

Pleased to bring @EvanLSolomon's political insight to @MacleansMag during #elxn42. Here's his first column -> http://t.co/JuJelQFyBt

Very happy to see this from Evan @MacleansMag: An air war, a street fight, a long march: @EvanLSolomon on #elxn42: http://t.co/FGwzjiYTXI"

Pleased to have @evanlsolomon with us for the campaign, contributing in words and video. Here's his first missive http://t.co/OY55Q7tCjE

Glad to see Solomon back on the ice https://t.co/cGAtsQwW7v

That said, you kids at home, don't sell expensive art to the people you're covering.

Wait, what was that last one? Ohhhhhhh riiiiiiiight.

Toronto Star investigative reporter Kevin Donovan dropped the bomb that Solomon was secretly using his journalistic connections to broker lucrative art deals on the side.

To recap:

Solomon signed a contract with an art dealer named Bruce Bailey to introduce Bailey to rich, high-profile Canadians looking to buy art. Solomon then used his journalistic connections to put Bailey in touch with people like Research in Motion co-founder Jim Balsillie and former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney.

Over two years Solomon made about $300,000 in commissions from art bought by Balsillie. Neither the businessman nor CBC viewers were ever told about this.

When confronted by the Star, Solomon said "I have never been involved in an art business." When confronted a second time, he said “I have been involved in an art business and it is all disclosed to CBC.”

Blair Gable / Reuters

Solomon said his art dealing days were behind him and insisted he did nothing wrong. The CBC disagreed and fired Solomon on June 9, the same day the Star story ran.

Court documents obtained by the Star showed Solomon and Bailey had a falling out over a multi-million dollar sale. Solomon wanted a $1 million commission, Bailey wanted to pay him less.

Donovan doesn’t say who leaked him the court filings. Could it be Bailey, who had all the documents and a clear motive and is conspicuously not quoted in the story in any way? We may never know.

But that's all in the past. Solomon's back, baby! And neither SiriusXM, Maclean's, nor Solomon himself are making any reference to his being fired for breaching the CBC's code of ethics.

BuzzFeed Canada has reached out to Solomon and Maclean's editor in chief Mark Stevenson and we will update this story if we hear back.

Paul McLeod is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Paul McLeod at paul.mcleod@buzzfeed.com.

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