OTTAWA - A spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay says the politician wasn't in compliance with the federal ethics code when he served as an officer in two of his father's companies.

MacKay told the federal ethics commissioner this week he has resigned his positions as director and officer with Beaver Lumber Co. Ltd. and Lorne Resources Co. Ltd. to remedy the "oversight."

In an email, spokesman Dan Dugas says MacKay was "non-compliant" with the Conflict of Interest Act, which forbids ministers from serving as a director or officer in a corporation.

In a letter to Mary Dawson, Canada's ethics commissioner, MacKay says he simply forgot he was an officer of the two companies and believed one was inactive.

MacKay says he was not a shareholder in either company and received no remuneration.

Dawson's office contacted MacKay after the Halifax Chronicle Herald discovered his role in the MacKay family companies.

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