Senate Must Clean Up Its Unethical Act
July 5th, 2011 - 7:06pm
With yet another senator under investigation by police, New Democrat Ethics Critic Charlie Angus has written to the Senate Ethics Officer Jean Fournier explaining how Canadians are fed up with the antics of the unelected and unaccountable Senate. Angus called on Senators to finally tighten up their ethics rules and close the many loopholes.
“How many senators can you have at one time under criminal investigation before you do something about it?” said Angus, the MP for Timmins-James Bay. “The Senate breeds these abuses because it has flimsy ethics guidelines. These unelected and unaccountable appointees seem to think they can get away with anything.”
Last week it was revealed that Liberal Senator Mac Harb was facing influence peddling charges as a result of a trip to Bangladesh using his special Senate passport, on behalf of the India based Oil company Niko Resources.
In his letter, Angus points out that Senator Harb is a symptom of a larger problem – and changes are needed to fix the Senate’s Ethics Code.
“I will leave it to the police to determine Senator Harb’s guilt or innocence, but I challenge the lack of accountability laid out in the Senate’s Ethics Code,” Angus said in the letter. “Unlike elected members of Parliament, nothing in the Senate’s rules stops Senators from reviewing legislation and having input on public policy while simultaneously getting paid by Canada’s banks, telecommunications, mining or oil and gas corporations.”