STRENGTHENING CONFLICT RULES MUST BE TOP PRIORITY
Will Conservatives use their committee majority to water down Ethics rules?
November 19th, 2013 - 12:40pm
Instead of strengthening ethics standards, the Conservative government undermines accountability and uses loopholes to skirt the rules.
“Conservatives do a disservice to Canadians when they refuse to be accountable after they break the rules,” said NDP Ethics critic Charlie Angus (Timmins – James Bay). “With the Act being reviewed at the Ethics Committee, our top priority must be closing loopholes and strengthening Conflict of Interest rules.”
Joined by the other NDP members of the Ethics Committee, Charmaine Borg and Mathieu Ravignat, Angus said New Democrats will make specific proposals to strengthen the Act, including:
- Empower the Ethics Commissioner to administer financial penalties for breaches of the Act.
- Give the Commissioner the power to continue investigations that have been referred to the RCMP.
- Enshrine the ministerial code of conduct into law.
- Establish clear and well-defined post-employment and secondary employment rules for MPs and Senators.
“Former Conservative Cabinet Ministers and MPs have resigned and then started lobbying their friends in government right away. They used to howl when Liberals did this, but now Conservatives look the other way while their well-connected friends exploit every loophole in the book,” said Angus. “Canadians deserve better -- and New Democrats are committed to delivering better accountability and tougher ethics rules.”