GROUP CALLS ON ETHICS COMMISSIONER TO RULE ON
DEAL MAKING BY PRIME MINISTER, MPs AND PMO STAFFER
Friday, May 20, 2005
OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch called on federal Ethics Commissioner Bernard Shapiro to make public his interpretations of federal ethics rules that clearly apply to the deal making between Prime Minister Paul Martin, at least four MPs, and the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister's office.
"Federal ethics rules clearly apply to the deal making that resulted in MPs leaving parties and the Prime Minister handing out a Cabinet post, changes to government policies, and possible other rewards. If the federal Ethics Commissioner does not make public rulings on these very questionable activities, he will be continuing to fail to enforce the ethics rules effectively," said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch. "Unfortunately, given the Ethics Commissioner's completely ineffective enforcement of the ethics rules in the past year, it is unlikely he will take effective action in this case."
Recently, David Kilgour left the Liberal Party to sit as an independent MP and then made it clear that his support for the Liberals in a key confidence vote depended greatly on what the government did in response to the situation in Darfur, Sudan. On Tuesday, Belinda Stronach left the Conservative Party to sit as a Liberal MP and was given a Cabinet post immediately by the Prime Minister. On Wednesday, Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal released tapes of conversations during which the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff Tim Murphy discusses how Grewal and his spouse Conservative MP Nina Grewal could abstain from the confidence vote or switch to the Liberals and possibly be rewarded.
The Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders requires Cabinet ministers and ministerial staff to do the following (and similar rules apply to all MPs):
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch
Tel: (613) 241-5179
To see a Democracy Watch op-ed about the biased, flawed operations of the federal Ethics Commissioner, click here
Democracy Watch's Government Ethics Campaign
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