MPs and ministers must be accountable to Canadians

With a Parliamentary Committee reviewing the Conflict of Interest Act, Canadians must keep a close eye on the Conservative government to see whether they will use this opportunity to strengthen the Act, or continue down the path of entitlement, insider access and secrecy.

“Canadians are frustrated by the scandals rocking the Senate and the Prime Minister’s Office, on top of previous ethical lapses by a number of Conservative ministers,” said NDP Ethics critic Charlie Angus (Timmins – James Bay). “In contrast, New Democrats are proposing ideas to crack down on rule breakers.”

The New Democrat recommendations include:

  • empowering the Ethics Commissioner to administer financial penalties;
  • giving the Commissioner the power to continue investigations that have been referred to the RCMP;
  • enshrining the ministerial code of conduct into law; and
  • establishing clear and well-defined post-employment and secondary employment rules for MPs and Senators.

“It’s time to improve accountability, not weaken it. New Democrats are proposing practical ways to strengthen the Act and hold those who break the rules to account”, said Angus. “We urge the Conservatives to put accountability ahead of partisanship and support our proposals.”