Anyway, for those who are listening today, I'd like to quickly summarize the actual reason you're here today and how Bill C-50 came to be, and I want to be clear about it. It's because the Liberal Party was selling access to the Prime Minister at events where tickets were costing up to $1,525. That's the reason. These were cash-for-access events, where the Prime Minister has openly admitted that he had people trying to lobby him, which was a clear violation of Liberal Party rules and a clear violation of the Prime Minister's own ethics code. These cash-for-access events resulted in the Ethics Commissioner and the Commissioner of Lobbying launching investigations. The only reason Bill C-50 is before us today is that the Liberal Party got caught breaking those rules. In fact, the Prime Minister got caught breaking the very rules that he himself created.
Just for a little clarity, I'd like to read from the Prime Minister's own “Open and Accountable Government”, a principle document. I'll just read the first paragraph of annex B. It's a brief one:
Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries must avoid conflict of interest, the appearance of conflict of interest and situations that have the potential to involve conflicts of interest.
Further down it says:
There should be no preferential access to government, or appearance of preferential access, accorded to individuals or organizations because they have made financial contributions to politicians and political parties.
I wonder, Minister, if you could explain why the Prime Minister just doesn't simply abide by the rules, the ones that he himself, in fact, set in place. If he would just abide by those rules, then we wouldn't have to be having this conversation.