Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in this House.
I have said before and I will say again that, when I was appointed by the leader of the official opposition as the shadow minister for ethics, I told the leader, and I have told folks who have asked, that I hoped to be the most bored in the shadow cabinet, that I would not have any work to do.
Regrettably, the government has demonstrated through its top-down model of disregard for the rules, not only of this place but the rules writ large, that we seem to find ourselves constantly following up on the ethical violations of the Prime Minister, his cabinet members and his backbenchers.
I had the opportunity to ask a question in the House a few weeks ago about former member Joe Peschisolido, who was found guilty of having broken the conflict of interest code. The code is laid out in such a way that it is very easy for us to follow. The purpose of the code, as colleagues know, is so that Canadians can continue to have confidence in their elected officials and have confidence in public institutions.
When we, as the finance minister did, forget to disclose that we have a French villa, for example, Canadians find that a bit incredible to believe.
Madam Speaker, when you and I filled out our disclosures, I do not think that we paused too long on the French villa box. You and I both know how many French villas we have, as I am sure the Minister of Finance did.
In Mr. Peschisolido's case, he failed to disclose a wide range of things. I encourage interested Canadians to take a look at that. I also encourage the government to do the same.
The response I got from the government when I asked the government House leader was that, “Oh, that member is no longer a member of our caucus, so we don't know how it has anything to do with us.” That speaks to the culture that exists in the government benches. That speaks to what we have seen with the Prime Minister twice being found guilty of breaking the Conflict of Interest Act, which is also in place to ensure that Canadians can have confidence in their executive, the Prime Minister and his or her ministers.
Whether it is the SNC-Lavalin scandal, clam scam or forgotten French villas, we have seen this litany of ethical breaches with the government. Most recently, again on the subject of disclosures, we make these disclosures to the commissioner with regard to members' personal dealings so that we can make sure members aren't being unduly influenced financially in a pecuniary manner.
The Prime Minister just did not answer the questionnaire. He is required to do so. He did not do it. In response, when he was called out on it, it was an administrative oversight. A week later, the Ethics Commissioner published who had failed to file their disclosures. Canada's Prime Minister's name appeared again.
When will the government start taking the confidence that Canadians have put in them seriously? Do they need any help following those rules?