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Information & Ethics committee  That's where the investigation has to go.

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Thank you very much. You can see, of course, as I mentioned, much more detail in the backgrounder I've prepared and submitted to the committee and in the news release that summarizes the key changes to end this system that really is a scandal. I hope the committee will work tog

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  No, I think it is relevant, but I prefer to wait until the investigation is over. The failure to recuse at the final cabinet meeting is not as serious a violation, if it is true that the public service actually recommended on its own that WE Charity be given the funding. However,

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Sure. First of all, it does have to be shown whether Minister Morneau knew, or thought for sure, that he had paid for all of the costs. So that investigation needs to be done. To prove breach of trust, four of the five elements are already proven; he's an official, and so is the

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Just briefly, on the Ethics Commissioner selection process, and the Commissioner of Lobbying as well, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the Trudeau cabinet was biased when it chose those two commissioners, but the bias is allowed under the Supreme Court of Canada ruling, unf

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  It's entirely practical, but if they'd helped you in a significant way, they would not be allowed to lobby you. The other way to go is, if they had those ties and they were lobbying you, you would have to recuse yourself because of the favours they did before. That threshold is

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Again, Parliament has the right to ask for information from government and from private citizens. There's an old saying, “follow the money”. So there's a money trail in this situation and it has to be followed because it tells part of the tale. The whole communication record has

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Democracy Watch's final report card on the Conservatives, issued in 2014, rated them an F for their government accountability and democratization record, essentially failing to keep more than half of their promises made in 2006 in the Federal Accountability Act, and also taking s

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Well, no, first of all, because they've only apologized for not recusing themselves at the final cabinet meeting. Neither of them has apologized for having their staff involved right through the entire process, participating in it, and—once we see the full communication record—ma

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  A lot of people misunderstand the act. They say, "Wait a second, they didn't do anything to help anybody." No, the act is there to prevent you from doing that. If you do something to help someone, then you're in breach of trust. If they gave you any favour or benefit in order for

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  The Access to Information Act enforcement has been strengthened by making the Information Commissioner able to order the release of documents, but the Liberals in 2015 did not promise any changes to strengthen ethics rules, lobbying rules or whistle-blower protection and have ign

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Commissioner Dion has been hit-and-miss. His ruling on SNC-Lavalin, as I mentioned, was good in that he reversed a very bad decision made by Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson, very early in her mandate, that private interests in the Conflict of Interest Act did not include politica

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Well, it should go where the Conflict of Interest Act goes now, which is not just to immediate family members, but also relatives. It was entirely appropriate for the Ethics Commissioner to find, for example, Minister LeBlanc guilty when one of the bids for a contract he approved

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  One thing they didn't mention was this notion of conflict of interest screens, which has been in the news with regard to the Prime Minister's chief of staff, again, over the weekend. These conflict of interest screens were created by ethics commissioner Mary Dawson. They're not a

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  —has won more seats or won the election. So swing voters care and it's a good thing that they continue to care.

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher