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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

Information & Ethics committee  Well, first of all, the head of the largest public sector union testified that, no, the public service could have done it, and I would presume he would have connections and contacts with top-level people and be able to check on something like that before saying it. Second, thou

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Well, I can't answer such a general question. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of people, and I've seen lots of scandals. We don't have a whistle-blower protection system that protects others, the many people who want to report wrongdoing, so it's an assessment I can't d

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Well, very unfortunately, it's not getting better. As I mentioned, I've been before this committee 15 times, and other committees, as well, on related issues, such as whistle-blower protection. The Harper Conservatives made some changes, but specifically, the Conflict of Interest

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Well, we can. We can certainly change the rules first and increase the penalties and enforcement, and together those three things will hopefully change the culture and drum out those people through transparency, whether they be politicians, government officials, appointees, lobby

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Again, I think if your staff are acting on your behalf...of the top government officials, which cabinet appoints and which, unfortunately, makes the top level of the public service partisan, because they're all serving at the pleasure of the cabinet. If those people are acting on

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  First of all, I would point to how, as I mentioned, the lowest-level government employee can be fired from their job if they're involved in a decision where they have even the appearance of a conflict of interest, even if the decision applies generally. Again, 99% of cabinet mini

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  In that particular situation, it's possible that Minister Morneau thought he paid for that entire trip, for those two trips by his family, and that his family paid the entire amount, because they did pay $52,000. But I will not believe that claim until I see the entire communicat

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Given the amount of money.... One of the sole-source loopholes is if a contract is less than $25,000. You can see why. It's a small amount of money and some of the safeguards may not need to be in place. Although, again, I think you should just essentially ban and put in place hi

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  No, I have not seen that since 1993 when Democracy Watch started up.

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Are you talking about the “Trudeau II Report” with regard to SNC-Lavalin scandal or “The Trudeau Report” with regard to the Aga Khan?

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Information & Ethics committee  Well, the main one is that there's a loophole in the gifts rule for cabinet ministers: if it's a gift from a friend or family member, the gift is legal. Former ethics commissioner Mary Dawson interpreted that rule...in a way, you could say, taking into account the purpose of the

August 10th, 2020Committee meeting

Duff Conacher