Enforcement mechanisms in the Conflict of Interest Act

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, I definitely feel that an entire day debating this point is a lost opportunity. There are issues, frankly, on which I would like to take the Liberal government to task, and they are a wide number.

Unfortunately, from my seat in this place, I do not have access to supply day motions. However, surely there are more critical issues. I note that when I did town hall meetings in my riding, no one raised this issue.

To focus on the matter at hand, would the hon. member agree with me that the Conflict of Interest Act should be strengthened? Often people who are on the procedure and House affairs committee relate my experience of finding that the advice from the Ethics Commissioner is entirely vague, the rules are unusual, and that the advice she gave to our current finance minister was clearly bad advice.

Could we not tighten up the rules and have enforcement mechanisms be part of our legislation, so we know exactly what the rules are, and abide by them or face the consequences?

Peter Schiefke – Member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges

Mr. Speaker, I want share my hon. colleague’s thoughts. When I go door to door and speak with my constituents, this is not among the issues of concern to them.

However, when we move forward year after year in the House, we look at areas where there could be room for some improvement. In this area with respect to the rules that govern the office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, I definitely think we can always improve. I look forward to working any member in the House who wants to look at those and possibly propose improvements, making it better, so we have better representation and are held more accountable by our constituents in various ridings.