By Aaron Wherry - Friday, January 25, 2013 - 0 Comments
The ethics commissioner issued two more compliance orders yesterday concerning letters sent to the CRTC, this time by parliamentary secretaries Eve Adams and Colin Carrie. Both rulings come to the same conclusion.
It is improper for you to have written a letter of support to a tribunal in relation to its decision-making. Writing such a letter would be improper regardless of whether or not you explicitly identified yourself as a parliamentary secretary.
When Jim Flaherty wrote to the CRTC and was reprimanded by the ethics commissioner, the Finance Minister blamed the “oversight” that his ministerial title had been listed under his signature on the letter—essentially arguing that he was permitted to send such a letter so long as he didn’t explicitly identify himself as the finance minister in doing so.
The commissioner’s rulings on Ms. Adams and Mr. Carrie suggest to me that’s not the standard to be applied. I’ve asked the commissioner’s office for clarity and will pass along whatever I receive in response.
Update 11:44am. A note from the ethics commissioner’s office.
While the wording of the orders differs, the interpretation and application of the rules is the same. The Commissioner is of the view that the provision of the Conflict of Interest Act applies in these instances regardless of whether Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries use their titles or not.
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM - 0 Comments
Thomas Mulcair responds to the Conservatives’ carbon tax farce.
“This is an ethical decision (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper is going to have to deal with, because he knows his MPs are lying when they say that,” Mulcair said during an appearance on the Global News program The West Block.
The claim that Mulcair will bring in the “tax on everyone,” as the Conservatives have described a carbon tax, isn’t based on any announcement the leader has made. Mulcair has, however, supported a cap and trade plan, which allots a specific number of “pollution credits” to emitters. Those that exceed the limits can buy extra credits from those who have leftovers. The idea is one that Harper campaigned on in 2008 and included in that year’s throne speech. ”What I talked about during the leadership, and what he talks about are the very same cap and trade system the Conservatives talked about,” Mulcair told host Tom Clark.
Colin Carrie became the latest Conservative MP to join the farce last week when the NDP leader was in Oshawa (durhamregion.com reprinted Mr. Carrie’s claim without challenging it).
Postmedia explored the Conservative claim on Friday with a relatively full airing of the applicable history.
Here, again, are the reasons why the current Conservative position is farcical.
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 11:26 AM - 0 Comments
Canada Day video greetings from Jason Kenney, Ted Opitz, Cheryl Gallant, Peggy Nash, Jinny Sims, Colin Carrie, Joyce Murray, Wayne Marston, Craig Scott, John Weston, Ralph Goodale, Elizabeth May, Robert Chisholm, Claude Gravelle, Christine Moore, Laurin Liu, Ray Boughen, James Lunney, Russ Hiebert, Jack Harris, Peter Braid, Steven Blaney, Randy Kamp and, expressing their best wishes in rather similar words, Daryl Kramp, James Bezan, Randy Hoback, Diane Finley, Ed Holder, Ryan Leef, Bob Zimmer, Dave MacKenzie,John Carmichael, Bal Gosal, Costas Menegakis and Parm Gill.
After the jump, a video from the Prime Minister and statements from Thomas Mulcair and Bob Rae. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, August 22, 2011 at 9:03 AM - 11 Comments
A statement issued this morning by the family of NDP leader Jack Layton.
We deeply regret to inform you that The Honourable Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, passed away at 4:45 am today, Monday August 22. He passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family and loved ones. Details of Mr. Layton’s funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.
9:36am. NDP deputy leader Libby Davies talks to reporters in St. John’s.
“He was a great Canadian. He gave his life to this country. His commitment to social justice and equality and a better Canada in the world and at home and I think that’s how people saw him,” Davies told reporters. “They saw him as someone who deeply, deeply cared for people. And they saw that in the campaign and all his work. They saw the courage that he had. He faced cancer and he kept on working, doing his job, because he felt so strongly about what he believed in, so I think people think of him as a great Canadian and we think of him as a great leader, in a political sense but (also) in a personal sense.”
He was a believer. He made that clear in the first sentences of “Speaking Out Louder:” ”Politics matters. Ideas matter. Democracy matters, because all of us need to be able to make a difference.”
9:54am. Mr. Layton’s Facebook page has become a makeshift memorial.
9:59am. Greg Fingas marks the NDP leader’s passing.
After spending a decade laying the foundation, Jack Layton has tragically died before getting to complete the house that so many said couldn’t be built. For now, there’s little to do but to offer condolences and grieve the loss of a great Canadian and friend. But hopefully Layton’s inspiration will only encourage us to finish what he started.
10:01am. A statement from the Prime Minister. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 1:07 PM - 0 Comments
Shortly after the clock passed midnight, a dozen Conservatives sang happy birthday to their colleague, David Sweet. His birthday had actually just passed—he was born on June 24, 1957—so the gesture was a bit belated. But perhaps owing to the pizza party the Prime Minister had apparently been hosting, the government side seemed a jovial bunch, eager to find fun wherever it could be found.
As luck would have it, they had all been summoned to the House of Commons at this late hour for a vote—specifically on an NDP-authored motion to delay moving forward with Bill C-6 for another six months. The official filibustering of this particular piece of particularly contentious legislation had commenced some 27 hours earlier. What began on Thursday was now moving into Saturday. Except that, so far as the reality within these four walls is measured, with the House having not yet adjourned for the day, this was still Thursday. Indeed, there in the middle of the room sat the four-sided calendar, reminding all who could see it that here they remained trapped in June 23. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 1:54 PM - 75 Comments
A survey of recent government prioritizing.
Jim Flaherty, December 7. Mr. Speaker, Canada’s economic recovery remains our government’s number one priority.
Leona Aglukkaq, December 7. Mr. Speaker, we continue to make health care a priority.
Stephen Harper, December 7. Mr. Speaker, the priorities of this government, beyond national defence and criminal justice, are pretty obvious. It is preserving jobs; it is making sure Canadian families do not pay taxes that are too high; and it is making sure that we fully fund transfers for health and education to the provinces…
Stephen Harper, December 7. That is why, as this government has looked at its budgetary priorities, maintaining the growth of those transfers for our health care system has been the number one priority of this government.
Peter Kent, December 6. I must emphasize that the safety of Canadians and all people travelling on Canadian roadways remains our first priority.