Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion’s status as an Officer of the House of Commons ensures that he is independent from the government of the day.
The Commissioner is solely responsible to Parliament and not to the federal government or an individual minister. His Office belongs to Parliament itself. Along with the Senate, the Office of the Senate Ethics Officer, the House of Commons and the Library of Parliament, the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is part of the parliamentary infrastructure. The Commissioner enjoys the privileges and immunities of the House of Commons and its Members when carrying out his duties and functions.
The Commissioner’s independence is further assured in several ways:
The Commissioner is appointed under the Parliament of Canada Act by the Governor in Council after consultation with the leader of every recognized party in the House of Commons. The Commissioner is appointed for a renewable seven-year term and may only be removed for cause by the Governor in Council on address of the House of Commons.
The Commissioner reports directly to Parliament rather than through a minister. He appears before the Standing Committees on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, and Procedure and House Affairs regarding the Office's business. The Commissioner submits his annual reports in respect of the Conflict of Interest Act
to the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons, who table them in their respective chambers. He submits his annual reports in respect of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons
to the Speaker of the House of Commons, who tables them in the House of Commons.
The Commissioner submits the Office’s annual spending estimates to the Speaker of the House of Commons. The Speaker then transmits them to the President of the Treasury Board, who lays them before the House of Commons with the government’s estimates for the fiscal year. Annual budget estimates are reviewed by the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.