The Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner began operating in its current form in July 2007, when the Conflict of Interest Act came into force. The Act was part of the 2006 Federal Accountability Act.
The Office has several predecessors. Please click on the following link for information about previous offices.
Read about the development of Canada’s federal conflict of interest regimes and their administration in this chronology. You can access the detailed information it contains by clicking on the boxes below that identify various time periods. You can also download the entire chronology by clicking on the PDF link.
The chronology brings together information from a range of sources. Please click on the following link to view selected references.
The Standing Orders established after Confederation prohibit Members of the House of Commons from voting on questions in which they have a direct pecuniary interest.
Questions are raised regarding votes by Members on matters in which they have a pecuniary interest. Prime Minister Lester Pearson writes ministers about a code of ethics and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau urges ministers to give up directorships in commercial entities.
Conflict of interest guidelines for ministers are developed; they are further strengthened by Prime Minister Joe Clark. The first registry of Cabinet ministers’ financial holdings is opened for public inspection. The Office of Assistant Deputy Registrar General (ADRG) is created; David Taylor is appointed Canada’s first federal conflict of interest administrator.
A task force on conflict of interest is appointed. In response to its report, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau extends conflict of interest guidelines for ministers to their families. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney establishes the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders. The Clerk of the House of Commons is required to maintain a registry of sponsored travel by Members.
| 1990s||||Howard Wilson is appointed the first Ethics Counsellor in charge of lobbying and conflict of interest, replacing the ADRG. An Auditor General's report looks at Ethics and Fraud Awareness in Government and Parliament sets up a joint committee to develop a code of conduct. The Office of Public Service Values and Ethics is established. |
The Auditor General recommends that parliamentarians revisit the issue of conflict of interest and a code of conduct. The Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons is adopted. It is administered by Dr. Bernard Shapiro, appointed to the new position of Ethics Commissioner.
| 2006-2010||||The Conflict of Interest Act is passed as part of the Federal Accountability Act under Prime Minister Stephen Harper; it replaces the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders. The Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is created and Mary Dawson is named the first Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.|
| 2011-2017||||The Conflict of Interest Act and the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons are reviewed by parliamentary committees. Reflecting the conflict of interest regimes' application to even the most senior government officials, the Office investigates the Prime Minister under both the Act and the Code and releases a public investigation report.|
Mario Dion is appointed the second Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. He retires on February 21, 2023.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the subject of two more examination reports released by the Office. A parliamentary committee studies the events surrounding the matter investigated in one of those reports.
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