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Mario Dion finds contravention of conflict of interest regime in new inquiry report

NEWS RELEASE

Ottawa, December 4, 2018

In an inquiry report released today, Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion has found that a Member of Parliament contravened the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons by commenting publicly on a request for an inquiry about another MP before it was permissible to do so.

On March 29, 2018, the Office received a letter from Mrs. Stephanie Kusie, Member of Parliament for Calgary Midnapore, asking Commissioner Dion to conduct an inquiry into the conduct of Mr. Raj Grewal, Member of Parliament for Brampton East. That same day, the Office learned that an article referring to the letter had been published on the National Post's website. Mrs. Kusie's letter was also posted on her website and Facebook account on March 29. The next day, a link to the National Post article was posted on her Twitter account.

"The Code limits when a Member who has requested an inquiry may publicly comment on it," Commissioner Dion said, citing subsection 27(2.1). "It prohibits the Member from making any public comments about a request for an inquiry until the Commissioner confirms that the Member who is the subject of it has received a copy of the complaint, or until 14 days after the Commissioner has received the request, whichever is sooner."

He found that Mrs. Kusie contravened subsection 27(2.1) of the Code by commenting publicly on her inquiry request on the same day it was sent to him and before he confirmed that Mr. Grewal had received a copy.

Commissioner Dion may recommend in an inquiry report that the House of Commons impose sanctions when he has found a contravention of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. In this case, he determined that there were mitigating factors, so he recommended that no sanction be imposed.

"In commenting publicly on her request for an inquiry in contravention of subsection 27(2.1) of the Code, Mrs. Kusie was acting on advice that she received from the Office of the Leader of the Opposition," Commissioner Dion said. "Her non-compliance was an error in judgement made in good faith."

Please click on the following link to read the Kusie Report.

The Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner was created under the Federal Accountability Act. The Commissioner applies the Conflict of Interest Act for public office holders and the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. Follow us on Twitter @CIEC_CCIE.

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For more information, please call 613-995-0721 or email ciemedia@cie.parl.gc.ca.


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