Ottawa, March 12, 2020
Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion has released the List of Sponsored Travel 2019, as required by the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. It was tabled today in the House of Commons.
The report contains details on sponsored trips taken by Members of the House of Commons in 2019. It also includes a supplement that reflects changes to the List of Sponsored Travel 2018.
Commissioner Dion is going further this year to support transparency and accountability by making the List of Sponsored Travel more accessible. The Office has posted the report on its website in HTML and PDF formats and as an Excel spreadsheet.
Also new this year, the Office has created a document called “How to Disclose Sponsored Travel" to make it easier for Members to let the Office know about any sponsored travel they have accepted. It explains the specific information required on the Public Statement of Sponsored Travel by Members and how they can submit it to the Office.
Quotes from Commissioner Dion
“I am pleased to release the annual List of Sponsored Travel in the interests of transparency and accountability. It allows Canadians to see at a glance which Members are accepting sponsored travel for themselves and their guests, who is paying for those trips and how much they cost."
“Sponsored trips are not considered gifts under the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. Members disclose travel related to their work and my role is to make this information publicly available."
- Members who are not ministers or parliamentary secretaries may accept, for themselves and their guests, sponsored travel related to their position.
- Under subsection 15(1) of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, sponsored travel is any travel worth more than $200 that is not fully paid by the government, a political party, a recognized parliamentary association or by Members themselves. It must be disclosed within 60 days after the end of a sponsored trip. Public declarations of sponsored travel are posted throughout the year on the public registry.
- Subsection 15(3) of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons requires the Commissioner to prepare the annual List of Sponsored Travel submit it to the Speaker of the House of Commons by March 31.
- Sponsored trips are not considered gifts under the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. They are therefore excluded from its gift rule prohibiting Members from accepting gifts or other benefits that might reasonably be seen to have been given to influence them. However, all benefits (including gifts) received during sponsored trips must be disclosed in a Public Statement of Sponsored Travel by Members.
- Ministers and parliamentary secretaries are prohibited from accepting sponsored travel by the Prime Minister's guidance document, Open and Accountable Government. Under the Conflict of Interest Act, with which ministers and parliamentary secretaries must also comply, such travel would be considered a gift or other advantage and would therefore be subject to the Act's acceptability test for gifts and other advantages.
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