And, as also reported, the opposition has called for an investigation into Belinda Stronach's defection to the Liberal Party from the Conservative Party [Canada.com, Federal ethics battle gets nasty].
New Democrats requested Friday that an ethics investigation into David Emerson's jump to the Conservative cabinet just days after being elected as a Liberal should be expanded to include Stronach's Tory-Liberal leap of last May.Hat tip, Section 15.
The current Conflict of Interest Code's (2004) purpose is to:
(a) maintain and enhance public confidence and trust in the integrity of Members as well as the respect and confidence that society places in the House of Commons as an institution;Et cetera.
(b) demonstrate to the public that Members are held to standards that place the public interest ahead of their private interests and to provide a transparent system by which the public may judge this to be the case;
This code must be enforced.
Irrespective of your feelings about Mr. Shapiro and whether he is a partisan appointment, Prime Minister Harper has a duty to play by the rules until the rules are changed and his refusal to cooperate with Mr. Shapiro sends a poor message about a campaign run on accountability and ethics.
That said, now that Mr. Shapiro has to investigate Belinda Stronach's defection it would look exceedingly silly for Mr. Harper to all of sudden suggest that Paul Martin was well within his rights to appoint Belinda Stronach as a cabinet minister.
Mr. Harper needs to get out from under this cloud and fully support and cooperate with Mr. Shapiro.
Tags: belinda stronach, bernard shapiro, canada, conservative party, ethics, politics