REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE

WEDNESDAY, May 11, 2005

The Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament

has the honour to table its

THIRD REPORT


Pursuant to its authority under Rule 86(1)(f), your Committee is pleased to report as follows:

For many months, your Committee has worked diligently to produce a Conflict of Interest Code.  The Committee’s work proceeded on several tracks.  The Committee considered drafts at length, then appointed a three-person informal working group to consider the various suggestions and viewpoints and draft accordingly.  The informal group worked intensively over the summer of 2004 and early in 2005, as well as periods in between.  In the fall of 2004, the Committee undertook to inform and consult with all Senators, and to take their views into account.  This consultation process resulted in extensive revisions to the Code, which the Committee continued to further fine tune.  Rarely has a document been as thoroughly examined and discussed as this Code.

Your Committee is aware, nevertheless, that no document will please all Senators.  For that reason, we wish to remind Senators of something that the Committee has been mindful of from the beginning: the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators is a work in progress.  It is our Code, and only time and experience will tell if the choices reflected in this draft were the best possible.  If not, we will have the opportunity to revisit it.  Indeed, the Code itself mandates a thorough review after three years by its designated committee and, of course, the Senate may make changes at any time. 

The Code may be found as Appendix A to this report.  Appendix B contains proposed changes to the Rules of the Senate that are consequential to the adoption of the Code.  Your Committee recommends their adoption.  Your Committee has also prepared draft forms for the benefit of the designated committee during the Code’s implementation phase.

 

Location of the Conflict of Interest Code 

Once your Committee finalized the Code itself, we considered whether it should be part of the Rules of the Senate or a stand-alone document.  Although there are good reasons for choosing either approach, your Committee has concluded that the Code should be separate from, but of equal standing to, the Rules. 

A precedent for this approach may be found in the Senate Administrative Rules, which were adopted by the Senate as a separate document on March 30, 2004.   

Some of the provisions of the Code pertain to procedures in the Senate.  These matters will be incorporated into the Rules (see Appendix B), so that the Speaker will have jurisdiction.  In this way, the jurisdiction of the Speaker will be precise and no confusion should arise between the role of the Speaker and the role of the Senate Ethics Officer.

 

Expenses 

In the course of its work on the Code, your Committee received a number of representations concerning expenses that could be incurred by Senators in complying with their obligations under the Code.  Your Committee takes these concerns seriously, but has concluded that such matters are beyond its mandate.  They are, however, within the mandate of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and your Committee recommends that that Committee develop a policy for Code-related expenses.

 

The Need for Guidance and Procedures at an Early Point 

Your Committee has developed a familiarity with the proposed Code from our intensive work.  Other Senators, however, will be aware of its contents only in general terms, and new Senators not at all.  Your Committee therefore recommends that the Senate Ethics Officer and the designated committee develop certain educational tools to accompany the introduction of the Code.  Chief among these should be a succinct summary, even in the form of a list, of Senators’ various obligations under the Code.  For example, some of the key obligations are: 

 

The designated committee 

The committee plays a key role under the Code.  Among other things, it works closely with the Senate Ethics Officer, approves certain inquiries, receives the Officer’s report following an inquiry, and reports to the Senate.  Your Committee believes that the composition of the committee and the rules governing its selection and operation are extremely important.   

We recommend that there should be three goals that govern how the committee is structured.  First, it should be designed so that confidentiality is enhanced.  For this reason, we favour a small committee; five Senators would be ideal.  Second, the committee should be as non-partisan as possible.  To achieve that goal, we recommend that the committee be composed of two Senators from the Government side, two from the Opposition, and one additional Senator, to be chosen by a majority of three of the four.  The Chair should be chosen by at least four members.  Finally, we believe that the Senators on the committee should be representative and have the confidence of other Senators.  To achieve this goal, we recommend that the two members from each caucus should be elected by their own caucus. 

 

Coming into force  

Your Committee believes that all provisions of the Code should come into force upon its adoption, with the exception of the rules that govern the declaration of private interests, participation in debate, and voting in the Senate and in committees.  Senators will need the opportunity to assess their situations and consult with the Senate Ethics Officer where necessary.  Your Committee therefore recommends that sections 14 to 18 come into force 120 days after the Code is adopted.    This is the same time period that Senators have to file their confidential disclosure statements under section 29.

Respectfully submitted,

David Smith
Chair


APPENDIX A

CONFLICT OF INTEREST CODE FOR SENATORS

Purposes

1. The purposes of this Code are to  

(a) maintain and enhance public confidence and trust in the integrity of Senators and the Senate; 

(b) provide for greater certainty and guidance for Senators when dealing with issues that may present foreseeable real or apparent conflicts of interest; and 

(c) establish clear standards and a transparent system by which questions relating to proper conduct may be addressed by an independent, non-partisan adviser.

 

Principles  

2. (1) Given that service in Parliament is a public trust, the Senate recognizes and declares that Senators are expected  

(a) to remain members of their communities and regions and to continue their activities in those communities and regions while serving the public interest and those they represent to the best of their abilities; 

(b) to fulfil their public duties while upholding the highest standards so as to avoid conflicts of interest and maintain and enhance public confidence and trust in the integrity of each Senator and in the Senate; and 

(c) to arrange their private affairs so that foreseeable real or apparent conflicts of interest may be prevented from arising, but if such a conflict does arise, to resolve it in a way that protects the public interest.

(2) The Senate further declares that this Code shall be interpreted and administered so that Senators and their families shall be afforded a reasonable expectation of privacy.


Interpretation  

Definitions  

3. (1) The following definitions apply in this Code. 

“Committee”
« Comité »  

“Committee” means the Committee designated or established under section 37.

“common-law partner”
« conjoint de fait » 

“common-law partner” means a person who is cohabiting with a Senator in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for at least one year.

“Intersessional Authority”
« autorité intersessionnelle  »  

“Intersessional Authority on Conflict of Interest for Senators” means the committee established by section 41.  

“parliamentary duties and functions”
« fonctions parlementaires »  

“parliamentary duties and functions” means duties and activities related to the position of Senator, wherever performed, and includes public and official business and partisan matters.  

“Senate Ethics Officer”
« conseiller sénatorial en éthique »

“Senate Ethics Officer” means the Senate Ethics Officer appointed under section 20.1 of the Parliament of Canada Act.

“spouse”
« époux » 

“spouse” means a person to whom a Senator is married but does not include a person from whom the Senator is separated where all support obligations and family property have been dealt with by a separation agreement or by a court order.

Family members

(2) The following are the family members of a Senator for the purposes of this Code:

(a) a Senator’s spouse or common-law partner; and

(b) a child of a Senator, a child of a Senator’s spouse or common-law partner, or a person whom a Senator treats as a child of the family, who

(i) has not reached the age of 18 years, or

(ii) has reached that age but is primarily dependent on a Senator or a Senator’s spouse or common-law partner for financial support.

 

Activities and Jurisdiction Preserved  

Assisting the public  

4. Senators are encouraged to continue to assist members of the public as long as their actions are consistent with their obligations under this Code.

Carrying on activities

5. Senators who are not ministers of the Crown may participate in any outside activities, including the following, as long as they are able to fulfil their obligations under this Code:

(a) engaging in employment or in the practice of a profession;

(b) carrying on a business;

(c) being a director or officer in a corporation, association, trade union or not-for-profit organization; and

(d) being a partner in a partnership.

Existing Committee jurisdiction

6. Nothing in this Code affects the jurisdiction of the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.

Role of the Speaker

7. Procedural matters referred to in this Code that are expressly provided for in The Rules of the Senate are under the jurisdiction and authority of the Speaker rather than the Senate Ethics Officer.

 

Opinions and Advice  

Request for opinion  

8. (1) In response to a request in writing from a Senator on any matter respecting the Senator’s obligations under this Code, the Senate Ethics Officer shall provide the Senator with a written opinion containing any recommendations that the Senate Ethics Officer considers appropriate.

Opinion binding

(2) An opinion given by the Senate Ethics Officer to a Senator is binding on the Senate Ethics Officer in relation to any subsequent consideration of the subject matter of the opinion as long as all the relevant facts that were known to the Senator were disclosed to the Senate Ethics Officer.

Written advice binding

(3) Any written advice given by the Senate Ethics Officer to a Senator on any matter relating to this Code is binding on the Senate Ethics Officer in relation to any subsequent consideration of the subject matter of the advice as long as all the relevant facts that were known to the Senator were disclosed to the Senate Ethics Officer.

Confidentiality

(4) A written opinion or advice is confidential and may be made public only by the Senator or with his or her written consent.

Committee consideration

(5) A written opinion or advice given by the Senate Ethics Officer under subsection (2) or (3) and relied on by a Senator is conclusive proof that the Senator has fully complied with the Senator’s obligations under this Code in any subsequent consideration by the Committee of the subject matter of the opinion or advice as long as all the relevant facts that were known to the Senator were disclosed to the Senate Ethics Officer.

Publication

(6) Nothing in this section prevents the Senate Ethics Officer, subject to the approval of the Committee, from publishing opinions and advice for the guidance of Senators, provided that no details are included that could identify a Senator.

Guidelines

9. Subject to the approval of the Committee, the Senate Ethics Officer may publish Guidelines for the assistance of Senators on any matter concerning the interpretation of this Code that the Senate Ethics Officer considers advisable.

 

Rules of Conduct

Furthering private interests

10. When performing parliamentary duties and functions, a Senator shall not act or attempt to act in any way to further his or her private interests, or those of a family member, or to improperly further another person’s or entity’s private interests.

Use of influence

11. A Senator shall not use or attempt to use his or her position as a Senator to influence a decision of another person so as to further the Senator’s private interests, or those of a family member, or to improperly further another person’s or entity’s private interests.

Use of information

12. (1) If as a result of his or her position, a Senator obtains information that is not generally available to the public, the Senator shall not use or attempt to use the information to further the Senator’s private interests, or those of a family member, or to improperly further another person’s or entity’s private interests.

Conveying information

(2) A Senator shall not convey or attempt to convey information referred to in subsection (1) to another person if the Senator knows, or reasonably ought to know, that the information may be used to further the Senator’s private interests, or those of a family member, or to improperly further another person’s or entity’s private interests.

Clarification: furthering private interests

13. (1) In sections 10 to 12, furthering private interests of a person or entity, including the Senator’s own private interests, means actions taken by a Senator for the purpose of achieving, directly or indirectly, any of the following:

(a) an increase in, or the preservation of, the value of the person’s or entity’s assets;

(b) the elimination, or reduction in the amount, of the person’s or entity’s liabilities;

(c) the acquisition of a financial interest by the person or entity;

(d) an increase in the person’s or entity’s income from a contract, a business or a profession;

(e) an increase in the person’s income from employment;

(f) the person becoming a director or officer in a corporation, association or trade union; or

(g) the person becoming a partner in a partnership.

Clarification: not furthering private interests

(2) A Senator is not considered to further his or her own private interests or the private interests of another person or entity if the matter in question

(a) is of general application;

(b) affects the Senator or the other person or entity as one of a broad class of the public; or

(c) concerns the remuneration or benefits of the Senator as provided under an Act of Parliament or a resolution of the Senate or of a Senate committee.

Declaration of a private interest: Senate or committee

14. (1 ) If a Senator has reasonable grounds to believe that he or she, or a family member, has a private interest that might be affected by a matter that is before the Senate or a committee of which the Senator is a member, the Senator shall, on the first occasion at which the Senator is present during consideration of the matter, make a declaration regarding the general nature of the private interest. The declaration can be made orally on the record or in writing to the Clerk of the Senate or the Clerk of the committee, as the case may be. The Speaker of the Senate shall cause the declaration to be recorded in the Journals of the Senate and the Chair of the committee shall, subject to subsection (4), cause the declaration to be recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings of the committee.

Subsequent declaration

(2) If a Senator becomes aware at a later date of a private interest that should have been declared under subsection (1), the Senator shall make the required declaration forthwith.

Declaration recorded

(3) The Clerk of the Senate or the Clerk of the committee, as the case may be, shall send the declaration to the Senate Ethics Officer, who shall, subject to subsection (4), file it with the Senator’s public disclosure summary.

Where declaration in camera

(4) In any case in which the declaration was made during an in camera meeting, the Chair of the committee and Senate Ethics Officer shall obtain the consent of the subcommittee on agenda and procedure of the committee concerned before causing the declaration to be recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings of the committee or filing it with the Senator’s public disclosure summary, as the case may be.

Declaration of a private interest: other circumstances

(5) In any circumstances other than those in subsection (1) that involve the Senator’s parliamentary duties and functions, a Senator who has reasonable grounds to believe that he or she, or a family member, has a private interest that might be affected shall make an oral declaration regarding the general nature of the private interest at the first opportunity.

Debate in the Senate

15. (1) A Senator who has reasonable grounds to believe that he or she, or a family member, has a private interest that might be affected by a matter that is before the Senate may participate in debate on that matter, provided that an oral declaration is made on the record prior to each intervention.

Debate in Committee

(2) A Senator who has reasonable grounds to believe that he or she, or a family member, has a private interest that might be affected by a matter that is before a committee of which the Senator is a member may participate in debate on that matter, provided that a declaration is first made orally on the record.

Prohibition on voting

16. A Senator who has reasonable grounds to believe that he or she, or a family member, has a private interest in a matter before the Senate or a committee of which the Senator is a member shall not vote on that matter, but may abstain.

Procedure

17. If a Senator reasonably believes that another Senator has failed to make a declaration of a private interest as required by section 14 or 15, or that another Senator has voted contrary to the prohibition in section 16, the matter may be raised with the Senate Ethics Officer.

Clarification: having a private interest

18. For the purpose of sections 14 to 16, private interest means those interests that can be furthered in subsection 13(1), but does not include the matters listed in subsection 13(2).

Prohibition: gifts and other benefits

19. (1) Neither a Senator, nor a family member, shall accept, directly or indirectly, any gift or other benefit, except compensation authorized by law, that could reasonably be considered to relate to the Senator’s position.

Exception

(2) A Senator, and a family member, may, however, accept gifts or other benefits received as a normal expression of courtesy or protocol, or within the customary standards of hospitality that normally accompany the Senator’s position.

Statement: gift or other benefit

(3) If a gift or other benefit that is accepted under subsection (2) by a Senator or his or her family members exceeds $500 in value, or if the total value of all such gifts or benefits received from one source in a 12-month period exceeds $500, the Senator shall, within 30 days after that value is exceeded, file with the Senate Ethics Officer a statement disclosing the nature and value of the gifts or other benefits, their source and the circumstances under which they were given.

Statement: sponsored travel

20. (1) Notwithstanding subsection 19(1), a Senator may accept, for the Senator and guests of the Senator, sponsored travel that arises from or relates to the Senator’s position. If the travel costs of a Senator or any guest exceed $500 and are not paid personally by the Senator or the guest, and the travel is not paid through the programs for international and interparliamentary affairs of the Parliament of Canada, by the Senate, the Government of Canada, or the Senator’s political party, the Senator shall, within 30 days after the end of the trip, file a statement with the Senate Ethics Officer.

Contents of statement

(2) The statement shall disclose the name of the person or organization paying for the trip, the destination or destinations, the purpose and length of the trip, whether or not any guest was also sponsored, and the general nature of the benefits received.

Duplication

(3) Any disclosure made in relation to sponsored travel does not need to be disclosed as a gift or other benefit.

Consent of Senate

21. Gifts, other benefits and sponsored travel accepted in compliance with the requirements of sections 19 and 20 are deemed to have received the consent of the Senate thereto for all purposes.

Government contracts

22. A Senator shall not knowingly be a party, directly or through a subcontract, to a contract or other business arrangement with the Government of Canada or any federal agency or body under which the Senator receives a benefit unless the Senate Ethics Officer provides a written opinion that

(a) due to special circumstances the contract or other business arrangement is in the public interest; or

(b) the contract or other business arrangement is unlikely to affect the Senator’s obligations under this Code.

Public corporations

23. (1) A Senator may own securities in a public corporation that contracts with the Government of Canada or any federal agency or body unless the holdings are so significant that the Senate Ethics Officer provides a written opinion that they are likely to affect the Senator’s obligations under this Code.

Public interest

(2) A contract between a public corporation and the Government of Canada or any federal agency or body that, in the Senate Ethics Officer’s opinion is in the public interest due to special circumstances, shall not preclude a Senator from holding securities in that public corporation.

Government programs

(3) For the purpose of subsection (1), a public corporation shall not be considered to contract with the Government of Canada or any federal agency or body merely because the corporation participates in a Government program that meets the criteria described in section 25.

Trust

(4) If the Senate Ethics Officer is of the opinion that the Senator’s obligations under this Code are likely to be affected under the circumstances of subsection (1), the Senator may comply with the Code by placing the securities in a trust under such terms as the Senate Ethics Officer considers appropriate.

Partnerships and private corporations

24. A Senator shall not have an interest in a partnership or in a private corporation that is a party, directly or through a subcontract, to a contract or other business arrangement with the Government of Canada or any federal agency or body under which the partnership or corporation receives a benefit unless the Senate Ethics Officer provides a written opinion that

(a) due to special circumstances the contract or other business arrangement is in the public interest; or

(b) the contract or other business arrangement is unlikely to affect the Senator’s obligations under this Code.

Clarification: Government programs

25. For the purposes of sections 22 and 24, it is not prohibited to participate in a program operated or funded, in whole or in part, by the Government of Canada or any federal agency or body under which a Senator, or a partnership or private corporation in which a Senator has an interest, receives a benefit if

(a) the eligibility requirements of the program are met;

(b) the program is of general application or is available to a broad class of the public;

(c) there is no preferential treatment with respect to the application; and

(d) no special benefits are received that are not available to other participants in the program.

Trust

26. Section 24 does not apply if the Senator has entrusted his or her interest in a partnership or private corporation to one or more trustees on all of the following terms:

(a) the provisions of the trust have been approved by the Senate Ethics Officer;

(b) the trustees are at arm’s length from the Senator and have been approved by the Senate Ethics Officer;

(c) except as provided in paragraph (d), the trustees may not consult with the Senator with respect to managing the trust, but they may consult with the Senate Ethics Officer;

(d) the trustees may consult with the Senator, with the approval of the Senate Ethics Officer and in his or her presence, if an extraordinary event is likely to materially affect the trust property;

(e) in the case of an interest in a corporation, the Senator resigns any position of director or officer in the corporation;

(f) the trustees provide the Senate Ethics Officer annually with a written report setting out the nature of the trust property, the value of that property, the trust’s net income for the preceding year and the trustees’ fees, if any; and

(g) the trustees give the Senator sufficient information to permit the Senator to submit returns as required by the Income Tax Act and give the same information to the appropriate taxation authorities.

Pre-existing contracts

27. The rules in sections 22, 23 and 24 do not apply to a contract or other business arrangement that existed before a Senator’s appointment to the Senate, but they do apply to its renewal or extension.

Interest acquired by inheritance

28. The rules in sections 22, 23 and 24 do not apply to an interest acquired by inheritance until the first anniversary date of the transfer of legal and beneficial ownership. In special circumstances, the Senate Ethics Officer may extend this time period.

 

Duty to Disclose  

Confidential disclosure statement: sitting Senators

29. (1) A Senator who holds office on the day this Code comes into force shall, within 120 days after that day, and annually thereafter on or before the date established by the Senate Ethics Officer under subsection (2), file with the Senate Ethics Officer a confidential statement disclosing the information required by section 30.

Filing date

(2) The date on or before which the annual confidential disclosure statements are required to be filed shall be established by the Senate Ethics Officer following approval by the Committee.

Confidential disclosure statement: new Senators

(3) A Senator shall, within 120 days after being summoned to the Senate, and annually thereafter on or before the date established by the Senate Ethics Officer under subsection (2), file with the Senate Ethics Officer a confidential statement disclosing the information required by section 30.

Submission to Committee

(4) Thirty days after the date established under subsection (2), the Senate Ethics Officer shall submit to the Committee the name of any Senator who has not complied with his or her duty to file a confidential disclosure statement.

Errors or Omissions

(5) If, at any time after the date established under subsection (2), the Senate Ethics Officer has reason to believe that a Senator’s confidential statement contains an error or omission, the Senate Ethics Officer shall notify the Senator concerned and request the Senator to provide the relevant information.

Response within 60 days

(6) Upon receipt of a request under subsection (5), the Senator shall provide the information within 60 days.

Family members

(7) A Senator may file with the Senate Ethics Officer a confidential disclosure statement relating to the Senator’s family members so that the Senator may discuss their interests in relation to the Senator’s obligations under this Code and receive advice in that regard.

Confidentiality

(8) The Senate Ethics Officer and all officers, employees, agents, advisers and consultants that may be employed or engaged by the Senate Ethics Officer shall keep all statements confidential.

Initial meeting with Senate Ethics Officer

(9) Senators, and in particular newly-summoned Senators, who may have questions regarding their confidential disclosure duties should make every effort to meet with the Senate Ethics Officer before submitting their confidential disclosure statement.

Contents of confidential disclosure statement

30. (1) Subject to subsection (2) regarding excluded matters, and any Guidelines published by the Senate Ethics Officer under section 9, the confidential disclosure statement shall list :  

  1. any corporations, income trusts and trade unions in which the Senator is a director or officer and any partnerships in which the Senator is a partner, including a description of the activities of each entity;

  2. any associations and not-for-profit organizations in which the Senator is a director, officer or patron, including memberships on advisory boards and any honorary positions;

  3. the nature but not the amount of any source of income over $2,000 that the Senator has received in the preceding 12 months and is likely to receive during the next 12 months; for this purpose,

    (i) a source of income from employment is the employer,

    (ii) a source of income from a contract is a party with whom the contract is made,

    (iii) a source of income arising from a business or profession is that business or profession, and

    (iv) a source of income arising from an investment is that investment;

  4. the source, nature and value of any contracts or other business arrangements with the Government of Canada or a federal agency or body that the Senator has directly, or through a subcontract;

  5. the source, nature and value of any contracts, subcontracts or other business arrangements with the Government of Canada or a federal agency or body that the Senator has by virtue of a partnership or a significant interest in a private corporation that the Senator is able to ascertain by making reasonable inquiries;

  6. the source, nature and value of any contracts or other business arrangements with the Government of Canada or a federal agency or body that a member of the Senator’s family has, directly or through a subcontract, or by virtue of a partnership or a significant interest in a private corporation, that the Senator is able to ascertain by making reasonable inquiries;

  7. information regarding the nature but not the value of any assets and liabilities over $10,000; and

  8. any additional information that the Senator believes to be relevant to this Code.

Excluded matters

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), it is not required to disclose properties used by the Senator or family members as residences; mortgages or hypothecs on such residences; household goods; personal effects; deposits with a financial institution; guaranteed investment certificates; financial instruments issued by any Canadian government or agency; and obligations incurred for living expenses that will be discharged in the ordinary course of the Senator’s affairs.

Additional excluded matters

(3) The Senate Ethics Officer may, with the approval of the Committee, establish additional matters not required to be disclosed on the basis that they present no potential to interfere with the obligations of a Senator under this Code.

Material change

(4) A Senator shall report in writing any material change to the information relating to the confidential disclosure statement to the Senate Ethics Officer within 60 days after the change.

Meeting with the Senate Ethics Officer

31. After reviewing a Senator’s confidential statement, the Senate Ethics Officer may request to meet with the Senator to discuss the statement and the Senator’s obligations under this Code.

Public disclosure summary

32. The Senate Ethics Officer shall prepare a public disclosure summary based on each Senator’s confidential statement and submit it to the Senator for review.

Contents of public disclosure summary

33. (1) The public disclosure summary shall list

  1. any corporations, income trusts and trade unions in which the Senator is a director or officer and any partnerships in which the Senator is a partner, including a description of the activities of each entity;  

  2. any associations and not-for-profit organizations in which the Senator is a director, officer or patron, including memberships on advisory boards and any honorary positions;  

  3. the source and nature but not the amount of any income that the Senator has received in the preceding 12 months and is likely to receive in the next 12 months that the Senate Ethics Officer has determined could relate to the parliamentary duties and functions of the Senator or could otherwise be relevant;  

  4. the source and nature but not the value of any contracts or other business arrangements with the Government of Canada or a federal agency or body that the Senator has, directly or through a subcontract, including the Senate Ethics Officer’s written opinion authorizing them;  

  5. the source and nature but not the value of any contracts, subcontracts or other business arrangements with the Government of Canada or a federal agency or body that the Senator has by virtue of a partnership or a significant interest in a private corporation that the Senator is able to ascertain by making reasonable inquiries, including the Senate Ethics Officer’s written opinion authorizing them;  

  6. the source and nature but not the value of any contracts or other business arrangements with the Government of Canada or a federal agency or body that a member of the Senator’s family has, directly or through a subcontract, or by virtue of a partnership or a significant interest in a private corporation, that the Senator is able to ascertain by making reasonable inquiries;  

  7. information regarding the nature but not the value of any assets and liabilities that the Senate Ethics Officer has determined could relate to the parliamentary duties and functions of the Senator or could otherwise be relevant;  

  8. any declarations of a private interest under section 14, unless the Senate Ethics Officer is of the opinion that the information need not have been declared;  

  9. any statements filed under sections 19 and 20 in relation to gifts and sponsored travel; and  

  10. any statements of material change that pertain to the contents of this summary.

Discretion  

(2) The Senate Ethics Officer need not include in the public disclosure summary information that he or she determines should not be disclosed because

(a) the information is not relevant to the purposes of this Code or is inconsequential, or

(b) a departure from the general principle of public disclosure is justified in the circumstances.

Disagreement

34. In cases of disagreement between a Senator and the Senate Ethics Officer regarding the contents of the public disclosure summary, the Senate Ethics Officer shall refer the disputed matter to the Committee for decision.

Public inspection

35. Each public disclosure summary is to be placed on file at the office of the Senate Ethics Officer and made available for public inspection.

Evasion

36. A Senator shall not take any action that has as its purpose the evasion of the Senator’s obligations under this Code.

 

Committee  

Designation or Establishment 

37. (1) At the beginning of each session, a Committee of the Senate shall be designated or established for the purposes of this Code.

Membership

(2) The Committee shall be composed of five members, three of whom shall constitute a quorum.

No ex officio members

(3) The Committee shall have no ex officio members.

Election of members

(4) Two of the Committee members shall be elected by secret ballot in the caucus of Government Senators at the opening of the session; two of the Committee members shall be elected by secret ballot in the caucus of Opposition Senators at the opening of the session; the fifth member shall be elected by the majority of the other four members after the election of the last of the other four members.

Presentation and adoption of motion

(5) The Leader of the Government in the Senate, seconded by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, shall present a motion on the full membership of the Committee to the Senate, which motion shall be deemed adopted without any debate or vote.

Chair

(6) The Chair of the Committee shall be elected by four or more members.

Removal

(7) A member is deemed removed from the Committee as of the time that:

(a) the Senate Ethics Officer informs the Committee that a request for an inquiry made by the Senator is warranted; or

(b) the Senator becomes the subject of an inquiry under the Code.

Substitutions

(8) Where a vacancy occurs in the membership of the Committee, the replacement member shall be elected by the same method as the former member being replaced. 

Meetings in camera

38. (1) Subject to subsection (2), meetings of the Committee shall be held in camera.

Meetings in public

(2) At the request of a Senator who is the subject of an investigation, the Committee may hold meetings at which the investigation is being conducted in public.

Attendance

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the Committee may limit attendance at its meetings.

Affected Senator

(4) The Committee shall give notice to a Senator who is the subject of an investigation of all meetings at which the investigation is being conducted, and shall admit the Senator to those meetings, but the Committee may exclude that Senator from those meetings or portions of meetings at which the Committee is considering a draft agenda or a draft report.

Withdrawal

(5) A member of the Committee who is the subject of a matter being considered by the Committee relating to that specific Senator shall withdraw from the Committee during its deliberations.

Jurisdiction

39. (1) The Committee is responsible for all matters relating to this Code, including all forms involving Senators that are used in its administration, subject to the general jurisdiction of the Senate.

Senate Ethics Officer

(2) The Senate Ethics Officer shall carry out his or her duties and functions under the general direction of the Committee.

Directives

(3) The Committee may give Directives to the Senate Ethics Officer concerning the interpretation and administration of this Code.

Appeals to the Committee

(4) All decisions of the Senate Ethics Officer may be appealed to the Committee.

Decisions binding

(5) All decisions of the Committee made under subsection (4) are binding on the Committee in relation to any subsequent consideration of the same subject matter as long as all the relevant facts that were known to the Senator were disclosed to the Committee.

Confidentiality

40. All information relating to the private interests of Senators and those of their family members is to be kept confidential, except in accordance with this Code.

 

Intersessional Authority

Intersessional Authority created

41.   During a period of prorogation or dissolution of Parliament and until the members of a successor Committee are appointed by the Senate, there shall be a committee known as the Senate Intersessional Authority on Conflict of Interest for Senators.

Composition

4 2. The Intersessional Authority on Conflict of Interest for Senators shall be composed of the members of the Committee.

General authority

43. (1) The Senate Ethics Officer shall carry out his or her duties and functions under the general direction of the Intersessional Authority on Conflict of Interest for Senators.

Additional functions

(2) Subject to the rules, direction and control of the Senate and of the Committee, the Intersessional Authority on Conflict of Interest for Senators shall carry out such other of the Committee's duties and functions as the Committee gives to it by resolution.

 

Inquiries and Investigations  

Direction by the Committee  

44. (1) The Committee may direct the Senate Ethics Officer to conduct an inquiry to determine whether a Senator has complied with his or her obligations under this Code. 

Request for an inquiry  

(2) A Senator who has reasonable grounds to believe that another Senator has not complied with his or her obligations under this Code may request that the Senate Ethics Officer conduct an inquiry into the matter. 

Form of request  

(3) The request shall be in writing, shall be signed by the requesting Senator, shall identify the alleged non-compliance with this Code and shall set out the reasonable grounds for the belief that the Code has not been complied with. 

Request to be sent  

(4) The Senate Ethics Officer shall forward the request for an inquiry to the Senator who is the subject of the request and afford the Senator a reasonable opportunity to respond.  

Preliminary review  

(5) After a preliminary review to determine whether or not an inquiry is warranted, the Senate Ethics Officer shall notify both the requesting Senator and the Senator who is the subject of the request of his or her decision. 

If inquiry warranted  

(6) If the Senate Ethics Officer’s decision under subsection (5) is that an inquiry is warranted, the Senate Ethics Officer shall so inform the Committee.  

Receipt of information  

(7) If, after receiving significant evidence, the Senate Ethics Officer believes that an inquiry may be warranted to determine whether a Senator has complied with his or her obligations under this Code, the Senate Ethics Officer shall provide the Senator written notice of his or her concerns and any documentation upon which those concerns are based, and shall afford the Senator a reasonable opportunity to address the issues.  

Committee to approve  

(8) Following the measures taken in subsection (7), if the Senate Ethics Officer has reasonable grounds to believe that an inquiry is warranted to determine whether the Senator has complied with his or her obligations under this Code, the Senate Ethics Officer shall request the Committee to approve the inquiry, and may proceed when approval has been received.  

Notice  

(9) Once approval to conduct an inquiry has been received under subsection (8), the Senate Ethics Officer shall provide the Senator concerned with his or her reasons for the opinion that an inquiry is warranted.  

Respect for the inquiry process  

(10) Once a request for an inquiry has been made, or direction or approval for an inquiry has been given, Senators should respect the process established by this Code. 

Inquiry to be confidential  

(11) The Senate Ethics Officer shall conduct a confidential inquiry as promptly as the circumstances permit, provided that at all appropriate stages throughout the inquiry the Senate Ethics Officer shall give the Senator a reasonable opportunity to be present and to make representations to the Senate Ethics Officer in writing or in person, by counsel or by any other representative. 

Cooperation  

(12) Senators shall cooperate without delay with the Senate Ethics Officer with respect to any inquiry. 

Powers of Senate Ethics Officer  

(13) In carrying out an inquiry, the Senate Ethics Officer may send for persons, papers, things and records, which measures may be enforced by the Senate acting on the recommendation of the Committee following a request from the Senate Ethics Officer. 

Report to the Committee  

45. (1) Following an inquiry the Senate Ethics Officer shall report confidentially in writing to the Committee. 

Contents of report 

(2) The Senate Ethics Officer may make findings and recommendations, including: 

( a) that the complaint appears to be unfounded and should be dismissed; 

(b) that the request for an inquiry was frivolous or vexatious or was not made in good faith, or that there were no grounds or insufficient grounds to warrant an inquiry or the continuation of an inquiry;  

( c) that the complaint appears to be founded and that remedial action has been agreed to by the Senator involved; or 

( d) that the complaint appears to be founded, but that no remedial action was available or agreed to by the Senator involved.

Bad faith

(3) Where the Senate Ethics Officer makes a finding that the complaint or request for an inquiry was frivolous or vexatious or was not made in good faith, he or she may recommend that action be considered against the person who made the complaint or request.

Mitigation

(4) If the Senate Ethics Officer concludes that a Senator has not complied with an obligation under this Code but that the Senator took all reasonable measures to prevent the non-compliance, or that the non-compliance was trivial or occurred through inadvertence or an error in judgement made in good faith, the Senate Ethics Officer shall so state in the report and may recommend that no sanction be imposed.

General recommendations

(5) The Senate Ethics Officer may include in the report any recommendations arising from the matter that concern the general interpretation of this Code.

Reasons

(6) The Senate Ethics Officer shall include in the report reasons and any supporting documentation for any findings and recommendations.

Consideration of report

46. (1) The Committee shall take into consideration a report received from the Senate Ethics Officer under section 45 as promptly as circumstances permit.

Due process

(2) The Committee shall provide, without delay, a copy of the report of the Senate Ethics Officer to the Senator who was the subject of the inquiry, and shall afford that Senator the opportunity to be heard by the Committee.

Investigation

(3) In considering a report, the Committee may:

(a) conduct an investigation; or

(b) direct that the Senate Ethics Officer’s inquiry be continued and refer the report back to the Senate Ethics Officer for such further information as the Committee specifies.

Committee report

(4) Subject to subsection (5), following its consideration under this section of a report of the Senate Ethics Officer, the Committee shall report to the Senate.

No report required

(5) Where the Committee finds that a complaint against a Senator was unfounded, the Committee is not required to report to the Senate unless the Senator concerned requests that it do so.

Contents of report

(6) In its report to the Senate, the Committee shall report the fact of the inquiry and give its findings with respect thereto, its recommendations if any, and its reasons and the supporting documentation for any findings or recommendations.

Remedial action

(7) The Committee may recommend that the Senator be ordered to take specific action or be sanctioned.

Anonymity

(8) Where the Committee finds that a complaint is unfounded and reports to the Senate, its report may, at the Senator’s request, keep the Senator’s name anonymous in order to protect the Senator’s reputation.

Suspension of investigation or inquiry: Act of Parliament

47. (1) The Committee or the Senate Ethics Officer may suspend the investigation or inquiry if

(a) there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Senator has committed an offence under an Act of Parliament in relation to the same subject matter, in which case the Committee or Senate Ethics Officer, subject to subsection (4), shall refer the matter to the proper authorities; or

(b) it is discovered that

(i) the subject matter under investigation or inquiry is also the subject matter of an investigation to determine if an offence under an Act of Parliament has been committed, or

(ii) a charge has been laid with respect to that subject matter.

Investigation or inquiry continued

(2) If the Committee or the Senate Ethics Officer has suspended the investigation or inquiry, it may resume once the other investigation or charge regarding the same subject matter has been finally disposed of.

Suspension of investigation or inquiry: other laws

(3) The Committee or the Senate Ethics Officer may suspend the investigation or inquiry and subject to subsection (4), refer the matter to the proper authorities if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Senator has committed an offence under the law of a Canadian province or territory in relation to the same subject matter, and may continue the investigation or inquiry when any actions arising from the referral have been completed.

Advice of Committee

(4) The Senate Ethics Officer shall seek the advice of the Committee before making a referral to the proper authorities.

Notice for motion to adopt

48. (1) A motion that the Senate adopt a report referred to in subsection 46(4) shall be put pursuant to the notice provisions of paragraph 58(1)(g) of the Rules of the Senate.

Motion

(2) A motion to adopt a report referred to in subsection 46(4) shall be deemed to have been moved on the fifth sitting day subsequent to the presentation of the report if the motion has not yet been moved.

Senator may speak

(3) After a motion to adopt a report has been moved, or has been deemed to have been moved, no vote may be held for at least five sitting days, or until the Senator who is the subject of the report has spoken to the motion for its adoption, whichever is the sooner.

Right to speak last

(4) The Senator who is the subject of the report may exercise the right of final reply.

Senate vote

(5) If a motion for the adoption of a report has not been put to a vote by the 15 th sitting day after the motion was moved or deemed to have been moved, the Speaker shall immediately put all necessary questions to dispose of the matter when the item is called.

Referral back

(6) The Senate may refer any report back to the Committee for further consideration.

 

Miscellaneous  

Privacy to be minimally impaired  

49. In interpreting and administering this Code, reasonable expectations of privacy shall be impaired as minimally as possible.  

Confidentiality  

50. The Senate Ethics Officer and all officers, employees, agents, advisers and consultants that may be employed or engaged by the Senate Ethics Officer shall keep confidential all matters required to be kept confidential under this Code. Failure to do so shall constitute behaviour sufficient to justify either or both of the following

(a) a resolution by the Senate under subsection 20.2(1) of the Parliament of Canada Act requesting the Governor in Council to remove the Senate Ethics Officer from office;

(b) dismissal of any officers, employees, agents, advisers or consultants involved.

Retention of documents

51. (1) The Senate Ethics Officer shall retain all confidential documents relating to a Senator for a period of 12 months after he or she ceases to be a Senator, after which the documents shall be destroyed, subject to subsection (2), unless there is an inquiry in progress under this Code concerning them or a charge has been laid against the Senator and the documents may relate to that matter.

(2) At a Senator’s request, confidential documents originating with the Senator may be returned to the Senator instead of being destroyed.

Committee review

52. The Committee shall, within three years after the coming into force of this Code and every five years thereafter, undertake a comprehensive review of its provisions and operation, and shall submit a report to the Senate thereon, including a statement of any changes the Committee recommends.


Appendix B 

Changes to the Rules of the Senate to incorporate procedural consequences as required by the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators. 

 

Scope of Speaker’s Authority (New Rule 18 (2.1)) 

With respect to the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, the authority of the Speaker is limited to matters expressly incorporated into these rules.

 

Declaration of interest (New Rule 32.1) 

After a Senator has made an oral or written declaration of private interest pursuant to the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, the Speaker shall cause the declaration to be recorded in the Journals of the Senate.

 

Right of final reply (Rule 35) 

A Senator shall have the right of final reply if: 

(a)         the Senator has moved the second reading of a bill or made a substantive motion, other than a motion to adopt a committee report on the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators pertaining to the conduct of a Senator, or an inquiry; or

(b)         the Senator is the subject of a report made by a committee under the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators.

 

Role of Selection Committee (Rule 85) 

85(1) (a) and

(b)     the Senators to serve on the several select committees, except the Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators.

 

Report by the Leader of the Government (Rule 85) 

85 (2.1) The Leader of the Government shall present a motion, seconded by the Leader of the Opposition, to the Senate on the membership of the Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators at the beginning of each session and this motion will be deemed adopted without debate or vote when moved and a similar motion will be moved for any substitution in the membership of the Committee. 

85 (4)  Except as provided in subsection (1) above and subject to subsection (5) below, a change in the membership of a committee may be made by a notice filed with the Clerk of the Senate who shall cause such change to be recorded in the Journals of the Senate.

 

Mandate of the Committee (Rule 86) 

86(1)(t) The  Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators, composed of 5 members, 3 of whom shall constitute a quorum, which is authorized on its own initiative:  

(i)  to exercise general direction over the Senate Ethics Officer; and

(ii) to be responsible for all matters relating to the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, including all forms involving Senators that are used in its administration, subject to the general jurisdiction of the Senate.

 

Ex officio (Rule 87) 

The Leader of the Government in the Senate, or in the absence of that Leader, the Deputy Leader of the Government, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, or, in the absence of that Leader, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, are members ex officio in addition to the number of appointed members, of the Committee of Selection and all select committees of the Senate except the Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators. 

 

Participation by non-members (New Rule 91) 

91(1)   Except as provided in section (2) below a Senator though not a member of a committee may attend and participate in its deliberations but shall not vote.

     (2)  When the Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators is meeting in camera, only Senators who are members of the Committee or, by decision of the Committee, a Senator who is the subject of its inquiry or investigation, can attend and participate in its deliberations.

 

In  Camera Meetings (Rule 92 (2.1))

Meetings of the Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators shall be in camera unless the Committee accepts the request of the Senator who is the subject of an inquiry or investigation that the meetings be public.

 

Declarations in Committee (Rule 94 partially deleted)

Rule 94 (3) to (10) be deleted.

 

Sitting during adjournment (Rule 95)

95(2) Except as provided in subsection (3.1) below, ….

95(3) Except as provided in subsection (3.1) below, …

95 (3.1) The Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators may sit during any adjournment of the Senate.

 

Committee Report (Rule 97)

97(1.1)  A report of the Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators may be deposited with the Clerk of the Senate when the Senate stands adjourned and the report will be deemed to have been presented to the Senate at the next sitting.

         (6) A motion to adopt a report presented on the conduct of an individual  Senator under the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators shall, if the motion has not already been moved, be deemed to have been made on the fifth sitting day following its presentation.  

         (7) No vote on the adoption of a report presented pursuant to subsection (6) shall be held for at least five sitting days or until the Senator who is the subject of the report has spoken, whichever is sooner.  

         (8) If the adoption of a report presented pursuant to subsection (6) has not been put to a vote on the fifteenth sitting day after it was moved, the Speaker shall put all necessary questions to dispose of the report when it is called.  

         (9) If the questions to dispose of a report pursuant to subsection (8) are put prior to 5:30 o’clock p.m., any standing vote requested in relation thereto shall not be subject to the provisions of rule 67 and shall be deferred until 5:30 o’clock p.m. of the same afternoon. 

         (10) If the questions to dispose of a report pursuant to subsection (8) are put  after 5:30 o’clock p.m., any standing vote requested in relation thereto shall be deferred until 5:30 o’clock p.m. in the afternoon of the next day thereafter on which the Senate sits. 

 

Consequential Changes 

The Clerk of the Senate is authorized to make any consequential changes necessary to properly incorporate these changes into the Rules of the Senate.


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