Silenced: Ethics Commissioner Says MPs Can’t Inform Media When They Make Ethics Complaints

This will weaken government transparency even more.

Transparency in Canada is taking another hit.

Mario Dion – the new ethics commissioner who was appointed by Justin Trudeau – says MPs can’t tell the media when they file ethics complaints.

Effectively, they will be silenced when making complaints.

According to the Globe & Mail,“In a pair of rulings Thursday, Mr. Dion said NDP MP Charlie Angus violated a provision of the conflict of interest code for MPs when he spoke publicly about investigation requests that he filed against two other MPs. It is the first time the commissioner’s office has enforced that section of the code, which was added by MPs in 2015. The section says an MP is prevented from making public comments about a complaint until the commissioner confirms that the accused has received a copy or until 14 days have passed.”

Even worse, Dion has previously mused about outright banning the media from reporting on ethics investigation requests.

“You could actually prohibit the media from broadcasting. It may be legal. It may not be constitutional. It has to be looked at, basically,” he told MPs in February.”

Yet again, we see that the political elites give themselves protection from embarrassing news of investigations, at the expense of transparency and accountability.

If MPs are seeking an investigation against other MPs, Canadians deserve to hear about it right away, not have it hidden. Unfortunately, the trend in Ottawa is towards less and less openness to the public, with more happening behind closed doors than ever before.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube