Report: Liberal MP Broke Conflict Of Interest Rules With Robocalls

MP made robocalls in support of her husband’s campaign for city council position in Ottawa.

Another Liberal MP has been found in violation of Canada’s conflict of interest rules.

The Ethics Commissioner has ruled that MP Anita Vandenbeld violated the rules by making robocalls in support of her husband’s campaign for an Ottawa City Council seat.

The report indicates that Vandenbeld ceased her campaigning when informed that she was breaking the rules.

According to the Ethics Commissioner, Vandenbeld used her MP title to endorse her husband, who was running in an area that she represented as an MP. As a result, that is considered an attempt to use her position to influence voters to support her spouse, which is prohibited.

Here is a key excerpt of the report:

“It is clear that Bay Ward voters had a decision to make as to which candidate they will cast their vote for in the 2018 municipal election. I found that when Ms. Vandenbeld used her position as a Member of the House of Commons, she sought to influence those voters and that her actions could further the private interests of a family member.

Since Ms. Vandenbeld’s spouse was ultimately not elected to public office, no private interests were actually furthered. I therefore found that she did not contravene section 9 of the Code.

While Ms. Vandenbeld’s actions did not produce the result that was intended, she did nonetheless attempt to use her position as a Member to influence the decision of voters in Bay Ward to further the private interests of her spouse, an activity prohibited by section 9. I therefore found that she contravened section 11 of the Code.

In the report, I also noted that in my view, the Code does not prevent Members from participating in election campaigns in their private or partisan capacities, provided they do so without ever using their position as Members.”

While this isn’t the most egregious example of ethics violations, it’s yet another example of the Liberals contravening the rules for their own political benefit, a key reason many Canadians no longer trust this government.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube