Is the ethics commissioner enough?

Can Mary Dawson sort out the Duffy-Wright affair?


In regards to the matter of Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy, the Canadian Press considers the limitations of the ethics commissioner.

The Harper government has deferred to the commissioner as a part of the remedy in this case, the implicit message being, don’t worry, the ethics commissioner (and the Senate’s internal economy committee and the Senate ethics officer) will sort this all out. And so the ethics commissioner’s mandate and power must be considered: Is an investigation by the commissioner going to be sufficient here? And should the House of Commons merely wait to see what the commissioner’s work accomplishes?


Is the ethics commissioner enough?

  1. Doesn’t the RCMP make decisions for itself? Does the RCMP make public announcements about who it may or may not be investigating?

    If Harper invited the RCMP to investigate would this be sufficient for the media? But why would he have to do that, since the RCMP can decide for itself, right?

    • Kady says that the Senate represents its own jurisdiction and as a result the RCMP actually requires permission of the Speaker before investigating.

      • Nigel Wright wasn’t/isn’t a Senator.

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  3. Put some scare quotes around ethics, Wherry, and you have your answer I reckon.

  4. Ethics Commissioner has some independence from Cabinet, but was chosen by the Cabinet, and has a very weak enforcement record that includes covering up for Nigel Wright twice, 80 secret rulings, and dozens of Cabinet ministers and MPs let off the hook even though they clearly violated the federal ethics law or Code — http://democracywatch.ca/20130510-ethics-commissioner-ignores-another-clear-case/

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