Improving Ethics Laws
We cannot have a healthy democracy with unethical politicians.
However, they continue to show up because the discipline is weak.
Discipline is needed.
Strong Ethics Laws with teeth are needed.
Trust grows when politicians are disciplined.
Improving Ethics Laws
The written ethics laws governing politicians are, for the most part, adequate.
Unfortunately, the penalties are very weak and the discipline to enforce them is substandard and may even be terrible. Did you know the maximum ethics penalty is $500?
You can decide for yourself. A link to a case example is provided below.
Please follow this federal link and read the rules and to whom they apply.
Office of the Ethics Commissioner
Politicians must be disciplined to obey the highest standards of ethics.
Why? Because they influence voters, our money, livelihoods, and our future.
The Beauty of the Voters Writing the
Only Canadian citizens can create effective Ethics Laws.
There is trust in Government when citizens know unethical people will be removed and penalized properly.
Voters have a legitimate reason to write the Ethics Laws: Canadian Democracy would not exist without money from taxes, our sweat, and toil.
Voters stand to lose their money by allowing unethical people into the government. Voters know how important Ethics laws are.
Voters are responsible for the integrity of Canadian Democracy for our children. We the citizens are responsible to produce a beautiful quality Democracy.
And most important, Canadian Voters are the employer.
Current Ethics Laws can allow unethical people to remain in control of our tax money.
The Voters should set the penalties for all unethical behaviour.
Loss of pension?
Why have strong Ethics Laws?
Our Democracy cannot afford unethical people.
It is a known fact that weak discipline breeds corruption and further unethical actions.
Penalty features, and things to consider:
Does the person hold a position with the ability to influence, distribute, or control Voter Taxpayer's money?
Did the person completely disregard the Ethics Laws?
Did the person hire a family member? Financial gain?
Did the person influence a government contract?
Did they lie to get a position?
Possible Penalty Options:
Removal from their position.
Loss of all or a portion of their future pension income.
Prohibited a position at any level of government.
Forfeit of the election.
Payment of a fine relative to their income.
Note: There have been politicians who have stated that they did not understand the rules!
Voters expect that highly educated and professional people are capable of understanding laws.
Removal from the position?
Block unethical people from government jobs, at any level?
Example of an Ethics Investigation.
Re: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau/WE Charity
Ethics Commissioner Report:
Trudeau III Report May 13, 2021, full report.
You can read the Ethics commissioner's full report by following this link:
Next Level Democracy Condensed Report:
PM Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party proposed giving a contract, worth close to a billion dollars, to a Charity called WE. To be approved, it has to be voted on by the members of parliament. With enough votes, the Charity gets the money.
The Ethics rules state that a politician cannot vote on an issue if there is a conflict of interest.
Translation: A politician cannot vote if they or their family could in any way, be connected to the charity which is to receive the contract.
Facts connecting Justin Trudeau to WE charity.
1 ) Justin Trudeau has on numerous occasions, participated in WE events.
"Trudeau has appeared at WE Day more than half a dozen times since becoming a member of Parliament in 2008.
UPDATE - July 9, 2020: The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying “according to Speaker’s Spotlight records, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau received $1500 for participation in an event in 2012, before the prime minister was leader of the Liberal Party. The Prime Minister has never received payment for any events with WE.”
""Trudeau had said WE Charity was only organization capable of running COVID-19 volunteer program"
NOTE: "The union of public servants, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, cast doubt on the government’s assertions that WE Charity was the only group that could administer the new grant program, saying that was not only “factually wrong” but also “insulting” to its members."
Huff Post, July 3, 2020.
2) Justin's wife has been involved with the WE charity.
"She has interviewed her mother-in-law, Margaret Trudeau, on the podcast, and the two, along with the prime minister, are regular guests on the WE Day stage in Canada, as well as in Britain and in the United States where they motivate young people to help others."
3 ) Justin's mother and brother have collectively, been paid close to half a million dollars to speak at WE charity events.
"WE says it paid $312,000 for 28 speaking events by Margaret Trudeau, the mother of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and $40,000 for eight events with Alexandre “Sacha” Trudeau, the PM’s brother. These totals include a 20% commission paid to Margaret and Alexandre Trudeau’s speaking agency, WE says.
These admissions contradict an earlier statement that their charity never paid the Trudeau family for speeches, and follow the discovery by Canadaland of invoices from the agency addressed to the charity."
Canada Land July 9 2020, https://www.canadaland.com/trudeau-family-paid-by-we-organization
4 ) Justin's chief of staff had previous ties to the WE charity.
"His chief of staff, Katie Telford, is a co-founder of Artbound, a Toronto charity that puts on glamorous parties to raise money in support of arts education abroad. Their first project involved funding an arts program in a school run by WE Charity (then known as Free The Children). According to the latest Canada Revenue Agency filings, Artbound’s largest donation was a $30,000 gift to WE Charity in 2018 for a project in Haiti. It also gave WE Charity more than $50,000 the previous year.
Telford is not involved in the running of the organization, and her ties ceased before she became Trudeau’s chief of staff, Ahmad said. According to WE Charity’s annual reports, she was last listed as an “outstanding partner and supporter” in 2017. (Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s former principal secretary is also listed that year, as is AOL Canada, which is a sister brand to HuffPost. Both are now owned by Verizon Media)."
5 ) Justin's Finance Minister, was involved with the WE charity.
"It was noted that not only had the charity employed a daughter of former Finance minister Bill Morneau but a close relationship existed between the Finance Minister and members of its staff. "
" Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion ruled that Morneau had contravened sections 6(1), 7, and 21 of the Federal Conflict of Interest Act.  In the ruling, Dion stated: "The examination found the relationship between Mr. Morneau and WE included an unusually high degree of involvement between their representatives and afforded WE unfettered access to the Office of the Minister of Finance, which amounted to preferential treatment." Dion also ruled that this preferential treatment was a result of the close friendship between Bill Morneau and members of WE Charity.  Dion added that "this unfettered access to the Office of the Minister of Finance was based on the identity of WE’s representative, Mr. Craig Kielburger", who was both a constituent and close friend of Bill Morneau. "
We Charity scandal Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WE_Charity_scandal
6 ) Justin ignores the Ethics Rule and votes to give the WE charity close to a billion dollars.
Reaction to Justin Trudeau's behaviour.
The Conservative party makes a formal request to the Ethics Office, that Justin Trudeau be investigated by the Ethics Commissioner for his behaviour.
When a request for an investigation is submitted, the Ethics Office under the Ethics commissioner investigates the alleged offence.
The Ethics commissioner's ruling:
The Ethics commissioner rules that Justin Trudeau was not in Conflict of Interest.
NOTE: The Ethics Commissioner was appointed by the Liberals.
"Mario Dion is a career Civil Servant with an undistinguished record whose previous work was scorned by Canada’s former auditor general in 2014. He found that Dion was responsible for the “gross mismanagement” in two separate case files managed when he was the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. Despite his failings in that role, Dion was appointed to a seven-year term as Ethics Commissioner in a secretive, unethical process by the Trudeau Liberal government in January 2018."
"In naming Dion, the government ignored a legislated requirement to involve the opposition in his nomination and he was appointed without any consensual support from the Opposition parties. In a premeditated scheme, Liberal MPs orchestrated a hastily convened Parliamentary committee to rubber stamp his appointment,running roughshod over Opposition MPs who raised serious concerns about his ability and credibility to carry out the duties of Ethics Commissioner. "
Ottawa Life Magazine July 11, 2019
What do you think?
Justin Trudeau's family members were paid by the WE charity, just under half a million dollars collectively.
Do you think Justin Trudeau was in a conflict of interest?
Is there deliberate twisting of the truth in order to find Justin not guilty?
Should the Ethics commissioner be voted into office by the Canadian citizens?
Should the Ethics commissioner be held to strict discipline and reprimand?
What do you think about the penalties?
Currently, the maximum penalty for any ethics violation does not exceed $500.
Conflict of interest rules C-36.65 -Violation:
52 "Every public office holder who contravenes one of the following provisions commits a violation and is liable to an administrative monetary penalty not exceeding $500:"
Should the penalty match the seriousness of the Ethics violation?
For instance, Justin Trudeau is in the highest office in our government. If he was to have been found guilty, he would have been fined $500.
Do you find this penalty weak considering that he would be trying to influence a $ billion contract?
Please write into Next-Level-Democracy and tell us what you think the fines should be.