As International Anti-Corruption
Day again passes by, Canadian governments
continue to fail to fulfill UN Convention
Against Corruption requirements and other
international good government standards
have still not responded to May 2010 Oliphant
Commission Report recommendations
Anti-Corruption video Public
Service Announcements for Canadian media
to air/post on websites
Friday, December 9, 2011
OTTAWA - Today, on International Anti-Corruption Day, Democracy Watch called on all federal, provincial, territorial and municipal political parties and politicians to close key loopholes in laws, regulations and ethics codes across Canada that allow for corrupting secret donations to many political candidates, and secret lobbying of politicians, political staff, appointees and government officials, and to strengthen enforcement systems, including whistleblower protection.
ethics and spending scandals that have occurred in
the federal government and almost every province and
territory in the past year are likely the tip of a
large iceberg of wrongdoing in government in Canada,
and yet Canadian politicians continue to refuse to
close loopholes in rules and to strengthen
enforcement and penalties," said Tyler
Sommers, Coordinator of Democracy Watch. "How many scandals will
it take before Canadian politicians will finally
clean up their governments and establish strong good
government systems that meet international
The federal Conservatives have not responded to the
May 2010 Oliphant Commission report which
made four recommendations to close ethics rule
loopholes, and 14 recommendations to increase federal
government ethics enforcement. Dozens of other
loopholes and weak enforcement practices undermine the
federal good government system.
The federal Lobbying
Servants Disclosure Protection Act, and Conflict of Interest Act
and related MP and Senate ethics
rules are all required to be reviewed by
Parliament in the next six months and Democracy Watch
and its nation-wide Government
Ethics Coalition and have been pushing for
changes to these laws for years to end secret,
unethical lobbying and unethical decision-making by
Cabinet ministers and senior government officials
The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act must also be strengthened to comply with the 2004 United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
The Canada Elections Act must be strengthened to close loopholes that allow for secret, unlimited donations and loans, and Democracy Watch and its Money in Politics Coalition have been pushing for these changes for years. The Financial Administration Act must also be strengthened to tighten up rules on sole-source contracting. And related Treasury Board codes, policies and rules in all of the above areas must also be strengthened (To see more details, click here).
As well, opposition MPs and the Information Commissioner and Democracy Watch's Open Government Coalition have been pushing to strengthen the Access to Information Act for several years.
The Ontario, Quebec and B.C. governments have all recently made changes to some of their good government laws, but despite the changes secret donations and gifts and secret lobbying will still be allowed.
"All Canadians should be very concerned that politicians across Canada have left open loopholes that legalize secret, unlimited political donations and loans, and secret lobbying, which are a recipe for corruption," said Duff Conacher, Board member of Democracy Watch. "International standard-setting agencies have concluded that to combat corruption effectively, governments must close these loopholes and require financial institutions to track the bank accounts of politicians and government officials and report suspicious transactions to enforcement agencies."
of requirements of UN Convention Against Corruption,
and about key loopholes in the federal government's
In December 2006, federal politicians quickly and
quietly passed Bill C-25, which only added foreign
politicians and key officials and their families to
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
To see Democracy Watch's list of the loopholes in the federal government's accountability system, click here
Democracy Watch's Money in Politics Campaign
Democracy Watch's Government Ethics Campaign
To see details about International Anti-Corruption
Day and the UN Convention Against Corruption,
here and click
To see details about the UN's "Your No Counts"
anti-corruption campaign (including public service
announcement videos), click
To see Bill C-25, click
To see federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's
October 11, 2006 speech to the Financial Action Task
Force meeting in Vancouver, click
© 2011 Democracy Watch