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An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Ethics Commissioner and Senate Ethics Officer) and other Acts in consequence (S.C. 2004, c. 7)

Assented to 2004-03-31

An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Ethics Commissioner and Senate Ethics Officer) and other Acts in consequence

S.C. 2004, c. 7

Assented to 2004-03-31

An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Ethics Commissioner and Senate Ethics Officer) and other Acts in consequence

SUMMARY

This enactment amends the Parliament of Canada Act to provide for the appointment of a Senate Ethics Officer. It also requires the Senate Ethics Officer to perform the duties and functions assigned by the Senate regarding the conduct of its members.

The Bill also amends the Act to provide for the appointment of an Ethics Commissioner. It also provides for the Ethics Commissioner to perform the duties and functions assigned by the House of Commons regarding the conduct of its members and to administer any ethical principles, rules or obligations established by the Prime Minister for public office holders.

This enactment also amends or repeals some sections of the Act and makes consequential amendments to other Acts of Parliament.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

R.S., c. P-1PARLIAMENT OF CANADA ACT

 Sections 14 and 15 of the Parliament of Canada Act are repealed.

 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 20:

Senate Ethics Officer

Marginal note:Appointment

20.1 The Governor in Council shall, by commission under the Great Seal, appoint a Senate Ethics Officer after consultation with the leader of every recognized party in the Senate and after approval of the appointment by resolution of the Senate.

Marginal note:Tenure
  • 20.2 (1) The Senate Ethics Officer holds office during good behaviour for a term of seven years and may be removed for cause by the Governor in Council on address of the Senate. He or she may be reappointed for one or more terms of up to seven years each.

  • Marginal note:Interim appointment

    (2) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Senate Ethics Officer, or if that office is vacant, the Governor in Council may appoint a qualified person to hold that office in the interim for a term of up to six months.

Marginal note:Remuneration
  • 20.3 (1) The Senate Ethics Officer shall be paid the remuneration set by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Expenses

    (2) The Senate Ethics Officer is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties or functions while absent from his or her ordinary place of residence, in the case of a part-time appointment, and ordinary place of work, in the case of a full-time appointment.

  • Marginal note:Functions — part-time

    (3) In the case of a part-time appointment, the Senate Ethics Officer may not accept or hold any office or employment — or carry on any activity — inconsistent with his or her duties and functions under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Functions — full-time

    (4) In the case of a full-time appointment, the Senate Ethics Officer shall engage exclusively in the duties and functions of the Senate Ethics Officer and may not hold any other office under Her Majesty or engage in any other employment for reward.

Marginal note:Deputy head
  • 20.4 (1) The Senate Ethics Officer has the rank of a deputy head of a department of the Government of Canada and has the control and management of the office of the Senate Ethics Officer.

  • Marginal note:Powers to contract

    (2) The Senate Ethics Officer may, in carrying out the work of the office of the Senate Ethics Officer, enter into contracts, memoranda of understanding or other arrangements.

  • Marginal note:Staff

    (3) The Senate Ethics Officer may employ any officers and employees and may engage the services of any agents, advisers and consultants that the Senate Ethics Officer considers necessary for the proper conduct of the work of the office of the Senate Ethics Officer.

  • Marginal note:Authorization

    (4) The Senate Ethics Officer may, subject to the conditions he or she sets, authorize any person to exercise any powers under subsection (2) or (3) on behalf of the Senate Ethics Officer that he or she may determine.

  • Marginal note:Salaries

    (5) The salaries of the officers and employees of the office of the Senate Ethics Officer shall be fixed according to the scale provided by law.

  • Marginal note:Payment

    (6) The salaries of the officers and employees of the office of the Senate Ethics Officer, and any casual expenses connected with the office, shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Estimates to be prepared

    (7) Prior to each fiscal year, the Senate Ethics Officer shall cause to be prepared an estimate of the sums that will be required to pay the charges and expenses of the office of the Senate Ethics Officer during the fiscal year.

  • Marginal note:Inclusion in Government estimates

    (8) The estimate referred to in subsection (7) shall be considered by the Speaker of the Senate and then transmitted to the President of the Treasury Board, who shall lay it before the House of Commons with the estimates of the government for the fiscal year.

Marginal note:Duties and functions
  • 20.5 (1) The Senate Ethics Officer shall perform the duties and functions assigned by the Senate for governing the conduct of members of the Senate when carrying out the duties and functions of their office as members of the Senate.

  • Marginal note:Privileges and immunities

    (2) The duties and functions of the Senate Ethics Officer are carried out within the institution of the Senate. The Senate Ethics Officer enjoys the privileges and immunities of the Senate and its members when carrying out those duties and functions.

  • Marginal note:General direction of committee

    (3) The Senate Ethics Officer shall carry out those duties and functions under the general direction of any committee of the Senate that may be designated or established by the Senate for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Clarification — ethical principles, etc.

    (4) For greater certainty, the administration of any ethical principles, rules or obligations established by the Prime Minister for public office holders within the meaning of section 72.06 and applicable to ministers of the Crown, ministers of state or parliamentary secretaries is not part of the duties and functions of the Senate Ethics Officer or the committee.

  • Marginal note:Clarification — powers, etc., of the Senate

    (5) For greater certainty, this section shall not be interpreted as limiting in any way the powers, privileges, rights and immunities of the Senate or its members.

Marginal note:No summons
  • 20.6 (1) The Senate Ethics Officer, or any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Senate Ethics Officer, is not a competent or compellable witness in respect of any matter coming to his or her knowledge as a result of exercising any powers or performing any duties or functions of the Senate Ethics Officer under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Protection

    (2) No criminal or civil proceedings lie against the Senate Ethics Officer, or any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Senate Ethics Officer, for anything done, reported or said in good faith in the exercise or purported exercise of any power, or the performance or purported performance of any duty or function, of the Senate Ethics Officer under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Clarification

    (3) The protection provided under subsections (1) and (2) does not limit any powers, privileges, rights and immunities that the Senate Ethics Officer may otherwise enjoy.

Marginal note:Annual report
  • 20.7 (1) The Senate Ethics Officer shall, within three months after the end of each fiscal year, submit a report on his or her activities under section 20.5 for that year to the Speaker of the Senate, who shall table the report in the Senate.

  • Marginal note:Confidentiality

    (2) The Senate Ethics Officer may not include in the annual report any information that he or she is required to keep confidential.

Marginal note:2000, c. 12, s. 210

 Sections 34 to 40 of the Act are replaced by the following:

Marginal note:Disqualification

35. If any member of the House of Commons accepts any office or commission that, by virtue of this Division, renders a person incapable of being elected to, or of sitting or voting in, the House of Commons, the seat of the member is vacated and the member's election becomes void.

 The Act is amended by adding the following after the heading “GENERAL” of Part V:

Ethics Commissioner

Marginal note:Appointment

72.01 The Governor in Council shall, by commission under the Great Seal, appoint an Ethics Commissioner after consultation with the leader of every recognized party in the House of Commons and after approval of the appointment by resolution of that House.

Marginal note:Tenure
  • 72.02 (1) The Ethics Commissioner holds office during good behaviour for a term of five years and may be removed for cause by the Governor in Council on address of the House of Commons. He or she may be reappointed for one or more terms of up to five years each.

  • Marginal note:Interim appointment

    (2) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Ethics Commissioner, or if that office is vacant, the Governor in Council may appoint a qualified person to hold that office in the interim for a term of up to six months.

Marginal note:Remuneration
  • 72.03 (1) The Ethics Commissioner shall be paid the remuneration set by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Expenses

    (2) The Ethics Commissioner is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties or functions while absent from his or her ordinary place of work.

  • Marginal note:Carrying out functions

    (3) The Ethics Commissioner shall engage exclusively in the duties and functions of the Ethics Commissioner and may not hold any other office under Her Majesty or engage in any other employment for reward.

Marginal note:Deputy head
  • 72.04 (1) The Ethics Commissioner has the rank of a deputy head of a department of the Government of Canada and has the control and management of the office of the Ethics Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Powers to contract

    (2) The Ethics Commissioner may, in carrying out the work of the office of the Ethics Commissioner, enter into contracts, memoranda of understanding or other arrangements.

  • Marginal note:Staff

    (3) The Ethics Commissioner may employ any officers and employees and may engage the services of any agents, advisers and consultants that the Ethics Commissioner considers necessary for the proper conduct of the work of the office of the Ethics Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Authorization

    (4) The Ethics Commissioner may, subject to the conditions he or she sets, authorize any person to exercise any powers under subsection (2) or (3) on behalf of the Ethics Commissioner that he or she may determine.

  • Marginal note:Salaries

    (5) The salaries of the officers and employees of the office of the Ethics Commissioner shall be fixed according to the scale provided by law.

  • Marginal note:Payment

    (6) The salaries of the officers and employees of the office of the Ethics Commissioner, and any casual expenses connected with the office, shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Estimates to be prepared

    (7) Prior to each fiscal year, the Ethics Commissioner shall cause to be prepared an estimate of the sums that will be required to pay the charges and expenses of the office of the Ethics Commissioner during the fiscal year.

  • Marginal note:Inclusion in Government estimates

    (8) The estimate referred to in subsection (7) shall be considered by the Speaker of the House of Commons and then transmitted to the President of the Treasury Board, who shall lay it before the House of Commons with the estimates of the government for the fiscal year.

Functions in Relation to Members of the House of Commons

Marginal note:Duties and functions
  • 72.05 (1) The Ethics Commissioner shall perform the duties and functions assigned by the House of Commons for governing the conduct of its members when carrying out the duties and functions of their office as members of that House.

  • Marginal note:Privileges and immunities

    (2) The duties and functions of the Ethics Commissioner are carried out within the institution of the House of Commons. The Ethics Commissioner enjoys the privileges and immunities of the House of Commons and its members when carrying out those duties and functions.

  • Marginal note:General direction of committee

    (3) The Ethics Commissioner shall carry out those duties and functions under the general direction of any committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established by that House for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Clarification — ethical principles, etc.

    (4) For greater certainty, the administration of any ethical principles, rules or obligations established by the Prime Minister for public office holders, and applicable to ministers of the Crown, ministers of state or parliamentary secretaries, is not within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commissioner under subsection (1) or the committee.

  • Marginal note:Clarification — powers, etc., of House of Commons

    (5) For greater certainty, this section shall not be interpreted as limiting in any way the powers, privileges, rights and immunities of the House of Commons or its members.

Functions in Relation to Public Office Holders

Definition of “public office holder”

72.06 For the purposes of sections 20.5, 72.05 and 72.07 to 72.09, “public office holder” means

  • (a) a minister of the Crown, a minister of state or a parliamentary secretary;

  • (b) a person, other than a public servant, who works on behalf of a minister of the Crown or a minister of state;

  • (c) a Governor in Council appointee, other than the following persons, namely,

  • (d) a full-time ministerial appointee designated by the appropriate minister of the Crown as a public office holder.

Marginal note:Principles, rules and obligations

72.061 The Prime Minister shall establish ethical principles, rules and obligations for public office holders.

Marginal note:Tabling

72.062 The ethical principles, rules and obligations for public office holders shall be laid before each House of Parliament within 30 sitting days after the Prime Minister assumes office, and any subsequent changes to those ethical principles, rules and obligations shall be laid before that House within 15 sitting days after they are established.

Marginal note:Mandate

72.07 The mandate of the Ethics Commissioner in relation to public office holders is

  • (a) to administer any ethical principles, rules or obligations established by the Prime Minister for public office holders;

  • (b) to provide confidential advice to the Prime Minister with respect to those ethical principles, rules or obligations and ethical issues in general; and

  • (c) to provide confidential advice to a public office holder with respect to the application to him or her of those ethical principles, rules or obligations.

Marginal note:Request from parliamentarian
  • 72.08 (1) A member of the Senate or House of Commons who has reasonable grounds to believe that a minister of the Crown, a minister of state or a parliamentary secretary has not observed the ethical principles, rules or obligations established by the Prime Minister for public holders office may, in writing, request that the Ethics Commissioner examine the matter.

  • Marginal note:Content of request

    (2) The request shall identify the alleged non-observance of the ethical principles, rules or obligations established by the Prime Minister for public office holders and set out the reasonable grounds for the belief that they have not been observed.

  • Marginal note:Examination

    (3) The Ethics Commissioner shall examine the matter described in a request and, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, may discontinue the examination.

  • Marginal note:Report

    (4) The Ethics Commissioner shall, even if he or she discontinues the examination of a request, provide the Prime Minister with a report setting out the facts in question as well as the Ethics Commissioner's analysis and conclusions in relation to the request.

  • Marginal note:Making report available

    (5) The Ethics Commissioner shall, at the same time that the report is provided under subsection (4), provide a copy to the member who made the request — and the minister or parliamentary secretary who is the subject of the request — and make the report available to the public.

  • Marginal note:Confidentiality

    (6) The Ethics Commissioner may not include in the report any information that he or she is required to keep confidential.

Marginal note:Presentation of views

72.09 Before providing confidential advice under paragraph 72.07(b) or a report under subsection 72.08(4), the Ethics Commissioner shall provide the public office holder concerned with a reasonable opportunity to present his or her views.

Marginal note:Powers
  • 72.1 (1) For the purposes of paragraph 72.07(b) and section 72.08, the Ethics Commissioner has the power to summon witnesses and require them

    • (a) to give evidence — orally or in writing — on oath or, if they are persons entitled to affirm in civil matters, on solemn affirmation; and

    • (b) to produce any documents and things that the Ethics Commissioner considers necessary.

  • Marginal note:Enforcement

    (2) The Ethics Commissioner has the same power to enforce the attendance of witnesses and to compel them to give evidence as a court of record in civil cases.

  • Marginal note:Powers exercised in private

    (3) The powers referred to in subsections (1) and (2) shall be exercised in private.

  • Marginal note:Inadmissibility

    (4) Information given by a person under this section is inadmissible against the person in a court or in any proceeding, other than in a prosecution of the person for an offence under section 131 of the Criminal Code (perjury) in respect of a statement made to the Ethics Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Confidentiality

    (5) The Ethics Commissioner, and every person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Ethics Commissioner, may not disclose any information that comes to their knowledge in the performance of their duties and functions under this section, unless

    • (a) the disclosure is, in the opinion of the Ethics Commissioner, essential for the purposes of this section;

    • (b) or the information is disclosed in the course of a prosecution for an offence under section 131 of the Criminal Code (perjury) in respect of a statement made to the Ethics Commissioner.

Marginal note:Suspension of examination
  • 72.11 (1) The Ethics Commissioner shall immediately suspend an examination referred to in section 72.08 if

    • (a) the Ethics Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds that the minister or parliamentary secretary has committed an offence under an Act of Parliament in respect of the same subject matter, in which case the Ethics Commissioner shall notify the relevant authorities; or

    • (b) it is discovered that the subject matter of the examination is also the subject matter of an investigation to determine whether an offence referred to in paragraph (a) has been committed or that a charge has been laid in respect of that subject matter.

  • Marginal note:Investigation continued

    (2) The Ethics Commissioner may not continue an examination until any investigation or charge in respect of the same subject matter has been finally disposed of.

General

Marginal note:No summons
  • 72.12 (1) The Ethics Commissioner, or any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Ethics Commissioner, is not a competent or compellable witness in respect of any matter coming to his or her knowledge as a result of exercising any powers or performing any duties or functions of the Ethics Commissioner under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Protection

    (2) No criminal or civil proceedings lie against the Ethics Commissioner, or any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Ethics Commissioner, for anything done, reported or said in good faith in the exercise or purported exercise of any power, or the performance or purported performance of any duty or function, of the Ethics Commissioner under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Clarification

    (3) The protection provided under subsections (1) and (2) does not limit any powers, privileges, rights and immunities that the Ethics Commissioner may otherwise enjoy.

Marginal note:Annual reports
  • 72.13 (1) Within three months after the end of each fiscal year, the Ethics Commissioner

    • (a) shall submit a report on his or her activities under section 72.05 for that year to the Speaker of the House of Commons, who shall table the report in that House; and

    • (b) shall submit a report on his or her activities under sections 72.07 and 72.08 for that year to the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons, who shall each table the report in the House over which he or she presides.

  • Marginal note:Confidentiality

    (2) The Ethics Commissioner may not include in the annual reports any information that he or she is required to keep confidential.

 
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