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Conflict of Interest Act (S.C. 2006, c. 9, s. 2)

Act current to 2021-11-17 and last amended on 2017-10-06. Previous Versions

PART 1Conflict of Interest Rules (continued)

Marginal note:Prohibited activities

  •  (1) No reporting public office holder shall, except as required in the exercise of his or her official powers, duties and functions,

    • (a) engage in employment or the practice of a profession;

    • (b) manage or operate a business or commercial activity;

    • (c) continue as, or become, a director or officer in a corporation or an organization;

    • (d) hold office in a union or professional association;

    • (e) serve as a paid consultant; or

    • (f) be an active partner in a partnership.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (1.1) Despite paragraph (1)(a), for the purpose of maintaining his or her employment opportunities or ability to practice his or her profession on leaving public office, a reporting public office holder may engage in employment or the practice of a profession in order to retain any licensing or professional qualifications or standards of technical proficiency necessary for that purpose if

    • (a) the reporting public office holder does not receive any remuneration; and

    • (b) the Commissioner is of the opinion that it is not incompatible with the reporting public office holder’s duties as a public office holder.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Despite paragraph (1)(c), a reporting public office holder who is a director or officer in a Crown corporation as defined in section 83 of the Financial Administration Act may continue as, or become, a director or officer in a financial or commercial corporation but only if the Commissioner is of the opinion that it is not incompatible with his or her public duties as a public office holder.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3) Despite paragraph (1)(c), a reporting public office holder may continue as, or become, a director or officer in an organization of a philanthropic, charitable or non-commercial character but only if the Commissioner is of the opinion that it is not incompatible with his or her public duties as a public office holder.

  • Marginal note:Political activities

    (4) Nothing in this section prohibits or restricts the political activities of a reporting public office holder.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 2 "15"
  • 2011, c. 24, s. 168

Marginal note:Fundraising

 No public office holder shall personally solicit funds from any person or organization if it would place the public office holder in a conflict of interest.

Marginal note:Divestiture of controlled assets

 No reporting public office holder shall, unless otherwise provided in Part 2, hold controlled assets as defined in that Part.

Marginal note:Anti-avoidance

 No public office holder shall take any action that has as its purpose the circumvention of the public office holder’s obligations under this Act.

Marginal note:Condition of appointment or employment

 Compliance with this Act is a condition of a person’s appointment or employment as a public office holder.

PART 2Compliance Measures

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Part.

assets

assets includes any trusts in respect of which a public office holder or a member of his or her family is a beneficiary. (bien)

controlled assets

controlled assets means assets whose value could be directly or indirectly affected by government decisions or policy including, but not limited to, the following:

  • (a) publicly traded securities of corporations and foreign governments, whether held individually or in an investment portfolio account such as, but not limited to, stocks, bonds, stock market indices, trust units, closed-end mutual funds, commercial papers and medium-term notes;

  • (b) self-administered registered retirement savings plans, self-administered registered education savings plans and registered retirement income funds composed of at least one asset that would be considered controlled if held outside the plan or fund;

  • (c) commodities, futures and foreign currencies held or traded for speculative purposes; and

  • (d) stock options, warrants, rights and similar instruments. (bien contrôlé)

exempt assets

exempt assets means assets and interests in assets for the private use of public office holders and the members of their family and assets that are not of a commercial character, including the following:

  • (a) primary and secondary residences, recreational property and farm land and buildings used or intended for use by public office holders or the members of their family;

  • (b) household goods and personal effects;

  • (c) works of art, antiques and collectibles;

  • (d) automobiles and other personal means of transportation;

  • (e) cash and deposits;

  • (f) Canada Savings Bonds and other similar investments issued or guaranteed by any level of government in Canada or agencies of those governments;

  • (g) registered retirement savings plans and registered education savings plans that are not self-administered or self-directed;

  • (h) investments in open-ended mutual funds;

  • (i) guaranteed investment certificates and similar financial instruments;

  • (j) public sector debt financing not guaranteed by a level of government, such as university and hospital debt financing;

  • (k) annuities and life insurance policies;

  • (l) pension rights;

  • (m) money owed by a previous employer, client or partner;

  • (n) personal loans receivable from the public office holder’s relatives, and personal loans of less than $10,000 receivable from other persons if the public office holder has loaned the moneys receivable;

  • (o) money owed under a mortgage or hypothec of less than $10,000;

  • (p) self-administered or self-directed registered retirement savings plans, registered education savings plans and registered retirement income funds composed exclusively of assets that would be considered exempt if held outside the plan or fund; and

  • (q) investments in limited partnerships that are not traded publicly and whose assets are exempt assets. (bien exclu)

Recusal

Marginal note:Duty to recuse

 A public office holder shall recuse himself or herself from any discussion, decision, debate or vote on any matter in respect of which he or she would be in a conflict of interest.

Confidential Disclosure

Marginal note:Confidential report

  •  (1) A reporting public office holder shall, within 60 days after the day on which he or she is appointed as a public office holder, provide a confidential report to the Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Content of report

    (2) The report required under subsection (1) must contain the following:

    • (a) a description of all of the reporting public office holder’s assets and an estimate of their value;

    • (b) a description of all of the reporting public office holder’s direct and contingent liabilities, including the amount of each liability;

    • (c) a description of all income received by the reporting public office holder during the 12 months before the day of appointment and all income the reporting public office holder is entitled to receive in the 12 months after the day of appointment;

    • (d) a description of all activities referred to in section 15 in which the reporting public office holder was engaged in the two-year period before the day of appointment;

    • (e) a description of the reporting public office holder’s involvement in philanthropic, charitable or non-commercial activities in the two-year period before the day of appointment;

    • (f) a description of all of the reporting public office holder’s activities as trustee, executor or liquidator of a succession or holder of a power of attorney in the two-year period before the day of appointment; and

    • (g) any other information that the Commissioner considers necessary to ensure that the reporting public office holder is in compliance with this Act.

  • Marginal note:Additional content

    (3) A minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary shall make reasonable efforts to include in the report the information referred to in subsection (2) for each member of his or her family.

  • Marginal note:Benefits from contracts

    (4) A reporting public office holder shall include in the report a description of all benefits that he or she, any member of his or her family or any partnership or private corporation in which he or she or a member of his or her family has an interest is entitled to receive during the 12 months after the day of appointment, as a result of a contract with a public sector entity and the report must include a description of the subject-matter and nature of the contract.

  • Marginal note:Notification of material change

    (5) If there is a material change in any matter in respect of which a reporting public office holder is required to provide a confidential report under this section, the reporting public office holder shall, within 30 days after the change, file a report with the Commissioner describing the material change.

Marginal note:Disclosure of gifts

 If the total value of all gifts or other advantages accepted by a reporting public office holder or a member of his or her family exceeds $200 from any one source other than relatives and friends in a 12-month period, the reporting public office holder shall disclose the gifts or other advantages to the Commissioner within 30 days after the day on which the value exceeds $200.

Marginal note:Disclosure of offers

  •  (1) A reporting public office holder shall disclose in writing to the Commissioner within seven days all firm offers of outside employment.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure of acceptance

    (2) A reporting public office holder who accepts an offer of outside employment shall within seven days disclose his or her acceptance of the offer in writing to the Commissioner as well as to the following persons:

    • (a) in the case of a minister of the Crown or minister of state, to the Prime Minister;

    • (b) in the case a parliamentary secretary, to the minister whom the parliamentary secretary assists;

    • (c) in the case of deputy heads, to the Clerk of the Privy Council;

    • (c.1) in the case of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, to the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons; and

    • (d) in the case of any other reporting public office holder, to the appropriate minister.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 2 “24”
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 188

Public Declaration

Marginal note:Public declaration — recusal

  •  (1) If a reporting public office holder has recused himself or herself to avoid a conflict of interest, the reporting public office holder shall, within 60 days after the day on which the recusal took place, make a public declaration of the recusal that provides sufficient detail to identify the conflict of interest that was avoided.

  • Marginal note:Public declaration — certain assets

    (2) A reporting public office holder shall, within 120 days after the day on which he or she is appointed as a public office holder, make a public declaration of all of his or her assets that are neither controlled assets nor exempt assets.

  • Marginal note:Public declaration — liabilities

    (3) A minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary shall, within 120 days after the day on which he or she is appointed, make a public declaration with respect to all of his or her liabilities of $10,000 or more that provides sufficient detail to identify the source and nature of the liability but not the amount.

  • Marginal note:Public declaration — outside activities

    (4) If a reporting public office holder holds a position referred to in subsection 15(2) or (3), the reporting public office holder shall, within 120 days after the day on which he or she is appointed, make a public declaration of that fact.

  • Marginal note:Public declaration — gifts

    (5) If a reporting public office holder or a member of his or her family accepts any single gift or other advantage that has a value of $200 or more, other than one from a relative or friend, the reporting public office holder shall, within 30 days after accepting the gift or other advantage, make a public declaration that provides sufficient detail to identify the gift or other advantage accepted, the donor and the circumstances under which it was accepted.

  • Marginal note:Public declaration — travel

    (6) If travel has been accepted in accordance with section 12, from any source, the minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary concerned shall, within 30 days after the acceptance, make a public declaration that provides sufficient detail to identify the source and the circumstances under which the travel was accepted.

Marginal note:Summary statement

  •  (1) A reporting public office holder shall, within 120 days after the day on which he or she is appointed, sign a summary statement containing the information required under subsection (2) and provide it to the Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Content

    (2) The summary statement must contain the following:

    • (a) for each controlled asset of the reporting public officer holder, and for each asset of the reporting public office holder that the Commissioner has ordered divested under section 30, a description of the asset and the method used to divest it;

    • (b) for each matter in respect of which the Commissioner has ordered a reporting public office holder to recuse himself or herself under section 30, a description of the matter and information regarding the process to be put in place by the reporting public office holder and others to effect the recusal; and

    • (c) for any other matter in respect of which the Commissioner has issued an order to the reporting public office holder under section 30, a description of the matter and the order, and the steps taken to comply with the order.

Divestment

Marginal note:Divestment on appointment

  •  (1) Subject to subsections (9) and (10), a reporting public office holder shall, within 120 days after the day on which he or she is appointed as a reporting public office holder, divest each of his or her controlled assets by doing one of the following:

    • (a) selling it in an arm’s-length transaction; or

    • (b) placing it in a blind trust that meets the requirements of subsection (4).

  • Marginal note:Divestment of gift or bequest

    (2) Subject to subsections (9) and (10), a reporting public office holder shall, within 120 days after the day on which he or she receives controlled assets by way of gift or testamentary disposition or in any other way over which the reporting public office holder has no control, divest the controlled assets in the manner required by subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Prohibition on blind management agreement

    (3) For greater certainty, a reporting public office holder may not divest his or her controlled assets by any measure other than one referred to in subsection (1), including by placing them in a blind management agreement.

  • Marginal note:Blind trust requirements

    (4) The terms of a blind trust must provide that

    • (a) the assets to be placed in trust shall be registered to the trustee unless they are in a registered retirement savings plan account;

    • (b) the reporting public office holder shall not have any power of management or control over the trust assets;

    • (c) the trustee shall not seek or accept any instruction or advice from the reporting public office holder concerning the management or the administration of the assets;

    • (d) the assets placed in the trust shall be listed on a schedule attached to the instrument or contract establishing the trust;

    • (e) the term of any trust shall be for as long as the reporting public office holder who establishes the trust continues to hold his or her office, or until the trust assets have been depleted;

    • (f) the trustee shall deliver the trust assets to the reporting public office holder when the trust is terminated;

    • (g) the trustee shall not provide information about the trust, including its composition, to the reporting public office holder, except for information that is required by law to be filed by the reporting public office holder and periodic reports on the overall value of the trust;

    • (h) the reporting public office holder may receive any income earned by the trust, and add to or withdraw from the capital funds in the trust;

    • (i) the trustee shall be at arm’s length from the reporting public office holder and the Commissioner is to be satisfied that an arm’s length relationship exists;

    • (j) the trustee must be

      • (i) a public trustee,

      • (ii) a public company, including a trust company or investment company, that is known to be qualified to perform the duties of a trustee, or

      • (iii) an individual who may perform trustee duties in the normal course of his or her work; and

    • (k) the trustee shall provide the Commissioner, on every anniversary of the trust, a written annual report verifying as to accuracy the nature and market value of the trust, a reconciliation of the trust property, the net income of the trust for the preceding year, and the fees of the trustee, if any.

  • Marginal note:General investment instructions

    (5) Despite subsection (4), general investment instructions may be included in a blind trust instrument or contract but only with the prior approval of the Commissioner. The instructions may provide for proportions to be invested in various categories of risk, but may not be industry-specific, except if there are legislative restrictions on the type of assets that a public office holder may own.

  • Marginal note:No oral instructions

    (6) For greater certainty, no oral investment instructions may be given with respect to a blind trust contract or instrument.

  • Marginal note:Confirmation of sale or trust

    (7) A reporting public office holder shall provide to the Commissioner a confirmation of sale or a copy of any contract or instrument establishing the trust in respect of any controlled asset divested under subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Information confidential

    (8) Unless otherwise required by law, the Commissioner shall keep confidential all information provided by a reporting public office holder relating to a divestment under subsection (1), except the fact that a sale has taken place or that a trust exists.

  • Marginal note:Security

    (9) Subject to the approval of the Commissioner, a reporting public office holder is not required to divest controlled assets that are given as security to a lending institution.

  • Marginal note:Assets of minimal value

    (10) A reporting public office holder who is not a minister of the Crown, a minister of state or a parliamentary secretary is not required to divest controlled assets if, in the opinion of the Commissioner, the assets are of such minimal value that they do not constitute any risk of conflict of interest in relation to the reporting public office holder’s official duties and responsibilities.

 
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