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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 4Administration and Enforcement (continued)

Mandate and Powers of the Commissioner (continued)

Marginal note:Presentation of views

 Before providing confidential advice under paragraph 43(a) or a report under section 44 or 45, the Commissioner shall provide the public office holder or former public office holder concerned with a reasonable opportunity to present his or her views.

Marginal note:Conclusion in report final

 A conclusion by the Commissioner set out in a report under section 44 or 45 that a public office holder or former public office holder has or has not contravened this Act may not be altered by anyone but is not determinative of the measures to be taken as a result of the report.

Marginal note:Powers

  •  (1) For the purposes of paragraph 43(a) and sections 44 and 45, the 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 affirmation; and

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

  • Marginal note:Enforcement

    (2) The 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 Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Confidentiality

    (5) Unless otherwise required by law, the Commissioner, and every person acting on behalf or under the direction of the 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 Commissioner, essential for the purposes of carrying out his or her powers under subsection (1) or establishing the grounds for any conclusion contained in a report under section 44 or 45; or

    • (b) the information is disclosed in a report referred to in paragraph (a) or 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 Commissioner.

Marginal note:Suspension of examination

  •  (1) The Commissioner shall immediately suspend an examination under section 43, 44 or 45 if

    • (a) the Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds that the public office holder or former public office holder has committed an offence under an Act of Parliament in respect of the same subject-matter, in which case the 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 Commissioner may not continue an examination until any investigation or charge in respect of the same subject-matter has been finally disposed of.

Marginal note:No summons

  •  (1) The Commissioner, or any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the 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 Commissioner under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Protection

    (2) No criminal or civil proceedings lie against the Commissioner, or any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the 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 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 Commissioner may otherwise enjoy under section 86 of the Parliament of Canada Act.

Public Registry

Marginal note:Public registry

  •  (1) The Commissioner shall maintain a registry consisting of the following documents for examination by the public:

    • (a) public declarations made under section 25;

    • (b) summary statements made under section 26;

    • (c) notes of every gift or other advantage forfeited under subsection 11(3);

    • (c.1) decisions on exemption applications under section 38 and the accompanying reasons;

    • (d) decisions on waiver or reduction applications under section 39 and the accompanying reasons; and

    • (e) any other documents that the Commissioner considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Confidences of Queen’s Privy Council

    (2) If a public office holder has recused himself or herself in respect of a matter and a public declaration is made in respect of that recusal under subsection 25(1) or section 30,

    • (a) no publication of the declaration shall be made if the very fact of the recusal could reveal, directly or indirectly, any of the following:

      • (i) a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in respect of which subsection 39(1) of the Canada Evidence Act applies, and

      • (ii) special operational information within the meaning of subsection 8(1) of the Security of Information Act; and

    • (b) no publication of the declaration shall include any detail that could reveal, directly or indirectly, any of the following:

      • (i) a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in respect of which subsection 39(1) of the Canada Evidence Act applies,

      • (ii) special operational information within the meaning of subsection 8(1) of the Security of Information Act,

      • (iii) information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege,

      • (iv) information that is subject to any restriction on disclosure created by or under any other Act of Parliament,

      • (v) information that could reasonably be expected to cause injury to international relations, national defence or national security, or to the detection, prevention or suppression of criminal, subversive or hostile activities,

      • (vi) information that could reasonably be expected to cause injury to the privacy interests of an individual, or

      • (vii) information that could reasonably be expected to cause injury to commercial interests.

Administrative Monetary Penalties

Marginal note:Violation

 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:

  • (a) subsections 22(1), (2) and (5);

  • (b) section 23;

  • (c) subsections 24(1) and (2);

  • (d) subsections 25(1) to (6);

  • (e) subsections 26(1) and (2); and

  • (f) subsection 27(7).

Marginal note:Notice of violation

  •  (1) If the Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds that a public office holder has committed a violation, the Commissioner may issue, and shall cause to be served on the public office holder, a notice of violation.

  • Marginal note:Contents of notice

    (2) A notice of violation must

    • (a) set out the name of the public office holder believed to have committed a violation;

    • (b) identify the violation;

    • (c) set out the penalty that the Commissioner proposes to impose;

    • (d) inform the public office holder that he or she may, within 30 days after the notice is served or within any longer period specified by the Commissioner, pay the penalty set out in the notice or make representations to the Commissioner with respect to the alleged violation or proposed penalty and set out the manner for doing so; and

    • (e) inform the public office holder that, if he or she does not pay the penalty or make representations in accordance with the notice, he or she will be considered to have committed the violation and the Commissioner may impose a penalty in respect of it.

  • Marginal note:Criteria for penalty

    (3) The amount of a proposed penalty is, in each case, to be determined taking into account the following matters:

    • (a) the fact that penalties have as their purpose to encourage compliance with this Act rather than to punish;

    • (b) the public office holder’s history of prior violations under this Act during the five-year period immediately before the violation; and

    • (c) any other relevant matter.

Marginal note:Regulations

 The Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the service of documents required or authorized to be served under sections 53 to 57, including the manner and proof of service and the circumstances under which documents are deemed to be served.

Marginal note:Payment of penalty

 If the public office holder pays the penalty proposed in the notice of violation, he or she is considered to have committed the violation and proceedings in respect of it are ended.

Marginal note:Representations to Commissioner

  •  (1) If the public office holder makes representations to the Commissioner in accordance with the notice of violation, the Commissioner shall decide, on a balance of probabilities, whether the public office holder committed the violation and, if so, may impose the penalty proposed, a lesser penalty or no penalty.

  • Marginal note:Notice of decision

    (2) The Commissioner shall cause notice of any decision made under subsection (1) to be served on the public office holder.

Marginal note:Failure to act

 A public office holder who neither pays the penalty nor makes representations in accordance with the notice of violation is deemed to have committed the violation. The Commissioner shall impose the penalty proposed and notify the public office holder of the penalty imposed.

Marginal note:Due diligence available

  •  (1) Due diligence is a defence in a proceeding in relation to a violation.

  • Marginal note:Common law principles

    (2) Every rule and principle of the common law that renders any circumstance a justification or excuse in relation to a charge for an offence applies in respect of a violation to the extent that it is not inconsistent with this Act.

Marginal note:Evidence

 In any proceeding, a notice appearing to have been issued under subsection 53(1) or 56(2) is admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed it.

Marginal note:Limitation

  •  (1) Proceedings in respect of a violation may be commenced at any time within but not later than five years after the day on which the Commissioner became aware of the subject-matter of the proceedings.

  • Marginal note:Certificate of Commissioner

    (2) A document appearing to have been issued by the Commissioner, certifying the day on which the subject-matter of any proceedings became known to the Commissioner, is admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed the document and is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof of the matter asserted in it.

Marginal note:Recovery of administrative monetary penalties

 Any administrative monetary penalty required to be paid by a public office holder constitutes a debt due to Her Majesty and may be recovered as a debt from the public office holder in the Federal Court or any other court of competent jurisdiction.

Marginal note:Publication

 If an administrative monetary penalty is imposed on a public office holder in respect of a violation, the Commissioner shall make public the nature of the violation, the name of the public office holder who committed it and the amount of the penalty imposed.

PART 5General

Marginal note:Minister designating public office holder

  •  (1) The appropriate minister of the Crown may designate a full-time ministerial appointee as a public office holder for the purpose of paragraph (e) of the definition public office holder in subsection 2(1).

  • Marginal note:Minister designating reporting public office holder

    (2) The appropriate minister of the Crown may designate a full-time ministerial appointee who is a public office holder as a reporting public office holder for the purpose of paragraph (f) of the definition reporting public office holder in subsection 2(1).

  • 2013, c. 40, s. 289

Marginal note:Governor in Council designating public office holder

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may, by order, designate any person or class of persons as public office holders for the purpose of paragraph (e) of the definition public office holder in subsection 2(1).

  • Marginal note:Governor in Council designating reporting public office holder

    (2) The Governor in Council may, by order, designate any person who is a public office holder or any class of persons who are public office holders as reporting public office holders for the purpose of paragraph (f) of the definition reporting public office holder in subsection 2(1).

  • 2013, c. 40, s. 289

Marginal note:Section 126 of Criminal Code

 Section 126 of the Criminal Code does not apply to or in respect of any contravention or alleged contravention of any provision of this Act.

Marginal note:Activities on behalf of constituents

  •  (1) Subject to subsection 6(2) and sections 21 and 30, nothing in this Act prohibits a member of the Senate or the House of Commons who is a public office holder or former public office holder from engaging in those activities that he or she would normally carry out as a member of the Senate or the House of Commons.

  • Marginal note:Rights, etc. not affected

    (2) Subject to subsection 6(2) and sections 21 and 30, nothing in this Act abrogates or derogates from any of the privileges, immunities and powers referred to in section 4 of the Parliament of Canada Act.

Marginal note:Limitation period

 Proceedings under this Act may be taken at any time within but not later than five years after the day on which the Commissioner became aware of the subject-matter of the proceedings and, in any case, not later than ten years after the day on which the subject-matter of the proceeding arose.

 
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