MPs failing to file ethics disclosures

UPDATE: Dawson’s office has now issued a new status report, with fewer MPs identified as tardy. Apparently, this blog post encouraged some frantic phone calls to her office.

More than a dozen MPs have failed to file their conflict-of-interest disclosures with federal Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson.

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae and prominent Liberal Justin Trudeau are among the list of 23 MPs, many of them rookies, who Dawson’s office says had not submitted the forms.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty had also failed to submit on time, but his office emailed Thursday evening to say he sent it in.

“The minister’s disclosure has been signed now and delivered to the ethics commissioner today,” said his press secretary, Chisholm Pothier. ” The delay was an oversight, has been dealt with.”

The MP disclosures list all income sources, assets and liabilities held by MPs and their spouses that could put create potential conflicts-of-interest. They are reviewed by Dawson’s office and eventually published online.

Under the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, MPs must file their reports within 60 days of the publication of a notice in the Canada Gazette announcing their election. For most, the deadline passed in July.

None of the MPs will be sanctioned, however, as the Code does not lay-out any discipline for non-compliance. This differs from the Conflict of Interest Act that governs cabinet ministers and senior government officials, who can be fined for failing to keep Dawson up-to-date on their personal holdings.

Several Conservative staffers and cabinet ministers have been hit with token administrative penalties to for failing to update their disclosures.

Neither Rae nor Trudeau responded to inquiries about their ethics disclosures, but after the list of tardy filers was published at online Thursday, several MPs on it came forward to say they’ve now sent the documents in.

New Brunswick Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc says his name was entered on the list of deliquent MPs in error. “I had forwarded all of the updates and disclosures to the ethics commissioners office in June. They confirmed to me today they had received them,” he said.

A staff member in Alberta Conservative MP Rob Anders office emailed Thursday to say: “Mr. Anders disclosure statements have been sent to the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons.  We thought this was done in a timely fashion until recently when they informed us that they had not received it yet.”

British Columbia NDP MP Fin Donnelly‘s office said his disclosure was filed Wednesday.

Newfoundland Liberal MP Judy Foote‘s office explained: “She has completed her disclosure statement and it has been mailed. She had assumed her statement had been mailed until she received a call from the Ethic Commissioner’s office stating they did not have it on file. We can only assume it was lost during her recent office move.”

Newfoundland Liberal MP Gerry Byrne said  “events overtook me. I have indeed sent it off.”

Toronto-area rookie Conservative Stella Ambler‘s office said she has now filed her disclosure statement but didn’t say when.

2 thoughts on “MPs failing to file ethics disclosures

  1. Was Jim Flaherty late for filing his disclosures under the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons or under the Conflict of Interest Act? If it was the latter, what is the fine?

    Regarding Mr. Anders, how does one send a disclosure ‘to the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons’? Does it have an address?

  2. Don’t know about you… but the conservatives ran on a law and order agenda… you know PUNISHING people to the full extent of the law and such… so, any and all conservatives breaking the rules should be forced to step down.. no EXCEPTIONS.. you lead by EXAMPLE…

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