December 3rd, 2020

Liberal MP took too long with ethics disclosure, ought to apologize in Commons: Dion


By The Canadian Press on November 19, 2020.

Liberal MP and Chair of the House of Commons Natural Resources committee James Maloney prepares to take his seat for a special meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday September 4, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – The federal ethics watchdog says a Liberal MP broke the rules when he took far too long to comply with the conflict of interest code.

Now, Toronto-area MP James Maloney is being ordered to apologize to the House of Commons for the breach.

All MPs must disclose to the ethics commissioner their private interests and those of their family members within 60 days of being elected.

Ethics commissioner Mario Dion says Maloney took months and only formally completed the process after he was contacted by a journalist in August.

Maloney told Dion that lengthy delays were partially due to a misunderstanding of what information was needed but also that the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic kept him too busy.

But Dion says his office allowed some flexibility for the pandemic, and had also granted Maloney an extension, but he still took too long to submit the information.

Dion’s office says requiring that Maloney apologize marks the first time a sanction has been levied for a member failing to comply with the code.

“Having considered Mr. Maloney’s disregard for his postelection obligations under the Code, I recommend that the House require Mr. Maloney to apologize to it for having failed to fulfil his obligations as a Member in the context of his initial compliance process under the Code,” Dion said in his report, released today.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19 2020.

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