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June 28, 2019 – On June 28, 2019, the Senate Ethics Officer reported his findings in an inquiry he carried out under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators (the “Code”) concerning former Senator Don Meredith, regarding allegations raised in a workplace assessment report that was commissioned by the Steering Committee of the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.

The inquiry report, provided to former Senator Meredith on June 28, 2019, pursuant to subsection 48(15) of the Code, and which was thereafter deposited with the Clerk of the Senate, is available on the website of the Senate Ethics Officer by clicking here.

The Office has no further comments concerning this matter.


June 19, 2019 - Certain questions have been raised in the Senate Chamber about the Senate Ethics Officer accessing emails of senators in the course of conducting an inquiry.

The powers of the Senate Ethics Officer are set out in the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators. The Code in subsection 48(4) provides that “in carrying out an inquiry, the Senate Ethics Officer has the power to send for persons, papers, and records.” This subsection creates a broad power to compel the production of documents, including emails.

When, in the course of an inquiry, the Senate Ethics Officer seeks emails from a senator or from others, whether directly or indirectly, he is simply exercising the power that is conferred on him under subsection 48(4).

Under the Code, the Senate Ethics Officer cannot comment on the progress and the substance of any individual inquiry as he is, like all participants in an inquiry, bound by confidentiality under subsection 48(8). Any person, including senators, participating in an inquiry are required to cooperate with the Senate Ethics Officer under subsections 48(7) and (8).  

However, when the report for an inquiry is released, the report usually contains an overview of the investigative process employed in that inquiry.


April 1, 2019 - The Senate Ethics Officer announces that he has established that, as of April 1, 2019, the date on which senators must file their confidential disclosure statement and their statement of compliance will be the anniversary date of their appointment to the Senate. This change has been made with the approval of the Standing Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators.

Senators will file their statements over the course of the year rather than all at the same time, which should result in a more efficient review of the statements. More details are available by clicking here.


March 19, 2019 - On March 19, 2019, the Senate Ethics Officer reported his findings in an inquiry he carried out under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators (the "Code") into certain allegations that Senator Lynn Beyak breached sections 7.1 and 7.2 of the Code by posting allegedly racist and/or hateful letters on her Senate website.

The inquiry report, provided to Senator Beyak on March 19, 2019, pursuant to subsection 48(15) of the Code, which was thereafter tabled in the Senate, is available on the website of the Senate Ethics Officer by clicking here.

The Senate Ethics Officer has no further comments concerning this matter.


April 13, 2018 - On April 12, 2018, the Senate Ethics Officer resumed his inquiry under the Conflict of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators concerning former Senator Don Meredith, regarding allegations raised in a workplace assessment report that was commissioned by the Steering Committee of the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.

On December 1, 2017, the Senate Ethics Officer had suspended his inquiry at the request of another authority due to the fact that that authority was conducting its own investigation. This same authority has now advised the Senate Ethics Officer that it has closed its own investigation and, therefore, this inquiry is now resumed pursuant to subsection 52(3) of the Code.

The Senate Ethics Officer has no further comments about this matter at this time.


March 22, 2018 - On March 22, 2018, the Senate Ethics Officer commenced an inquiry under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators (the "Code") into certain allegations that Senator Victor Oh breached the Code in relation to a trip he took to Beijing and Fujian Province, China in April 2017.

The decision that an inquiry into this matter is warranted was made as a result of a preliminary review initiated on January 11, 2018.

Where a matter is of public interest, the Senate Ethics Officer may use his discretion, pursuant to section 54 of the Code, to inform the public as to whether or not a matter is under preliminary review or inquiry, but shall not provide any further information.

The Senate Ethics Officer has no further comments about this matter at this time.


March 21, 2018 - On March 21, 2018, the Senate Ethics Officer commenced an inquiry under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators (the "Code") into certain allegations that Senator Lynn Beyak breached the Code by posting certain materials on her Senate website.

The decision that an inquiry into this matter is warranted was made as a result of a preliminary review initiated on January 18, 2018.

Where a matter is of public interest, the Senate Ethics Officer may use his discretion, pursuant to section 54 of the Code, to inform the public as to whether or not a matter is under preliminary review or inquiry, but shall not provide any further information.

The Senate Ethics Officer has no further comments about this matter at this time.


February 8, 2018 – In light of Senator Colin Kenny's resignation as member of the Senate, effective February 2, 2018, the Senate Ethics Officer permanently suspended, as of that date, his inquiry under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators (the "Code") regarding allegations that Senator Kenny used his staff for personal purposes unrelated to Senate business.

Pursuant to subsection 48(21) of the Code, an inquiry in respect of a Senator who ceases to be a Senator is permanently suspended unless the Standing Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators decides otherwise.

The Senate Ethics Officer has no further comments about this matter at this time.


December 1, 2017 – On December 1, 2017, the Interim Senate Ethics Officer suspended his inquiry under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators concerning former Senator Don Meredith, regarding allegations raised in a workplace assessment report that was commissioned by the Steering Committee of the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration. This inquiry is suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation into this same matter by another authority.

Under paragraph 52(1)(b) of the Code, the Senate Ethics Officer may suspend his inquiry into a matter if it is under investigation by another authority, and that authority requests that the inquiry be suspended.

The Interim Senate Ethics Officer is of the view that, in this case, it is in the public interest to comply with this request in order to avoid interfering with the other authority's ongoing investigation.

The Interim Senate Ethics Officer has no further comments about this matter at this time.


June 30, 2017 – On June 30, 2017, the Senate Ethics Officer reported her findings in a preliminary review she carried out to determine whether Senator Nicole Eaton had complied with her obligations under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators.

The allegations of non-compliance were based on a number of sources, including a press release that Senator Eaton's office sent out on September 20, 2016, and an article published in the Toronto Star on September 22, 2016. The preliminary determination letter, provided to Senator Nicole Eaton on June 30, 2017, pursuant to subsection 47(10) of the Code, which was thereafter deposited with the Clerk of the Senate, is available on the website of the Senate Ethics Officer by clicking here.

The Office has no further comments concerning this matter.


March 9, 2017 – On March 9, 2017, the Senate Ethics Officer reported her findings in an inquiry she carried out concerning a request from Senator Leo Housakos that she conduct an inquiry in order to determine whether Senator Don Meredith had complied with his obligations under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators.

The allegations of non-compliance were based on an article published in the Toronto Star on June 17, 2015. The inquiry report, provided to Senator Meredith on March 9, 2017, pursuant to subsection 48(15) of the Code, which was thereafter tabled with the Clerk of the Senate, is available on the website of the Senate Ethics Officer by clicking here.

The Office has no further comments concerning this matter.


March 9, 2017 – On March 9, 2017, the Senate Ethics Officer reported her findings in a preliminary review she carried out concerning a request from Senator Claude Carignan that she conduct an inquiry in order to determine whether Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu had complied with his obligations under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators.

The allegations of non-compliance were based on matters that had been reported in the Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Senate of Canada, Senators' Expenses, June 4, 2015, concerning Senator Boisvenu's Senate expenses. The preliminary determination letter, provided to Senator Boisvenu on March 9, 2017, pursuant to subsection 47(14) of the Code, which was thereafter tabled with the Clerk of the Senate, is available on the website of the Senate Ethics Officer by clicking here.

The Office has no further comments concerning this matter.


March 9, 2017 – On March 9, 2017, the Senate Ethics Officer reported her findings in a preliminary review she carried out concerning a request from Senator James Cowan that she conduct an inquiry in order to determine whether Senator Colin Kenny had complied with his obligations under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators.

The allegations of non-compliance were based on matters that had been reported in the Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Senate of Canada, Senators' Expenses, June 4, 2015, concerning Senator Kenny's Senate expenses. The preliminary determination letter, provided to Senator Kenny on March 9, 2017, pursuant to subsection 47(14) of the Code, which was thereafter tabled with the Clerk of the Senate, is available on the website of the Senate Ethics Officer by clicking here.

The Office has no further comments concerning this matter.



February 4, 2016 – The Senate Ethics Officer resumed her review of the complaint, under the Conflict of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, regarding the alleged relationship Senator Don Meredith had with a teenager, as reported in the Toronto Star on June 17, 2015, since the Senate Ethics Officer was advised that the Ottawa Police has ceased its own investigation into this matter.

The Office has no further comments about this matter at this time



November 26, 2015 – On November 26, 2015, the Senate Ethics Officer reported her findings in a preliminary review she carried out concerning a request from Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais that she conduct an inquiry in order to determine whether Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette had complied with her obligations under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators

The allegations of non-compliance were based on an article published in the Journal de Montréal on June 28, 2015. The preliminary determination letter, provided to Senator Hervieux-Payette on November 26, 2015, pursuant to subsection 47(10) of the Code, which was thereafter deposited with the Clerk of the Senate, is available on the website of the Senate Ethics Officer by clicking here.

The Office has no further comments concerning this matter.
 

October 2, 2015 – On October 1st, 2015, the Senate Ethics Officer suspended her review of the complaint, under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, concerning Senator Don Meredith regarding the alleged two year relationship with a teenager as reported in the Toronto Star on June 17, 2015 pending the outcome of an investigation into this same matter by another authority.  

Under paragraph 52(1)(b) of the Code, the Senate Ethics Officer may suspend her review of a matter if it is under investigation by another authority and that authority requests that the review be suspended. 

The Senate Ethics Officer is of the view that, in this case, it is in the public interest to comply with this request in order to avoid interfering with the other authority’s ongoing investigation.  

The Senate Ethics Officer has no further comments about this matter at this time.