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Bill C-226

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    (g) the trustees shall give the Parliamentarian sufficient information to facilitate returns required by the Income Tax Act and shall give the same information to the officer designated to receive it by the Minister of Revenue.

Benefit in common with others

(7) Subsection (1) does not apply to a benefit a Parliamentarian is entitled to receive under or pursuant to any Act, in common with others of the public or of a class of which the Parliamentarian is a member, where the benefit is given to anyone who meets the qualifications specified in or pursuant to the Act without the exercise of discretion by any person.

Benefit by inheritance

(8) In the case of a contract, benefit or interest acquired by a Parliamentarian by inheritance or other operation of law that was not initiated by the Parliamentarian, subsections (1) and (2) do not apply for the twelve-month period following the acquisition.

Contract etc. held in trust

(9) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to a contract, benefit or interest held by a Parliamentarian in the capacity of trustee for another, where the Parliamentarian has no personal financial interest.


Confidential disclosure statement

11. (1) Every Parliamentarian shall,

    (a) within sixty days after being summoned to the Senate or after notice of their election to the House of Commons is published in the Canada Gazette, and

    (b) thereafter once in every calendar year, by a date established by the Ethics Counsellor,

file with the Ethics Counsellor a full statement of the Parliamentarian's private interests and those of the Parliamentarian's family.

Family interests

(2) Information relating to the private interests of the Parliamentarian's family shall be to the best of the Parliamentarian's knowledge, information and belief, and the Parliamentarian shall make reasonable efforts to determine the information.

Content of disclosure statement

(3) The confidential disclosure statement shall,

    (a) identify all assets and liabilities of the Parliamentarian and their family and state the value of the assets and liabilities;

    (b) state all income the Parliamentarian and their family have received during the preceding twelve months or are entitled to receive during the next twelve months, and indicate the source of the income;

    (c) state all benefits the Parliamentarian, their family, and any private company in which any of them has an interest, have received during the preceding twelve months or are entitled to receive during the next twelve months as a result of a contract with the Government of Canada, and describe the subject matter and nature of the contract;

    (d) if the statement mentions a private company, include such information the Parliamentarian is able to obtain by making reasonable inquiries as to

      (i) general information on the company's activities and sources of income, and

      (ii) the corporations with which it is affiliated within the meaning of the Income Tax Act;

    (e) list every corporation, association, union or partnership in which the Parliamentarian or their family holds an office or directorship or similar position; and

    (f) include any other information that the Ethics Counsellor requires.

Meeting with the Ethics Counsellor

(4) After reviewing the confidential disclosure statement received from the Parliamentarian, the Ethics Counsellor may require the Parliamentarian, and the Parliamentarian's spouse, to meet or communicate with the Ethics Counsellor to ensure that adequate disclosure has been made and to discuss the Parliamentarian's obligations under this Act.

Material change

(5) Any material change to the information required to be disclosed by subsection (1) shall be reported in writing by the Parliamentarian to the Ethics Counsellor not more than thirty days after the change occurs.

Disclosure held in confidence

(6) Every statement filed by a Parliamentarian with the Ethics Counsellor under this section shall be kept confidential by the Ethics Counsellor.

Public disclosure

12. (1) The Ethics Counsellor shall prepare a public disclosure statement for every Parliamentarian, which shall be submitted to the Parliamentarian for review.

Content of public statement

(2) The public disclosure statement shall,

    (a) subject to subsection (4), state the source and nature, but not the value, of the income, assets and liabilities disclosed pursuant to section 11;

    (b) list the names and addresses of all persons who have an interest in those assets and liabilities unless the Ethics Counsellor is satisfied that public disclosure is not relevant to the public interest;

    (c) identify any contracts with the Government of Canada referred to in the confidential disclosure statement, and describe their subject matter and nature;

    (d) list the names of any affiliated companies shown in the confidential disclosure statement; and

    (e) contain a statement of any gifts or personal benefits that have been disclosed to the Ethics Counsellor.

Categorizatio n of interests

(3) An interest in a partnership or corporation, may be qualified in the public disclosure statement by the words ``nominal'', ``significant'', or ``controlling'' where in the opinion of the Ethics Counsellor it would be in the public interest to do so.

Items not to be disclosed

(4) The following shall not be included in a public disclosure statement:

    (a) an asset or liability worth less than ten thousand dollars;

    (b) sources of income that yielded less than ten thousand during the twelve months preceding the effective date of the statement;

    (c) real property that the Parliamentarian or their family uses as a primary residence or uses principally for recreational purposes;

    (d) personal property that the Parliamentarian or their family uses primarily for transportation, household, educational, recreational, social or aesthetic purposes;

    (e) cash on hand, or on deposit with a financial institution that is lawfully entitled to accept deposits;

    (f) fixed value securities issued or guaranteed by a government or by a government agency;

    (g) a registered retirement savings plan that is not self-administered or self-directed;

    (h) investments in a registered retirement savings plan that is self-administered or self-directed that would not be publicly disclosed under this section if held outside the plan;

    (i) an interest in a pension plan, employee benefit plan, annuity or life insurance policy;

    (j) an investment in an open-ended mutual fund;

    (k) a guaranteed investment certificate or similar financial instrument;

    (l) any other asset, liability or source of income that the Ethics Counsellor determines should not be disclosed.

Other disclosures withheld

(5) The Ethics Counsellor may withhold information from the public disclosure statement if it is the Ethics Counsellor's opinion that

    (a) the information is not relevant to the purpose of this Act; and

    (b) a departure from the general principle of public disclosure is justified in the circumstances.

Public inspection

(6) The public disclosure statement of each Parliamentarian shall be placed on file at the office of the Ethics Counsellor and made available for public inspection during normal business hours.


13. No Parliamentarian shall sell or transfer a private interest on terms or conditions that have as their purpose the circumvention of any of the provisions of this Act.


Ethics Counsellor

14. (1) The Ethics Counsellor shall be appointed by order of the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Senate and House of Commons in accordance with subsection (2) as an officer of Parliament.


(2) The Joint Committee shall search for and select a person to be recommended to be appointed as Ethics Counsellor and report its recommendation to each House of Parliament.

Approval by both Houses

(3) If the recommendation of the Joint Committee is approved by both Houses, the Speakers shall communicate the recommendation to the Governor in Council.

Term of Office

(4) The Ethics Counsellor shall hold office for a term of seven years, and may be re-appointed for a further term or terms, but may be removed at any time by resolution of the Senate and the House of Commons.


(5) If no person has been appointed to succeed an Ethics Counsellor by the end of a term, the Ethics Counsellor shall continue to hold office until re-appointed or until a successor is appointed, whichever first occurs.


(6) The Ethics Counsellor shall carry out the duties assigned to the Ethics Counsellor by this Act and by the Joint Committee on Official Conduct.

General direction by the Committee

(7) The Ethics Counsellor shall be under the general direction of the Joint Committee.


(8) There may be appointed such officers and staff as the Ethics Counsellor may require to fulfil the duties required by this Act.

Information kept in confidence

(9) The Ethics Counsellor, and all persons appointed pursuant to subsection (8), shall swear an oath or make a solemn declaration to keep confidential all information relating to Parliamentarians or their families' interests or property, that comes to their knowledge under this Act.

Annual report

(10) The Ethics Counsellor shall report annually on the affairs of the office to the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons, who shall cause the report to be laid before each House.


(11) In an annual report, the Ethics Counsellor shall take every reasonable precaution to avoid revealing any information likely to identify the personal affairs of a Parliamentarian or a member of a Parliamentarian's family.


15. The duties of the Ethics Counsellor shall be:

    (a) to receive Parliamentarians' confidential disclosure statements and prepare and make public the public disclosure statements required by this Act;

    (b) after reviewing the confidential disclosure statements from a Parliamentarian, to meet with the Parliamentarian, if the Ethics Counsellor considers it advisable, and with the Parliamentarian's spouse, if available, to ensure that the adequate disclosure has been made and to discuss the Parliamentarian's obligations under this Act;

    (c) upon reviewing the confidential disclosure statement and after considering any information received during any meeting with the Parliamentarian, to advise the Parliamentarian whether any additional steps are to be taken to ensure that the Parliamentarian's obligations under this Act are fulfilled;

    (d) to recommend in appropriate cases that in order to fulfil a Parliamentarian's duties under this Act that a Parliamentarian should sell a private interest at arm's length, or place a private interest in a trust on such terms and conditions as the Ethics Counsellor may specify;

    (e) to provide advice on a confidential basis to individual Parliamentarians and to the Joint Committee on the interpretation of this Act;

    (f) to prepare guidance and to provide courses for new Parliamentarians on matters of conduct, propriety and ethics;

    (g) to monitor the operation of this Act and, where appropriate, to propose possible amendments to it to the Joint Committee; and

    (h) to review and to investigate complaints about the conduct of Parliamentarians and to report the findings to the Joint Committee.

Opinion to the Parliamentaria n

16. (1) In response to a request in writing from a Parliamentarian on any matter respecting the obligations of the Parliamentarian under this Act, the Ethics Counsellor may make inquiries and provide a written opinion and recommendations to the Parliamentarian, which is to be maintained in confidence by the Ethics Counsellor and may be made public only by or with the written consent of the Parliamentarian.

Opinion binding on the Ethics Counsellor

(2) Any opinion given by the Ethics Counsellor to a Parliamentarian is binding on the Ethics Counsellor in relation to any subsequent consideration of the subject matter of the opinion, provided that all the relevant facts were disclosed to the Ethics Counsellor.