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Bill C-226

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17. (1) Any person who is qualified to be an elector under the Canada Elections Act may make a complaint to the Ethics Counsellor that a Parliamentarian has contravened this Act. A complaint must be supported by a statutory declaration signed by the complainant, stating the facts upon which the complaint is based. The Ethics Counsellor shall immediately, on receiving a complaint, send a copy of it to the Parliamentarian complained of.

Action by the Ethics Counsellor

(2) The Ethics Counsellor shall, within sixty days of receiving a complaint, advise the complainant and the Parliamentarian complained of that

    (a) the Ethics Counsellor will investigate the complaint;

    (b) the Ethics Counsellor is of the opinion that the facts stated in the statutory declaration would not, if true, represent a contravention of this Act;

    (c) in the opinion of the Ethics Counsellor, the complaint is

      (i) insufficiently specific, or

      (ii) vexatious or relates only to matters that are minor and should not be the subject of an investigation; or

    (d) the matter will be referred by the Ethics Counsellor to the Joint Committee.

Action by the Committee

(3) If the Ethics Counsellor refers a complaint to the Joint Committee, the Joint Committee shall take the matter under consideration and may

    (a) instruct the Ethics Counsellor to carry out an investigation or seek further information and report to the Committee;

    (b) advise the complainant and the Parliamentarian that the complaint will not be investigated and give reasons.

Ethics Counsellor's investigation in private

(4) The Ethics Counsellor shall conduct every investigation in private and with due dispatch, and in carrying out an investigation, the Ethics Counsellor has the same authority as the Committee, including the power to send for persons, papers and records which may be enforced by the Committee on request of the Ethics Counsellor.

Report to Committee

(5) Following the investigation, the Ethics Counsellor shall report to the Committee and may

    (a) dismiss the complaint, giving reasons;

    (b) report a determination that the complaint is justified, giving reasons, and stating the terms of remedial action that has been proposed by the Ethics Counsellor and accepted by the Parliamentarian involved, if it has been so, accepted;

    (c) report that the investigation has shown that the complaint was justified, but that it was not possible to agree on remedial action with the Parliamentarian;

    (d) report a determination that the complaint is justified, giving reasons and, if necessary, including a recommendation that the Parliamentarian be sanctioned; or

    (e) report a determination that there is a case for the Parliamentarian to answer and that, in the opinion of the Ethics Counsellor, it should be dealt with by the Committee, giving reasons and reporting the results of the investigation.

Public report

(6) The report and reasons of the Ethics Counsellor shall be included in the public records of the Committee.

Committee action

(7) In cases where the Ethics Counsellor reports in accordance with paragraph (5)(a) or (b), the Committee may

    (a) accept the report as a final determination of the matter;

    (b) report to the House in question; or

    (c) refer the case back to the Ethics Counsellor for further consideration.


(8) Where the Ethics Counsellor reports in accordance with paragraph (5)(c), (d) or (e), the Joint Committee shall hold an inquiry and report thereon to the House in question, and may include in the report a recommendation that the Parliamentarian be ordered to take specific action or be sanctioned.


(9) In a report, the Joint Committee may recommend that a Parliamentarian be sanctioned by

    (a) suspension of all or a part of any allowance or benefit paid to the Parliamentarian pursuant to the by-laws of the Board of Internal Economy of the House of Commons or a regulation of a standing committee of the Senate;

    (b) payment of a fine in reference to a benefit that the parliamentarian has received in contravention of this Act;

    (c) suspension from attendance in the House of which the Parliamentarian is a member for a specified period; or

    (d) expulsion.

House debate on the report

(10) A report from the Committee to the House of which the Parliamentarian in question is a member shall be taken up by the House and deemed to have been concurred in unless a vote to amend or not concur in the report is adopted within ten sitting days from the day it is first taken up.


18. (1) The Joint Committee on the recommendation of the Ethics Counsellor, may propose to both Houses of Parliament rules for the carrying out of the purposes and provisions of this Act.


(2) A rule proposed pursuant to subsection (1) shall be laid before both the Senate and the House of Commons, and come into effect ten sitting days after the day on which it has been laid before both Houses unless there is by the end of that day resolution of either House against the rule.

Retention of documents

19. The Ethics Counsellor and the Joint Committee shall retain all documents relating to a Parliamentarian or a Parliamentarian's family for a period of twelve months after a Parliamentarian ceases to be a Parliamentarian, after which the documents shall be destroyed unless there is an investigation current under this Act or a charge has been laid against the Parliamentarian under the Criminal Code to which the documents relate or may relate.

R.S., c. P-1; R.S., cc. 31, 42 (1st Supp.), c. 38 (2nd Supp.), c. 1 (4th Supp.); 1991, cc. 20, 30; 1993, cc. 13, 28; 1994, c. 18; 1996, cc. 16, 35; 1997, c. 32; 1998, c. 23


20. Sections 32 to 41 of the Parliament of Canada Act are repealed.


Coming into force

21. (1) Subsections 14(1) to (9) come into force on the day this Act receives royal assent.


(2) The provisions of this Act other than subsections 14(1) to (9) come into force ninety days after the first Ethics Counsellor appointed under section 14 assumes office.