Libby questions the Conservative Government’s Accountability

House of Commons
March 22, 2011

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Bruce Carson, an advisor to the Prime Minister, knew everything about lobbying laws. He knew all about the loopholes, the same loopholes the NDP tried to close, loopholes the Conservatives wouldn’t close.

Now we know why. The Accountability Act was just for show. Former government officials, right out of the Pime Minister’s Office, are still able to sell their services to people looking for access to power, despite the five-year ban.

When will the Conservatives close the loopholes and prevent “another Carson” from doing the same?

Hon. John Baird (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of first priority, this government brought in the Federal Accountability Act that got tough on people who leave government for five years. I think the law is very clear. When issues arose with respect to one individual, we did the responsible thing. We immediately referred the matter not just to the RCMP, not just to the Ethics Commissioner, but also the Commissioner of Lobbying. Let me be very clear. Those who break the law should face the full force of the law.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Bruce Carson was out there selling access to government: to the Environment Minister and to the Indian Affairs Minister; using his girlfriend as a front.

The truth is that the Conservatives would never have called the police if it had not have been for the work of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network. Bruce Carson would have kept right on doing it if he hadn’t been caught out.

How can the Conservatives still tolerate these loopholes in their Federal Accountability Act?