Letter from Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson – February 22, 2013

Posted on February 22, 2013

Click here to view the PDF version of the letter I received from Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson

The text of the letter follows:

February 22, 2013

Mr. Andrew Cash
Member of Parliament for Davenport
House of Commons
Confederation Building, Suite 835
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Cash:

This is further to your letter of February 21, 2013, in which you asked me to confirm your understanding of the advice given to you by my Office with respect to the royalty income you receive from the CBC show Dragon’s Den.

In September 201 I, my Office advised you that section 13 of the Conflict of Interest
Code for Members of the House of Commons (Code) does not prohibit you from participating in debates or votes involving the CBC where, in accordance with section 13.1 of the Code, the matter in question is of general application or affects you as one of a broad class of the public as set out in subsection 3(3).

Yesterday, in response to a request from my Office and further to recent media attention, you provided a list of the debates and votes in which you participated, both at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and in the House of Commons, that involved the CBC. These included five votes in Committee on main estimates, which included general CBC funding, one debate in Committee in which you questioned the President of the CBC about its five-year strategic plan and four instances in which you asked broad questions touching on the CBC in the House of Commons.

In light of my previous advice as well as my review of the information that you have provided, I can confirm that, to date, the matters in question in the debates and votes in which you have participated affect you as one of a broad class and, therefore, that you met your obligations under the Code in doing so.

Making recusal decisions pursuant to section 13 of the Code will always depend on the particular factual circumstances at issue. Whether your participation in any debate or vote is permitted under the Code must be determined, in accordance with section 13.1, on the basis of whether your own private interest falls within the exceptions set out in subsection 3(3) of the Code.

The matter must be determined on a case-by-case basis. I would therefore encourage you to continue to communicate with my Office in respect of any debate or vote in which you intend to participate that involves the CBC or on any other matter that engages your obligations under the Code.


Mary Dawson
Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner

Click here to view the letter I sent to Ms Dawson asking her to confirm that no conflict occurred

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