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Political Staffers Need Scrutiny Too

By Duff Conacher Created: August 9, 2012 Last Updated: August 15, 2012
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Liberal spokesperson Sarah Bain says “we simply do not comment on personnel” when asked questions about the Liberals re-hiring Adam Carroll, a former staff person who resigned earlier this year after he ran a Twitter account that disclosed details of Conservative Cabinet minister Vic Toews’ divorce proceedings.

This is a shocking statement that unfortunately shows the usual deep lack of understanding about the role and accountability of political staff.

Many political staff, who are paid by the public, take part in key policy discussions and decisions; and so the public has a clear right to know what they are doing exactly, what powers they have, and their financial and other private interests. Without this information, the public cannot tell whether staffers are furthering their own, or their family’s or friend’s interests, with their decisions and actions.

All the parties use staffers to do their dirty work because there are no ethics or other accountability rules that apply to the staff of MPs, senators, or research and other party office staff (the Conflict of Interest Act only applies to the staff of Cabinet ministers).

As the parliamentary committee (Procedure and House Affairs) continues its review of the MP ethics code this fall, and as the Senate considers changes to its code, the committee must strongly recommend that this huge loophole be closed by extending the codes to cover the staff of MPs and senators.

Duff Conacher, Founding Director of Democracy Watch

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  • justinflontekccc

    Toews is a goof!


   

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