[imc-ontario-stories] News release re: Senate and switching MPs
dwatch at web.net
Tue Aug 9 06:54:01 PDT 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 9, 2005
PRIME MINISTER SHOULDN'T ADD TO UNETHICAL SENATE, SWITCHING MPs
SHOULD RESIGN THEIR SEATS
OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch criticized Prime Minister Paul
Martin's appointment of more senators as an unethical action that
violates Martin's past pledges to democratize his appointment process
and Martin's stated position that the Senate needs to be reformed.
Democracy Watch also called on Belinda Stronach and David Kilgour to
resign and face a by-election for leaving their respective parties.
"As in March, Paul Martin again violated his own pledge not
to practise politics as usual by appointing Liberals to the Senate,
by saying nothing about the dangerously flawed Senate ethics code,
and by failing to propose concrete measures to democratize the
Senate," said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch. "As a
result, the Senate remains an undemocratic and unethical haven for
people who can, legally, act as inside-government lobbyists for
corporations and other private interest groups."
Among other appointees, Martin appointed Dennis Dawson,
against whom Democracy Watch filed an ethics complaint in June 2002
because he was lobbying the Department of Finance for nine corporate
and government clients while also working for Martin's campaign for
the leadership of the Liberal Party (as a result of the Liberals'
negligence and deeply unethical attitude, that and seven other
Democracy Watch ethics complaints have yet to receive a fair,
impartial hearing). Martin also appointed well-known Liberal
fundraiser Rod Zimmer from Winnipeg.
In March, Martin appointed former Liberal Cabinet minister
Art Eggleton among others to the Senate, even though Eggleton was
found guilty in 2003 of violating the federal Cabinet's ethics rules.
"Martin's and the Liberal Party's cronies will be at home in
the Senate with its loophole-filled ethics code and lapdog Senate
Ethics Officer, as they have all supported unethical, undemocratic
party leaders over the past decade," said Conacher.
Democracy Watch called on Belinda Stronach and David Kilgour
to resign because they are continuing to sit in House of Commons
seats they were not elected to fulfill. The rule should be clear
that switching MPs must resign and face a by-election if an election
is not going to happen within 30 days. Democracy Watch believes that
both MPs have violated federal ethics rules by switching and not
resigning, and it plans to file complaints against both MPs.
Democracy Watch will continue to push for long-overdue,
much-needed changes to the Senate's structure and operations, and
will continue to file and pursue ethics complaints until they are all
reviewed fairly and impartially.
- 30 -
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch, Tel: (613) 241-5179
Government Ethics Campaign - http://www.dwatch.ca/ethicdir.html
Voter Rights Campaign - http://www.dwatch.ca/voterdir.html
P.O. Box 821, Stn. B
Tel: (613) 241-5179
Fax: (613) 241-4758
Email: dwatch at web.net
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