In addition to rising furor over the Harper Conservatives’ billion-dollar G8/G20 boondoggle, here are some of the more recent ethical lapses to dog the Harper government:
1. Suppressing the RCMP’s pro-gun registry report: A report showing the increasing reliance of the police on the gun registry was buried by the Conservatives until after their bill to dismantle the gun registry was voted on. Yet again, the Conservatives deliberately flouted the rules of Parliament to keep Canadians in the dark – and provided one more reason why the NDP should reconsider their position and vote to keep the gun registry.
2. Staffers: The Harper Conservatives can’t stand the heat. After ignoring ministerial accountability to avoid responsibility for their mistakes, Conservatives are now making their staffers the only Canadians immune to scrutiny from parliamentary committees in order to cover-up the goings-on in Conservative political offices.
3. Tony Clement’s misuse of his ministerial title: Minister Clement maintains he did nothing wrong by giving the Government of Canada’s official endorsement, on Chinese TV, for a specific company connected to his riding. Yet by endorsing one specific company, he violated Treasury Board communications guidelines, the Conflict of Interest code and the Ministerial code of conduct.
4. Dumpster legislation: Instead of giving legislation the opportunity to be debated and voted on separately, the Harper Conservatives have lumped several bills together into one massive budget bill. Liberals have committed to discontinue the practice of lumping together legislation and will vote against it without triggering an election.5. The Jaffer-Guergis China connection: A news report today shows that business partners of former Conservative caucus chair Rahim Jaffer were working to establish a “Canadian industrial park” in China – and let Mr. Jaffer’s wife, former minister Helena Guergis, get the credit by announcing it.