New conflict of interest rules recommended

This is exactly what I've been saying..!

"There have been no substantive changes to the Manitoba conflict of interest act in 30 years, with the exception of adding a commissioner.

I have long stated in this place that this act needs to be reformed. I introduced legislation in the last session; nothing was done. I – and I introduced a motion in the last sessi on, a resolution; nothing has been done. And I'm going to do this again in hopes that we will update the conflict of interest legislation to reflect the expectations and realities of the 21st century."

~ Hon Steven Fletcher

November 2017 Official Hansard Transcript

Steven Fletcher has got it right again on the woefully inadequate conflict of interest legislation in Manitoba.

The commissioner’s recommendations described Manitoba’s conflict of interest legislation as worst in country.

Steven has thoroughly thought out appropriate legislation which is good to go.

Vol. L X X I No. 5 - 1 :30 p .m. , Monday , November 2 7 , 2017

Bill 208 – The Conflict of Interest Act

Hon. Steven Fletcher (Assiniboia): Appuyé par le – the member from The Maples, je propose la première lecture du projet de la loi 208, Loi sur les conflits d'intérêts ,

The Conflict of Interest Act

Translation

I move, seconded by the member for The Maples (Mr. Saran), that Bill 208, The Conflict of Interest Act, be now read a first time .

Madam Speaker: It has been moved by the honourable member for Assiniboia, seconded by the honourable member for The Maples, that Bill 208, The Conflict of Interest Act, be now read a first time.

Mr. Fletcher: There have been no substantive changes to the Manitoba conflict of interest act in 30 years, with the exception of adding a commissioner.

I have long stated in this place that this act needs to be reformed. I introduced legislation in the last session; nothing was done. I – and I introduced a motion in the last sessi on, a resolution; nothing has been done. And I'm going to do this again in hopes that we will update the conflict of interest legislation to reflect the expectations and realities of the 21st century.

Madam Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion? Agreed? [Agreed]

Vol. L X X I No. 6 - 1 :30 p .m. , Tuesday , November 2 8 , 2017

Hon. Steven Fletcher (Assiniboia): Conflict of interest. Madam Speaker, it boggles the mind that the government has not brought forward legislation to improve the conflict - of - interest framework in Manitoba. We have the weakest conflict - of - interest legislation in Canada. It hasn't been changed in 30 years. It has many, many loopholes, and the whole tax regime in Canada has changed, technology has changed , and even the scope of the conflict of interest is so narrow, it really creates a lot of doubts in Manitoba and Manitobans about the integrity of everything.

Improved conflict - of - interest legislation not only helps Manitobans to have faith in the process, it also protects politicians from speculation or innuendo. None of that exists – well, the innuendo and speculation does, but there's no way to disprove it, because we don't have proper regulations and legislation in Manitoba. That needs to be dealt with, and I will do that in the next 12 months, and I hope the – yes – there will be support.

There are eight legislative initiatives in the document I have tabled. I will also pursue democratic reform issues. We see that the number of MLAs can easily be reduced in Manitoba. We have a Premier (Mr. Pallister) who's doing the best job he can. And, I would argue, he's probably the busiest MLA with the most responsibility, and he can do and meet his responsibilities from thousands of kilometres away. So why do we need so many MLAs in this day and age? And that would be a real not only cost savings but efficiency.

In regard to democratic reform, I've put a push to remove parties from the ballots to remind people that they are voting for the person when they vote. [interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Fletcher: They're not voting for a party or leader. The fact is, Madam Speaker, parties have become all too powerful, and we need to put more emphasis and – in the individual MLAs.

Now, it's sad that there's some government members heckling these fundamental principles of democracy, but the most fundamental and most egregious that exists at the moment is the fact that the government is resisting or challenging court – application I've made on the unconstitutionality of preventing MLAs to represent their constituents in the way their constituents expect and violating the rights of constituents and violating the rights of MLAs and freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of representation. The government is supporting unconstitutional legislation. The Attorney General (Mrs. Stefanson) has recognized it's unconstitutional, yet they are still moving forward.

Madam Speaker, in my tabled document, I have many, many initiatives, and I look forward to pursuing them all.

Madam Speaker, I move, seconded by the member from The Maples, amendment to –

Madam Speaker: The member's time has expired. The honourable member for Assiniboia (Mr. Fletcher).

Mr. Fletcher: Yes, I move –

Madam Speaker: Order, please.

The member has run out of time in his speech. He would now have to ask for leave of the House to proceed with what he wants to say.

 

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