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The federal ethics commissioner has said that Joe Peschisolido, a former Liberal MP, continuously broke the MP code of conduct during his time as a member of Parliament.
According to The Canadian Press, commissioner Mario Dion stated in a report that when it came to disclosing his private interests, which is required by the code of conduct, Peschisolido “chronically” failed to do so.
Dion noted that he would recommend “appropriate” sanctions be imposed by Parliament if Peschisolido was still an MP, but he lost his BC seat last fall. Now that he is no longer an MP he is not subject to the same rules.
It is required under the code that MPs file a complete confidential statement containing their private interests as well as their family’s interests. The statement must be provided to the commissioner within a 60 day period after the MP is elected. Any changes to the interests are to be reported to the commissioner within 60 days as well.
According to Dion, Peschisolido did not disclose multiple things, including a shareholders loan as well as a personal guarantee of debt. The commissioner noted that both of these were worth “well in excess of $10,000.” Peschisolido also did not divulge changes in his marital status or in his law corporation.
Dion wrote, “Given Mr. Peschisolido’s chronic failure to comply with the code’s disclosure requirements, there is no doubt in my mind I would have recommended that Parliament impose appropriate sanctions.”
The excuse that Peschisolido gave Dion was that he was focusing so much on his duties as an MP that he failed to care for certain matters regarding his law corporation. This caused him to fail to make the disclosures.
“This prompts me to emphasize how meeting all obligations under the code, including those relating to disclosure, is in fact an integral part of a member’s role,” wrote Dion, who said disclosure “is essential to helping prevent conflicts between public and private interests.”