Apr. 17, 2019

Prime Minister Trudeau in legal trouble again

I know for some of you out there this is getting tiring. I saw eyes roll the other day when I mentioned this to some people. You know, if it's a Trudeau name, somehow greater latitude seems to be in play. One can only imagine the consternation if this was a Mulroney or a Harper!
 
You know that Prime Minister Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act four times. This was determined after an investigation( 74 page report) by the Ethics Commissioner. You can go to the website and read the report. Of course, there is little punishment for those serious violations. In this case a measly $100. Not even the amount a traffic violation fine. If that was you or me breaking the law? 
 
But there is more. 
 
Democracy Watch, a national organization monitoring the activities of Governments, went to Court to challenge the decision of the Commissioner of Lobbying in considering the same conflict of interest violations and that the provisions of the Lobbying Act were violated as well. The Commissioner had ruled that there were no violations. 
 
However the court (Federal Court decision of March 29, 2019 , Democracy Watch v Canada Attorney General), has ruled that the Commissioner of Lobbying's decision was wrong; that he took too narrow a view of the situation especially in determining value. 
 
Here are relevant excerpts of that decision:
 
[140]  The Commissioner’s analysis does not consider whether the Aga Khan may have received “anything of value”; it begins and ends with the simple question of monetary payment. Restricting the analysis to this narrow question is inconsistent with both the wording of the Act and the objects and purposes of the Code.’ 
 
[146]  I am of the view, in light of the purposes and objectives of the Lobbying Act and the Code and the investigative obligation imposed by section 10.4 of the Act, that the Commissioner was required to take a broad view of the circumstances in addressing the complaint. Instead, the record before the Court reflects a narrow, technical, and targeted analysis that is lacking in transparency, justification, and intelligibility when considered in the context the Commissioner’s duties and functions. The decision is unreasonable.
 
[147] – Instead, the decision is quashed and returned for redetermination in accordance with the reasons above.’
 
Our dear Princeling – what a tangled web!
 
The Commissioner of Lobbying is being forced by the court to properly interpret his own Legislation. 
 
Like the Prime Minister, the Commissioner does not know the parameters of his job. 
 
Both need to look for other work where the their job descriptions are a little "simpler."