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August 12, 2021

The Senate has amended the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators

August 12, 2021 - The Senate Ethics Officer (SEO) is pleased to inform that the Senate has amended the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators (the Code) to introduce new provisions on harassment and violence. Some of the more significant changes include the following:

  • Under the new Senate Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy, a final report of an external investigator concerning a senator’s conduct is to be provided to the SEO for consideration under the Code.
  • A new rule of conduct under the Code addresses harassment and violence directly.  It provides: “A senator shall refrain from engaging in conduct that constitutes harassment and violence.”
  • A finding in an investigation report that a senator’s conduct constitutes harassment or violence is deemed to be a breach of that new rule.
  • The SEO must provide the final report to the Standing Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators (CONF) as soon as possible.
  • The SEO cannot conduct any preliminary review and inquiry in respect of conduct that could constitute harassment and violence.
  • The SEO may conduct preliminary reviews and inquiries in respect of conduct other than those that constitute harassment and violence identified in the investigation report.
  • The CONF may direct the SEO to provide recommendations regarding remedial, corrective, or disciplinary measures.
  • The CONF would report to the Senate with a recommendation for disciplinary measures.
  • This process is confidential and the external investigator report is not a public document.

These changes to the Code come into effect on August 12, 2021. More details on the changes to the Code can be found here. The Code may be consulted here.