Friday, February 10, 2006

NDP Asks For Investigation

NDP member Peter Julian formalizes the outrage, with a request for an investigation:
The NDP is asking the federal ethics commissioner to investigate MP David Emerson's decision to quit the Liberals in exchange for a Conservative cabinet post.

New Democrat MP Peter Julian sent a letter to House of Commons Ethics Commissioner Bernard Shapiro requesting an investigation into a possible breach of the Ethics Code involving Prime Minister Harper and Trade Minister David Emerson...

Julian points to Section 8 of the Conflict of Interest Code which states:

"When performing parliamentary duties and functions, a Member shall not act in any way to further his or her private interests or those of a member of the Member's family, or to improperly further another person's private interests."

His letter points to Shapiro's decision on the Grewal-Dosanjh inquiry published on January 25, 2006 in which he wrote:

"… if Mr. Dosanjh had offered a reward or inducement to Mr. Grewal for crossing the floor at this time, he would have been acting and/or attempting to act in such a way as to improperly further Mr. Grewal's private interests. Either of these would amount to an extremely serious breach of the Members' Code."

Julian writes that it is the opinion of the NDP that the "considerable increase in salary, augmented potential pension, staff and assorted perks enjoyed by members of the Cabinet such as a personal car and driver amount to furthering Mr. Emerson's private interests over what he would have received as an opposition MP.

I predict Emerson resigns within days. This story has reached critical mass, the last thing Harper will want is an inquiry. The question is moving from if to when, with people like Mike Duffy openly speculating on when Emerson will resign. Julian presents a firm case, that doesn't leave much wiggle room, unless Harper is bent on mirroring the government he constantly questioned.

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