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Conflict of Interest Act (S.C. 2006, c. 9, s. 2)

Act current to 2022-07-25 and last amended on 2017-10-06. Previous Versions

Conflict of Interest Act

S.C. 2006, c. 9, s. 2

Assented to 2006-12-12

An Act to establish conflict of interest and post-employment rules for public office holders

[Enacted by section 2 of chapter 9 of the Statutes of Canada, 2006, in force July 9, 2007, see SI/2007-75.]

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Conflict of Interest Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) The following definitions apply in this Act.

    Commissioner

    Commissioner means the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner appointed under section 81 of the Parliament of Canada Act. (commissaire)

    common-law partner

    common-law partner means a person who is cohabiting with a public office holder in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year. (conjoint de fait)

    common-law partnership

    common-law partnership means the relationship between two persons who are cohabiting in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year. (union de fait)

    dependent child

    dependent child means a child of a public office holder, or a child of the public office holder’s spouse or common-law partner, who has not reached the age of 18 years or who has reached that age but is primarily dependent on the public office holder or public office holder’s spouse or common-law partner for financial support. (enfant à charge)

    former reporting public office holder

    former reporting public office holder means a former public office holder who, while in office, was a reporting public office holder. (ex-titulaire de charge publique principal)

    gift or other advantage

    gift or other advantage means

    • (a) an amount of money if there is no obligation to repay it; and

    • (b) a service or property, or the use of property or money that is provided without charge or at less than its commercial value. (cadeau ou autre avantage)

    ministerial adviser

    ministerial adviser means a person, other than a public servant, who occupies a position in the office of a minister of the Crown or a minister of state and who provides policy, program or financial advice to that person on issues relating to his or her powers, duties and functions as a minister of the Crown or a minister of state, whether or not the advice is provided on a full-time or part-time basis and whether or not the person is entitled to any remuneration or other compensation for the advice. (conseiller ministériel)

    ministerial staff

    ministerial staff means those persons, other than public servants, who work on behalf of a minister of the Crown or a minister of state. (personnel ministériel)

    private interest

    private interest does not include an interest in a decision or matter

    • (a) that is of general application;

    • (b) that affects a public office holder as one of a broad class of persons; or

    • (c) that concerns the remuneration or benefits received by virtue of being a public office holder. (intérêt personnel)

    public office holder

    public office holder means

    • (a) a minister of the Crown, a minister of state or a parliamentary secretary;

    • (a.1) the Chief Electoral Officer;

    • (b) a member of ministerial staff;

    • (c) a ministerial adviser;

    • (d) a Governor in Council appointee, other than the following persons, namely,

      • (i) a lieutenant governor,

      • (ii) officers and staff of the Senate, House of Commons and Library of Parliament,

      • (iii) a person appointed or employed under the Public Service Employment Act who is a head of mission as defined in subsection 15(1) of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act,

      • (iv) a judge who receives a salary under the Judges Act,

      • (v) a military judge within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the National Defence Act,

      • (vi) a Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and

      • (vii) a member of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians;

    • (d.01) the Parliamentary Budget Officer;

    • (d.1) a ministerial appointee whose appointment is approved by the Governor in Council; and

    • (e) a person or a member of a class of persons if the person or class of persons is designated under subsection 62.1(1) or 62.2(1). (titulaire de charge publique)

    public sector entity

    public sector entity means a department or agency of the Government of Canada, a Crown corporation established by or under an Act of Parliament or any other entity to which the Governor in Council may appoint a person, but does not include the Senate or the House of Commons. (entité du secteur public)

    public servant

    public servant has the meaning assigned by subsection 2(1) of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, but includes officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Forces and employees of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service or the Communications Security Establishment. (fonctionnaire)

    reporting public office holder

    reporting public office holder means a public office holder who is

    • (a) a minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary;

    • (a.1) the Chief Electoral Officer;

    • (b) a member of ministerial staff who works on average 15 hours or more a week;

    • (c) a ministerial adviser;

    • (d) a Governor in Council appointee, or a ministerial appointee whose appointment is approved by the Governor in Council, who exercises his or her official duties and functions on a part-time basis but receives an annual salary and benefits;

    • (e) a Governor in Council appointee, or a ministerial appointee whose appointment is approved by the Governor in Council, who exercises his or her official duties and functions on a full-time basis;

    • (e.1) the Parliamentary Budget Officer; or

    • (f) a person or a member of a class of persons if the person or class of persons is designated under subsection 62.1(2) or 62.2(2). (titulaire de charge publique principal)

    spouse

    spouse does not include a person from whom a public office holder is separated if all support obligations and family property or patrimony have been dealt with by a separation agreement or a court order. (époux)

  • Marginal note:Family members

    (2) The following are the members of a public office holder’s family for the purposes of this Act:

    • (a) his or her spouse or common-law partner; and

    • (b) his or her dependent children and the dependent children of his or her spouse or common-law partner.

  • Marginal note:Relatives

    (3) Persons who are related to a public office holder by birth, marriage, common-law partnership, adoption or affinity are the public office holder’s relatives for the purposes of this Act unless the Commissioner determines, either generally or in relation to a particular public office holder, that it is not necessary for the purposes of this Act that a person or a class of persons be considered a relative of a public office holder.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 2 “2”
  • 2013, c. 18, s. 66, c. 33, s. 192, c. 40, s. 288
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 145
  • 2017, c. 15, s. 48, c. 20, s. 187

Purpose

Marginal note:Purpose of the Act

 The purpose of this Act is to

  • (a) establish clear conflict of interest and post-employment rules for public office holders;

  • (b) minimize the possibility of conflicts arising between the private interests and public duties of public office holders and provide for the resolution of those conflicts in the public interest should they arise;

  • (c) provide the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner with the mandate to determine the measures necessary to avoid conflicts of interest and to determine whether a contravention of this Act has occurred;

  • (d) encourage experienced and competent persons to seek and accept public office; and

  • (e) facilitate interchange between the private and public sector.

PART 1Conflict of Interest Rules

Marginal note:Conflict of interest

 For the purposes of this Act, a public office holder is in a conflict of interest when he or she exercises an official power, duty or function that provides an opportunity to further his or her private interests or those of his or her relatives or friends or to improperly further another person’s private interests.

Marginal note:General duty

 Every public office holder shall arrange his or her private affairs in a manner that will prevent the public office holder from being in a conflict of interest.

Marginal note:Decision-making

  •  (1) No public office holder shall make a decision or participate in making a decision related to the exercise of an official power, duty or function if the public office holder knows or reasonably should know that, in the making of the decision, he or she would be in a conflict of interest.

  • Marginal note:Abstention from voting

    (2) No minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary shall, in his or her capacity as a member of the Senate or the House of Commons, debate or vote on a question that would place him or her in a conflict of interest.

Marginal note:Preferential treatment

 No public office holder shall, in the exercise of an official power, duty or function, give preferential treatment to any person or organization based on the identity of the person or organization that represents the first-mentioned person or organization.

Marginal note:Insider information

 No public office holder shall use information that is obtained in his or her position as a public office holder and that is not available to the public to further or seek to further the public office holder’s private interests or those of the public office holder’s relatives or friends or to improperly further or to seek to improperly further another person’s private interests.

Marginal note:Influence

 No public office holder shall use his or her position as a public office holder to seek to influence a decision of another person so as to further the public office holder’s private interests or those of the public office holder’s relatives or friends or to improperly further another person’s private interests.

Marginal note:Offers of outside employment

 No public office holder shall allow himself or herself to be influenced in the exercise of an official power, duty or function by plans for, or offers of, outside employment.

Marginal note:Gifts and other advantages

  •  (1) No public office holder or member of his or her family shall accept any gift or other advantage, including from a trust, that might reasonably be seen to have been given to influence the public office holder in the exercise of an official power, duty or function.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Despite subsection (1), a public office holder or member of his or her family may accept a gift or other advantage

    • (a) that is permitted under the Canada Elections Act;

    • (b) that is given by a relative or friend; or

    • (c) that is received as a normal expression of courtesy or protocol, or is within the customary standards that normally accompany the public office holder’s position.

  • Marginal note:Forfeiture

    (3) When a public office holder or a member of his or her family accepts a gift or other advantage referred to in paragraph (2)(c) that has a value of $1,000 or more, the gift or other advantage is, unless otherwise determined by the Commissioner, forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada.

Marginal note:Travel

 No minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary, no member of his or her family and no ministerial adviser or ministerial staff shall accept travel on non-commercial chartered or private aircraft for any purpose unless required in his or her capacity as a public office holder or in exceptional circumstances or with the prior approval of the Commissioner.

Marginal note:Contracts with public sector entities

  •  (1) No minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary shall knowingly be a party to a contract with a public sector entity under which he or she receives a benefit, other than a contract under which he or she is entitled to pension benefits.

  • Marginal note:Partnerships and private companies

    (2) No minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary shall have an interest in a partnership or private corporation that is a party to a contract with a public sector entity under which the partnership or corporation receives a benefit.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply if the Commissioner is of the opinion that the contract or interest is unlikely to affect the exercise of the official powers, duties and functions of the minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary.

Marginal note:Contracting

  •  (1) No public office holder who otherwise has the authority shall, in the exercise of his or her official powers, duties and functions, enter into a contract or employment relationship with his or her spouse, common-law partner, child, sibling or parent.

  • Marginal note:Public sector entity — public office holders

    (2) No public office holder, other than a minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary, who otherwise has the authority shall permit the public sector entity for which he or she is responsible, or to which he or she is assigned, to enter into a contract or employment relationship with his or her spouse, common-law partner, child, sibling or parent except in accordance with an impartial administrative process in which the public office holder plays no part.

  • Marginal note:Public sector entity — ministers

    (3) No minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary who otherwise has the authority shall permit the public sector entity for which he or she is responsible, or to which he or she is assigned, to enter into a contract or employment relationship with his or her spouse, common-law partner, child, sibling or parent.

  • Marginal note:Other ministers or party colleagues

    (4) No minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary who otherwise has the authority shall permit anyone acting on his or her behalf to enter into a contract or employment relationship with a spouse, common-law partner, child, sibling or parent of another minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary or party colleague in Parliament, except in accordance with an impartial administrative process in which the minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary plays no part.

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (5) Subsection (4) does not apply in respect of the appointment of a member of ministerial staff or a ministerial adviser.

  • Marginal note:Certain contracts excluded

    (6) This section does not apply to a contract for goods or services offered by a public sector entity on the same terms and conditions as to the general public.

 
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