Home > Uncategorized > No Ethics Violation in Emerson Floor Crossing

No Ethics Violation in Emerson Floor Crossing

March 20th, 2006

Ethics commissioner Bernard Shapiro has cleared Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of International Trade David Emerson of ethics violations when Emerson was appointed to cabinet and crossed the floor from the Liberal’s to the Conservative’s. From the report:

Each individual, on appointment to Cabinet, receives additional salary and benefits associated with the office (e.g. car, driver and ministerial staff). The increase in salary and benefits alone cannot be considered as an improper inducement. If it was, the appointment of any person to Cabinet could be considered suspect. However, what is important is the intent and the purpose associated with an offer to join Cabinet…

I am satisfied … that the Prime Minister designate’’s decision to select Mr. Emerson was based on his belief that Mr. Emerson would be an important addition to his Cabinet….

..It is quite clear from the facts of this case that Mr. Harper was acting in his executive capacity as Prime Minister designate…


Given these facts and the relatively straight forward findings reported above, there was, in my view, no need to proceed further than the preliminary inquiry which has now been completed.

So Stephen Harper, as Prime Minister, has discretion in choosing members for cabinet. Yet, there was one line in there that was very interesting:

Clearly, if the Prime Minister were to approach a member with an offer of a Cabinet position with the sole intent and specific purpose of acquiring that member’’s vote directly linked to a parliamentary proceeding existing at that time, such conduct would be inappropriate and unacceptable.

Who does that sound like? So if that is true, why was the Belinda Stronach crossing not investigated at the time?

None the less, the significant point is that this investigation doesn’t even get past the preliminary stages, talk about a lot of hot air over nothing.


  1. Joanne (True Blue)
    March 21st, 2006 at 09:28 | #1

    Brian, I find it interesting that Shapiro hasn’t dismissed the Stonach case yet, and his wording at the end of the report is very cryptic indeed. Maybe he thinks Belinda crossed a line when she crossed the floor.

  2. Brian
    March 21st, 2006 at 09:37 | #2

    Is there a Stronach investigation? I know there was a request for one, but never heard that there would be one. But that is an interesting point, maybe there’s more later.

    For what it’s worth, I would say there has been an investigation into the Stronach crossing, and the residents of Ajax-Pickering decided no violation occured.

  3. Confederacy
    April 15th, 2006 at 21:19 | #3

    Interesting blog…a good read.

    A Cassville Heritage Association member, Cassville, Georgia

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