Cleaning up the Senate one rule at a time

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Senators have many and varied interests

A clean sweep!

A bunch of Conservative senators appointed by Stephen Harper have all sorts of private interests and professional activities outside the Senate that make them a bundle of money.

It's not illegal, but it sometimes smacks of conflict of interest and does nothing to restore trust in Harper's senators.

Stephen Harper seems to have understood the problem - finally.

He has decided to impose a new code of ethics on its senators.

On October 1, new rules are coming in. All senators will have to make public their professional and money-making activities they conduct outside the Senate as well as the names of the companies who pay for their services.

Then the public will have a better idea of whether there's even an appearance of conflict of interest.

Many senators sit on the boards of banks, oil companies, and firms that do business with the government.

Existing government records show:

Pamela Wallin, former renowned journalist with CTV News is on the board of Porter Airlines, and that of Oil Sands and West.

Mike Duffy, former newscaster renowned CTV owns a communications company.

Larry Smith, former president of the Alouettes, appointed to the Senate not once but twice by Harper, is manager of a moving company that has a contract with National Defense.

Conservative Senator Hugh Segal is a member of several boards, including that of SNC Lavalin.

Most senators, paid $ 132 300 per year, have private interests outside the Senate that ordinary people know nothing about.

Do these interests sometimes put them in conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest?

The new code of ethics will go far towards restoring public confidence in the Harper's un-elected Senate.


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