OTTAWA, ON – David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon, stood in the House of Commons yesterday to acknowledge the ruling of the Ethics Commissioner that the Hon. Robert Thibault, Member of Parliament for West Nova, contravened the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons.
“I thought it was improper. When the former Prime Minister of this country is suing him for $1 million, he has no right to proceed in that committee,” said Tilson.
Tilson filed a formal request for an Inquiry on November 27, 2007, stating that he believed Thibault was in contravention of four sections of the Conflict of Interest Code by sitting on the Standing Committee for Privacy, Ethics and Access to Information while at the same time being the subject of a lawsuit instituted by the Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney.
“Mr. Thibault was the lead for the Liberal Party on the committee, took part in debate, cross-examined Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Schreiber, and voted on motions related to Mr. Mulroney and the Airbus Libel Settlement,” said Tilson. “In asking his questions, Mr. Thibault probed the truth of the very statements that he made about Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Mulroney’s relationship with Mr. Schreiber for which Mr. Thibault is being sued and the facts underlying them.”
The Commissioner found that Thibault had contravened three of the four sections identified in Tilson’s request for a formal Inquiry, and continues to be in violation of Section 12(1) of the Code. She concluded by noting; “Mr. Thibault should not have participated in the activities of the Committee in relation to the Mulroney Airbus Settlement on or after November 22, 2007.”
“I am saddened that the Commissioner has only been able to confirm that Mr. Thibault was in such obvious contravention of the Conflict of Interest Code two months after the Committee finished its study of the Mulroney-Schreiber affair,” said Tilson. “The whole proceedings of the Committee were tainted by Mr. Thibault’s violation of the Code.”