|Please support the Ethics Lapdogs Court Case Fund
We hope all is well and thank you for your ongoing support of Democracy Watch’s campaigns to make Canada the world’s leading democracy!
Unfortunately, despite the support of people like you sending more than 170,000 messages to federal party leaders and MPs here, the federal government continues to use secretive, partisan processes to choose Canada’s key democracy watchdogs.
Not surprisingly, the government keeps appointing people with weak enforcement records – they just appointed two new lapdogs — so key ethics laws remain unenforced.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a 1996 case that if government ethics laws are not strictly and strongly enforced, Canada will not be a democracy.
We have tried democratically to convince the federal government to appoint strong watchdogs through an open, independent and merit-based process – a process like Ontario uses to appoint provincial judges (which is considered to be one of the best appointment processes in the world).
The government has refused to appoint strong watchdogs, and the lapdogs they have appointed have made rulings in the past 10 years that let dozens of people off the hook for clear violations, and that create huge loopholes in ethics laws – loopholes that allow for lots of unethical activities in federal politics.
So Democracy Watch is going to court to try to win rulings that will ensure government ethics laws are strictly and strongly enforced by strong watchdogs — please help by clicking here now and supporting Democracy Watch’s 5 key government ethics court cases.
As you will see on the page linked above, Democracy Watch has 2 court cases challenging rulings by former Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson that created huge loopholes in federal government ethics rules.
Democracy Watch has also filed a court case challenging a ruling by former Lobbying Commissioner Karen Shepherd that created a huge loophole in federal lobbying ethics rules.
Since they were appointed in 2007, both the Ethics Commissioner and the Lobbying Commissioner have let off more than 80% of people who have violated the rules. Their dangerously weak enforcement has let hundreds of federal politicians, government officials, and lobbyists get away with violating federal ethics laws.
You can also help right now by clicking here and sending a message calling on the Auditor General to audit the Ethics Commissioner and Lobbying Commissioner to ensure they didn’t cover up past wrongdoing.
Democracy Watch has also filed a court case challenging the appointment of new Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion, which was done without consulting the opposition parties as required by law. Mr. Dion had a very bad record of 8 unethical and questionable actions when he was the federal Integrity Commissioner, including being found guilty twice of violating the rights of people who were blowing the whistle on government wrongdoing.
Democracy Watch also recently filed a court case challenging the appointment of new Lobbying Commissioner Nancy Bélanger because the appointment was also made without consulting opposition parties. Ms. Bélanger also worked for 5 years for former Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson during a time when Commissioner Dawson let dozens of Cabinet ministers and MPs off the hook even though they clearly violated ethics rules.
As well, both commissioners’ offices were investigating the Prime Minister and other Cabinet ministers at the time they were chosen by the Cabinet. No one should be allowed to choose their own judge, especially when the judge will be deciding whether they were involved in an illegal situation.
These 5 lawsuits will help ensure that only fully qualified, fully independent people with strong enforcement records are appointed to these and other key government watchdog positions.
We need your help to pay the costs of these 5 lawsuits – please click here to donate now – and please spread the word to anyone you think may be interested in supporting these lawsuits.
Thank you for your support,
Duff, Josephine, Brad
and the entire Democracy Watch team
P.S. Even $5 will help win these 5 key government ethics court cases – please click here to donate now.