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An open letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner, Conflict of Interest and Ethics

October 2011
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14 October 2011

Mary Dawson, Parliamentary Commissioner
Conflict of Interest and Ethics
Parliament of Canada
Centre Block, P.O. Box 16
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6

By E-Mail (ciec-ccie@parl.gc.ca)

Dear Ms. Dawson:

I am writing to file a request regarding the current plan of the Minister of Labour to table back to work legislation in the event of a strike by Air Canada flight attendants. My request is due to the fact that I find some aspects of recent policy quite disturbing and feel that your intervention in this matter may be required to ensure that such legislation is dealt with in an honest and responsible matter.

In a point of background, the minister has suggested that the legislation is required to protect the function of an “essential service.” Personally, I find it difficult to rationalize how a private corporation that has competition for both domestic and international service can be seen as essential. Contrast this with the plan to eliminate the Coast Guard Search and Rescue station in St. John’s, NL. The argument for doing so as a budget cutting measure is that, despite the fact that it will require dispatching rescue services from as far away as CFB Shearwater, outside Halifax, NS, and adding approximately two hours to providing rescue services, this station is seen by the government as non-essential.

Unfortunately, this incongruity could be perceived as being the result of ulterior motives other than ideological ones. My request is, therefore, as follows. Could you please consult with the members of the House to determine which MPs hold shares in Air Canada or its subsidiaries and suggest to those members, regardless of party affiliation, that voting on this legislation could represent a perceived conflict of interest? Also, if permissible under privacy legislation, etc., could the list of MPs who are Air Canada or subsidiary shareholders be made public to ensure the openness and integrity of the voting on such legislation?

Yours truly

Douglas Rutherford

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4 Comments

  1. 0hmyyukon says:

    Good for you, Doug. Let me know if she responds. Linda

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