Bill C-518 is a Private Members bill introduced to amend the “Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act”.
I learned more about this bill via the Canadian Tax Payers Federation.
This bill which passed in the House on Feb 4 2015 and was in the 2nd reading in the Senate as of this post. If passed into law it would require revoking the pension of MP’s or Senators if they are convicted of certain criminal offences with 2 years or more sentence.
If this is important to you please read the following and if you feel as strongly as I do then I encourage you to use your right to vote to encourage your MP and government to do the right thing.
“This bill is important to me and many Canadians. The trust we the public give to elected or appointed officials should always be upheld and is one of the foundations of our democracy. The consequences of being convicted of breaking this trust and other serious crimes should be severe enough to be a deterrent and to restore public trust in government. This should be the case for all public employees and at all levels of government.”
I contacted my MP: Ms Shelley Glover to thank her for her service and helping better St Boniface and our great country and included what I have stated above in quotes.
I said this bill is a good start and asked her how she planned to vote on it.
“…. I am concerned about unintended consequences and penalties for the spouses of confirmed offenders as they also have rights when it comes to pension assets. Most of these spouses are women. Many are raising children and I am not convinced that they should also lose their rights because of their spouse’s crimes. …”
She also said they supported the bill after several amendments.
Many feel that these risks to the spouse should be part of the deterrent. For others this is a valid concern. I am on the fence about this.
When I checked into these amendment and how my MP and others voted I found that many conservatives did not support the bill without amendments to remove the retro activity and exclude Election Act and other Parliamentary offences. This looks like it was done to protect MPs like Dean Del Mastro who was found guilty of breaking the Elections Act and several Senators currently being investigated by RCMP for fraudulent expenses (Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallen etc…).
If this is important to you you can see how your MP voted and learn more about this bill by going here:
On the side panel, click on the second tab that says “Private Members business” and then on the Bill name and you will see how each MP voted.
Currently the bill is at 2nd reading in the Senate. It needs to pass this as well as 3rd reading and then after royal accent would become law.
Check status of this bill:
If it doesn’t pass or is being stalled we need to put pressure on the government via our MP’s etc…
Similar and related info on this bill and some comments / debate from members can be found here: https://openparliament.ca/bills/41-2/C-518/
News article with video about the conservatives weakening the bill to protect a current MP and …: http://globalnews.ca/video/1653222/conservatives-trying-to-protect-dean-del-mastros-pension
Hopefully the bill at least passes the Senate and becomes law as is and then can be brought up after to amend to strengthen it.
If you feel the amendments the PC’s introduced weakened the bill to much I encourage you to contact you MP and voice you concern. We need to pressure them to re-introduce it after to it is passed to strengthen it.
Also if your MP is from the NDP they need to keep their word as per below if they are elected.
I think this bill should be expanded to include all public employees not just Senators and MP’s and for all levels of Government not just Federal.
Below is an email from NDP MP Peter Julian with more info on this bill and what he and the NDP did to help it not get stalled in the house and the amendments they suggested to strengthen the bill.
———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 12:37 PM
Subject: Bill C-518, An Act to amend the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act
Thank you for your email and support regarding Bill C-518, An Act to amend the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act. I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that although the NDP Caucus supported the principle of this important Bill, we also worked to improve it in committee and opposed some of the changes made by the conservatives, which have weakened this Bill.
During the analysis of Bill C-518 in The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, the Conservative Party changed the provisions that determine when a Senator’s or an MP’s pension is revoked by removing any retroactivity to the application of the Bill. Immediately after the conviction of the Prime Minister’s former Parliamentary Secretary, Dean Del Mastro, the Conservative government added a loophole to the Bill that would allow him to keep his pension. This loophole also exempts a whole host of crimes committed by Conservative Senators and MPs like Dean Del Mastro.
This means that C-518 will only apply to Senators and MPs that will have lost their position once the Bill becomes law. The Conservatives also refused to include, in C-518, offenses under the Elections Act and other Acts of Parliament and proposed only a “short list” of Criminal Code offenses that would trigger the removal of the pension of a Senator or MP. Experts have concerns regarding this approach, noting that the choice of including some offenses and not others didn’t make sense, particularly the fact that offenses under the Elections Act weren’t included.
As a result, the NDP proposed an amendment that could have revoked the pension of the former Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dean Del Mastro, found guilty of breaking the Elections Act. The conservatives rejected the NDP amendment.
In my role as Official Opposition House Leader, I also proposed additional amendments to C-518 In the hope that the Conservatives would reverse their disingenuous approach to the Bill. On January 26th, I moved two amendments in order to expand the list of offences in Bill C-518 and therefore include offences to the Parliament act and the Elections act.
Here’s a link to my speech in Parliament during the debate on Bill C-518: https://peterjulian.ca/node/728
As you know, thanks to a swap the NDP made with the sponsor of C-518, we were able to complete that debate a week later, on February 3rd. The votes on these amendments and on the final stage of the bill occurred the next day, on February 4th. Unfortunately, the Conservatives rejected all of our amendments and refused to include more offences in the Bill.
The NDP voted for the Bill even without the amendments because we feel it is an important first step. We worked to ensure that the Bill was adopted that same day and sent to the Senate.
These Conservative created loopholes are unacceptable and should be closed. All serious violations should be covered, including offenses recently committed by Conservative representatives. Our pledge is that we will revisit this bill and close these loopholes if we form the government after the upcoming federal election.
Thanks again for contacting me on this important matter.
Peter Julian, MP
Official Opposition House Leader
New Democratic Party | Nouveau Parti démocratique
(TEL) 613.992.4214 | (FAX) 613.947.9500
ndp.ca | npd.ca
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