Francis Vachon Le Devoir In a report submitted in 2019, Ariane Mignolet (seen here in February) addresses in particular the mechanism for increasing the remuneration of deputies as well as the question of interests held by elected officials in closed-end companies which have contracts with the State.
Four years after submitting a report to tighten the guidelines regarding conflicts of interest, the Ethics Commissioner, Ariane Mignolet, will be heard at the end of November by the elected representatives of the National Assembly.
The Institutions Committee will study from Thursday the document submitted on December 5, 2019 by Ms. Mignolet. Then, the commissioner will be heard by the deputies on November 21, her office told Devoir.
“The commissioner welcomes the decision of the Committee on Institutions to study the implementation report of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Members of the National Assembly 2015-2019,” declared spokesperson Anne-Sophie St-Gelais.
In her document, Ms. Mignolet made 22 recommendations aimed at improving the provisions of the code of ethics, adopted in 2010.
It addresses in particular the mechanism for increasing the remuneration of deputies as well as the question of interests held by elected officials in closed capital companies which have contracts with the State, two questions which have made the headlines in recent years.
In an interview with Devoir, in February, Ariane Mignolet recalled that the deputies had not yet looked into the recommendations contained in her implementation report, a document published every five years.
The Ethics Commissioner is ready to talk about the remuneration of elected officials
The study of the most recent recommendations, tabled in 2019, therefore occurs as the tabling of the next implementation report approaches.
In addition to Ms. Mignolet, parliamentarians will hear from Marie Deschamps, jurisconsult for the members of the National Assembly, and Professor Yves Boisvert, from the School national public administration.
The deputies also wish to invite representatives of the Institute of Applied Ethics of Laval University, the Lobbying Commissioner, the Chair of Ethical Management of HEC and the Circle of ex-parliamentarians of the National Assembly of Quebec.
Concerning the increase in salaries, Ms. Mignolet recommended in her report an independent mechanism which would make it possible to fully respect the ethical rules included in the code of ethics.
In June, the deputies sparked controversy by adopting a law which increased their basic compensation from $101,561 to $131,766.
Two elected officials and a human resources expert were mandated to submit a proposal to them.
In her report, Ariane Mignolet also recommends that elected officials grant her more latitude to judge the risks of conflicts in the case where ministers hold interests in closed-end companies which have contractual links with the State.
This type of situation hit the headlines due to the numerous troubles of Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon, who was blamed for assets he was slow to dispose of.
Among her other recommendations, Ms. Mignolet wishes to obtain the power to enforce the code of ethics during electoral campaigns.
During the recent campaign for the complementary election in Jean-Talon, she chose to postpone a decision following 'a complaint against PQ MP Pascal Bérubé concerning allegations of use of his MP email for partisan purposes.
“In her most recent report on the implementation of the Code, the commissioner rightly issued certain observations, questions and lines of thought regarding the management of investigation requests in such periods,” she then recalled. She announced the opening of an investigation after the vote in Jean-Talon at the beginning of October.