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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 6, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 6, 1972 THt IHHBWDCI HWAIB 7 Conflict-of-interest laws Ambiguous, out of date and full of loopholes By JOHN ROTH Canadian Press Staff Writer Ill Quebec there is no clear Canadian rress man i provision in the legislative code The dramatic and sudden res- forbidding MLAs to engajc in ienation last week or Ontario's such dealings, although the provincial treasurer, Darcy president of the national assom- McKeough, once 'again has bly may not sit on the board or turned the spotlight on the ill- be a director oi any company defined 'and archaic web of having direct or indirect ueai- laws that govern conflict-of-in- ings wilh the government, terest situations. At the municipal level, Que- rannrl-i Survev bv bee Municipal AXtairs Minister a-oduced a bill during the las c- obliges all municipal politicians C py of interest for meant whether they should in cept government contract The ballooning involvement retrain from votin of governments in decision- u the com making at all levels created a vast new set o[ poten tial conflicts undreamed of the early legislators. At the level of Ihe federal government a1 study of the issue nearinfi completion, but un- 'lic. ____ work on it are unwilling even to commit themselves on the exact areas being consid ered. A new prime minister tradi- y iicm A controlling interest i to be more than 10 pc MPPS are governed by U iwiutiL prohibits them from is nearmg completion, but un- business wilh the govern likely to be made public. Those t. However, eve at work on it are there are exceptions. iwspa stance, rs of the legislature to rc- rain from voting on matters In lich they have a vested inter- although they may speak n them. The Municipal Gov- rnmcnt Act, on the other and, requires councillors not nly to abstain from voting but so from speaking on such matters. In British Columbia, no legis- ature member may receive money from the province for any work done outside !iis legis- ativo duties. Nor may he re- ceive any money, directly or in- irectly, through government o'htracts. For the last two years the New Democratic which von office in Wednesday's gen- eral has been press- ing for passage of a bill requir ing disclosure of the financial interests of all MLAs and civil servants. ONTARIO'S D-4RCY McKEOUGH His luck finally just ran out DARCY McKEOUGH By VICTOR STANTON TORONTO CCP) William Darcy McKcough once cred- ited his rapid rise in govern- ment to his belief "in the luck principle." After nine years in the pro- vincial legislature, rising from tlie backbench to pro- vincial treasurer and making an unsuccdssful bid for the Ontario premiership along the way, Mr. McKeough's luck turned sour last seek with accusations of conflict of interest leading to his resig- nation from the Progressive Conservative cabinet. A native of McKeough was born into a family that has been In mu- nicipal and provincial politics since 1917. Mr. McKeough, who has said he entered politics, be- cause it was a family tradi tion, started his political ca reer on Chatham council in 1959. He was elected to the On ario legislature in 1963 for IB riding of Chatham-Kent and re-elected in 1967 and 971. From was one ot six young PCs referred o in the legislature as the Chicago Gang for their noisy nterjections during ic was moved to the post of minister without portfolio by :he then premier John Rob- arts in 1966, and following the 1967 provincial election ele- vated to minister ot munici- pal affairs. During his tenure in that office, he was the man re- sponsible for introducing con- troversial regional govern- ment into such Ontario, mu- nicipalities as Ottawa, Niag- ara Falls, Thunder Bay and York County. He also introduced a prov ince-wide program of prop- erty reassessment and a property tax rebate plait un der which all householders got a basic payment plus 0 per cent of their property ax bill. SOUGHT LEADERSHIP When Mr. Rob arts resigned as premier, Mr. McKeough went after the government's ;op post, losing out on the next to the last ballot and promptly demonstrating his support for fellow candidate William Davis. His support was seen as the clincher to Mr. Davis' victory on the next ballot over Allan Lawrence. Under the Davis govern- ment, Mr. McKeough was ap- pointed treasurer, minister oE economics and minister of fi nancial and inter governmental affairs. Mr. MeKeough, at 39 one of the youngest members of the cabinet, once said that for him "the excitement oE poll tics was being in the middle of things, being able to do things for people." Describing himself as righ of the political centre, but no n the right wing of his own arty, Mr. McKeough has >ecn tagged variously as "a new fogey" in reference to iis conservative views and 'the Duke of Kent" because of his image of a small-town He was consid- ered No. 2 man In the present government. Married in 1965 to Marga- ret Joyce Walker of Toronto, the McKeoughs have two sons and live near Chatham, where his well-to-do family runs a hardware business. It was family business in- particular art in- volvement in a real estate company that profited by the development ot a subdivision wliich received approval from Mr. McKeough's municipal affairs prompted Mr. McKeough's decision to resign from the cabinet rather than having to face doubts of his integrity and honesty. publisher, for :n government advertise- to his cabinet minislers out- it, me IKS lionally issues a private decree gpFE'CTS FAR-REACHING lite thD h ith the g Uieir mvoiveiimm. ui i j cabinet decisions may dealings. Only once nave these -enomous indirect ef- guidelines been made ,h financial health of r Lester Pearson after former '1L" TO ms mimosa I despite tho ban on lining the permitted limits o trading with the govern their involvement in financial cabinet, decisi lanies and individuals. is was recognized by Pre- mier William Davis in August when he enjoined his ministers to disclose any possible con- flicts of interest to their col- leagues in tho cabinet and ab- sicin from voting or discussing which could affect their interests. Speaking after it was dis closed that Attorney-Genera Dalton Bales had an interest in land in the area ot Toronto s inew international airport, Mr. member in an issue in which _ said u was a grcat deal he has a "direct pecuniary in- Aef tfl drfine conflict of in- terest" shall be disqualified. t t now lnan -m the past, be- In addition, no MP may hold cause fl[ activities of secretary of slate Maurice La- montagiis admitted accepting furniture iii a deal that in- volved no down payment and set no time limit for pay- ments. LAW CONFUSING Basically, the federal laws in- hibiting MPs from profiting by their positions restrict only their direct gain from voting or lobbying. A Commou standing order directs that the vote of any When it comes to reasonably priced hardware, make the move to Simpsons-Sears a public service position with pay or accept direct gain from a contract awarded by the de- partment of public works, ac- cording to the Senate and House of Commons Act. The law does not prevent "overnment. ihree weeks later his provin- cial treasurer, Mr. McKeough, resigned when it was revealed that a company hi which he holds a one-twelfth interest had put its plans for a subdivision j- I lia uiuiu MPs from holding shares or di- municipai affairs whiie rectorships in a company that I b he was head "oE that depart- ment. Conflict-of-interest legislation in Manitoba also centres on di- rect dealings with the provin- :ial or municipal governments by MLAs or councillors. STAY BE DISQUALIFIED The Manitoba legislation says an MLA will be disqualified retaining his y; i seat in tne assembly if he, or ator cannot deny he wilful y did body ,rith whom he is as such a thing, the claimant could be awarded for each day the senator was involved in the conflict situation. Such a charge is difficult to prove and few senators have resigned i their directorships because they felt their law-making duties might be jeopardized. RESIGNED FROM BANK Senator Sailer Hayden for example, does government business other than public'works construction. Senators, many of whom hold more than 20 corporate direc- torships, have more leeway. They cannot be criminally con- victed of voting in their own in- terests but care be sued by any- one who proves they did so "knowingly and wilfully." I or retain In the unlikely event the sen- the assembly i ator cannot deny he wilfully s0mebody ,rith whom 1-.. soeiated, undertakes a conlrac "for which public money of the rown is to be paid." The law affecting mumcipa councillors is similar but has loopholes, which in elude exempting councillor who have less than a 25-per cent interest in a compan dealing with the municipality. Saskatchewan, too, mere! was: i has a law forbidding member both a director of Ihe Bank of cf Rovernment from acccp Nova Scotia and chairman of Save Craftsman 10" Radial Arm Saw Rofl. Now 249.99 This rugged 2 h.p. saw has a newly de- signed arm and guard for added rigidity and accuracy. Cuts wood up to 2VV thick. Lightweight and conveniently por- table. Permanenlly-lubricated ball bear- ings cut down on maintenance. Push-pull safety switch wirh key-lock. Die-cut alu- minum stands up 1o wear. stand- ard accessories with no adapters. Manual brake. All backed by de- pendable name, Save Radial arm Saw Stand Reg. Now 26.98 Now 49.99 Reg. Craftsman W reversing variable drill Reg. Craftsman 7" Circular Saw 1% h.p. Fes. Craftsman Scroller Saw Trigger Conlrol. Router Sander the Senate banking committee until his resignation from the bank last January. Apart from the restriction mentioned no MP or senator may accept any compensation for voting or speaking on a bill and senators caught cioing so can be lined between and while MPs are subject to penalties ranging from to While senators do no lose their appointments in such government contracts and has no legislation dealing with the more subtle aspects of con- flict of interest. Legislation in Alberta Is ca- pable of a slightly broader in- terpretation. It requires mcm- expellsive OTTAWA (CP, At the provincial level, fwv hislory. In Newfoundland there is no relevant legislation though the government is studying tho laws in other and a renorl. i ,owed Prime Minister Tru- When former premier Joseph elecUon announcement. Smallwood and Oliver Vardy, Mf sajd the Con- by Conservative LeacVsr Robert Stanficld and New Democrat Leader David Lewis in news conferences that fol- lowed Prime Minisler Tra Mr_ stanfield said the Con former deouly minisler for so- servaljvcs cxnected the 60-day cial development, were found1 Now 99c up each Craftsman Chisels Forged chrome steel, tong lasti sharp edges. Various sizes. Craftsman Screwdrivers tife lime guaranlee. Tough ihanlcs. Choice of 200. ileel by a royal commission to be shareholders in a comirany which owned seven buildings rented lo ihe nrovincial liquor commission, Premier Frank Moores decided nothing would be gained by nursiiin? the mat- ter as a criminal action. HAVE VARIOUS ACTS The other Atlantic provinces, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, have various election acts and legislative assembly acts which forbid public servants from run- ning for office. In New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, there also are laws pro- hibiting elected representatives will cosl between million and million. Even at. that, the party will be short of the money lo be as ef- feciive as it would he said Lewis said the NDP will have a central fund of abou and lhat all NDP can didates will spend about million. The party would hav trouble raising so much an probably would go "info hockJ from holding the province. contracts from FISHERMAN GUNNED ORISTANO, Sardinia (Reu tor) An 18-year-old fish erman was taken to hospita here after being wounded in th leg by a NATO jet aircraft which machine-gunned his fish ing boat by mistake during military exercise. 1.49 Economy P'.ieri Cushion handles. Choice of 120. Reg. lo Sutton Bench Saw Now 44.98 Rip, mitre, groove and cross-cut. Cut io 1W, Sealed bell The power you need for Ihs performance you want. Now 174.98 Save Sears 17" gas-powered Chain Saw Pre-sta-r control far easy starling. Designed for minimum vibralion. Fully enclosed carburetor. Keg. 3-Pce. White Bath Ensemble Reg 112 97 Toilet. Reg. 39.99 Basin. Reg. Tub. Reg. S67.V8................... 59.99 Colour 3-Pce. Ensemble Reg. Toilet. Reg. Bosin. Reg. 517.98................... Tub'. Reg. Toilet Seat Petal Pink, Bone, Green or Blue. Reg. 6.39 Faucet and Pull-out Plug Reg. White Oval Vanity Basin Porcelain steel basin wilh slainless steel frame. Reg. 18.99 Oval Vanity Basin In colours Petal Pink, Horizon Blue, Willw Green or Bone. Reg. 21.99 Tub Enclosure Impact resistant plastic panefs, 3 doors for maxi- mum access. Reg. 49.99 Toilet Sea, Reg. 3.99 4 h.p. Roto Spader Reg. Now 154.99 Vertical belt drive with idler to oil worm gears. Forward, Neulral, Reverse controls 261' wide swath, 1C" deep. 7 h.p. Reg. Kardwara 199.99 20" Vanity Cabinet wilh China Top Reg. 74.99 Faucet Reg. 20" Cabinet coloured China Top Blue, Green, Pink, Bone............. 79.99 24" Vanity Cabinet (less basin ond Reg. 54.98 24" Vanify Cabinet marbella top (Less Reg. Plumbing and Healing Simpsons-Sears Dependable merchandise at sensible prices. Quality Costs No More at Simpsons-Sears STORE HOURS: Daily 9 a.m. to p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. ,o 9 p.m. Centre Village. Telephone 328-9231 ;