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反对党要求利益冲突及操守专员和游说事务专员调查联邦自由党筹款活动

来源:贴心姐妹网   更新:2016-12-06 07:11:03   作者:贴心姐妹网

联邦保守党临时领袖Rona Ambrose致信利益冲突及操守专员Mary Dawson和游说事务专员 Karen Shepherd,要求她们调查总理杜鲁多和司法部长国会秘书布莱尔参与的自由党筹款活动。

杜鲁多今年五月出席一个华裔富商为自由党举办的筹款晚宴,事后老特鲁多基金会收到巨额捐款。此事被《环球邮报》披露后,引起很大争议。自由党在众议院受到反对党的激烈抨击。

 

特鲁多辩解说:“我已经许多年和这个基金会没有任何正式或非正式的联系了。我在当选议员后不久就不再负责涉及我的家族的任何事务,目的就是为了表明公共领域和家族事务之间是完全分开的。”


附:Rona Ambrose的信:


Dear Commissioners Dawson and Shepherd,


This letter is in regards to a number of fundraising events for the Liberal Party of Canada, involving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as Parliamentary Secretary for Justice, Bill Blair.  These cash-for-access events appear to provide several examples of violations of the Conflict of Interest Act, the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyist Code of Conduct.  These events are raising large sums of money for the Liberal Party of Canada, anywhere in the range of $50,000 to $125,000.  I ask that you bear with me as I am raising a number of questionable events which I believe requires the attention of both of you.


On November 22, 2016, the Globe and Mail reported details of a fundraiser held on May 19, 2016, which had not been publicized at the time it occurred.  The journalists Robert Fife and Steve Chase reported that the attendees included the founder of a bank that was awaiting final approval by the federal government, as well as a foreign national who donated $1 million for the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and scholarships in the memory of former Prime Minister Trudeau shortly after the event.  The Globe also noted the presence of several guests who were identified as having close ties to the Communist Party of China, and guests who may be potential investors in Canada.  


When I raised concerns in the House of Commons about the apparent special access donors gained through this fundraiser, Mr. Trudeau defended the event by saying:


“Mr. Speaker, Canadians faced a period of 10 years of lower than needed growth under the previous government. That is why we have committed to engaging positively with the world to draw in investment.” (House of Commons Debates, November 22, 2016) 


Under direct questioning regarding this specific Liberal Party fundraiser, the Prime Minister explicitly linked his attendance there to the government business of attracting investment to Canada.  This is very concerning.  Section 7 of the Conflict of Interest Act requires that no person or organization be given preferential treatment by public office holders.  As well, section 16 of the same Act requires that no public office holder shall personally solicit funds from any person or organization if it would place the public office holder in a conflict of interest.


Yet at the May 19th fundraisers as well as others, it appears that those who had particular interests before the government did, in fact, receive special access to the Prime Minister and other officials.  Beyond Mr. Trudeau’s admission that he saw these fundraisers as an opportunity to engage in government business while attending a Liberal Party fundraiser, a number of reports have identified several specific examples that raise concerns.  For example,


•    One of the guests at the May 19th fundraiser, Mr. Thomas Liu, had significant financial interests in canola exports to China.  At the same time, the Trudeau government was directly negotiating with the government of China in regards to rules surrounding canola exports;


•    At the same event, another guest, Mr. Shengling Xian, attended the event.  Mr. Xian is the founder of Wealth One Bank of Canada.  This bank received final government approval as a Schedule 1 bank to start business in Canada on July 19th, just two months after Mr. Xian attended this fundraiser. I would also ask that you investigate under Section 6(1), Section 9, and Section 16 of the Act to ensure that there was no undue influence exerted by Mr. Trudeau or any Cabinet Minister to ensure the approval of the bank, and to ensure that no other attendee of the fundraiser received the Prime Minister’s assistance with any business before the government following the event;


•    At an April 28, 2016 fundraiser featuring Parliamentary Secretary Bill Blair, it has been reported that several people active in the cannabis industry paid to attend the fundraising in the hopes of engaging with Mr. Blair in his role as the government lead on the legalization of marijuana. Cannabis Friendly Business Association (CFBA) organizers Ms. Abi Roach and Mr. Jon Liedtke.  Ms. Roach was quoted in a Globe and Mail story on November 29 as saying, “I got 10 minutes of his (the Parliamentary Secretary’s) time…It was worth it because I got to speak to different people about our point of view about the cannabis industry. There was lot of people from the cannabis industry as well who were vying for his attention, more from the licensed producers’ side, obviously, because they are more interested in lobbying than the independents are.”;


Ms. Roach said she “gets e-mails all the time” from the Liberals asking her to come to fundraisers, and no one vetted her for the April 28 event.  “They took our money happily without question,” Ms. Roach said. “If it was easier for people to speak to politicians, to explain their points of views without having to pay – I mean, there was no way to sit at this event, I was on my feet for four hours – I would rather to speak to a politician one-on-one in an office than have to pay.”  I would also note that Ms. Roach’s organization is registered with the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying in Ottawa as lobbying the departments of Justice, Finance, Health and Public Safety, and the Public Health Agency of Canada and Employment and Social Development;


The story gets even murkier.  The Saturday, December 3 edition of the Globe and Mail quotes a wealthy Vancouver businessman, Mr. Miaofei Pan, who unequivocally states that he attended a fundraiser on November 7 to directly lobby the Prime Minister on a number of issues.  This includes investment by a massive Chinese insurance firm, Anbang, in Canadian seniors’ care, the relaxation of immigration restrictions on Chinese investors, and easing the ability of foreign real estate developers to invest in Canada.  All of these issues apparently are currently before Cabinet or government bodies for consideration.


Mr. Pan says that Prime Minister Trudeau directly discussed these matters with him, and that the Prime Minister was “approachable and friendly” when these issues were raised.  He also says in the article that he specifically mentioned two Chinese property development companies to the Prime Minister. 


The presence of donors not just hoping to gain the ear of Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Blair, but directly lobbying them at partisan Liberal Party events, clearly violates Mr. Trudeau’s own Open and Accountable Government ethics rules.  These state, “there should be no preferential access, or appearance of preferential access” in exchange for political donations.  These fundraisers also appear to breach internal Liberal Party rules – held up by the party as evidence of due diligence – that say “there is a thorough process to ensure that the rules are followed – especially that no department stakeholder, lobbyist, or employees of lobbying firms are specially targeted for fundraising.”


While I note that it is not within your mandate to enforce Mr. Trudeau’s own guidelines, Commissioner Dawson has called for changes to Canada’s laws to restrict this type of practice. Indeed, Conservatives even introduced a motion in the House of Commons to encourage the Liberal Government to grant Commissioner Dawson a mandate to enforce Mr. Trudeau’s own ethical guidelines. 


Commissioners, allowing wealthy donors and their friends the opportunity to discuss government business with the Prime Minister in exchange for donating $1,500 appears to be a violation of that requirement.  It is particularly important that the Prime Minister set an example for his cabinet in demonstrating that he understands the need to keep a clear separation between his role as a member of the Cabinet and his role as a political fundraiser.  His comments suggest that he failed to respect that duty at this event. 


These events also raise concerns with regards to the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct.  Multiple guests indicated that they sought to influence government policy through their interactions at these events.  Commissioner Shepherd has in the past addressed the fact that Rules 6 and 9 of the code require that those who to wish lobby the government do not mix this lobbying with partisan activities such as fundraising. Yet the reporting suggests that this conflict is a regular occurrence. 


Finally, I must raise another issue concerning the May 19th event that also raises serious concerns which I believe require investigation.  Another attendee at the May 19th event, Mr. Zhang Bin, donated $1 million to the Trudeau Foundation and the University of Montreal’s law faculty shortly after the fundraiser, and that $50,000 of this donation is intended for a statue of the Prime Minister’s father.  As per its statutes, the Trudeau Foundation’s board of directors includes “two directors appointed by the Minister of Industry and two representatives of the family of the late Pierre Trudeau.”


Given that Prime Minister Trudeau is a former member of the Trudeau Foundation, that his brother Alexandre Trudeau is a current member of the board of directors of the foundation, that the Minister of Industry appoints two directors of the Trudeau Foundation, and that the Foundation has two representatives of the Trudeau family, any efforts by Mr. Trudeau to use his position as Prime Minister to encourage donations may be a violation of the definition of a conflict of interest as described in Section 4 of the Act. 


It is important that Canadians have confidence that their leaders are living up to the high standards that were established in the Federal Accountability Act.  I believe that a full investigation into the issues raised by these fundraisers is important to ensure that public confidence is not eroded. I thank you for your thoughtful consideration of my concerns and attention to this issue.


相关链接:


Rona Ambrose asks for investigation into Liberal fundraisers


Trudeau appears to be breaking his own rules: Paul Wells

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