Act still requires more work

Canada has a tradition of demanding honest and responsible government. In recent years, however, a few individuals have spoiled the hard-earned reputation of countless others.
The previous Liberal government vehemently responded to these few “bad apples” by introducing higher accountability standards. Considerable improvements were made in the way government conducts itself.
Bill C-2: The Federal Accountability Act is a five-part, 202-page document that’s been called the “toughest anti-corruption piece of legislation ever tabled in Canadian history.”
The act seeks to create six new commissioners, proposes changes to election financing, and proposes two additional acts in diverse areas related to public accountability.
I certainly am in favour of enacting any legislation that will improve the accountability of government. In the previous session of Parliament, I was a member of the Operations Committee which spent a considerable amount of time reviewing and amending the Whistleblower Act.
That act was passed by both Parliament and the Senate prior to the election call. The current government has not yet enacted it, but has instead decided to propose a different version of that legislation within the Accountability Act.
I believe the Whistleblower Act should be immediately implemented, and further improvements should be proposed and reviewed separately.
I am troubled by the Accountability Act’s election financing changes simply because they do not do anything to address third-party advertising concerns.
I believe that advertising by a lobby group on behalf of a particular political party also should be governed by spending limits and accountability legislation.
As it stands, any group or organization can spend as much money as they want to support any party.
There is a significant push by the government to accelerate this giant piece of legislation through the necessary levels of checks and balances.
But I believe it requires thorough analysis by all parties, and I am concerned that rushing its approval means many flaws could be overlooked.
As your MP, I will continue to work for the progress of Canada. This act raises some supportable points, but there is much work required to ensure it actually achieves accountability.

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