The Ethics Commissioner has released his report on Gurmant Grewal's antics last summer here. The executive summary contains all the important material:
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe report mentions the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, which you can read for yourself here. Specifically, the Commissioner finds Grewal's action were incompatible with one or both of sections 2b, 8, and 11. Here is section 2b:
On June 1, 2005, Mr. Yvon Godin, the Member of Parliament for Acadie-Bathurst, requested that I conduct an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the apparently surreptitious audio taping by Mr. Gurmant Grewal, the Member for Newton-North Delta, of his conversations with the Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh, the Minister of Health and Member for Vancouver South, and Mr. Tim Murphy, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister.
The subject matter of the reported conversations dealt with the possibility that Mr. Grewal might leave the Opposition to join the Government and either support the Government, or not take part, in an upcoming confidence vote in the House of Commons.
Specifically, Mr. Godin requested that I examine the following allegations:
With respect to allegations (i) and (iii), the information gathered during this inquiry indicates that Mr. Dosanjh did not offer specific rewards to Mr. Grewal in that he (Mr. Grewal) change his vote in relation to the May 19, 2005 budget confidence vote.
- “that Mr. Grewal sought inducements from Minister Dosanjh and/or Mr. Tim Murphy; or Minister Dosanjh or Mr. Murphy offered inducements to Mr. Grewal to change his vote(s) on matters before the House of Commons of Canada;
- that Mr. Grewal surreptitiously audio taped conversations with Minister Dosanjh and/or others; and
- that Mr. Grewal attempted to entrap Minister Dosanjh into improper conduct.”
While it is not clear whether Mr. Grewal genuinely sought an inducement to change his vote or whether he just acted the part in an attempt to entrap Mr. Dosanjh, his actions were, in either case, extremely inappropriate. If his intent was the former, he committed an extremely serious breach of sections 8 and/or 11 of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. If his intent was the latter, his actions were at odds with Principle 2(b) of the Members’ Code.
With respect to allegation (ii), while surreptitiously audio taping fellow Members is neither illegal nor a specific contravention of the Rules of Conduct spelled out in the Members’ Code, I do not, however, believe that such conduct by Mr. Grewal is consistent with the Code’s Principles, in particular, Principle 2(b).
The facts of this case have clearly not enhanced the public’s confidence and trust in the integrity of the House of Commons and its Members. Indeed, I believe the public’s trust and confidence has been weakened.
Given that service in Parliament is a public trust, the House of Commons recognizes and declares that Members are expected … to fulfill their public duties with honesty and uphold the highest standards so as to avoid real or apparent conflicts of interests, and maintain and enhance public confidence and trust in the integrity of each Member and in the House of CommonsSection 8:
When performing parliamentary duties and functions, a Member shall not act in any way to further his or her private interests or those of a member of the Member’s family, or to improperly further another person’s private interests.Section 9
A Member shall not use his or her position as a Member to influence a decision of another person so as to further the Member’s private interests or those of a member of his or her family, or to improperly further another person’s private interests.Section 10
(1) A Member shall not use information obtained in his or her position as a Member that is not generally available to the public to further the Member’s private interests or those of a member of his or her family, or to improperly further another person’s private interests. (2) A Member shall not communicate information referred to in subsection (1) to another person if the Member knows, or reasonably ought to know, that the information may be used to further the Member’s private interests or those of a member of his or her family, or to improperly further another person’s private interests.Section 11:
A Member shall not attempt to engage in any of the activities prohibited under sections 8 to 10.