Liberal MP Frank Valeriote councils Commissioner to break the law?
Another partisan Liberal attack goes horribly wrong. This is not a good move by Valeriote, considering he's supposed to be a lawyer...
Dear Mr. Valeriote,
Your open letter to the Commissioner of Lobbying is most improper. Essentially, you are telling the Commissioner to break the law.
First, I remind you that the Commissioner is an independent Officer of Parliament. She is accountable to all of Parliament and is supposed to discharge her duties independently and without interference. You seem to be under the mistaken impression that the Liberal Party or any individual MP can tell her what to do. You are wrong. The Commissioner’s independence must be respected.
Second, you demand that the Commissioner report to you and the Liberal Party on a potential ongoing investigation. Not only is that an outrageous interference with the Commissioner’s independence, it amounts to counselling the Commissioner to break the law. I urge you to read section 10.4 of the Lobbying Act, which requires the Commissioner to conduct any investigations in private and not to disclose information that comes to her knowledge during the course of performing her duties.
By writing an open letter, counselling the Commissioner to break the law, you are showing contempt for the Commissioner of Lobbying and placing her in an impossibly compromising position. How do you justify such conduct?
Kelly Block, MP
Member, Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics