Recent polling published in the Hill Times indicates that a majority of Canadians think Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should hire an “ethics and oversight” manager to vet government policies for potential conflicts of interest.
This, of course, was spawned by the fact that the PM is now undergoing his third go-round with the ethics commissioner, this time over the WE Charity fiasco.
I’m not sure an ethics manager is the solution to what seems to be an ongoing problem.
The more germane question here is why none of the veteran politicians in the cabinet raised red flags about the WE decision.
Sole sourcing the contract, without inviting other bids, was wrong, and that in itself should have sparked a heated discussion around the cabinet table.
That was bad enough, but when two cabinet members, namely the prime minister and the finance minister, who both had personal ties with WE Charity, chose not to recuse themselves from the decision, they elevated their misdeeds from “troubling” to “egregious.”
Pure and simple, it was bad judgment, but they shouldn’t need an ethics manager to tell them that.
What they should be reminded of is that we, the people, expect and demand better behaviour and better judgment from our elected leaders.
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