October 25, 2002
Critics claim ethics proposals undermine Parliament: Senators, MPs may lose rights
Jean Chretien's new ethics package for parliamentarians is a "recipe for witch-hunting" that will give the prime minister even more control over MPs and senators, Liberal Senator Anne Cools said Thursday.
The proposal to create an ethics commissioner to rule over MPs and senators takes longstanding rights away from parliamentarians and may even violate centuries of common law that has given elected MPs and senators their independence from the Crown, Cools said.
"It's nasty; it's miserable," Cools said in describing her reaction to the package, a bill proposing changes to the Parliament of Canada Act and a separate document proposing internal changes to the Rules of the Senate and the Standing Orders of the House of Commons.