Annual Report: April 1, 2000 - March 31, 2001
CONFLICT OF INTEREST COMMISSIONER OF NUNAVUT
The Honourable Robert Stanbury, P.C., Q.C.
The Honourable Kevin O'Brien, M.L.A.,
Legislative Assembly of Nunavut
Dear Mr. Speaker:
This is my second annual report to the Legislative Assembly, covering my first full year as your Conflict of Interest Commissioner, and Nunavut's second year, from April 1, 2000 to March 31, 2001.
It was an exceptional year. Members recognized their responsibility to build a strong foundation of public confidence in the integrity of their new government. In addition to my statutory duties, I was commissioned to recommend new legislation to replace Part III of the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act duplicated from the pre-division statute of the Northwest Territories
While a fresh, new statute is being considered, this report is made under the current law.
Every Member must file a disclosure statement within 60 days after the commencement of the first session following election of the Member, and annually thereafter. As the first session began on Nunavut's birthdate, April 1, 1999, the annual filing deadline for the first-elected Members is May 31. Two Members, the Hon. Jack Anawak and the Hon. Peter Kattuk, were given extensions of time for filing.
The Clerk informed me that all Members filed disclosure statements within the original or extended deadline and that one Member subsequently filed a supplemental disclosure statement.
A Member may ask for my authorization to accept a contract that is otherwise prohibited, but no such authorization was requested.
Activities of the Office
During the year I was consulted informally by individual Members and ministerial staff, and responded to questions by telephone, e-mail and fax as well as in personal interviews. In one case I gave written advice pursuant to section 79.2.
No complaint against a Member under section 80 was reported to me by the Clerk.
On April 25, 2000, I was mandated by the Management and Services Board to review (a) the current conflict of interest legislation applicable to the Legislative Assembly (duplicated from the former Northwest Territories law), (b) recommendations of the 1999 Northwest Territories Conflict of Interest Review Panel, (c) recent changes to the Northwest Territories law, and (d) Inuit traditional knowledge, and then to recommend for Nunavut cost-effective legislation consistent with both Inuit concepts and accepted standards in other Canadian jurisdictions.
In the course of this study I met at length with, among others, the federal Ethics Counsellor, the Ethics Commissioner of Alberta, and the current and past Integrity Commissioners of Ontario. I had the benefit of discussing issues with my colleagues from other territories and provinces at the annual conference of the Canadian Conflict of Interest Network in St. John's. As well, I gained valuable insight into the wider world of ethics codes and systems at the Ottawa conference of the International Institute of Public Ethics.
My special report, For a Culture of Integrity, was reviewed with the Management and Services Board and subsequently with the Full Caucus of Members. I was then directed to work with the Department of Justice on legislative drafting, which has been completed.
After adopting standards of integrity in the performance of their own duties, legislators have expressed interest in developing a similar code for appointed officials as exists in some other jurisdictions. If Members so wish, I would be pleased to assist in this process.
Throughout the year I enjoyed the full co-operation of Members, the Clerk and the staff of the Legislative Assembly, for which I am grateful. I welcome every opportunity to be of service.
Respectfully submitted this 30th day of April, 2001.