Last week, I got a request to help an Ottawa-based charitable organization by being one of several ‘celebrity ambassadors’ for an event they’ll have in the spring. The event is a 10K run. The organizers asked me to raise awareness about the event through my Twitter account, Facebook page, and this blog. There was no “ask” to mention the event in any newspaper copy or on my television program. The event’s sponsors include a national sporting goods retailer and a sporting goods manufacturer. Event Ambassadors are offered the chance to get a new pair of running shoes, a new pair shorts and socks, and a shirt from this manufacturer. There was no request to endorse either the retailer or the manufacturer.
We started working on that story after reviewing Cash’s “Disclosure Summary”, a document all MPs file with the Commissioner of Ethics and Conflict of Interest and which is published on the commissioner’s Web site. You can review right here. Among other things MPs are required to disclose are any contracts with the federal government. Cash disclosed: Continue reading Background on Cash and his CBC cash
MPs are not forbidden from giving speeches for a fee and, if they earn more than $10,000 a year doing it, they must inform the House of Commons ethics commissioner about the existence of this income. There is no requirement to disclose the amount of income earned or the client for their speaking engagements. In that sense, both Trudeau and Garneau exceeded the disclosure requirements in the MP’s conflict of interest code.
Earlier this week, we asked Duncan if she, too, would go above and beyond the disclosure requirements of the conflict of interest code and disclose the clients, dates, and income associated with her speaking engagements. Here is her reply:
Prior to seeking office I was a scientist, and the topics I speak on are related to my expertise:
the expedition I led to the Arctic to try and discover the cause of the 1918 Spanish Flu
climate change and health: I previously taught climate change, climatology, and meteorology, and have worked tirelessly on address our most pressing environmental issue, which is climate change. I served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which jointly won the 2007 Nobel prize with Albert Arnold Gore Jr.
the links between the environment and human health
I called the Ethics Office immediately after I was elected. I was told that no one had ever done this. MPs must always meet legal responsibility, but, I believe should go further and meet ethical responsibility, which I have. I was advised that there was no issue with my continuing to speak.
Since being elected in 2008 I’ve spoken less than ten times to events, including the Global Knowledge Millennium Summit, India; the Ontario Hospital Association; SAGIA Global Competitiveness, Saudi Arabia; and Soroptomist International, Montreal. In my first elected term, I had 5 1/2 days off work.
I don’t feel comfortable releasing the amounts as I haven’t spoken with the organizations to have their consent to release these amounts.