Conflict of Interest Guidelines for
Cabinet Ministers, Document tabled in the House of Commons, May 1, 1980, 11 p.
On May 1, 1980 Prime Minister Trudeau's guidelines
for cabinet ministers were tabled in the House of Commons by Yvon Pinard, the
President of the Privy Council. The purpose of such guidelines is to require
the divestment of those interests which pose a high probability of creating
conflict situations; to disclose interests which have a lesser, but not
unknown, potential for conflict but which through disclosure would inhibit a
self-serving decision. and to exempt assets for personal use and commonly held
investments which have virtually no abuse potential such as residences,
automobiles, household goods and works of art. Also exempt are cash and
deposits except foreign currency held for investment purposes, savings bonds,
various types of savings plans, and loans to relatives, or non relatives where
the amount is less than $5000.
Certain activities are completely
prohibited, including professional, corporate, commercial, consultant or
management positions; directorships or offices in commercial corporations
except philanthropic or charitable organizations not receiving federal
government funds; and active membership in union or professional associations.
Assets which may be publicly disclosed
include interests in family businesses and companies whose stocks are not
publicly traded provided they are local, do not contract with the government
and do not control shares of public companies; farms; other real property not
likely to create a conflict of interest; and interests in trust assets provided
administration is at arm's length. If not disclosed, these assets must be sold
or placed in a blind trust.
Unlike the guidelines issued by the
Conservative government in 1979, the rules do not directly apply to spouses or
dependent children of Ministers. However, Ministers must not transfer their
assets to their spouses or dependent children to avoid the guidelines. The
guidelines are also applicable to exempt members of the Minister's staff (such
as executive assistants, senior policy advisors) as designated by him. Other
staff members are subject to the Public Servants Conflict of Interest