Everything under one roof: Canada’s evolving model
of parliamentary ethics
Published online: 25 April 2018
Ó O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) 2018
Abstract This paper begins with a brief overview of the various institutions and
ofﬁces that contribute to the overall anti-corruption infrastructure of Parliament in
Canada. It then examines the creation and evolving role, especially over the past
two decades, of the ofﬁces of Canada’s federal and provincial parliamentary Ethics
Commissioners. A trend has emerged whereby different parliamentary anti-cor-
ruption institutions and ofﬁces are now being combined ‘‘under one roof’’, typically
that of the Ethics Commissioner. This trend may be warranted, but there is unfor-
tunately very little data being made publicly available by the individual commis-
sioners that can help us understand why these institutions are evolving in this way.
Ethics commissioners ought to collect and publish more data about how their ofﬁces
actually function in order to allow for more meaningful public scrutiny into how
these institutions are evolving.
Keywords Ethics Á Conﬂicts Á Parliament Á Government Á Transparency Á
One of the earliest uncovered examples of corruption among Canada’s parliamen-
tarians was the Paciﬁc Scandal in the early 1870s. Prime Minister Sir John A.
MacDonald and members of his cabinet allegedly accepted bribes from American
business people who were attempting to inﬂuence the awarding of contracts related to
The original version of this article was revised: ‘‘There was a disjointed chart formatting in the table and
it has been corrected’’.
& Ian Stedman
Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Canada
Jindal Global Law Review (2018) 9(1):109–129