Recent developments south of the border, as well as in Canada, have focussed attention on public sector ethics laws, lobbying laws and conflict of interest laws. In the United States, a number of current and former politicians and political advisors have had their business activities publicly scrutinized by investigators, reporters and regulators. Closer to home, both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former Ontario Opposition Leader Patrick Brown have been found in breach of ethics rules.
This presentation will compare and contrast public sector ethics laws, lobbying laws and conflict of interest laws in the United States and Canada. Using recent U.S. cases as an example, it will consider how similar situations would be investigated and sanctioned (or not) if they occurred in this country.
The presenters will provide insight into how businesses and organizations can minimize their exposure to legal and reputational risks when dealing with governments. In particular, the presenters will discuss:
- Insulating companies from conflicts of interest. Canada’s approach to the blind trust, the partial trust and divestment
- Disclosing a company’s foreign government funding in the lobbyist registration process. Canada’s approach to lobbying disclosure
- Protecting companies that employ the relatives of current politicians. Canada’s approach to recusals, conflicts of interest, etc.
- Preventing companies from giving unethical or illegal gifts to politicians. Canada’s approach to hospitality, entertainment and gift-giving
- Protecting companies who employ former campaign advisors or former political advisors. Canada’s approach to revolving door provisions, confidentiality restrictions, lobbying codes of conduct, etc.
- Correcting inaccurate lobbyist registrations. Canada’s approach to late and inaccurate lobbyist filings
This program is eligible for up to 1 Substantive Hour