Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake today released his report into a complaint regarding Patrick Brown, Member of Provincial Parliament for Simcoe North. The complaint was filed by Marie-France Lalonde, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, under section 30 of the Members’ Integrity Act, 1994.
The inquiry examined the allegation that Mr. Brown breached Ontario parliamentary convention against the use of legislative resources for partisan purposes. The matter related to a fundraising brochure that was distributed at a Progressive Conservative convention in Ottawa in March, 2016. The brochure offered donors access to a ‘members’ lounge’ at Queen’s Park.
The Commissioner found that Mr. Brown did not breach parliamentary convention.
“In my opinion there was insufficient connection between Mr. Brown and the Ontario PC Fund, which proposed using Queen’s Park to raise funds for the party, to find that there was a breach of parliamentary convention,” the Commissioner wrote in the report.
“The basis for my opinion is that the proposed use of Queen’s Park was the result of a mistake made by the entity responsible for raising funds for Mr. Brown’s party, Mr. Brown was not aware of the offer and Mr. Brown had no oversight authority over the staff who made the offer.”
The Commissioner emphasized the importance of Queen’s Park as a location that must be kept free of partisan fundraising activity.
“I wish to make it clear that use of Queen’s Park for fundraising purposes diminishes the dignity of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and I remind all members to be mindful of the effects of any proposed fundraising activities, regardless of where they occur, on the reputation of the Assembly.”
Parliamentary convention is a unique feature of the Act, finding its core principles in the preamble. The full report can be found at www.oico.on.ca under MPP Integrity.
The Commissioner is not available for interviews.
About the OIC
The Office of the Integrity Commissioner has five key responsibilities: members’ integrity, disclosure of wrongdoing (whistle-blowing), expenses review for Cabinet Ministers, opposition leaders, and 21 of Ontario’s largest agencies, ministers’ staff ethical conduct, and lobbyists registration.
An Officer of the Legislative Assembly, the Integrity Commissioner is independent of government.
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Andrew Willis, Communications Coordinator
Office of the Integrity Commissioner