Integrity Commissioner Releases Report Re: Catherine Fife, MPP

The Honourable J. David Wake, Integrity Commissioner, today released his report into a complaint regarding Catherine Fife, Member of Provincial Parliament for Waterloo. The report is in response to an affidavit submitted by Dave Smith, Member of Provincial Parliament for Peterborough—Kawartha, on March 10, 2021, in which he requested an opinion under section 30 of the Members’ Integrity Act, 1994.

Mr. Smith alleged that on February 3, 2021 Ms. Fife breached Ontario parliamentary convention by sending an email seeking feedback on the upcoming provincial budget from her legislative email account and linking to a partisan webpage.

Following the inquiry, Commissioner Wake found that Ms. Fife breached parliamentary convention with respect to the sending of the email because it resulted in legislative resources being used for partisan activities. Commissioner Wake recommends no penalty be imposed in this case because the breach was inadvertent and Ms. Fife acted promptly to address the issue as soon as it came to her attention.

Commissioner Wake reminds all MPPs to exercise appropriate caution and due diligence to ensure they and their staff, or others who provide services to MPPs, meet their responsibilities to respect parliamentary convention.

The full report can be found here.

The Commissioner is not available for interviews.

About the OIC

The Office has seven mandates under five pieces of legislation:

  • Members’ Integrity, providing confidential conflict of interest advice to MPPs;
  • Ministers’ Staff Ethical Conduct, providing conflict of interest advice and direction to public servants in ministers’ offices;
  • Lobbyist Registration, operating Ontario’s lobbyist registry and conducting investigations into matters of potential non-compliance;
  • Disclosure of Wrongdoing, receiving whistleblowing disclosures from current and former members of the Ontario Public Service;
  • Public Sector Ethics, providing conflict of interest advice and direction to a broad range of public servants; and,
  • Expenses Review:
    • Reviewing the travel, meal and hospitality expenses of Cabinet ministers, parliamentary assistants, Opposition leaders, and their staff; and,
    • Reviewing the travel, meal and hospitality expenses of selected agencies.