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Comments from the Ethics Commissioner following the National Assembly Vote on the Inquiry Report regarding the Minister of Economy and Innovation.

December 9th 2020 - The Ethics Commissioner, Ms. Ariane Mignolet, acknowledges the vote expressed by the Members of the National Assembly this morning on her inquiry report regarding the Minister of Economy and Innovation and Member for Terrebonne, Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon.

Under the Code of ethics and conduct of the Members of the National Assembly (the “Code”), elected officials are entrusted with the responsibility to vote on reports that contain a recommendation for sanction. In the case at hand, since it did not receive the support of two thirds of the Members of the Assembly, the sanction recommended in the report tabled on December 8, 2020 will not take effect. However, the Commissioner has reiterated that even if a report is not adopted by the National Assembly, the principles and jurisprudence it contains remain applicable.

No further comments will be made concerning the reactions to the report after it was tabled. All evidence supporting the Commissioner’s conclusions can be found in her inquiry report.

The Commissioner underlines how important it is, in a state governed by the rule of law, for all persons, and especially those who carry out the fundamental role of legislator, to comply with the law. Such compliance is inherent to democracy, and its absence undermines the legitimacy of institutions. The Commissioner has stated: “[Translation] As an independent person appointed by the National Assembly, I have the duty to apply the law as a whole as it was passed, unanimously, just 10 years ago.” To this end, the Commissioner will continue to interpret and apply the current Code with impartiality, integrity and rigour.

Furthermore, the purpose of the 22 recommendations contained in the 2015–2019 Journey into the Heart of the Code of Ethics and Conduct: from Theory to Practice report concerning the implementation of the Code from 2015 to 2019 is to start a conversation with Members on a range of topics. The Commissioner offers her full cooperation to Members when they choose to review the report.