rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Ethics Commissioner finally rules properly in Paradis case, but what about others involved?

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

Federal Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson has, after 10 highly questionable rulings in the past five years and an almost two-year delay in this case, finally issued a ruling that complies with the Conflict of Interest Act. She concluded that Conservative cabinet minister Christian Paradis' actions in relation to Rahim Jaffer violated the rule prohibiting giving preferential treatment to anyone or any organization.

If Prime Minister Harper does not kick Paradis out of cabinet, he will once again confirm his tolerance of dishonest, unethical and secretive behaviour by cabinet ministers and senior government officials.

And while Commissioner Dawson's ruling is welcome, she should have made this ruling before last May's election. Dawson has ignored for almost two years the complaint Democracy Watch filed about the actions of Paradis' staff, and other Conservative politicians and staff, who also gave Jaffer preferential treatment, and overall has a very weak enforcement record.

Commissioner Dawson's ongoing partial, and usually legally incorrect, enforcement of federal ethics rules is unacceptable given that these rules are key to having democratic good government.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.