Should politicians be held to a higher ethical standard?
In January of 1978, Francis Fox dropped a bombshell with his resignation from Pierre Trudeau's cabinet. Francis Fox eventually returned as a respected cabinet minister. But he certainly raised the bar for Canadian political scandal.
Since then there's been the Airbus Affair ... Shawinigate ... the In and Out Scandal ... Robocalls. And the small matter of the Sponsorship Scandal. All cases where rules were allegedly bent or broken for political or personal gain.
And then, there's the curious case of Toronto's mayor. Rob Ford is accused of using his influence to raise funds for his football charity. The city's integrity commissioner told him he can't do that and told him to pay donors back. But he really doesn't want to, and as you heard, he spent it anyway. That argument may not be enough for him to keep his job -- he was in court accused of violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Mayor Ford acts as if it's another case of his enemies kicking him when he's down.
In Winnipeg, mayor Sam Katz faces controversy over a land swap deal.... Guelph Liberal MP Frank Valeriote was fined for not identifying his campaign as the source of one set of robocalls.... And the prime minister's chief of staff, Nigel Wright, is being investigated for a potential breach of conflict of interest rules.
Our project this season, Line In The Sand, looks at some of the difficult issues of ethics, morals and values. Today, we're going to talk about where we should set the ethical bar for politicians, and to do that, we were joined by three people.
Geoffrey Stevens is a former Ottawa columnist and managing editor the Globe and Mail who now teaches course on politics and ethics at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Guelph. We reached him at his home in Cambridge, Ontario.
Susan Delacourt is the senior political writer with The Toronto Star, and she was in our Ottawa studio.
And in our Vancouver studio, Ujjal Dosanjh ... the former NDP Premier and Attorney-General of British Columbia and a former federal health minister under Paul Martin's Liberal government.
This segment was produced by The Current's Chris Wodskou.
Other segments from today's show: