Some of you may recall that, a while ago, there was a cabinet minister named Judy Sgro. She got into a bit of hotwater over allegations over strippers, immigration certificates, free pizza, and so on. We were told, back in 2004, that the Ethics Commissioner was looking into it. As long ago as January, we were told that he would report back “within a month.”
We’re still waiting. A visit to the EC’s website, under the “what’s new?” link has, as its most recent posting, the announcement of the EC’s appointment last March. Most of the material on the site still refers to the position as the “ethics counsellor,” which it was under Howard Wilson, who reported directly to the PM.
So this morning, I called the Office of the Ethics commissioner and made some inquiries, especially relating to the status of the Sgro file. After being transferred twice, I finally found someone who would speak to me. I asked three questions:
Q. Has the Ethics Commissioner completed his inquiry into the Sgro file?
Q. Any idea when he might be finished?
Q. Any idea when the public might be informed of the results?
This is accountability?
Update, for all you budding journalists out there: There’s actually a fairly big story here. Where is the Ethics Commissioner? Why is it taking him so long to report back to parliament? Does he have inadequate resources? Is the office of the EC the appropriate tool for this sort of investigation? Are there problems with the office of the EC?
If I were a freelancer looking to break an interesting public governance piece, I’d start making some phone calls.