Tighten rules for MPs’ gift, travel disclosure, committee report recommends

OTTAWA — Members of Parliament would have to disclose more about gifts they receive and the sponsored trips they take under new recommendations from a Commons committee.

The committee on procedure and House affairs urges a tightening of the conflict of interest code for MPs to increase transparency — suggestions that come amid intense scrutiny of questionable spending by senators.

Federal conflict of interest and ethics commissioner Mary Dawson carries out confidential investigations of complaints against MPs alleged to have breached the code.

The code prohibits MPs from accepting gifts unless they are routine expressions of hospitality or protocol.

Even then, any acceptable gift worth more than $500 must be publicly disclosed — a value the committee recommends be lowered to $200.

In addition, the committee says any outside contributions above the gift threshold to an MP’s travel should also be publicly revealed — a move that would toughen the current reporting standard.

Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

The Canadian Press

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