12 December 2006
Canada’s New Government followed through on a key promise today by delivering on its top priority – passing the Federal Accountability Act – as Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, granted Royal Assent to the Act in the Senate today.
"We promised to stand up for accountability and to change the way government works," said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. "Canadians elected this government to deliver on that commitment and today the Federal Accountability Act has received Royal Assent. From this day on, accountability in government is the law and we can all be proud of that fact."
The Federal Accountability Act was one of the Government’s top five priorities on taking office. The Act, which makes substantive changes to 45 statutes and amends over 100 others, delivers on the Government’s promise to put in place a five year lobbying ban, to eliminate corporate and union donations, and to protect whistleblowers, among other reforms. (See attached backgrounder entitled "Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan, Commitments and Actions" for more information).
"Getting this Act passed took nine long months of almost constant battle to ensure we came out of this process with an Act that has teeth," said Treasury Board President John Baird. "The Federal Accountability Act is a significant and substantive step by Canada’s New Government to help restore Canadians’ trust in government and the democratic process."
As promised, Canada’s New Government has also moved forward on the commitments included in the companion Federal Accountability Action Plan. (These initiatives are outlined in the attached backgrounder, "Progress on Federal Accountability Action Plan").
Minister Baird also thanked parliamentarians and public servants for their dedication and persistence in getting this landmark piece of legislation passed into law.