Ottawa – The Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board, announced another key milestone in the implementation of the Federal Accountability Act with the coming into force today, July 9, 2007, of the Conflict of Interest Act.

"The first priority of Canada's New Government when we took office was to restore accountability to Ottawa. The new Conflict of Interest Act is a key part of fulfilling that commitment," said Minister Toews.

"Through the new Conflict of Interest Act and the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Canadians can now voice their concerns about unethical behaviour," said Minister Toews. "As ethics is the foundation of accountability and the pillar of democracy, these changes are instrumental to restore public trust in Government."

The Conflict of Interest Act prohibits ministers from voting on matters related to their personal gain and ensures Parliamentarians focus on the public interest. Through the Act, Members of Parliament and Public Office Holders are required to report all personal trusts and private interests from whom they derive benefit to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. The Commissioner will make orders prohibiting members from using the trusts for political purposes and has the power to fine violators and hold them accountable for their actions.

The appointment of Mary Elizabeth Dawson as the first Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, which was approved by the House of Commons on June 18, 2007, takes effect today.

This announcement is part of the implementation of the Federal Accountability Act. Through the Federal Accountability Act and its accompanying Action Plan, the Government has brought forward specific measures to strengthen accountability in government. More information on the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan is available at www.accountability.gc.ca .