FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government introduced legislation today to strengthen conflict of interest rules governing members of the legislative assembly.

An Act to Amend the Members’ Conflict of Interest Act would prohibit sitting members from lobbying or from being employed by a business or organization that engages in lobbying. The proposed bill would also prohibit lobbying of any kind, in or outside New Brunswick, in relation to matters connected to the province by former members of the legislative assembly during the 12-month period after their ceasing to be a member.

“Your government is committed to fostering a culture of openness and transparency,” said Attorney General Serge Rousselle. “This will ensure that all members of the legislative assembly are held to the highest standard. This is important because it allows us to make better decisions to advance the priorities of New Brunswickers, such as growing the economy and strengthening our education and health-care systems.”

The amendments would also require members to report to the integrity commissioner in their private disclosure statements any additional sources of employment or remuneration while serving as a member. The integrity commissioner would then be required to report that information to the public.

Current members would have 60 days after the amendments take effect to report their employment and sources of income. In the future, members would have to report changes in their employment or sources of income within 30 days of the change.