The Conservatives have checked off the election promise that propelled them to victory, introducing accountability legislation designed to clean up the way the government does business.
But opposition MPs quickly accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of being selective in his housecleaning, especially in areas such as lobbying and access to information.
Cabinet ministers and their staff would be banned from lobbying government for five years, but that would not apply retroactively to Conservatives who have already entered the government relations world.
“Where is there something in the bill to stem the flood of Conservative staffers now lobbying their bosses in cabinet?” Interim Liberal Leader Bill Graham asked Tuesday.
“Where is the prime minister’s pledge to implement the information commissioner’s recommendations?”
Four cabinet ministers hovered by Harper’s side as he promoted the Federal Accountability Act. It’s been Harper’s top priority, and his government has been intensely focused on getting the bill out.
“Simply put, these measures will change the way that business is done in Ottawa forever,” Harper said.
“They will replace the culture of entitlement that took root under the previous government with a culture of accountability."