CED Code of Conduct


The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA) requires that deputy heads establish a Code of Conduct that is applicable to the portion of the Public Sector for which he or she is responsible and that the Code be consistent with the Code of Conduct established by the 25 October 2018 Treasury Board. The CED Code of Conduct is built on the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector. It also includes the principles set out in the policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment.

1. About Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

Every day, as CED employees, you work with people from diverse cultures who serve you fairly, effectively and with integrity. Clients and CED employees can expect impartial, courteous and professional treatment, as well as clear and responsible decisions.

1.1 Objectives

The CED Code of Conduct outlines the values and expected behaviours that you must adopt in all activities related to your professional duties. By committing to these values and adhering to the expected behaviours, you help:

  • strengthen the ethical culture of the Agency;
  • facilitate ethical decision-making to resolve conflicts between private and public interests, contributing to public confidence in the integrity of all decisions;
  • contribute to maintaining a healthy, respectful, and productive work environment where all employees can, and feel they can, raise issues with management and disclose breaches of this Code without fear of reprisal; and
  • contribute to the protection of the Agency and the Government of Canada against internal fraud, misconduct and wrongdoing.

1.2 Application

This Code of Conduct applies to all CED employees. "CED employees" means persons who are employed by the Agency under the Public Service Employment Act, including indeterminate and term employees, persons on leave without pay, students participating in student employment programs, casual, seasonal and part-time workers, as well as persons on secondment or assignment under the Interchange Canada program and volunteers. Consultants and persons hired under contract must also respect the spirit of the Code. Acceptance of values and observance of expected behaviors in the CED Code of Conduct is a condition of employment for all employees of the Agency, regardless of the group and level of the position you hold.

As an employee, you have a high degree of confidence in the framework for the execution of your duties. It is therefore expected that you will comply with CED's Code of Conduct and related policies. By violating this Code, you expose yourself to administrative and / or disciplinary measures up to and including dismissal.

Note: The Code does not constitute an exhaustive list of all behaviors that are not tolerated within the Agency and that are subject to administrative and / or disciplinary measures. The decision to impose an administrative and / or disciplinary measure and its severity also depends on the circumstances of each situation.

2. Public sector values and expected behaviours

As a CED employee, you must conduct yourself in accordance with the following public sector values and expected behaviors: adopt the values and behaviors expected of federal public servants in all activities related to the performance of your professional duties. These values come directly from the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector

2.1 Respect for Democracy

The system of Canadian Parliamentary democracy and its institutions are fundamental to serving the public interest. Public servants recognize that elected officials are accountable to Parliament, and ultimately to the Canadian people, and that a non-partisan public sector is essential to our democratic system.

Public servants shall uphold the Canadian Parliamentary democracy and its institutions by:

  • Respecting the rule of law and carrying out their duties in accordance with legislation, policies, and directives in a non-partisan and impartial manner.
  • Loyally carrying out the lawful decisions of their leaders and supporting ministers in their accountability to Parliament and Canadians.
  • Providing decision-makers with all the information, analysis and advice they need, always striving to be open, candid and impartial.

2.2 Respect for People

Treating all people with respect, dignity, and fairness is fundamental to our relationship with the Canadian public and contributes to a safe and healthy work environment that promotes engagement, openness and transparency. The diversity of our people and the ideas they generate are the source of our innovation.

Public servants shall respect human dignity and the value of every person by:

  • Treating every person with respect and fairness.
  • Valuing diversity and the benefit of combining the unique qualities and strengths inherent in a diverse workforce.
  • Helping to create and maintain safe and healthy workplaces that are free from harassment, discrimination and any act of intimidation or threat.
  • Working together in a spirit of openness, honesty, and transparency that encourages engagement, collaboration, and respectful communication.

2.3 Integrity

Integrity is the cornerstone of good governance and democracy. By upholding the highest ethical standards, public servants conserve and enhance public confidence in the honesty, fairness, and impartiality of the federal public sector.

Public servants shall serve the public interest by:

  • Acting at all times with integrity, and in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny; an obligation that may not be fully satisfied by simply acting within the law.
  • Never using their official roles to inappropriately obtain an advantage for themselves or to advantage or disadvantage others.
  • Taking all possible steps to prevent and resolve any real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest between their official responsibilities and their private affairs in favor of the public interest.
  • Acting in such a way as to maintain their employer’s trust.

2.4 Stewardship

Federal public servants are entrusted to use and care for public resources responsibly, for both the short-term and long-term.

Public servants shall use resources responsibly by:

  • Effectively and efficiently using the public money, property and resources managed by them.
  • Considering the present and long-term effects that their actions have on people and the environment.
  • Acquiring, preserving, and sharing knowledge and information as appropriate.

2.5 Excellence

Excellence in the design and delivery of public sector policy, programs, and services is beneficial to every aspect of Canadian life. Engagement, collaboration, effective teamwork, and professional development are all essential factors to a high-performing organization.

Public servants shall demonstrate professional excellence by:

  • Providing fair, timely, efficient, and effective services that respect Canada’s official languages.
  • Continually improving the quality of policies, programs, and services they provide.
  • Fostering a work environment that promotes teamwork, learning, and innovation.
  • Focusing on achieving and measuring outcomes.

3. CED Responsabilities

Values and Ethics is the responsibility of everyone at CED. As such, the Agency guarantees certain rights, has certain responsibilities, and offers protection and assistance in specific circumstances.

3.1 Deputy Minister/President

The Deputy Minister has a responsibility to foster a positive culture in relation to values and ethics at CED while meeting the following obligations:

  • Ensuring that you are aware and reminded you of your obligations under the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, and can get appropriate advice on ethical issues.
  • Putting in place a Code of Conduct for CED, reflecting the Agency’s unique issues, risks, and challenges. This should be developed in consultation with the bargaining agents.
  • Ensuring that this Code is implemented effectively and that progress is monitored and impact evaluated.
  • Designating a Senior Officer for Internal Disclosure.
  • Ensuring non-partisanship in the provision of programs and services by their organizations.
  • Upholding this Code and the Conflict of Interest Act.

3.2 Leadership Role of Managers

As managers, you are in a position of influence and authority that gives you a particular responsibility to exemplify the values of the public sector. In your capacity, you are a visible role model for the employees you supervise and you are expected to demonstrate leadership in respecting the Code of Conduct and, in particular, to:

  • provide effective, responsible, and fair service to all Canadians;
  • keep open, positive communications and working relationships;
  • respect equity and diversity in all their dimensions;
  • ensure compliance with the Code and its related policies.

As a supervisor, you must ensure that all employees under your supervision are aware of CED's Code of Conduct and have access to the electronic version of the document. It is the responsibility of the Agency to ensure that employees are aware of the policies and guidelines to which they are subject. As a supervisor, you are also responsible for promoting the values of the Code and ethics within the Agency not only by setting an example but also by regularly holding discussions with your employees and making sure that they have read and understood the Code.

3.3 Informal Conflict Resolution System

Section 207 of the Public Service Labour Relations Act requires that every deputy head have in place an informal conflict management system and ensures that you are aware that this method of resolving workplace conflict is available to you. CED's Conflict Resolution Service is specifically mandated by this requirement, which also emphasizes the importance of resolving workplace conflict informally, at the lowest possible level and as quickly as possible.

For information about the Dispute Resolution Office, write to your Labor Relations Team: dec.relationsdetravail-labourrelations.ced@canada.ca

3.4 Employee Organizations

The Agency has the responsibility to respect your right to belong to employee organizations (unions) and to take part in their legal activities. The Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act stipulates, among other things, the following prohibitions:

  • refuse to employ or continue to employ any person, or to suspend, lay off, lay off or unlawfully discriminate against any person in respect of employment, salary or other conditions of employment, to intimidate him, to threaten him or to take other disciplinary measures against him because of his membership in a trade union organization;
  • impose, or propose to impose, on the occasion of an appointment or in relation to conditions of employment, a condition preventing the employee or the person seeking employment from joining a trade union organization or exercising his rights as a member;
  • seek, in particular through intimidation, threat of dismissal or the imposition of financial or other penalties, to compel a person to either abstain or to cease to join a trade union organization or to hold an executive position or union representative.

In the same way, the LRTESPF prohibits any trade union organization, its officers or representatives as well as other persons acting on its behalf without the consent of the employer, from attempting, at the place of work of an employee and during hours of work, to get him to join or continue to join, or to abstain or cease to join a trade union organization.

4. Employee Responsibilities

As an employee, you have the responsibility to help maintain a harmonious working relationship with your colleagues at the Agency, and the obligation to participate in the creation and maintenance of a professional and respectful work environment. You must at all times comply with established standards of conduct. This means, among other things, that you must meet the relevant driving requirements in:

  1. Laws and Regulations;
  2. Departemental Policies and Guidelines;
  3. Treasury Board policies;
  4. Public Service Values and Ethics Code;

Politeness and courtesy are used in your interactions (actions, comments, behaviors, attitudes.) with your colleagues, supervisors, clients and other stakeholders, so that CED remains a respectful workplace.

4.1 Contact with Public

As an employee of CED, you may have diverse and frequent contacts with the public both at home and abroad because of the Agency’s mandate and the nature of the position that you hold. Regardless of your duties, you must always act in a manner which credits the Agency and the federal government in accordance with the Values of the Public Sector. You should conduct all official functions professionally and cordially even during periods of stress. Your actions, comments, behaviour, and attitude must remain polite, courteous and respectful.

However, in situations where you are subject to verbal or physical aggression by clients, or intimidating behaviour, you may refuse to serve such clients and should inform your supervisor immediately.

4.2 Public comments and comments to the media

As a public servant working for the Agency, you must not make adverse or inappropriate public comments, such as criticizing your employer. As employees you are bound by the Duty of Loyalty to the Employer therefore you should refrain from criticizing and making adverse comments.

You should also exercise restraint when making public comments to ensure that what you post is not injurious to others, is not discriminatory, and does not negatively reflect on you as an employee of the public service. Furthermore, your comments should not impact your impartiality and neutrality.

“Public comments” include oral, written or e-mailed views in blogs, chat rooms, social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, opinions, statements, information given on or to radio, television, the press, in public notices, books or public speaking forum.

You are responsible and may be found liable for what you post on your own social media pages and on the social media sites of others. Failure to abide could lead to disciplinary actions.

As an employee of the Agency you should not answer questions by the media and you must refrain from commenting or speaking on behalf of the Agency.

If you are not an official spokesperson and you are asked about the Agency’s position on a subject, you must refer the inquiry to your supervisor and to Media Relations.

4.3 Appearance and Dress

Your appearance and dress must reflect the professional image of the Agency and be consistent with the duties that you perform. They must not affect your health and safety or that of other employees. As an employee, you should also observe proper hygiene when at work. If you have any questions, consult your supervisor or manager. If you are a manager or supervisor, you may want to seek assistance from your Labour Relations Advisor.

4.4 Hours of Work

To perform your tasks fairly and effectively, you need to be punctual so that the people you work with can count on you. Every time you wish to change your regular work schedule, you must obtain the prior approval of your supervisor as soon as possible.

For any scheduled absence from work, you must notify your supervisor as soon as possible in order to obtain the required authorization in advance. For unforeseen absences, you must contact your manager as soon as circumstances permit to obtain permission to be absent.

Paid sick leave or sick leave credits must be used for the purpose for which they are intended. For more information, please refer to the TBS Directive on Leave and Special Terms of Employment Directive and relevant collective agreements

4.5 Intellectual property

Under the Copyright Act, anything that you have created, designed, developed, or produced while doing your job with the Agency, such as software, a work method, or an evaluation system, becomes the full property of the Agency. Therefore, you may not market the product of this work, even after improving or modifying it outside working hours. This would constitute a contravention of these standards and the Act, and could result in legal action. In addition, you must obtain permission before sharing your production outside the Agency. If you have any questions, consult your supervisor or manager.

4.6 Appointment processes

As an employee of the Agency, you are expected to reflect integrity and professionalism in your actions at all times, including during an appointment process.

Decisions and actions relating to appointment processes must reflect the core (merit, non-partisanship) and guiding values (fairness, access, transparency, and representativeness) of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA). By selecting candidates with objectivity and impartiality, on a merit basis, we avoid preferential treatment or the appearance of preferential treatment of family, friends or colleagues.

If you are a candidate in an appointment process, you are required to pass a series of assessments in order to ensure that you meet the qualifications listed on the statement of merit criteria to be appointed on a merit basis. When using others’ words, expressions or ideas and presenting them as your own, such as copying information from the internet, you jeopardize your reputation, integrity, and professionalism, and the appointment process results could be deemed invalid. This could lead to your elimination as a candidate. It could also lead to disciplinary measures and the termination of the process.

In addition, it is important to note that all information provided related to an assessment is confidential and should not be shared with others prior to, during, or after the assessment. This could lead to the termination of an appointment process and disciplinary measures.

4.7 Legal obligations and responsibilities

You must report to your manager as soon as possible if you are arrested, detained or charged with a violation in Canada or outside Canada of laws, regulations, a federal statute or the Criminal Code of Canada. You must also report a traffic violation or highway code ticket received during the use of a government-owned or leased vehicle as the Agency may be liable.

As an employee, you should avoid activities that place you or the Agency at risk by knowingly associating outside of your official duties with individuals or groups who are believed or suspected to be connected with criminal activities. You must report to your manager any contact or associations that you have with known or suspected criminals outside your official duties in order to protect yourself and the Agency.

As an employee of the Agency, as well as your relatives and friends returning to Canada from the United States of America or overseas, you are subject to the same customs and related regulations as all members of the public. You must not seek or attempt to obtain or receive any preferential treatment or concessions as a personal gain or benefit of your position with the Agency.

4.8 Confidentiality and disclosure of personal information

The confidentiality of information about clients must be maintained. You must not disclose this information to anyone other than the client or an authorized representative, except in cases authorized by a statute.

You are not allowed to access this type of information, either personally or by asking others to access it for you or to access it for another person, unless your work requires you to do so.

In addition you should not use confidential information for gain or financial benefit for yourself, your relatives, or any other person.

You must immediately notify your supervisor or manager of any privacy breaches so that the necessary steps can be taken to remedy the situation.

As a public servant, you are bound to fulfill the requirements to protect confidential information when taking the Oath of Solemn Affirmation upon commencing employment in the Public Service.

By taking this oath, you swore or affirmed to refrain from disclosing any information that you might become aware of while doing your job. You must not disclose information about policies, programs, practices, procedures or cases of the Agency to which the public does not have official access.

(Public Service Employment Act)

Part 4 - 54
I, (name) , swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will faithfully and honestly fulfil the duties that devolve on me by reason of my employment in the public service of Canada and that I will not, without due authority, disclose or make known any matter that comes to my knowledge by reason of such employment.

This includes refraining from disclosing information about policies, programs, practices, procedures or cases of the Agency to which the public does not have official access.

Where doubt arises, you must consult the various specific Memoranda of Understanding which the Agency has signed with other Agencys and agencies at several levels. Any questions should be referred to your manager.

4.9 Other responsibilities with respect to confidential information

As an employee of CED, you must arrange your private affairs in such a way as to avoid all suspicion that you have benefited from access to any information of a confidential nature.

You must be mindful of the minimum disclosure rule. The disclosure of personal information must be strictly limited to the minimum information required to perform your duties. Further disclosure is unauthorized by the Privacy Act.

It is equally important to avoid activities which may give the impression that you are benefiting from confidential information. You may not use, process or store any designated or classified information other than for purposes expressly stipulated by the Agency. You should discuss particular situations with your supervisor.

4.10 Safety and Security

As required under Part II of the Canada Labour Code 126(1) g, you must report immediately to your supervisor, of any miss, injury or accident suffered at work by you, any other employee, or a client.

For information on the right to refuse dangerous work, please go to the Employment, Social and Development Canada website. As an employee, it is suggested that you read and be aware of Security Policy and Procedures Manual Security Bulletins and other pertinent material.

4.11 Consumption of intoxicating substances and smoking

CED promotes a healthy and safe work environment. Impairment is strictly prohibited in our workplace and when driving a CED vehicle or rented while on travel status, including impairment as a result of alcohol, opioids, cannabis or any other legal or illegal drug. Smoking and vaping, including smoking and vaping cannabis, is also prohibited in all federal workplaces. At all times, employees are expected to report fit for work.

4.12 Use of Crown Property

Unless you have received proper authorization, you must never use equipment, material, vehicles or facilities purchased, used or leased by the Crown for other than official purposes and for your own personal benefit or that of family members, friends or outside organizations.

This includes the use of Crown property such as computers, telephones, photocopiers, vehicles, taxi vouchers, fax machines, and data banks.

The Corporate Card/travel card is only to be used for expenses incurred while on authorized government travel status. The travel card is not to be used for personal expenses, at any other times. For more information please consult the Appendix C of the Directive on Payments. Further, you must safeguard Crown property according to departmental requirements.

The acquisition card is a tool for procurement and payment of goods and services for Government needs only. For more information please consult the Appendix B of the Directive on Payments.

You must use official identification, the departmental Credit Card or any other card only for the purposes for which they were intended and in the best interests of the Agency.

4.13 Use of Electronic Networks

The Policy on the Use of Electronic Networks was developed to clarify which behaviours are appropriate and which are not when accessing the internet and other network services. It also describes security restrictions and the requirement for prior managerial authority to send messages for general distribution.

Remember that electronic messages should be managed and viewed similarly to their paper equivalent and are considered records under the Access to Information and Privacy Acts. E-mail messages and other electronic messages containing offensive language or inappropriate comments may constitute harassment and may result in disciplinary action. Use of e-mail is restricted to government-related business.

As an employee, you must ensure that any password granted to you to access departmental computer systems is kept in strict confidence. It is suggested that you read and be aware of IT Security Fundamentals.

Although the electronic network is provided to you for work related functions, the Agency does allow, under certain circumstances, some limited personal use. Subject to any technical direction provided by the Information and Technological Solutions Branch, you may make responsible use of the network provided that it:

  • is on personal time, i.e. breaks and unpaid lunch;
  • is not for financial gain, such as running a personal business;
  • does not add to CED’s costs;
  • does not interfere with the conduct of CED business;
  • does not constitute unauthorized, unlawful or inappropriate conduct; and
  • conforms with the Policy on the Use of Electronic Networks.

The Agency has a zero tolerance for persons who use the Agency’s systems to access or attempt to access sites that contain illegal and/or inappropriate material such as sexually explicit or sexually suggestive material, and hate speech material either of a visual or written nature, at any time. If you are found to have engaged the departmental system for this purpose, you will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

You must not participate in, or provide information to any internet sites or web-based activities that could compromise your status as a CED employee or that of your colleagues, or that could compromise the reputation of the Agency.

You are reminded that any e-mails or documents created on CED’s systems are the property of the Crown, regardless whether the e-mail is personal or CED business related. CED’s systems are constantly monitored and misuse of systems or the internet may result in disciplinary measures, up to and including termination of employment.

5. Conflict of Interest and Duties

5.1 Definitions

For the purposes of conflicts of interest and post-employment in this part of the Code, a Public Servant includes indeterminate and term employees, individuals on leave without pay, students participating in student employment programs, casual, seasonal, and part-time workers.

Although they are not public servants, individuals on incoming Interchange Canada assignments and volunteers are expected to comply with the Code. Order-in-council appointees, such as deputy heads and citizenship judges, are subject to the Conflict of Interest Act, and are not subject to this part of the Code.

Conflict of interest: a situation in which the public servant has private interests that could improperly influence the performance of his or her official duties and responsibilities, or in which the public servant uses his or her office for personal gain. A real conflict of interest exists at the present time, an apparent conflict of interest could be perceived by a reasonable observer to exist, whether or not it is the case, and a potential conflict of interest could reasonably be foreseen to exist in the future.

Conflict of duties: a conflict that arises, not because of a public servant’s private interests, but as a result of one or more concurrent or competing official responsibilities. For example, these roles could include his or her primary public service employment and his or her official duties, such as an appointment to a board of directors, or outside function.

5.2 Prevention of conflict of interest

Conflict of interest does not relate exclusively to matters concerning financial transactions and the transfer of economic benefit. While financial activity is important, conflicts of interest in any area of activity can have a negative impact on the perceived objectivity of the public service.

It is impossible to predict all situations that may give rise to real, apparent or potential conflict. If in doubt, you can ask your manager and the Labor Relations Unit for advice: dec.relationsdetravail-labourrelations.ced@canada.ca.

In addition to the requirements set out in this chapter, you are required to comply with the driving requirements contained in the laws governing CED as well as your profession, as applicable.

5.3 Public Servants general responsibilities and duties

  • Taking all possible steps to recognize, prevent, report, and resolve any real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest between your official responsibilities and any of your private affairs;
  • Unless otherwise permitted in this Code, refraining from having private interests, which would be unduly affected by government actions in which you participate, or of which you have knowledge or information;
  • Not knowingly taking advantage of, or benefiting from, information that is obtained in the course of your official duties that is not available to the public;
  • Refraining from the direct or indirect use of, or allowing the direct or indirect use of, government property of any kind, including property leased to the government, for anything other than officially approved activities;
  • Not assisting private entities or persons in their dealings with the government where this would result in preferential treatment of the entities or persons. This includes family, friends, consultants, legal representatives, service provider organizations, and clients;
  • Not interfering in the dealings of private entities or persons with the government in order to inappropriately influence the outcome;
  • Maintaining the impartiality of the public service and not engaging in any outside or political activities that impairs, or could be seen to impair, your ability to perform your duties in an objective and impartial manner;
  • Refraining from either public criticism of the Government of Canada pursuant to the duty of loyalty, or any political activity that could impair or appear to impair your objectivity and impartiality, or that of the public service;
  • Ensuring that any real, apparent or potential conflict that arises between your private activities and your official responsibilities as a public servant is resolved in the public interest;
  • Refraining from using any government and employer property or resources for personal gain, including performing outside activities on employer’s time; and
  • Accessing any information, files, or applications, nor should you work on files related to members of your family, friends, colleagues or any other person with whom you have a personal relationship.

5.4 Requirements for preventing and dealing with situations of conflict of interest during employment

You must report in writing to the delegate of the deputy head all outside activities, property, liabilities and interests that may give rise to a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest in relation to the your official duties. This includes actual or anticipated outside employment or activities performed while employed at and after leaving the Public Service, and all contractual arrangements with federal government agencies, such as an economic development consulting firm a non-profit organization and a service provider to CED. All gifts and other benefits offered and accepted, and all personal relationships must also be disclosed, by submitting a confidential report to dec.relationsdetravail-labourrelations.ced@canada.ca.

5.5 Mandatory confidential report

A Mandatory Confidential Report is required for the following situations:

  1. If you receive, or will receive, a benefit or income either directly or indirectly from a contract and/or other arrangement with the Government of Canada; and/or
  2. If you, and/or your family/household member, are seeking, engaged in, or have been offered outside employment, volunteer activities, and/or any other activities which might give rise to a conflict of interest with the following organizations and/or service providers:
    • Economic development Consulting Firm;
    • CED Service Provider Organization (SPO);
    • CED Grants and Contributions Recipient;
    • Organization which has/had any contractual relationship with the Agency; and/or
    • Any organization which has/had any official dealings with, or on behalf of, the Agency.

Even if you don’t think that your specific situation constitutes a conflict of interest, you are required to submit a Confidential Report Form if you fall into one or more of the activities/situation described on the mandatory list.

5.6 Non-mandatory confidential report

It may happen that you, as a CED employee, find yourself in a situation or circumstances not included in the mandatory disclosure list, but that may give rise to a conflict of interest. You must submit a confidential report whenever a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest arises between your personal activities and your official responsibilities, in order to resolve these conflicts in the public interest.

It may happen that you, as a CED employee, find yourself in a situation or circumstances not included in the mandatory disclosure list, but that may give rise to a conflict of interest. You must submit a confidential report whenever a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest arises between your personal activities and your official responsibilities, in order to resolve these conflicts in the public interest.

Thereafter, every year and whenever a material change occurs in your personal affairs or in your official duties, you must review your obligations under this Code. If there is a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest, you must report any change in status or activity at the appropriate time by talking to your supervisor or an ethics officer or submitting a confidential report. Once completed, the form must be sent to the following address:

Email: dec.relationsdetravail-labourrelations.ced@canada.ca

Or by mail :

Labour Relations Team
800, boul. René-Lévesque Ouest, Room 500, Montreal
H3B 1X9

When negotiating financial arrangements with outsiders, you must comply with the requirements listed in this Code, as well as other related directives or policies issued by the Treasury Board.

If in doubt, you should immediately report the situation to your manager for advice or guidance on how to deal with the situation.

5.7 Assets

As an employee, you are required to evaluate your assets taking into consideration the nature of your official duties and the characteristics of your assets. If there is any real, apparent or potential conflict of interest between the carrying out of your official duties and your assets, you are to report this matter to your deputy head delegate in a timely manner by submitting a confidential report as described above.

Where your deputy head delegate determines that any assets constitute a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest in relation to your duties and responsibilities, you must divest those assets, or take other measures to resolve the conflict. You may not sell or transfer assets to family members or others for purposes of circumventing the compliance measures.

Please refer to Appendix A for the complete list of Reportable Assets and Liabilities and Exempt Assets and Liabilities.

5.8 Outside employment or activities

You may engage in employment outside the public service and take part in outside activities unless the employment or activities are likely to give rise to a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest or would undermine the objectivity or impartiality of the public service.

You must report to your deputy head delegate when your outside employment or activities might subject you to demands incompatible with your official duties, or cast doubt on your ability to perform your duties in a completely objective manner. The deputy head delegate may require that the outside activities be curtailed, modified or terminated if it is determined that real, apparent or potential conflict of interest exists.

If you received a benefit or income either directly or indirectly from a contract with the Government of Canada, you are required to submit a confidential report on such contractual or other arrangements. The deputy head delegate will then determine whether the arrangement presents a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest, and may require that the contract be modified or terminated.

5.9 Political activity

If you are considering involvement in political activity you should seek the advice of your manager, a designated departmental political representative or the Public Service Commission (PSC).

You are required to seek and obtain permission from the PSC to seek nomination for, or be a candidate in, a federal, provincial, territorial or municipal election, in accordance with Part 7 of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA).

“Political activities” are defined in Part 7 of the PSEA as “any activity in support of, within or in opposition to a political party; carrying on any activity in support of or in opposition to a candidate before or during an election period; or, seeking nomination as or being a candidate in an election before or during the election period.”

If you wish to engage in a political activity not covered by Part 7 of the PSEA that could constitute a conflict of interest, you are required to report the proposed activity to your deputy head delegate.

Similarly, if you are subject to this Policy but not subject to Part 7 of the PSEA, including casual and part-time workers, and wish to engage in any political activity that could constitute a conflict of interest, you are to report the proposed activity.

5.10 Gifts, hospitality and other benefits

You should use your best judgment to avoid situations of real, apparent or potential conflict in considering the following criteria on gifts, hospitality and other benefits, keeping in mind the full context of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and this Code.

You must not accept any gifts, hospitality or other benefits that may have a real, apparent or potential influence on your objectivity in carrying out your official duties or that may place you under obligation to the donor.

The acceptance of gifts, hospitality, and other benefits is permissible if they are infrequent and of minimal value, within the normal standards of courtesy or protocol, and do not compromise or appear to compromise your integrity or the integrity of the Agency.

Where it is impossible to refuse a gift, a hospitality mark or other advantage that does not meet the aforementioned criteria of acceptability, or where it is considered to be of sufficient benefit to the organization to accept certain types of hospitality, you must seek written advice from the deputy head's delegate. This is done by contacting the Labor Relations Unit, responsible for workplace investigations and CED ethics.

For more information, please consult appendix A of the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment.

You must report to your manager all gifts received, even if they are authorized.

5.11 Fundraising and solicitation

With the exception of fundraising for such officially supported activities as the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC), you may not solicit gifts, hospitality, other benefits or transfers of economic value from a person, group or organization in the private sector who has dealings with the government.

When fundraising for such official activities, you should ensure that you have prior written authorization from your deputy head delegate in order to solicit donations, prizes or contributions in kind from external organizations or individuals.

Similarly, if an outside individual or entity, with whom the organization has past, present or potential official dealings, offers a benefit to the organization such as funding for an event or a donation of equipment, you are to consider whether any real, apparent or potential conflict of interest exists, and obtain the consent in writing of the deputy head delegate prior to accepting any such benefit.

The deputy head delegate may require that the activities be modified or terminated if it is determined that there is a real, potential or apparent conflict of interest or an obligation to the donor exists. With the exception of fundraising for the GCWCC, any other fundraising activity must be evaluated and approved by contacting your Labor Relations Team.

5.12 Avoidance of preferential treatment

You are responsible for demonstrating objectivity and impartiality in the exercise of your duties and in your decision-making.

This means that you must not grant preferential treatment or advantages to family, friends or any other person or entity. You should not offer assistance to any entity or persons already dealing with the government without the knowledge and support of your supervisor.

You must not disadvantage any entity or persons dealing with the government because of personal antagonism or bias.

You must use official channels available to the general members of the public when accessing government services for yourself, your family members or your friends, and should in no way use your position for preferential treatment.

If in doubt, please inform your supervisor or manager as soon as possible or contact the Labor Relations Team at: dec.relationsdetravail-labourrelations.ced@canada.ca.

5.13 Requirements for preventing post-employment conflict of interest situations before and after leaving office

At time of departure, you have a responsibility to minimize the possibility of real, apparent or potential conflict of interest between your most recent responsibilities within the federal public service and your subsequent employment outside the public service.

5.14 Before leaving employment

Before leaving your employment with the public service, you are to disclose your intentions regarding any future outside employment or activities that may pose a risk of real, apparent or potential conflict of interest with your current responsibilities and discuss potential conflicts with your manager or your deputy head or his/her delegate, by submitting a confidential report.

Furthermore, you are required to submit a confidential report outlining any decision to seek outside employment with, and/or any firm offer of employment from any economic development consulting firms or organizations with which you have now, or within the past year, had official dealings on behalf of the Agency.

When a real, potential or apparent conflict of interest exists, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Corporate Services will inform you and your supervisor. While you are still an CED employee, you must be assigned to other duties to avoid official dealings or contact with the potential employer. To avoid any perception of unfair practice, you may also have your access to departmental operational systems and databases restricted.

5.15 Resolution

With respect to the arrangements necessary to prevent real, apparent or potential conflict of interest, or to comply with the requirements set out above, it is expected that situations will be resolved through discussion and agreement between you and the deputy head or the delegate. When you and the deputy head, or the delegate, disagree on the appropriate arrangements to resolve a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest, the disagreement will be resolved through the resolution procedures established by the deputy head.

6. Discrimination and harassment

Under the Canada Labor Code, the Employer is obligated to provide its employees with a healthy and safe work environment free of all forms of harassment, discrimination and other inappropriate behavior. As an employee of the Agency, you have the right to work in an environment where you are treated with respect, dignity and fairness.

6.1 Harassment

Harassment is defined as any inappropriate and offensive behavior of an individual to another individual in the workplace, including any activity or workplace associated with the work that the author knew or reasonably should have known such behavior could offend or cause harm. It includes any act, talk or exhibition that diminishes, demeans, humiliates or embarrasses a person, or any act of intimidation or threat. It also includes harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act (ie, because of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, age, sex , sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or pardoned status).

Harassment is normally defined as a series of incidents but can consist of a single serious incident when it has a lasting impact on the individual.

6.2 Discrimination

The Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) and collective agreements prohibit discrimination in the workplace.

Discrimination means any wrongdoing based on one or more of the prohibited grounds of discrimination: race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, identity or gender expression, marital status, marital status, genetic characteristics, status of pardoned person or disability.

6.3 Zero Tolerance

The Agency does not tolerate any form of harassment or discrimination and is committed to providing a healthy and respectful workplace, one of the five common values that guide the actions and decisions of the organization. CED promotes the productivity, dignity and self-esteem of every employee.

The Agency undertakes to act promptly with respect to any inappropriate conduct brought to its attention. Harassment and discrimination may be subject to administrative and / or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Administrative and/or disciplinary action may also be taken in the following cases:

  • any manager who has become aware of a situation of harassment and who has not taken corrective action;
  • anyone who interferes with the resolution of a complaint by threat, intimidation or retaliation;
  • Anyone who files a frivolous or bad faith complaint

If you are a witness or victim of discrimination or harassment, it is important to discuss it with your supervisor / manager / executive, your union representative or the labor relations team. You can also use the Informal Dispute Resolution System (EMIS) and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

For more information, please also consult the Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution of the Treasury Board Secretariat.

7. Misconduct

Misconduct is an intentional act or omission on the part of an employee who violates a code of discipline, standard of conduct, or any applicable driving policy, rule, standard or code. they are explicit or implicit. Harassment and discrimination are forms of misconduct. The misconduct is established on a balance of probabilities, that is, it is more likely or plausible that it occurred.

Supervisors and delegated managers under CED's Staffing Sub-delegation Instrument and Delegated Human Resources Delegation have a duty to act promptly when inappropriate behavior is reported to them.

Supervisors and delegated managers under CED's Staffing Sub-delegation Instrument and Delegated Human Resources Delegation have a duty to act promptly when inappropriate behavior is reported to them.

In order to be able to determine whether or not there has been misconduct and whether administrative and / or disciplinary measures should be imposed, the supervisor or delegated manager will have to shed light on the events reported to him / her. with the support of the Labor Relations team. This process must respect the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice.

Subsection 12 (1) of the Financial Administration Act (FAA) authorizes any deputy head, in respect of the area of government administration for which he or she is responsible, to establish standards of discipline and prescribe sanctions. Pecuniary or other penalties that may be imposed in the event of breach of discipline or misconduct. Discipline imposed by supervisors or delegated managers when misconduct has been established may take the following form:

  • verbal reprimand;
  • written reprimand;
  • suspension;
  • demotion;
  • termination of employment.

If you are the witness or the subject of inappropriate behavior it is important to discuss it with your supervisor / manager / executive, your union representative or the labor relations team. You can also use the Informal Dispute Resolution System (EMIS) and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

8. Disclosure of wrongdoing

The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA) provides federal public sector employees and others with a secure and confidential disclosure process for serious wrongdoing in the workplace and protects them from reprisals. The Act is part of the Government of Canada's ongoing commitment to promoting ethical practices in the public sector that CED fully supports.

Wrongdoing is a serious offense that goes against the public interest and this Code, for example:

  • the violation of an Act of Parliament or a provincial law;
  • the misuse of public funds or public goods;
  • serious cases of mismanagement in the public sector;
  • cause-by-action or omission-a serious and specific risk to human life, health or safety or the environment;
  • a serious contravention of the Treasury Board Code of Conduct or that of its own organization;
  • knowingly directing or advising a person to commit a wrongdoing.

As a CED employee, you have three secure and confidential means of communication to make a protected disclosure. You can contact your supervisor, the senior disclosure officer within the Agency, or make a protected disclosure to an independent third party, the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada. CED employees are not required to use the Agency's internal disclosure process before contacting the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.

Rest assured that the disclosure process is confidential and that your identity is protected in accordance with the Act. If the investigation determines that wrongdoing has been committed by an employee of the Agency, a report with recommendations will be presented to the Deputy Minister who has the authority to take appropriate action, including disciplinary action up to dismissal. Other sanctions may apply depending on the requirements of the Act.

In addition, if you are subject to reprisals, you may file a complaint with the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner within 60 days of becoming aware of the retaliatory act. This could result in a settlement or remedial order by a special court, such as compensation or disciplinary action against the culprits.

To make a disclosure to the senior CED officer, you must send an encrypted email to the following address: dec.integrite-integrity.ced@canada.ca

To make a disclosure directly to the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner:

Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner
60 Queen Street, 7th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5Y7
Phone: 613-941-6400
Toll free number: 1-866-941-6400
Fax. 613-941-6535


Appendix A – List of reportable assets and liabilities and exempt assets and liabilities

Please find bellow the list of assets and liabilities which must be reported if they present a risk of real, apparent or potential conflict of interest, and those which are exempt from being reported.

Examples of reportable assets and liabilities

  • publicly traded securities of corporations and foreign governments, and self-administered or self-directed Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), and self-administered or self-directed Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) that are composed of these securities, where these securities are held directly and not through units in mutual funds;
  • interests in partnerships, proprietorships, joint ventures, private companies, and family businesses, in particular those that own or control shares of public companies or that do business with the government;
  • interests in organizations that receive funds from CED;
  • commercially operated farm businesses;
  • real property that is not for the private use of public servants or their family members;
  • commodities, futures, and foreign currencies held or traded for speculative purposes;
  • assets placed in trust or resulting from an estate of which the public servant is a beneficiary;
  • secured or unsecured loans granted to persons other than to members of the public servant’s immediate family;
  • any other assets or liabilities that could give rise to a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest due to the particular nature of the public servant’s official duties and responsibilities; and
  • direct and contingent liabilities in respect of any of the assets described in this section.

Examples of exempt assets and liabilities

The assets for the private use of public servants and of their family members, as well as assets that are not of a commercial character, are exempt assets that are not required to be disclosed in a report. For example, such assets would include the following:

  • residences, recreational properties, and farms used or intended for use by public servants or their families;
  • household goods and personal effects;
  • works of art, antiques, and collectibles;
  • automobiles and other personal means of transportation;
  • cash and deposits other than foreign currencies held for speculative purposes;
  • Canada Saving Bonds and other similar investments in securities of fixed value issued or guaranteed by any level of government in Canada or agencies of those governments;
  • investments in limited partnerships that are not traded publicly and whose assets are exempt assets;
  • public sector debt financing not guaranteed by a level of government, such as university and hospital debt financing;
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plans and Registered Education Saving Plans that are not self-administered or self-directed;
  • investments in open-ended mutual funds;
  • guaranteed investment certificates and similar financial instruments;
  • annuities and life insurance policies;
  • pension rights;
  • money owed by a previous employer, client or partnership; and
  • personal loans receivable from members of public servants' immediate families and small personal loans receivable.

Appendix B – List of Reference Documents

This is a list of suggested additional reading pertaining to the content of this Code. It is by no means exhaustive but includes the most relevant material. Employees are encouraged to access other research material, if desired, and to seek the advice of a supervisor when questions or need for clarification arise. Most documents can be obtained from Human Resources Contacts through your Administration Officer.

  • Access to Information Act
  • Canada Labour Code, Part II (TBS)
  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Justice)
  • Canadian Human Rights Act (Justice)
  • Code of Conduct for Canadian Representatives Abroad (DFAIT)
  • Collective Agreements (TBS)
  • Conflict of Interest Act
  • Copyright Act (Justice)
  • Criminal Code (Justice)
  • Directive on Leave and Special Working Arrangements (TBS)
  • International Agreements on Values an Ethics (DFAIT)
  • Policy on Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace (TBS)
  • Policy on IT Security
  • Privacy Act (Justice)
  • Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
  • Public Service Employment Act (Justice)
  • Public Service Staff Relations Act (TBS)
  • Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector (TBS)
Learn more about CED