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What is a conflict of interest?

Whether a Member of the Legislative Assembly is in a conflict of interest is determined by the Conflict of Interest Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988 Cap. C-17.1

The general purpose and objective of the Act is to make sure no Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), no member of an MLA's family, nor any other person, has their private financial interest furthered by a decision that an MLA makes or participates in.

The Act governs only the conduct of Members of the Legislative Assembly, including the Premier and Cabinet Ministers.

A conflict of interest arises when an MLA makes a decision or participates in making a decision that:
(a) furthers the private financial interest of a Member or that of his or her family or;
(b) improperly furthers another person’s private interest. [Section 9]

However, if it is a decision that applies generally to the public and affects the MLA or his or her family as members of a broader class of persons, or concerns remuneration or benefits of a Member, it is not considered to be a conflict of interest. [Section 1(g)].

The Act prohibits an MLA from using information obtained as the result of being an MLA to advance the interests of the MLA or another person if that information is not generally available to the public. Furthermore, an MLA shall not provide this type of information to another person if the MLA knows or should reasonably know the information will be used to advance the interests of another person. [Section 10]

An MLA is prohibited from using his or her office to influence a decision to be made by another person so as to further the private interest of the MLA or the private interest of another person. [Section 11]
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