Transcript - Serving your Constituents

​In this video, I provide some guidance for ministers and parliamentary secretaries on how to comply with the Conflict of Interest Act while working on behalf of their constituents.


When performing constituency work, it's important to keep some key points in mind:

  • You must not further your private interests or those or your relatives or friends, or improperly further the private interests of anybody else. That includes an individual constituent or group of constituents. 
  • And, you must not give any person or organization preferential treatment. All constituents should be treated equally.
  • You must not do anything that results in your own constituents being treated more favourably by your department than people in other constituencies.


You may speak about matters that could have a general impact on the constituents in your riding or make representations to the appropriate minister, as long as you do not improperly further anyone's private interests.

 You and your constituency staff may seek factual information from federal organizations when assisting constituents in areas such as immigration, employment insurance, passports and taxation.

For example, you may help a constituent find information on the status of a case or the timing of a hearing.

You and your staff may also use regular channels—open to any Member's staff— to contact federal government institutions, as long as you don't use your position as a minister or parliamentary secretary to seek to influence the outcome of a process.

You must never attempt to intervene in the decision-making process of an administrative tribunal on behalf of any constituent in any riding.


You may provide letters of support for projects in your riding. (Use your letterhead and title as a Member and not your ministerial letterhead.)

  • However, you may not provide support or favour a funding request being requested from your own department.

If you're asked to provide a letter of reference, consider the following:

  • A letter of reference should not be a blanket endorsement
  • Do not use your official letterhead and titles when providing a reference based on a personal relationship (such as for a relative, friend, classmate or neighbour)
  • You may, however, use your official letterhead and titles to provide character and employment references for a former employee or volunteer, or even an acquaintance made in the context of your role as a Member, minister or parliamentary secretary.
  • You must not provide written support to a job applicant seeking employment in a federal department or agency. Instead, you may agree to have your name listed in the "personal reference" section of the individual's C.V. and provide a reference upon request.

Finally, you may provide recommendation letters for appointments made by the Governor in Council and for appointments made by another minister.


Consult our website for more information or consult your advisor in our Office.