Policy 2.2.3: Conflict of Interest and Ethics

Effective Date: January 1, 2003
Responsibility: Vice-President, People and Culture


All employees of CBC/Radio-Canada have an obligation to carry out the functions and activities of their position with the highest level of integrity, consistency and transparency, in a professional and ethical manner, ensuring adherence to the principles and ethics, which are enshrined in the Corporate Code of Conduct Policy 2.2.21.


The policy applies to all CBC/Radio-Canada employees regardless of employment status unless excluded by contract or otherwise indicated in a collective agreement.


  • Revised November 2006 to recognize creation of new Code of Conduct Policy
  • Revised June 16, 2004
  • Replaces previous Human Resources Policies:
    • Conflict of Interest no. 1.6
    • Outside Work 1.10
    • Outside Work by Announcers 1.11


  • By-Law on Conflict of Interest
  • By-Law on Officers and Employees
  • By-Law on Contracts with the Corporation
  • CBC/Radio-Canada Solemn Declaration

Program Policies:

Corporate Policies:


Line management is responsible for the implementation of this policy, in consultation with Human Resources. All questions pertaining to the interpretation or application of this policy should be referred to the Vice-President of People and Culture or appointed delegate.


Corporate Secretariat


Guiding principles and ethics in the daily conduct of CBC/Radio-Canada employees.

  1. No conflict should exist or appear to exist between the private interests of CBC/Radio-Canada employees and their official duties.
  2. All employees shall place and appear to place the interests of their employer above their own interests.
  3. Public funds must be spent with prudence and probity.
  4. Employees may not use CBC/Radio-Canada premises, equipment, supplies or the corporate services of other CBC/Radio-Canada employees in furthering their personal interest.
  5. Employees must not use their positions to further their personal interests.
  6. Confidential information must not be used for employees' personal advantage either during or after their employment with the CBC/Radio-Canada.
  7. Employees should not invest in a company that might have an interest, direct or indirect, in any CBC/Radio-Canada contract, except in the case of a widely held public company whose dealings with the CBC/Radio-Canada do not represent a substantial portion of its total business.
  8. Employees should not serve nor have direct or indirect interest in a company engaged with the CBC/Radio-Canada.
  9. Employees must not place themselves in a position where they could derive any direct or indirect benefit or interest from any CBC/Radio-Canada contracts.
  10. Gifts, benefits, money or other special considerations offered to CBC/Radio-Canada employees to influence, obligate or appear to influence a CBC/Radio-Canada decision must be refused.
  11. Employees must ensure that costs associated with duty entertainment, receptions and gifts are authorized by the designated senior officers and kept to a minimum.
  12. Employees should accept only gifts or benefits of modest value distributed as advertising or goodwill gestures, or CBC/Radio-Canada employees may accept modest hospitality offered as a general courtesy during the conduct of normal business.
  13. Suppliers of goods and services to CBC/Radio-Canada may not be solicited to provide gifts or other financial assistance for employee activities.
  14. Employees must not accord preferential treatment to any person.
  15. Employees may not engage in activities likely to bring CBC/Radio-Canada into disrepute.
  16. Employees may not take a stand on public controversies if CBC's integrity would be compromised.
  17. All employees share the responsibility to safeguard, protect and report the loss of, damage, misuse, or misappropriation of CBC/Radio-Canada property, equipment and assets, including those assets and/or paid services off CBC/Radio-Canada premises (refer to Corporate Policy 2.3.2 - Assets).
  18. Employees shall not engage without permission in outside work which involves services in competition with the CBC/Radio-Canada, exploits their connection with the CBC/Radio-Canada or restricts their availability, efficiency or causes a conflict of interest with their CBC/Radio-Canada duties.
  19. The duty to disclose and remove conflicts of interest rests with the employee.
  20. All employees who collect, keep and use personal information as part of their function must ensure that such information is protected as per the policies and procedures. Please refer to Personal Information and Privacy Protection Policy.
  21. The President (or delegate) may permit exceptions to the application of the provisions of this policy if the interests of CBC/Radio-Canada are clearly better served.


On an annual basis, employees will be made aware of this policy and Human Resources Departments will assist line management in the distribution of the Code of Conduct for managers and supervisors (Corporate Policy 2.2.21 – Code of Conduct).


  1. If an employee, acting reasonably and in good faith, concludes at any time that there is a conflict of interest or that there are reasonable grounds for a perception of conflict of interest, then the employee has a duty to disclose the matter in writing to their immediate supervisor and to remove the conflict.
  2. A written record of the disclosure and disposition of the potential conflict of interest must be maintained by both the employee and the supervisor.


  1. The President (or delegate) may permit/authorize exceptions to the application of the provisions of this policy if the interests of the Corporation are clearly better served.
  2. All requests for exceptions must be accompanied by reasons and be submitted in writing to the President (or delegate).
  3. Reasons for granting, or refusing exceptions, will be made known to the affected parties, in writing, including the period of time for which the exception is authorized.
  4. Documents concerning exceptions shall be kept in the President's office.


  1. If an employee is faced with making a decision that involves, directly or indirectly, the hiring, engagement on contract, evaluation, discipline, promotion, reward or any other form of discretionary control over family members or relatives (as defined below), then the employee must refer the decision to their immediate supervisor and may not make a recommendation with regard to such a decision. In order to ensure objectivity and to maintain a professional character of the processes and to respect the interests of the persons involved an employee who has or had such relationship with another employee should abstain from participating in the decision process without having to justify their withdrawal.
  2. When a relative, as defined by this policy, is in a position of authority over another relative, one of the two may be transferred.
  3. For the purposes of this policy, family members and relatives are defined as spouses, brothers and sisters, parents, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandchildren, parent(s)-in-law, brothers and sisters-in-law, children-in-law and live-in partner(s).


Employees may not trade on their positions or their connections with CBC/Radio-Canada for personal gain except in situations for which they have obtained prior written approval as provided for in the exception procedure above.


Offers of questionable acceptability should be refused or referred for guidance to the employee's supervisor.


In exceptional cases, persons engaged expressly for their reputation in a particular subject may be exempted from the prohibition against the taking of a stand on public controversies, by inclusion of a clause to that effect in their individual contracts.


  1. Where the nature of the outside work is not specifically covered by a collective agreement, permission must be obtained.
  2. At least two weeks before accepting or commencing outside work, the employee must submit a Request for Authorization of Outside Work (CBC/Radio-Canada Form 810).
  3. Applications, if approved, must not disrupt regular assignments or posted schedules.
  4. On-Air personnel, who are not seconded to news, who do not have regular newscast assignments or who do not participate as on-air personalities in Information Programming (radio and television) should continue to apply for permission to do outside work and each application will be judged on its merits. However, there must be no personal endorsement of a product or service in the work applied for.


Duty entertainment, receptions and gifts require the approval of senior officers authorized under the Delegation of Financial Authorities Policy 2.3.8, and must meet all the following conditions:

  • They are not in cash;
  • They cannot reasonably be interpreted as a bribe or other improper payment and are of nominal value;
  • They are made as a matter of general and accepted business practice;
  • They do not contravene any law and are made in accordance with generally accepted ethical practices; and
  • if subsequently disclosed to the public, their provision would not in any way jeopardize the integrity of the CBC/Radio-Canada or their recipients.

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