Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This makes the Hells Angels look like angels by comparison

Conservatives In Quebec Illegally Shifted Ad Expenses, Elections Canada Charges

2006 Election May Have Been Won By Conservatives Through Fraudulent Means


The Canadian Press

July 22, 2008 at 9:26 AM (EDIT)

OTTAWA — The Conservative Party illegally shifted thousands of dollars in advertising expenses from two of its top Quebec candidates to other Quebec candidates who had more spending room in their 2006 federal election campaigns, the lawyer for Elections Canada has charged.

A former financial officer for the Conservative party confirmed last month in a court examination that expenses incurred by Public Works Minister Christian Paradis and former Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier were inappropriately assigned to other candidates.

Elections Canada lawyer Barbara McIsaac probed Ann O'Grady over records involving claims for radio and TV advertising by Mr. Paradis and advertising claimed by Mr. Bernier.

The financial statements and invoices – filed in a Federal Court case concerning $1.3-million in questionable Conservative ad expenses – also showed that Mr. Bernier and Mr. Paradis paid a fraction of the related ad production costs compared with other Tory candidates.

Mr. Bernier and Mr. Paradis are among 67 Conservative candidates whose advertising expenditures are under investigation by the federal elections commissioner. Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand has refused to reimburse the expenditures on grounds that they did not qualify as local candidate expenses.

The Commons ethics committee is also conducting an inquiry into the bookkeeping, which Elections Canada states allowed the Conservative party to exceed its national campaign spending limit by more than $1-million.

The Canada Elections Act prohibits candidates from absorbing or sharing the election expenses of other candidates.

NDP MP Pat Martin, a member of the ethics committee, said that the Conservative party also shifting expenses from Mr. Bernier and Mr. Paradis to other candidates adds an entirely new dimension to the controversy. “That's absolutely not allowed.”

In a sworn cross-examination last month, the transcript of which was subsequently entered in the Federal Court file, Ms. McIsaac pressed Ms. O'Grady about advertising and ad production costs that were transferred from Mr. Bernier and Mr. Paradis to other candidates.

“I'm going to suggest to you that Mr. Bernier was less than $2,590 from his spending limit and that he couldn't afford to put the additional amount into his return,” Ms. McIsaac said to Ms. O'Grady.

Ms. O'Grady responded, “Who knows what else would have been going on at the time? I can't comment on how Mr. Bernier ran his campaign.”

In the case of Mr. Paradis, Ms. O'Grady was forced to concede that the candidate had originally been invoiced $29,766 and subsequently received a “credit note” of $10,000 that was 'reallocated' to another candidate, Marc Nadeau.

“Now, again, the reason for this was that Mr. Paradis had reached his limit with respect to spending as well, is that correct?” Ms. McIsaac asked. “He had to allocate some of his money to Mr. Nadeau, did he not, because he was close to his limit?”

“I would not know that,” replied Ms. O'Grady, who replaced former Tory chief financial agent Susan Kehoe several months after the election.

Ms. McIsaac also questioned Ms. O'Grady over the fact that Mr. Bernier paid no production costs for his share of the advertising. Mr. Paradis paid only $233.93 for his share, even though Ms. McIsaac said other candidates paid $4,500 each for production costs.


Dr Mike said...

Who are these guys & what have they done with the old Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

The "New" Conservative Party assumes that it is beyond the law--the "In & Out" scheme , The Cadman affair , etc.

Now we have the "Sideways" scheme.

They will need to clone Dan Miles if this keeps up.

Dr Mike Popovich.

Cliff said...

There is nothing new here at all...this is a non story by Liberal friendly newspaper (The Globe and Mail) trying to create a anti Conservative story out of nothing.
Monies were transferred between the national party and Conservative candidates as ALL PARTIES DO.
The head of Elections Canada has a vendetta against the Conservative party.
Lets look at the FACTS.
He has developed a media strategy and has spent over $500,000 of taxpayer money trying to prevent this from going to court.
He raided the Conservative office (1) day before his own discovery in an effort to avod examination.
There was an esay solution to this dispute which all parties could live with. Simply lets the courts decide. This is what was done in the past when the Liberals had disputes.
Why the fear of letting the courts decide now?
Why the substantial waste of taxpayer money?
Why the new strategy?
Why did he leak the raid to the media and the Liberal party?
Why did he choose to investigate himself when there was an appearance of wrongdoing?
Why did he feel compelled to develop a media strategy to combat this possible wrongdoing?
why were these transferred allowed in the past?
Facts are hard to ignore...unless of course he has a hidden agenda.

Now the radicals compare this to the Hells Angels...everything is out in the open.
The Conservatives have admitted what they have done...all receipts and transactions are accounted for.

Now...thinking of organized crime for a second...maybe the Liblogs could point out where the $40,000,000 in sponsorship money had gone...any receipts...any paper trail...

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