Cornwall ON- We get a lot of content sent to us; letters to the editor, press releases, and all sorts of information.
Today this arrived from the Progressive Canadian Party calling The Harper Conservatives on the recent Election’s Canada censures.
“An Ottawa Citizen investigation found 50 Conservative candidates claimed $1.05 million they later gave to the party for advertising expenses. Candidates can only claim advertising expenses that benefit them directly. Had the national campaign spent that amount of money it would have exceeded its party spending limit for the campaign.”
How does the expression “Having your cake and eating it too” apply to what those charged with offenses are calling an “administrative” dispute?
Elections Canada became aware of what had transpired as, time and time again, similar entries appeared on candidates’ 2006 election filings of their campaign income and expenditures. There were donations and expense claims of the same amount. A donation from national Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) to candidates and an equal amount expended in purchasing advertising through the National Campaign. There was no local campaign discretion of spending the donations. The same dollar amounts were to be returned to purchase advertising. The funds were in, then immediately out.
The National Campaign had more funds available than what could legally be spent. “Cake” it couldn’t eat, if you will. Slices were cut off and sent to local campaigns to be immediately returned to fund advertising commissioned by the National Campaign. That which could not legally be spent, was. The “cake” was eaten.
Candidates receive a portion of their legitimate expenses back from Elections Canada. The purchasing of advertising by the National Campaign through the return of the donation received was included as an expense. First in, then out and then claimed as an expense. Elections Canada reimbursements to candidates were returning a portion of all expenditures to local Electoral District Associations until the matching in and out figures were noticed, investigation undertaken and returns to local ridings that had engaged in this in and out of National Campaign funds stopped.
Local Electoral District Associations involved would have received rebates on funds their candidates’ campaigns had neither raised nor expended. They had acted as conduits for the National Campaign being enabled to spend above their legal limit (“eating” the cake). The “Having your cake” part of the “administrative ” dispute? To Elections Canada the refund that would have been sent before the incidence of precise in and out figures was noticed, investigated and charges laid against those devising and carrying out the scheme.
To be decided in a Court of Law and the Court of Public Opinion is this: ii what was done “an “administrative” dispute with Elections Canada” or “an elaborate money-transfer scheme to skirt the party’s national campaign spending limit for the 2006 election” *, with the added benefit of local Electoral District Associations benefiting from Election Canada reimbursements?
* “‘Voluminous’ amount of evidence that Conservative Party wilfully exceeded election expense limit, says Public Prosecution Service of Canada”,http://www.hilltimes.com/dailyupdate/view/86
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)