The Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand has been ordered to allow the campaigns of two Tory candidates to claim $1.2-million in expenses for their share of pooled radio and television ads that ran during the 2006 election campaign, putting an end, we hope, to another bit of Liberal mischief-making.
This so-called “in-and-out” case is an important win for the Conservative Party of Canada and was a test case. The two campaigns involved were part of purchases made by 67 Conservative candidates and coordinated by the CPC’s national campaign. Elections Canada charged that the Conservatives had skirted the CPC’s $18.3-million spending limit by running the purchase of the ads through its candidates’ campaigns.
Had Justice Luc Martineau upheld Mayrand’s decision not to allow the expense claims, the Conservative national campaign would have been forced to include the ad purchase as part of their campaign cost, pushing them over the legal expense limit.
Elections Canada says it will review the decision before deciding whether to appeal. Of course it will. After all, legal costs will be covered with taxpayer money, and there are loads of that to cover Elections Canada’s vendetta against the Conservative Party of Canada.
Elections Canada does not seem to be nearly as tough minded when it comes to the issue of Liberal leadership candidates not repaying their 2006 campaign loans. As written about earlier, six top Liberals missed the deadline for repaying their leadership campaign loans. This after MPs Stéphane Dion, Gerard Kennedy, Martha Hall-Findlay, Maurizio Bevilacqua, Joe Volpe and Hedy Fry were all given 18-month extensions that expired this past New Year’s Eve. This disgraceful show of contempt for the Canadian electoral process has not yet been addressed by their buddies at Election Canada.
I can hardly wait to see how Elections Canada will help their Liberal friends weasel out of this one?
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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