The Canadian elections watchdog seems unwilling to enforce the law and is, apparently, ignoring an Ontario Superior Court ruling that said three former Liberal leadership candidates are in violation of the Canada Elections Act.
Liberal MP Hedy Fry and former liberal MPs Joe Volpe and Martha Hall-Findlay—all parties to the proceedings that have led to the court’s ruling—along with former Liberal cabinet minister Ken Dryden still collectively owe more than $600,000 for unpaid 2006 Liberal leadership debts.
Under the rules, candidates had 18 months after the leadership race to repay campaign debts. And when several of the contenders failed to meet that deadline, Elections Canada granted an extension, which also expired with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts still unpaid. Some of the contenders then went to court and were given another two-year extension.
We are now almost three-quarters the way through 2012, and folks at Elections Canada are still dragging their feet—apparently, to give the offenders every chance to comply with the law and avoid sanctions which could include fines and even jail time.
I don’t understand how this works. Are only the Conservatives bound by the Canada Elections Act? If the law says debts have to be repaid in 18 months, how come some Liberals are able to avoid repayment for upwards of five years?
According to cnews, “A spokesman for Elections Canada said an audit of the debts would be conducted before any decision is made to impose penalties that range from a $1,000 fine to three months in jail or both.”
Isn’t this just a case of more foot-dragging and delaying tactics on the part Elections Canada—and a clear sign of favouritism towards the Liberal Party of Canada?
Where is all the moral outrage from sanctimonious Liberals, you know, the sort of stuff we hear and read in the mainstream media and in Liberal blogs whenever there is a hint of wrongdoing by conservatives.
As if this is not appalling enough, with all this in her background, Martha Hall-Findlay is, apparently, considering another run at becoming the Liberal leader. Whatever happened to obeying the rules—too old-fashioned for Liberals, I guess.