Elections Canada charges Conservative officials with campaign violations - Macleans.ca

Elections Canada charges Conservative officials with campaign violations

Charges related to “in-and-out” scheme


Elections Canada has charged four high-ranking members of the Conservative party, including two senators, with violating campaign spending rules. The four are Senator Doug Finley, Senator Irving Gerstein, Michael Donison, and Susan Kehoe. The charges are regulatory in nature—not criminal—and related to the Conservatives’ use of a controversial “in-and-out” tactic in 2006 to move money between the national and local campaigns. Elections Canada alleges the strategy allowed the party to exceed spending limits on national campaigns.

CBC News

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Elections Canada charges Conservative officials with campaign violations

  1. Apparently Elections Canada is very concerned that the Conservtives are high in the polls….and an election may be imminent.

    Forget the fact that elections Canada has failed to charge other parties who did the EXACT SAME THING…….

    Yep…Liberals infesting every department in Canada. Can't wait to get rid of them.

    bring on a Harper majority.

    • using the Liberals to excuse Harper again huh……

    • Actually, I thought Elections Canada was conerned about an apparent attempt by teh Conservative Party to violate the Elections Act by spending over the legislated limit.

      Why does that have anything to do with the liberals?

      • Because Elections Canada was already told by the courts that the Conservative Party did not violate the Elections Act. This is just a way for EC to give Conservatives bad press. Its disgraceful conduct by civil servants and its the type of stuff you would expect from a 3d world despot, not a modern democracy.

        • Again, I am not sure what that has to do with the liberals? Also, my understanding the court (not courtS) ruled that Elections Canada cannot withhold the refunds without first proving the Elections Act was violated, in which case laying charges is exactly what they should be doing.

          • This has to do with liberals because EC is not so keen on getting the Liberals for actual violations of the Act, such as the repayment of leadership debts within a specific time frame, but they are quite gun-ho going after the conservatives for a non-violation of the Act, as ruled by the federal court: http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2010/2010fc43

            See my other posts here for clear evidence of bias by EC. It seems EC was not so concerned with in-out schemes (and in fact published literature suggesting they were legal) before the 2006 election. After the 2006 election, EC changed its mind on the matter, for no apparent reason other than the conservative win.

          • That is not what that ruling says.

        • On the CTV site, they indicate they have been waiting 20 months (i.e. since around June of 2009) for the go-ahead to lay charges from the federal director of public prosecutions – so the request to prosecute was made long before the civil suit was heard (November 23, 2009) let alone decided (January 18, 2010).

          The cout, BTW did not rule on whether the alleged acts were illegal; it ruled that "the investigation… under way" did not prevent EC from certifying the election expenses. However:
          "No prosecution has been instituted by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). After the
          applicants have been reimbursed for the claimed advertising expenses, if the Party, the Fund or any
          other persons are charged and found guilty of the offences mentioned above, subsection 501(1) of
          the Act, notably paragraph (a.1), authorizes the court to make a restitution order to have any amount
          paid back to the Receiver General." [para 271]

          This is now that prosecution, and if successful it more or less nullifies the civil decision.

        • allnerd, you obviously don't know anything about this – do some research before you comment.

          • "do some research before you comment."… says the genius who hasnt contributed one iota to the discussion, to the guy who's been citing the most relevant court decision.

      • Pat…..the Conservatives did the exact same thing that the Liberals, ndp, and the bloc did. Elections Canada has somehow twisted itself in knots trying to find a way to say the Conservatives did something wrong, whereas the other parties' did not.

        The "In-and-Out" trick….is actually the creation of the bloc.

        just so you know.

        • I know where it originated, but it is false to say they did the same thing.

          The significant difference is that the Conservatives did this in order to circumvent the spending limits. I do not think anyone is alleging any other party used this as a trick to break the law on spending limits.

          • The significant difference is that the Conservatives did this in order to circumvent the spending limits. I do not think anyone is alleging any other party used this as a trick to break the law on spending limits.

            That is ridiculous. You can say you're doing this to "maximize" your election spending, or you can call it circumventing the law. Either way, they did the same thing. The fact that you think the "significant difference" relates to the state of mind of the Conservatives is just indicative of your extreme prejudice and bias, as the reason everybody does this is obvious: they're just trying to spend as much as possible within the law.

          • Sigh.

            The only party that exceeded their spending limit, when factoring in the "In and Out" scheme, was the CPC.

            It is a wonder to me why you are still trying here.

          • no, you ignorant fool, that's not even the position of EC. try and understand the issue before you comment you petulant and ignorant child.

          • Wow, Calling me names now? That is a real convincing way to make your argument.

            You have demonstrated here, post after post, that you do not have a grasp on the issues. i don't think you should be trying to project your ignorance on others. The fact the CPC were trying to circumvent election spending limits is precisely the issue, and calling me names is simply not going to change that.

          • no its you thats got it wrong.

            it's not about "factoring in" the in and out, its about attribution of expenses – whether they should be attributed to a candidate or the party, because each the candidate and the party have their own spending limits. the court clearly ruled that the expenses belonged to the candidate. that was the law, it was clear, and even EC took the position that that was the law until the Conservatives won the 2006 election.

          • Nope.

          • god you're an idiot. you clearly havent read anything on this topic yet you mouth like the ignorant Liberal retard that you are.

          • There is that name calling again. I see why you do it. It makes you look really smart.

            Ha ha ha ha ha

          • EC took that position BEFORE the 2006 election, and changed its position only after the 2006 election – hence the appearance of bias by EC, as you would know if you were actually informed before spouting your arrogant and childish idiocies.

          • Do you have a link to anything that says EC was A-OK with exceeding the spending limit before the 2006 election? Some evidence instead of your simple declarations would be more convincing.

          • http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2010/2010fc43

            i've posted tons of evidence on this thread.

            read it, i've posted the specific paragraph # somewhere on this thread. after you've read it, perhaps you'll be able make relevant comments.

          • check out paragraph 131:

            Rather, a plain reading favours the conjunctive interpretation that was found in material published by the CEO prior to the 2006 election. Namely, an election expense for a candidate can be one that exclusively promotes a candidate, or it can be one that directly promotes both a candidate and a registered party or its leader.

            there you have it, materlal published by the ceo prior to 2006 election favours the interpretation of the conservative party.

            now go read before you mouth off.

          • Ha ha ha

            Now answer the question I asked. Do you have a link to where EC is OK with EXCEEDING ELECTION EXPENSES.

          • wow you really are dumber then I even previously thought. and you're even more ignorant, yet your stupidity is such that your overwhelming ignorance doesnt prevent you from mouthing off like an ignorant petulant child.

            its the same issue dummy. holy cow you're stupid. this is shocking to me, the extent of your stupidity.

            obviously, EC is never ok with exceeding election expenses. the question is how should the expenses be apportioned between candidate and party – and THIS IS THE CRUCIAL PART (You dumb illiterate lefty moron): if expenses are apportioned a certain way, the party will have exceeded its limits, if the expenses are apportioned another way, the party will not have exceeded its limits.

            do you get it now you sub-human PoS?

            if the ad buys from the RMB program are deemed to be incurred by the party, they will have exceeded limits, if they are deemed incurred by the candidate, there is no problem.

            holy sh1t you're dumb.

          • ha ha ha

            Maybe just read all the posts before you vent your spleen. And maybe, just maybe, try to keep track of the point. You have been ranting and raging about how EC is biased (all the while completely ignoring all the facts against you). All I have done is point out why your cute little example of other parties "doing the same thing" with much smaller sums of money that did not put them over the spending limit is different from what the CPC did. Faced with that obvious difference, you resort to school yard insults, perhaps thinking they will mask the fact that you know you are wrong. They don't, by the way.

            But I have to say, this little "discussion" with you has been amusing. Watching you work yourself into more and more of a lather as the hole you have dug for yourself gets deeper and deeper.

            I think you have done all you can for yourself – and it is not much. Better luck next time!

          • i havent been going on about other parties – i dont care about other parties – other people have been pointing it out. learn to read you sub-human PoS.

            you still dont get it do you? you really are this dumb?

            i spelled it out for you in the last post: it's about attribution – under one scenario of attribution, the CPC DID overspend (i admit to that, you lying sub-human sack of feces), but this form of attribution is not supported by the law, nor by EC's interpretation of the law, prior to 2006 election.

            hopefully others, not as retarded as you, will get it.

          • Have you tried reading? Maybe look up, waaaaay up, to the beginning of this thread, where JH claimed that "other parties" did the exact same thing, and where Pat pointed out the significant difference between this and what other parties did is that here the CPC exceeded their spending cap. This is why they are being charged with, you know, exceeding their spending cap.

            That is the entire point of this discussion (no wonder you are having so much trouble interpreting the court decision when you cannot even understand this conversation!).

            As I have explained elsewhere, I do get the argument you are making. I am just not swayed by it. Perhaps that is because you keep on getting your facts wrong, or maybe you are just not that good at persuasion. I don't know. What I do know is when it comes to making your case that somehow EC is biased here, you are failing, and miserably.

            Now while it has been fun watching you make a fool of yourself, I actually have better things to do. If plain English eludes you then it is a waste of my time trying to explain these simple concepts to you.

            You have a nice day now.

            ha ha ha ha ha

          • What with the fact that the CPC EXCEEDED THEIR ELECTION EXPENSES being the operative and very significant issue here. You know, since that is what they are charged with and all.

            And to make it simpler for you, I "get" that you are trying to say they have not exceeded their spending limit, but you are trying to use an improper comparison to do so. There is no record of any party using this scheme to get around spending limits in the past. No matter how much you want to pretend it is about something else, it just isn't.

  2. Hey kids, NOT only is LYING OK but CHEATING is too.

    • Yes, there must be some way of stopping the only political party that actively fundraises from spending their money. Meanwhile the marxists depend on money from the government and look for anyway to stop the conservatives, including having the RCMP escort elections canada oficials to conservative offices with media in tow. This is what "not my canada" is promoting. Your socialist loving Canada is going down.

      • What's wrong with socialism? Most Scandinavian countries have adopted similar regimes and are thriving. Rampant capitalism is not a solution as history has proven, and neither is communism. Socialism is essentially a balanced approach between the two.

  3. Stealing an election is NOT criminal.

    • Neither, it appears, is stealing $40 million from the Canadian taxpayer, stuffing envelopes with cash and distributing it to 12 Liberal party candidates.

  4. Ok; totally serious question: does anybody know why the comments in the "need to know" articles are way more conservative than the comments on regular pieces?

    • The Need To Know articles are way shorter?

      • Well, I know that's in good fun, but that can't be it. On the one hand, it could be that certain issues are overrepresented here (or underrepresented elsewhere). Or, it could be that maybe people are being redirected here, but it wouldn't be a simple bourque-style system so I don't know how that could work.

        I'm mostly asking because I'm intrigued and stumped. I could also be totally out to lunch. Has anyone else noticed this?

        • I was joking, but only halfway… If the G&M and CBC comment boards are any hint, I think some people browse around for headlines that reflect on issues they want to talk about. These are more casual users, likely skewed a little older and less computery overall, and maybe also therefore more likely to be conservative.

          Folks who follow the blogs — and obviously there are exceptions — are more likely to want something a little more in-depth, and are more interested in taking part in a commenting community rather than hit-and-run posting. Going out on a limb, that suggests to me more of an educated/intellectual/media-interest bias, which goes hand-in-hand with a liberal bias (for better or worse).

          • Hmm…yeah, that's a better account than anything I could come up with. And thank goodness that this isn't like the G&M/CBC boards. A cynic could see lots to worry about here, but that's nothing like the craziness that happens on those two sites.

          • Ain't that the truth..

  5. If people don't care about a cabinet minister misleading parliament, they aren't going to care about schemes to spend as much money as possible during an election. Add on nepotism at once-functional government agencies and the elimination of the concept of 'arms-length' anything, and our system is primed for more and more abuse.

    People cared enough about dishonest government to turf the Liberals. Now that the Conservatives are the dishonest ones, there are no channels to collect and focus apathy; so slowly our system of governance whithers

    With accountability melting into arbitrary power, transparency as clear as cataracts and pandering MPs fourth-mortgaging the future, why would we care about one cabinet minister misleading parliament or a party scheming to overspend when the whole system is routinely abused to forward narrow agendas?

  6. Elections Canada is proving its anti-conservative bias once again. It's pretty sad to have the body entrusted with our democracy acting in such a partisan manner, with the full support of Liberal partisans and the press.

    Just to recap: The Federal Court ruled the in-out scheme legal. Here's the decision: http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2010/2010fc43

    Check out paragraph [128], which for some reason is labeled [28] but sits between paragraphs [127] and [129]:
    One of the conclusions that may be drawn from the above information, therefore, is that it is
    not illegal for a party to incur expenses on behalf of a candidate and then bill a candidate for those
    expenses. Similarly, it is not illegal for a party to acquire goods or services and then resell them to a
    candidate. In both cases, however, the transactions must be duly reported. Where the party transfers
    funds to a candidate to finance that candidate's purchase of goods or services supplied by the party,
    the result is what is referred to as an “in and out” transaction.

    • But alfanerd, aren't the courts liberal biased too?

      I mean, if the courts ruled against you that would be your first response, right?

      And then after that the media would be biased for openly reporting the biased decision of a biased court deciding a biased case brought by a biased agency.

      ***I'm glad to see Elections Canada standing up against "judge made law" in this country***

      Note to tories: *** denotes sarcasm

  7. Also from this federal court decision:

    [131] According to the respondent therefore, to be an election expense for a candidate, the election
    expense must be used to directly promote or oppose a candidate, and not a registered party or its
    leader. The Court does not accept the respondent's disjunctive interpretation outlined above.

    Why then, would Elections Canada bring these charges now, when a court has already rejected their interpretation of the Elections Act, if not to give conservatives bad press?

    • Not to disagree with you — I haven't been following this one close enough to mount an argument — but why is Elections Canada anti-Conservative? I mean, of all the departments of the federal government, this one is the least subject to the whims and fancies of whatever party is in power. Whether the Conservatives are in government or the Liberals are in government, there's going to be an election, eventually, that Elections Canada is going to have to administer. If there is a bias against the Conservatives, I can't for the life of me understand why.

      • I can't for the life of me understand why

        I understand where you're coming from, and I agree that as an agency, EC has no particular reasons to be biased one way or another. But EC is not just a neutral agency administered by robots – it is administered by humans who may have political biases of their own.

        That being said, the actions of EC can not really be explained otherwise, although I'd be glad to hear other theories as to why they are acting like that.

        Specifically, why would they consider something legal in 2005 and not in 2006 – without any changes to the Act?

        Why would they continue their with hunt against conservatives despite a clear ruling from the Federal Court? http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2010/2010fc43… (I really encourage everybody to read it, I have, and it shows how disingenuous EC's position is?)

    • I posted this above, but it is more apropos here, so I'll repeat:

      On the CTV site, they indicate they have been waiting 20 months (i.e. since around June of 2009) for the go-ahead to lay charges from the federal director of public prosecutions – so the request to prosecute was made long before the civil suit was heard (November 23, 2009) let alone decided (January 18, 2010).

      The cout, BTW did not rule on whether the alleged acts were illegal; it ruled that "the investigation… under way" did not prevent EC from certifying the election expenses. However:
      "No prosecution has been instituted by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). After the
      applicants have been reimbursed for the claimed advertising expenses, if the Party, the Fund or any
      other persons are charged and found guilty of the offences mentioned above, subsection 501(1) of
      the Act, notably paragraph (a.1), authorizes the court to make a restitution order to have any amount
      paid back to the Receiver General." [para 271]

      This is now that prosecution, and if successful it more or less nullifies the civil decision.

      • the court explicitly rules out making a finding on the legality of the in-out scheme, because that is not a question before it.

        however, if you read the decision carefully, you'll see that the court makes findings of fact which are entirely at odds with a finding of illegality.

        for example, it rules that the advertising expenses were incurred by the candidate, and not by the party (which is the whole issue really).

        it also rules that the election act allows for local candidates to buy advertising which focuses on the party and its leader.

        however, it does find that there is a discrepancy between the amounts charged and the fair market value of the advertising. that's not the issue here however.

        • "…the election act allows for local candidates to buy advertising which focuses on the party and its leader"

          Perhaps. But does it allow for them to fraudulently account for them? Probably not.

        • "if you read the decision carefully, you'll see that the court makes findings of fact which are entirely at odds with a finding of illegality."

          As you yourself pointed out, "the court explicitly rules out making a finding on the legality of the in-out scheme, because that is not a question before it. " As a different question was being asked here, it is likely that not all the evidence to be used in any criminal prosecution would have been presented here.

          Thus a criminal court weighing additional evidence under different rules may well reach a different conclusion.

  8. More evidence of bias from Elections Canada from the court decision:

    paragraph [131]:

    Rather, a plain reading favours the conjunctive interpretation that was found in material published by the CEO prior to the 2006 election. Namely, an election expense for a candidate can be one that exclusively promotes a candidate, or it can be one that directly promotes both a candidate and a registered party or its leader.

    So, prior to the 2006 election, EC had no problem with in-out schemes. Now they do. Why? Because the Conservatives won. There is no other explanation.

    and further, at paragraph [133]:
    [133] Indeed, the evidence on record confirms that in the past, the CEO has generally refrained
    from inquiring into the content of ads, despite the fact that "election advertising" is defined as "the
    transmission to the public by any means during an election period of an advertising message that
    promotes or opposes a registered party or the election of a candidate, including one that takes a
    position on an issue with which a registered party or candidate is associated" (section 319).

  9. I confess, I am at a loss. Why is appealing a decision mean there is bias against the other party? The Conservative Party is appealing their recent loss before the Ontario Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court. Does this mean the Conservative Party of Canada is biased against Elections Canada?

    • What a stupid comment.

    • appealing the decision is not a sign of bias. bringing charges despite a clear ruling by the federal court that the in-out scheme was legal and that the advertising in question was a proper expense by the candidate and not the party – is a clear, huge, blinking sign of bias.

      • That is not what happened. You really need to stop misrepresenting this ruling. Furthermore, bringing charges is completely consistent with the fact the ruling you keep touting is now under appeal.

  10. do your own research buddy. Im not sure what the consequences of non-payment are but i know the act provides for a time frame in which the loans are to be repaid.

    besides, the real issue here is that the Conservatives are doing something legal, as provided by EC literature prior to the 2006 election and by the courts as recently as 2010, and now EC is going on a stupid witch hunt against the conservatives in order to give them bad press.

    • Do your own research = I have no idea what I'm talking about.

      What the Liberals did is different from what the Conservatives did .A loan has to be paid back and if the Liberals are on the hook for a loan it has nothing to do with the fact the Conservatives cheated the system.

      All we know is that the media reported that some CPC members are being charged with cheating. The loan issue is separate and is likely to be dealt in a different fashion: maybe EC hasn't filed anything regarding the loan.

      But of course the weak always complain that the strong are keeping them down. That will never change.

    • I like that the *real* issue is something else now.

      The legislation does indeed mandate the loans be paid back within a certain period. It does not, however, give Elections Canada any direction on what is to be done if they are not. You can stop complaining about preferential treatment on that basis now, OK?

      Whether the Conservatives are doing something legal is yet to be determined. They are certainly using this system to circumvent spending limits. Spending limits are legislated, and if breached then the party doing so is doing something quite illegal.

  11. Pat wrote:
    "I confess, I am at a loss"

    Then I suggest you actually take the time to read about the issue. I recommend you start with the postings above by alfanerd.

    If you're at a loss….it's because you haven't been paying attention.

    • I beg to differ. You have your facts totally wrong. Perhaps you should get them right before you resort to scolding others.

    • I recommend you not trust Alfanerd's posts and read the decision yourself. He is misrepresenting what the court actually decided.

      Or if you want to get o the core of the court's stance on the legality of the CPC's actions, just read para 255, which Not Stephen has kindly set out in the next post following.

  12. Alfanerd, in your reading of the federal court ruling that you keep linking to, I believe you accidentally skipped over paragraph 255. To help you out, I've reproduced it below.

    "With respect to the legality or illegality, as the case may be, of the actions taken during the
    2006 election period by the Party or the Fund, there remains an ongoing investigation by the
    Commissioner, and therefore, it would be premature and inappropriate for the Court to comment or
    rule on this question."

    • I was about to go back and look for that paragraph myself; thanks for saving me the trouble.

      • Of course, the Federal Court would not comment on the legality of the scheme if its not a question directly before it. That is usually the case, and particularly so if there is an ongoing investigation.

        But the findings made by the Court preclude any realistic chance of conviction. That is, unless the investigation has uncovered further material facts, and if so, what are these further material facts?

        Otherwise, the ruling is pretty clear: in-out schemes are legal par. 90), and all the reasons for which the refunds were refused got shot down one after the other.

        • In-and-out schemes, if properly executed, are legal – and the court here decided that, in the case of the applicants, the EC did not present evidence to show that the applicants had not stuck to the requirements.

          The court specifically stated at para. 257, however, that "whether the Party or the other 65 candidates who participated in the RMB program have complied with the reporting requirements of the Act are not questions to be determined by the Court in the present application." The individuals now charged are not the applicants from the case we have been citing, but rather some of the others on whose actions the court refused to comment.

    • Yes but check out paragraph 98:

      Without this Court coming to a decision, even if the respondent has raised a legitimate issue
      concerning the inappropriate use of transfers between registered parties
      , who enjoy broad public
      financing, and their candidates, Parliament, and not this Court, is the authority suited to make the
      necessary changes.
      Nothing would prevent Parliament from amending the Act to limit the amounts
      that can be transferred during an election from a party to a candidate.

      considering that, unless some major new facts come up, a court would have to completely ignore this ruling in order to convict.

      • …and a court could easily do just that. Ignoring the fact that you are again quoting out of context to spin what the court actually said, the FC, in handing down the decision you keep citing, was ruling on a different issue. The court which will hear the upcoming case will be applying the facts in reference to a different question and different sections of the law – and, yes, there may also be new facts to consider. Very likely, actually, as the individuals charged are not the ones involved in the civil suit.

        So, really, the two cases are quite separate and there is no obligation (or reason) for a new trier of fact to give any serious consideration to the civil decision; it certainly is not binding upon the court that will be hearing these charges.

        • there is the doctrine of issue estoppel, which i believe is applicable in this case. and there are findings of fact and questions of law which have been decided in the FC decision, which the conservative party will be able to cite as an authority.

          • Ha ha ha

            The first decision was not binding on any other court. The appeal will be, whenever it is decided.

            I suggest you stop trying to sound like a lawyer, because your post here absolutely outed you as either a wanna belawyer or a really bad one.

          • I Am Not A Lawyer, but I'm quite confident in saying that issue estoppel does not apply here. For it to apply in Canada, the judicial decision that's said to create issue estoppel must be final (it's not), the parties must be the same (they're not) and the same question must have been decided (it wasn't).

          • ok ill concede that issue estoppel probably doesnt apply but if you expect that a different court wont consider the findings of the federal court extremely relevant to the charges against the conservative party, you're deluding yourself.

          • I don't think so. Courts disagree with each other all the time.

          • Thank you legal scholar Gayle. You're dumber than a sack of bricks or you're just trying to be annoying because this case so clearly demonstrates the bias of institutions like elections canada, it shows that without this institutionalized bias at places like these and the CBC, the pathetic bunch of crooks known as the Liberal party would be even lower in the polls then they are today.

            I know that hurts – the fact that illegitiamte unelected american is even less popular then the unilingual uber-nerd with a french citizenship, but that's your party. deal with that first.

            as for courts, if you want to stick with the idiotic proposition that courts dont consider what other courts have said in their deicison making process, be my guest, i will make it my duty to rub it in your face at every opportunity, as you have now clearly given up any shred of credibility you may have once had.

          • Let's see.

            You have been claiming the only reason the CPC was charged was because of a bias at EC. Since then people have pointed out:

            1. The decision you cling to as your "proof" did not say what you claim it says, was not about what you claim it is about, and is a lower court decision that is not binding on any other court (so even if it did say what you claim it says, it would only be persuasive, not binding, and if you actually knew anything at all about the law, which your "issue estoppel" claim clearly demonstrated you do not, you would know that courts do indeed disagree with each other all the time).

            2. The decision to charge the CPC was made by the Public Prosecutor, which is an office created by Stephen Harper in order to bring objectivity to the decision to charge public officials with criminal and quasi criminal offences. EC passed on their investigation results to the PP 20 months ago. Last week the PP (NOT EC) made the decision to charge the CPC.

            Not one of your paranoid delusions is grounded in fact, and when people point that out you resort to calling them names. Do you think smart people have to resort to calling people names when they are losing an argument? Because I certainly don't.

            You have a nice day now.

            PS I am not a liberal. As part of your ongoing knee jerk uneducated reactions, you assume that since I am defending EC against your unsubstantiated and ridiculous allegations that I must be a liberal. That is not a smart conclusion to make.

          • Oh yes, forgot this one:

            3. You also claimed the fact the LPC leadership candidates were not punished for not repaying their loans was evidence of this so called bias. When called on that, when asked to provide some evidence that EC was empowered to do anything, you suddenly switch gears and say "that is not important anyway".

          • They have to hear it as a new case. There are different parties involved; the facts, while of a similar nature, will be different and specific to the individuals and the events in which they participated; the action is not a civil action but a criminal one, stemming from a different section of the Act.

            It's enirely possible tha the court may reference this decision if certain fact situations are close enough to mirror the findings of the other court, but even then they still have to weigh it in light of the whole of the fact situation AND the applicable sections of the Act under consideration.

            As to what weight the court will give to the case if it gets considered at all… we'll have to wait and see. I'm betting they will largely distuinguish it (i.e. declare it not relevant to the proceedings before them) on the basis of the fact situation, the legal question under consideration – or both.

          • To be fair, they may not distinguis it. Or they may distinguish it.

            The important point being that the Public Prosecution Office (ie. lawyers) believe this is worthy of prosecution. They will have no doubt read this decision as well as the recent OCA decision on the GST issue. They are trained to determine whether or not a case has merit.

            Long and short of it is this has absolutely nothing to do with bias on the part of Elections Canada. The CPC may be convicted, or they may be acquitted. Either way it will depend on the legalities of this particular case. To cite a different decision based on an entirely different standard of proof is silly.

            Harper created the PPO in order to ensure prosecutions are objective. There is no evidence at all that this one is not.

      • I checked it out, along with its context. Paragraph 97:

        The Court dismisses extreme positions taken in this case by the applicants and the
        respondent. Clearly, the respondent had the right and duty to audit the returns submitted by the
        candidates who participated in the RMB program. However, the respondent did not enjoy an
        unfettered discretion to decline to refuse to certify the claimed advertising expenses.

        It's this that idea that the paragraph you quoted is concerned with. The CEO can't just withhold reimbursements because something smells fishy, but only if some violation of the law has been demonstrated. That's no surprise; it goes to the heart of the decision. It is clearly left as an open question, throughout the decision, whether it is actually the case that the law was broken. And Martineau J. may indeed be showing some skepticism about it, but it really doesn't matter, because it's not the issue he's deciding.

        • The part you quote is completely irrelevant to the issue – which is whether by doing an otherwise legal thing (In-out) the conservatives broke the law, because they sought to circumvent spending limits. The whole thing stems from an off hand comment made by some staffer (par. 88).

          The FC decision clearly suggests that the conservatives did nothing against the letter of the law. I think EC is trying to pin them on breaking the spirit of the law, which is going to be a stretch to say the least.

          • The part he quotes is far more relevant to the overall thrust of the decision than the arguments you have been making. We can continue to swap quotes out of context if you like; I can easily pull out another half dozen or so to counter the ones you keep pulling out.

            The simple fact remains that you are misrepresenting the overall thrust of the decision by trying to make it say far more than it actually does. The EC had ruled that the applicants were not eligible for reimbursements, but were somewhat brief and vague in their reasoning, so the applicants appealed to the FC. The judge there looked at the EC's reasoning and found it lacking – and chastised them for trying to introduce further evidence, saying they should have included that in their original reasons for disallowing the reimbursement. Then, based on the information available, he could not conclude that the EC had sufficient grounds for witholding the reimbursements, and ordered that they should be paid out.

          • Pt II (this was part of my preceding comment, but I apparently ran too long):

            While he said a lot of other things – from which you, I and others have quoted extensively – those other items are not germane to the final outcome and should not be construed as a complete and utter exoneration of the CPC's actions, as you would have us believe. Please go back and reread the decision with an open mind – as, clearly, your previous read-throughs have been solely to look for quotes to back your pre-established views.

  13. how am i misrepresenting anything. check out below im citing the decision and i even helpfully include paragraph numbers. that should be enough even for you to find the relevant passages.

    • I too read the case (and included quotes above) – and thus am well aware that you are selectively pulling quotes that suit your agenda. See also my previous rebuttals further up this thread.

      I've been reading legal decisions as part of my job for many years. The court did NOT "rule" on the legality of the CPC's actions as that was not the question before it. The discussion of the evidence before it which you have quoted demonstrates in part (and out of context) how the court's final conclusion was reached – but does NOT constitute the decision rendered.

  14. This is another conveniently timed, completely contrived, co-ordinated witch hunt from the encrusted Liberal bureaucrats at EC, and the morally and fiscally bankrupt Liberals and the loping jackals of the media. Judge Gomery's conclusion that the Liberals are corrupt and perpetually nurture a "culture of corruption" has never been so evident as illustrated in the last few weeks of conveniently timed, pre- co-ordinated smash and grab smear jobs. Time to investigate how far and deeply seeded the Liberal, "culture of corruption" has infected the bureaucracy of EC.

    • On the CTV site, they indicate the EC have been waiting 20 months (i.e. since around June of 2009) for the go-ahead to lay charges from the federal director of public prosecutions – so the request to prosecute was made long before the civil suit was heard (November 23, 2009) let alone decided (January 18, 2010).

      If anyone is guilty of "conveniently timed, pre- co-ordinated smash and grab smear jobs" here, it would be the DPP, as that's wh chose to go forward with the charges now.

        • Love all the thumbs-down – from the CPC trollers, I presume. However, I notice none of you have a rebuttal…

          • What rebuttal? You're championing of super Liberal media hack Wherry as some kind of voice of reason is hardly a rebuttal.

  15. EC could easily prove they are not part of a Liberal party organized, pre co-ordinated smear job against the Conservative Government by simply going after their comrades in the Adscam party. Adscam of course was a nefarious, criminal act perpetrated by the Adscam party that saw the Liberals steal taxpayer dollars from the Government treasury to finance their own campaigns. EC credibility is seriously in doubt when a known criminal act like Adscam is conveniently and inexplicably ignored. Perhaps EC selective indignation is a great example of the Liberal "culture of corruption" that Judge Gomery so clearly indicated exists.

    • Heh. Please cite the sections of the Elections Act, as it existed in the 90's. that EC should have used to prosecute members of the LPC.

      • Hi Gayle, you're defense of all criminal acts perpetrated by the Adscam party are super funny… thanks.

    • ADSCAM was indeed completely wrong, and the Liberals have been paying the political price for it ever since. As for who should have done what… well, I'm not going to rehash all that now.

      However, I WILL call you on your apparent assertion that, because the Libs perpetrated one election crime, then everyone should turn a blind eye to whatever the CPC does. Assuming the CPC actually did break the law with some of their "in-and-out" transfers (and I'll wait for the court to review the facts and make their judgment before I make assumptions one way or the other), then two wrongs don't make a right.

      I know one thing, though, between your Adscam smokescreen and AlphaNerd's misrepresentation of the prior civil decision, I have to think CPC supporters are running scared. And there's usually a good reason when that happens.

      • You're comments reek of a rationalizing desperation, and there's a good reason for Adscam party followers to be so desperate.

  16. While EC conducts it's contrived, co-ordinated, witch hunt smear job against the Conservative Government for the so called "in and out scheme", they also continue to ignore the Liberals doing exactly the same thing. Federal Liberals transferred 1.7 million dollars to various Liberal riding associations in Ontario, then transfer 1.3 million dollars out of the local riding associations back to the national Liberals in order to buy national advertising. This the exact same thing EC is "investigating" the Conservative Government for. The EC vendetta against the Conservative Government is an obscene gesture of entitlement and bias, along with a profound selective amnesia when it comes to the Adscam party (Liberals). EC needs to be investigated for these obvious inconsistencies.

    • Got proof of wrongdoing? Bring it to the DPP: that's who will have to lay the charges – just as has happened here.

  17. Elections Canada is infested with corrupt Liberals, we have to expect this sort of thing from them.

  18. Good for you Election Canada. Let's expose the thieves and liars for what they are.