Five months after a federal court ruling on so-called in-and-out campaign financing, it turns out an unpublicized portion of the judgment imperils the political careers of three cabinet ministers. And the commissioner of elections has apparently referred the matter to the office of the public prosecutor to consider criminal charges.
… in a little-noticed detail, he also found that one of the two candidates should have paid — but did not — an equal share of the full market value of regional advertising buys. Rather, the amount charged appeared to have been “purely arbitrary,” based on what the candidate could afford without exceeding his spending limit.
In documents supporting its motion to stay Martineau’s ruling, Elections Canada applies the equal share dictum to all 65 candidates involved in the regional media buys. The agency finds up to 10 of them would have exceeded their spending limits, including Cannon by $7,618, Verner by $13,304, Paradis by $10,188 and Bernier by $20,138.
In its appeal, the party suggests Martineau’s ruling violates freedom of speech guarantees in the Charter of Rights because it “effectively limits a candidate’s ability to run ads if other ridings in the same (regional advertising) pool are unable to contribute to the same level financially.”
The full federal court ruling in its entirety is here. This particularly issue would seem to be raised at paragraph 235.