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Meanwhile, at the Federal Court of Appeal


 

A bulletin from Canadian Press.

The Federal Court of Appeal has struck down a ruling which Conservatives say cleared them of any wrongdoing in the so-called in-and-out election financing scheme. The ruling confirms Elections Canada’s interpretation of electoral spending laws

The court says it was reasonable for the elections watchdog to be dissatisfied with the way the Conservative party reported national advertising expenses for the 2006 election.

The full ruling is here.


 

Meanwhile, at the Federal Court of Appeal

  1. This was, of course, an administrative ruling. Or something.

  2. In all fairness, this probably just means EC can withhold the conservatives rebates until the investigation and trials are over.

    Note: I haven't read the case yet.

  3. D'OH!

  4. So now it's okay that Elections Canada charged Gerstein and Finley?

  5. Well there goes THAT little talking point, eh Cons?

  6. We only have the brief CP report right now, but it seems to go much further than that:

    "The ruling confirms Elections Canada's interpretation of electoral spending laws.

    The court says it was reasonable for the elections watchdog to be dissatisfied with the way the Conservative Party reported national advertising expenses for the 2006 election."

    Also, they have overturned the lower court decision, meaning the analysis of the actual underlying case which leaned to the Conservatives (they won on the process points) is thrown out as well.

  7. The Globe won't even allow comments for "legal reasons".
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/appe

    The only thing it adds is:

    "The expenses were claimed as local advertising by 67 Tory candidates.

    Elections Canada maintains the scheme allowed the national party to exceed its spending limit by more than $1-million, while letting candidates claim rebates on expenses they hadn't actually incurred.

    The court ruling relates to a civil suit launched by two of the candidates.

    Late last week, charges of wilfully overspending were laid against the party and four of its top campaign and fundraising officials, including two senators. "

  8. Ouch. Quick .. new talking points … fast … judges … liberal … courts left-wing …. everyone is innocent … must appeal to Supreme Court ….. love the troops.

  9. We shall know soon enough!

  10. Well, they tried the "administrative issue", the " nothing to see here", the "Elections Canada are Liberal shills", the "But everyone else has been doing it", and "Elections Canada is pursuing this despite the fact that the courts have cleared the Conservative Party"… What's next ?

    I'm betting the courts will be liberal appointees and elections spending laws will be deemed anti-democratic.

  11. Lawyers go in. Decisions come out. In. And out. In. And out. In. And out.

  12. And there goes the Con's number one talking point. Poilievre will have to be re-programmed.

  13. Just watching Power and Politics and it looks like the Conservatives might have made up their own invoices with somebody else's name on them. The tip-off seems to be the mis-spelling of the word invoice…the 67 invoices in question spell it "nvoice."
    In addition to that, the invoices are from the riding offices to the federal party, and the advertising company whose name is on the invoices say they never dealt with the riding level.

    Could there be regular fraud afoot as well as electoral fraud?

  14. I expect will be hearing a lot of references to the Sponsorship Scandal in the next few days.

  15. New fundraising letter – help we need money for lawyers!

  16. Time to advance DefCon levels

    Defend Conservatives1 (DefCon1) – If an issue arises, say it's a non story – Unsuccessful

    DefCon2 – If the issue won't go away, then blame the media – Unsuccessful

    DefCon3 – If the issue still won't go away, then blame the Liberals – Unsuccessful

    DefCon4 – If the issue still won't go away, then blame a bureaucrat or provincial premier – Unsuccessful

    DefCon5 – If the issue still won't go away, then blame a staffer – Throw Finley and Granatstein under the bus?

    DefCon6 – If the issue still won't go away, then start talking about Adscam, coalitions, broken GST promises and the NEP – You can bet on it

  17. AAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDDSSSSSSSSCCCCCCCCCCCCCAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!

  18. I wonder if the Conservatives are going to appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court.

  19. See, that's why I could never be a lawyer; I invariably succumb to premature abrogation.

  20. I think for Level 6 they will need to invoke the TCPL scandal as well ~ 1956

  21. Foiled by a typo. Damn! Otherwise the plan was foolproof.

  22. Listening to Pierre Poilievre right now, he's at DefCon7: Liberals did it too!

    And it's Gerstein.

  23. I doubt it. If there are convictions in the pending Criminal trials, sure, but this is just whether EC had to accept resubmitted reports.

  24. Poilievre saying of course we will appeal. We have a strong case. All the other parties do it. We're standing behind the two Senators. And my personal favourite – Elections Canada only knows about these expenses because we told them about them. Yeah Pierre because you were going for broke – trying to get those rebates. Greed is always what gets crooks.

  25. I wonder why no one thought to go with a handwritten ^I? I'm sure if they'd just asked Bev, she could have fixed 'em all right up!

  26. They are already trying: … but this is our (Conservative party's) own money unlike Adscam. We just have to keep reminding them that the 67 had tried to get GST rebates which were NOT Conservative party money.

    In fact, as I remember, EC said that they had already issued GST rebates to a few candidates before they had realized what was happening and stopped doing so. Thus some rebates had been actually issued.

  27. I consider that to be "Blame the Liberals"

  28. Yeah, I LOVE that one.

    We're only getting charged because we got caught!

  29. Then they would have been NOTvoices.

  30. I'd distinguish between "Blame the Liberals (for male-pattern baldness, which us virtuous Conservatives would abolish)" and "Liberals did it (which makes it OK for us to do it too)."

  31. There's a pill for that. Or is that for electile dysfunction? Bah, either way, just pop a pill.

  32. Now Solberg has taken over – we've only been charged. Lots were actually convicted in – wait for it – Adscam.
    He's sticking with the it's only administrative. Great Bagdad Bob imitation.

  33. Unfortunately this yet another mistake that the CPC will not likely suffer from. Although this one isn't anywhere near as bad as the Oda case, it might get more traction in the public's eyes since the court are involved.

  34. In believe in the Conservative Party that would be UNvoices.

  35. Appeal to the SCoC? Nope. The CPC doesn't need to.

    They will simply stall, delay and obfuscate until the next election after which they will have their majority (sad to say). Once firmly ensconced in a position of completely unbridled power I expect they will replace the leadership at EC and the Election Commissioner, concede the money issues, cop pleas on the individual charges and re-write the election laws to (a) eliminate the per vote subsidy (b) continue the ban on corporate and union donations and (c) permit in & out and anything else they see as advantageous to them.

    An appeal to the SCoC can be simply denied.. Too much risk in that. Better to stall and take revenge later.

    Hell, it's what I'd do.

  36. Two hours later…. and the Cons still haven't received their talking points.

  37. It is far more lucrative than a GST rebate they're after. Campaign expenses are reimbursable up to 60% from the government.

    For the amount in dispute ($1.3 million), it's a big chunk of money (approx $780,000).

  38. "DefCon5 – If the issue still won't go away, then blame a staffer – Throw Finley and Granatstein under the bus?"

    I doubt it. Finley and Gerstein aren't just low level staffers. In the Tory party hierarchy, this is somewhat approaching Darth Vader betraying the Emperor.

  39. This kinda fits in with Jason Kenny's narrative that these blasted judges won't rule the way we the government want them to.

  40. 60% of one million is $600,000 of taxpayer's money, Anon ABC. More than that, this is looking very much like a purposeful attempt to undermine our democratic institutions.

    Also, since the advertising firm involved says they didn't issue the receipts in question and those receipts look like they drawn up by whatever monkey Oda employees to scribble "not" on official documents, it seems there are more questions here. Falsifying receipts seems fraudulent to me, and it certainly hints at money laundering.

  41. Question: has this FCA decision made a spring 2011 election more or less likely?

    I vote more likely. In combo w/ the 4 charges laid last week, the CPC can stall for some months but not for a year. Fall brings conflicts w/ provincial votes. So now or a year from now.

    What say you?

  42. Well, it probably won't bring on the Harpocalypse, but things are beginning to pile up. It's like a new scandal every week with these guys.

  43. I agree…they'll tie this up in court long enough to get an election behind them. This spring. In the meantime, we'll be hearing "we can't comment on a matter that's before the courts".

  44. If the oppo looks at this as you do, they may well decide to let it ride 'til 2012 in the hopes of convictions, some choice perp walk pics and the opportunity to scream 'Thief and Liar', none of which is guaranteed. So they poison pill the budget? How they might do that in a way that's tasty and palatable to the voting public is currently beyond ken,

    But your observations re: possible outcomes relative to possible windows is bang on.

  45. They'll be going in the spring. There are a myriad of reasons, and this doesn't really change them. It does give the opposition parties something to talk about though.

  46. Note: I haven't read the case yet.

    You really should. It's going to make your day, your week and possibly even your month. It's a pretty categorical defeat.

  47. I agree…they'll tie this up in court long enough to get an election behind them.

    Not if the SCOC refuses to hear the case (that won't happen I don't think, but it's not impossible).

  48. Question: has this FCA decision made a spring 2011 election more or less likely?

    More likely, I think.

    The opposition parties would be crazy to let this kind of opportunity slip away.

  49. More talk of scandal,

    more invitations to compare and contrast CPC "scandals" and Liberal ones (at a time when Canadian's focus on comparisons between the two are becoming more and more stark).

    CPC spend their own money and have a dissagreement with EC over accounting,

    Libs steal taxpayer money to the tune of $40 MILLION and spend it on themselves, after funnelling it via laundering and brown paper bags full of cash.

    The result?

    CPC now at 43%.

    I say we continue to talk "scandal".

  50. I suspect most Canadians don't follow "progressive" ground rules, namely:

    – you can go back decades to consider a decades old private contract that involved no stolen taxpayer money (Mulroney)
    – you can go back 5 plus years to consider an accounting dispute over a party spending it's own money

    – but you cannot consider a scandal in which liberals stole $40 MILLION in taxpayer dollars, with it still being in the possession of the theives, being a continuing offence that reoccurs every single day.

    Given the polls all continue to trend toward clear majority, I suspect I'm correct that Candians don't follow these groundrules.

  51. As far as I know it isn't available yet…

  52. Well chet.. considering there aint an election right now.. these arent election results.. I'm not worried. If the Cons think they can win a majority, call an election.

    The point is as it stands.. your party has broken the law … and the fact you're defending wrongdoing based on polling is a sad state of affairs.

  53. Lol

  54. What about a scandal in which Conservatives used HUNDREDS of millions for partisan "government advertising", a scandal which continues to unfold daily on TV and radio?

    What about that scandal?

    When will the Conservatives pay that money back?

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  56. I've predicted that the next move will be "It's a stupid law anyway. Why should there be limits on how much of our money we can spend? This is stupid?" Not sure where that fits into the DefCon system.

  57. huh?
    Election fraud trumps lying to Parliament.

  58. Judge made law, etc….

  59. I see it now, thanks!

  60. The difference being that NONE of the Adscam people are sitting in the HOC, whereas the people behind the CPC scandals are.

    Question, Chet: If you break the law, should your children (or grandchildren) be held accountable?

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