From the Inkless emailbox, a blast email from the PMO to Conservative supporters:
Subject: Conservative Party Wins Election Rebate Court Case / Le Parti conservateur gagne une action en justice sur le remboursement des dépenses électorales
You aren’t likely to read about this in the mainstream media, which is why we are issuing this special Dec. 31 alert.
Today the Conservative Party won its court application, brought against Elections Canada, to prevent Rebate Double-Dipping.
Rebate Double-Dipping occurs when a political party collects both a GST rebate and an Elections Canada campaign rebate for the same expenses. The Conservative Party opposed Rebate Double-Dipping; Elections Canada defended it. This may be the first time in history that a political party went to court to try to give money back to Elections Canada.
Mr. Justice H.J. Wilton-Siegel of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice accepted the Party’s position. Technically, this means that the Party’s 2004 and 2006 election returns will now reflect the GST rebates it received. Practically, this is good news for taxpayers who should not be burdened with supporting political parties twice for the same expenditure.
Will today’s ruling affect other political parties? If they benefitted from Rebate Double-Dipping then it is possible that they might owe refunds to Elections Canada. We are not commenting on the implications for other parties.