The esteemed bureau chief here, one John (No M) Geddes, came up with an interesting question the other day: Did anyone at the Conservative party, before going through with what we now know as the in-and-out scheme, contact Elections Canada to confirm the legality of said activities?
Knowing when to do as told, I e-mailed the Conservative party to ask just that and, after some back and forth, there came an answer—”Elections Canada does not prejudge elections activities.”
That statement was then put to officials at Elections Canada. Here is their response in full.
During an election period we provide a hotline telephone service to Parties and candidates and their agents where they can contact directly either Legal Services or Elections Financing to submit queries. Between elections, calls are routed to the appropriate business areas through our public enquiries service.
Depending on the nature of the request, Elections Canada will provide answers either verbally or in writing on the applications of the Canada Elections Act.
If we receive a number of questions on the same matter, or if the question has broad applicability, either an Info-sheet or a FAQ is created and posted on the EC web site.
We also advise the Advisory Committee of Political Parties of these new Info-sheets and FAQ’s.