While discussing the latest in and out developments on Politics with Don Newman last Thursday, Pierre Poilievre made a valiant effort to explain away allegations that his party may have submitted doctored invoices to Elections Canada, only to have his metaphor hijacked by Liberal justice critic Dominic Leblanc:
When I look through the documents, I noticed that the commissioner said that outside of Quebec, all of the receipts that he saw – and he only saw, I think, nine of the all of the ones he wanted to see – they were all the same, and they all had the same spelling mistake in them, and he suggested that they’d all been put together after the fact. So I say that, I put that on the table, and you heard what Dominic had to say, and I hope you don’t say “So what?” this time. What would you like to say instead?
Well, I have the documents in question that Dominic is referring to, and, Don, I’m sure you’ve been to a restaurant before where everyone at the table had a bite to eat, and you all wanted to pay separately, but the bill came all together. So you have to divvy them up, and add the GST to your individual price, and that’s exactly what happened here. The invoice in question was bundled – it shouldn’t have been, originally – so we simply photocopied — the Conservative Party simply photocopied them, added the GST right here, and the amount was identical, plus GST.
So, effectively — Dominic calls it ‘altering’ but what we did was add the GST to each and every bill. But I have one example here, Kelowna, which was billed for $14,018.66, the photocopy has that exact same amount – $14,018.66 – plus GST. So frankly, Dominic is jumping up and down today with the conspiratorial fervor of someone who has just solved the Kennedy assassination, but what we’re talking about here in reality is the equivalent of is the divvying up of a restaurant bill and adding the GST to each individual tab.
Dominic, what do you say to that?
Don, it’s a nice analogy. The only problem is that the people who were in fact receiving these invoices weren’t at the dinner. The Conservative candidates, Elections Canada believes, weren’t in the restaurant – they weren’t even waiting in the bar for a table, Don. So they’re dividing up a restaurant bill …
They had the meal!
Elections Canada says they didn’t in fact eat the meal; that’s precisely the problem. It’s a great analogy, but it really has no bearing on what Elections Canada believes were expenses that weren’t incurred by the local campaigns. That’s the problem.