Elections Canada renews hostilities with the Tories

Agency says party hid spending on two campaign offices in 2006

Elections Canada has once again targeted the federal Conservatives for reprimand. Federal election officials say the party violated election laws by improperly accounting for the cost of running two regional campaign offices in Quebec. Instead of filing them as national campaign expenses, which Elections Canada says they were, the Conservatives split the $107,000 tab for the offices between 15 candidates in Quebec City and Montreal. According to Elections Canada, since the candidates made little or no use of the offices, they shouldn’t have been able to claim them as expenses. The party has complied “under protest” with Mr. Mayrand’s demand that it file a revised campaign financial return, adding on the cost of the regional offices. But it has also served notice that it intends to challenge the watchdog’s order in court. Elections Canada and the Conservatives are still involved in a legal battle over the so-called in-and-out scheme the Conservatives used in the 2006 election to pay for party advertising.

The Globe and Mail

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