One Conservative said the concern is not that Elections Canada would find evidence of anything illegal – but that it could uncover material that would embarrass the government or party.
A government manual on how to obstruct parliamentary committees that caused no end of embarrassment when it was leaked to the press last year is one example of legal-but-embarrassing flotsam that can surface.
Conservative campaign boss Doug Finley has become renowned among partisans for similar hardball tactics. Conservatives now fear other plays from the Finley handbook may fall into the wrong hands.
“We’ve done some stuff that’s not really problematic, but it’s not something I’d necessarily want Elections Canada or reporters getting their hands on,” a government official said.
“I’m not sure what was in the boxes, but there’s a concern that it’s going to get worse before it necessarily gets better.”