The Federal Court ruling today dodged the issue of the legality of the Conservatives’ 2006 federal election ad spending scheme issue even more than Aaron hints at, as the ruling went in favour of the candidates only because the basis of the “balance of convenience” principle means that they should be reimbursed for their full expenses now because the legality of the scheme is yet to be determined.
So, in order to have the issue of the legality of the scheme ruled upon by the courts, Elections Canada must proceed with a prosecution through the Director of Public Prosecutions, and/or an appeal of today’s ruling to the Federal Court of Appeal.
In the meantime, based on this ruling and to save court resources, Elections Canada should reimburse all expenses to all the candidates who participated in the scheme (again, while at the same time prosecuting them all).
It is in the public interest to have the legality of the scheme ruled upon by the courts so that everyone will know what is legal for the next, and future, federal elections, so hopefully Elections Canada will appeal and/or proceed with a prosecution.
Hope this helps.