Take a look at the website of Liberal candidate Andrew Telegdi as it appeared last night:
So, what’s the matter with Telegdi’s website?
Aaron Wudrick, the campaign manager of Telegdi’s Conservative opponent (and Blogging Tory) forwarded an email that he sent to the commissioner.
To: Commissioner, Elections Canada
From: Aaron Wudrick, Manager, Peter Braid Campaign (Conservative Party of Canada), Kitchener-Waterloo EDA
Re: Website of Andrew Telegdi, Liberal Party candidate, Kitchener-Waterloo EDA
Please be advised that we believe the campaign website of Kitchener-Waterloo Liberal Party candidate Andrew Telegdi (http://www.telegdi.org) violates s.320 (not authorized by official agent), and s.321 (transmission via Government of Canada – links on page to constituency office and government services) of the Canada Elections Act.
We would appreciate the Commissioner looking into this matter to determine whether or not this candidate’s website does indeed violate the Act. Confirmation of receipt of this complaint would be greatly appreciated.
Manager, Conservative Party of Canada, Peter Braid Campaign (Kitchener-Waterloo EDA)
What are sections 320 and 321 of the Canada Elections Act?
320. A candidate or registered party, or a person acting on their behalf, who causes election advertising to be conducted shall mention in or on the message that its transmission was authorized by the official agent of the candidate or by the registered agent of the party, as the case may be.
321. (1) No person shall knowingly conduct election advertising or cause it to be conducted using a means of transmission of the Government of Canada.
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), a person includes a group within the meaning of Part 17.
As for s.320, Wudrick is referring to the absence of “Paid for by the official agent for Andrew Telegdi”. Now, this may be the case because Telegdi appears to be using his MP website for the purposes of “re-elect[ing] Andrew Telegdi”. According to Wudrick, we are led to infer that this is his MP site because of the links to constituency office information and constituent services. If this is so, his website is paid for the people of Canada and not by his campaign and that’s where he runs into trouble with the next section of the act. Section 321 states that MP websites cannot be used for election advertising.
As of this afternoon, Telegdi’s site now features “Paid for by the official agent for Andrew Telegdi” but the site still contains constituency service information is a conflict with someone that is now simply a candidate and not an MP according to Wudrick.
UPDATE: Some eagle-eyed viewers have pointed out that Pierre Poilievre’s election site contains constituency service information. I’m not convinced that the display of such information is against the Act, though to have an election site that advertises constituency information and the candidate without it being labelled as paid for by the official agent of a campaign is certainly problematic for a campaign. I called Poilievre and he confirmed that his site is in accordance with the Act as it is in compliance with s.320. Indeed, from what I understand, he could advertise Telegdi’s constituency services if he wanted.