In a decision that is certain to rattle Marc Mayrand at Elections Canada, the Liberals which prosecuted “trials” of Conservative election financing in Parliamentary committees and media observers that believe the worst about the Conservative Party, the Federal Court decided in the matter of L.G. Callaghan and the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada.
The question before the court was whether or not Elections Canada could legally refuse to certify, for the purposes of reimbursement under s.465 of the Elections Act, the claimed advertising expenses on the ground that it is not satisfied that the expenses have actually been incurred by the candidates themselves.
Here is the decision from the Federal Court:
The court decided that Mayrand inappropriately withheld expenses from Conservative candidates suggesting that these candidates in fact incurred those expenses, rather than the party. This means that the party has come in under the election spending limit (nationally) which is at the heart of this in-and-out debate. If the party has come under the legal limit, what else is there to talk about?
So far, Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc has not provided comment. Here’s what he said on April 15th, 2008:
Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are hiding the truth from Canadians. They filed a bogus civil suit against Elections Canada. They know very well that the RCMP never executes search warrants in civil cases. This morning, the RCMP executed a warrant in a quasi-criminal case.
How is it that the government does not know the difference?
I’ll post reaction from key players as it comes in.