BTC: Conservative contention of the day

“In fact,” Stephen Harper said yesterday, making a cameo at Question Period, “the Conservative Party of Canada has never refused any documentation to Elections Canada.”

So back, once more, to the Elections Canada affidavit.

From page 14. “On November 29, 2006, letters signed by the Chief Electoral Officer were sent to 11 of these candidates pursuant to subsection 451 (2.2) of the Canada Elections Act asking for supporting documents for the claimed media buy expenses. On January 12, 2007 an additional 3 letters were sent to the remaining candidates also seeking additional supporting documentation for the media buy expense they had claimed. The candidates were asked to provide:

“a. A copy of the contract or other written agreement with the advertiser and with the registered party relating to the expense;

b. A copy of the advertising or script;

c. Documentation of the date(s) of the advertising promoting the candidate;

d. Documentation of the date on which the official agent approved the expenditure.

“Each of the 14 candidates provided a similarly formatted response on Conservatve Party of Canada letterhead. Eleven of the 14 packages received by Elections Canada were dated December 2006, and contained:

“a. A copy of a letter dated December 15, 2006, to Ms. Manon Hamel from Mrs. Ann O’Grady, Chief Financial Officer of the Conservative Fund Canada;

b. Radio and television time schedules;

c. Electoral District allocations of broadcast time for Conservative Party of Canada Candidates as provided by Retail Media;

d. An invoice from the Conservative Fund Canada;

e. An invoice from Retail Media; and

f. A copy of a bank wire transfer.”

From page 16. “In a letter dated January 15, 2007 to Ms. Manon Hamel, Acting Director, Political Financing and Audit Directorate at Elections Canada, (then) Executive Director of the Conservative Party of Canada, Mr. Michael Donison states:

“… there is no single contractual document between the registered party or the candidates and the supplier that speaks to the arrangements of the regional media buy.”

From page 20. “I was advised by Mr. Kumpf that no formal contract existed between Retail Media and the Conservative Party of Canada…

“Mr. Kumpf advised me that no contracts between Retail Media and the participating candidates or official agents were entered into.”

From page 24. “In addition to the interviews actually conducted and set out below, during the period July 1, 2007 to September 30, 2007, I am aware that attempts were made by investigators of the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections to schedule 18 additional interviews. Of these 18 attempts, 16 individuals declined to be interviewed and stated to investigators that they have been advised by counsel to the Conservative Party of Canada that they should not speak with Elections Canada investigators without the involvement of counsel to the Conservative Party of Canada. Many potential interviewees cited civil litigation commenced by two official agents against the Chief Electoral Officer as the reason for declining to be interviewed.”

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