The key question in the investigation into alleged overspending by the Dean Del Mastro 2008 election campaign has been the amount of campaign-related work performed by a company called Holinshed Research. Del Mastro has always claimed that the firm did a small amount of telephone work early in the campaign that was covered by a . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign capers: As Del Mastro’s day in court approaches…
A few months ago, Dean Del Mastro expressed his impatience with the Elections Canada investigation into his campaign spending.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s parliamentary secretary is demanding that Elections Canada put its cards on the table after more than a year of unresolved allegations concerning his 2008 campaign expenses.
I think this might qualify as . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign capers: Be careful what you wish for, Dean
Alison at Creekside on the appointment of Pierre Poilievre as Minister of State for Democratic Reform:
Poilievre’s appointment is about a coming battle over election reform and robocalls. It’s been sixteen months since the Cons promised to bring in a bill addressing Mayrand’s proposed reforms to prevent a repeat of last election’s robocon fiasco. The . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: What Alison Said
CBC News on Monday night:
Liberals take Labrador, as Jones wins big over Penashue
I have to confess to being caught by surprise when Labrador MP Peter Penashue suddenly announced his resignation from the House of Commons and his intention to run in the subsequent by-election. It made a lot more sense when it was . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Peter Penashue takes a Mulligan and slices it into the woods.
McGregor and Maher published another installment in their series covering the robocalls controversy a couple of days ago. They led with the news that Allan Mathews, the former RCMP investigator who has been working as an investigator for Elections Canada, has been asked to submit an affidavit in the case of the applicants who are seeking to overturn the election results in six ridings. If he complies, he may end up on the stand for cross-examination. But this, several paragraphs into the story, is just as interesting if not more so. Earlier this month, a few days after the Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia News reported on email records that showed Elections Canada officials suspected the Conservatives of "mischief" with misleading telephone calls during the last election, Shrybman wrote to the agency to complain that it had failed to provide the emails when he requested records of complaints in August. This week, Elections Canada agreed to introduce records containing the emails… The Conservatives have maintained all along that this challenge is being brought by sore losers who didn’t like the election results. That line of attack is blunted by the fact that the emails in question reflect complaints that Elections Canada… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: It’s like pulling teeth
Democracy Watch has a published a new media release. Here’s the first three paragraphs: OTTAWA – Today, Democracy Watch called on the federal Conservatives to introduce the bill to ban false election robocalls and strengthen election law enforcement that they promised to introduce by the end of September under a resolution passed unanimously last March by federal politicians. Democracy Watch’s national letter-writing and petition drive has resulted in more than 56,000 messages being sent to politicians across Canada calling on them to pass effective laws to stop election fraud robocalls, and to strengthen enforcement of election laws. To their credit, the federal Liberals introduced private member Bill C-424 last May to increase fines for false robocalls and other fraudulent attempts to sway voters from $2,000-$5,000 up to $20,000 to $50,000. The Conservatives rejected Bill C-424 on Wednesday (Nov. 21). 56,000 messages actually doesn’t seem like all that much. Surely there are more Canadians than that who want to see the health of our democracy protected. The Conservatives have made it pretty obvious that they’ll stall on this as long as possible; they don’t seem likely to act without a lot more pressure. If you agree, perhaps you’d like to send… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: Democracy Watch update
In his report on the election tabled in August 2011, [Chief Electoral Officer Marc] Mayrand made brief mention of the "crank calls" that incorrectly advised voters of changed polling locations but there was no indication that these were a widespread or coordinated effort. Mayrand said only the Commissioner of Canada Elections was investigating. That’s taken from an article by Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher that was published last Friday. It reports on email communications involving Elections Canada officials and Conservative Party representatives in the last few days of the 2011 federal election campaign. That article has certainly stirred things up again. It’s now quite clear that even before the polls had closed on May 2nd of last year — fully 18 months ago — some at EC were already suspicious that there had been an organized effort to mislead voters. That’s a lot more serious than "crank calls" and their suspicions were directed at the Conservative Party of Canada. And now every line of investigation that came up empty because investigators were too slow to get there takes on new significance…. . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: Crank calls?
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue has promised to do something very unusual this coming Tuesday. He’s going to offer an explanation. My interest in Penashue was originally piqued by this video posted at Impolitical in which the minister mindlessly recites the same non-answer to every question the reporter can think to ask him. Until this past week, he’d been doing pretty much the same with every reporter since then, though not many have had the opportunity to get even that much from him. And until this past week, his colleagues on the opposition side of the Commons were getting even less. Questions put to the member about possible irregularities in his campaign financing were being fielded by anyone but. So the NDP decided to talk about intergovernmental affairs and actually got Penashue to stand up and start talking…. . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: The perfect man for the job
This past week Michael Sona publicly declared his membership in a very large club: people who have grown impatient waiting for Elections Canada. Beyond that and his claim to be completely innocent of any attempt to suppress votes in Guelph, there’s not that much to take away from his interview with the CBC’s Evan Solomon.
. . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: The view from under the bus
The post I put up yesterday to report on the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding Etobicoke Centre has been updated a couple of times with links to media coverage. There’s lots there if you want to dive in and get even more detail. Short version, as you’ve probably heard by now: in a 4 to 3 . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: The court has spoken
Supreme Court upholds Conservative win in Toronto riding
Conservative MP Ted Opitz will keep his Etobicoke Centre seat, as Canada’s top court today upheld his narrow 2011 election victory despite apparent voting irregularities at several polling stations.
The court rejected a lower court decision in a challenge brought by former Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj, who . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: Split decision
Two months ago I added Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, to the list of people I was keeping an eye on for this series of posts. He finally surfaced again this week.
Before we get into the details of Penashue’s campaign spending during last year’s federal election, let’s get two things out of the . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: Peter, Paul and Provincial Airlines
I confess to being a bit mystified. When the Supreme Court of Canada interrupted its normal summer hiatus to hear the appeal concerning the riding of Etobicoke-Centre, it appeared to indicate the intention to treat the matter with a certain amount of urgency. Three months later, we’re still waiting for a decision and there’s been . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: Where in the world is the Supreme Court of Canada?
Seriously, I haven’t seen any developments on any of the stories that have been the subject of these posts. I’m thinking that the Supreme Court and Elections Canada are all hanging out at Dean Del Mastro’s cottage taking some time off.
Now watch. As soon as I publish this a big story will break. (Hey, . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: I got nothin’
Since I’m on the run today and there’s not really much to report, I’m going to do a briefer than usual summary and leave the links with you.
And to get it out of the way: there is still no word on when we can expect a ruling on Etobicoke Lakeshore from the Supreme Court. . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: The condensed version
One of the pet issues the Conservatives like to bring up when they want to needle the Liberals is outstanding debt on the part of contenders in the last Liberal leadership race. I guess we’re supposed to assume that there are no Conservatives in similar situations but that assumption would be incorrect.
… [Conservatives are] . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Bums to the left of me, deadbeats to the right
The Council of Canadians and the seven ridings
There was a hearing on Tuesday to consider a motion by the Conservatives that would compel the applicants to put up more than $250,000 as a form of security deposit against the possibility that they lose and are forced to pay costs. I posted about that on . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: Slim pickings
I wonder if it ever occurs to Conservatives that when their luck changes and they find themselves on the outside looking in, they might be subject to a little payback. Or even a lot of payback. Their attacks on anyone who opposes them are so vicious and over-the-top that they may not find much in . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: It’s not much but it’s all I’ve got
If you can get behind the paywall at the Ottawa Citizen you’ll find confirmation that Elections Canada’s budget really hasn’t posed a problem in their investigation into Robocon. Over and above its normal expenditures, the agency has spent just shy of $240,000 on “casual employees, investigators and other expenses related to the robocalls probe since . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: Elections Canada’s budget isn’t the problem
The Council of Canadians and the seven ridings
Last Friday afternoon I ended up doing a quick update to the weekly post. To return to that for anyone who may have missed it…
One of the key pieces of evidence in support of the applications to overturn the election results in these ridings was a . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: Not feeling particularly confident
The Council of Canadians and the seven ridings
When it was first reported that the applicants in this case were requesting information from Elections Canada, it was suggested that EC was going to defer to the court and the matter would be considered at the hearing scheduled for next month. Apparently Yves Côté, the Commission . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: Too much of nothing
The search for Pierre Poutine
Even among those who are fervently hoping that the perpetrator of all those fraudulent phone calls in Guelph is found, I can imagine two distinctly different reactions to the news that the RCMP is now directly involved in the investigation. The first is: what the hell took them so long? . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: The week in review
Now with subtitles.
The Del Mastro campaign contributions
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is staying out of Dean Del Mastro’s business. Nicholson’s response to a request from NDP MP Charlie Angus to refer the investigation into alleged attempts to circumvent campaign donation limits to the Direct of Public Prosecutions was unequivocal.
“The Attorney General does not . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Friday morning Elections Monitoring Right Here In Canada blogging
Elections Canada, Dean Del Mastro and the Supreme Court of Canada have all been very quiet as far as the stories I’ve been tracking in these regular Friday posts are concerned. In fact, there are only two parties who have anything to say.
The first is Steven Shrybman, the lawyer representing voters who want the . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Friday afternoon Elections Canada blogging
The two major media pieces on the stories I’ve been following in these Friday morning posts were both more about Elections Canada itself than about the events EC has been investigating. (Interestingly enough, neither actually involves robocalls.)
Borys Wrzesnewskyj, the Liberal who was defeated in Etobicoke Centre last year and successfully — pending the Supreme . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Friday morning Scrutinizing the Scrutineers blogging