Friday, July 21, 2006

ConConCon Scam

The latest on what I like to call the Conservative Convention con. And, for the record, I'm really only dwelling on this because the Tories tried to screw the Liberals over on their convention this year and I think it'd be a beautiful example of karma if this wound up causing them some grief.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Raymond Landry
Commissioner of Canada Elections
Elections Canada

Denis Meunier
Director General, Compliance Programs Branch
Investigations Directorate
Canada Revenue Agency

Re: Improper Treatment of Delegate Fees for Conservative Party of Canada

Dear Sirs:

We wish to bring to your attention that the Conservative Party of Canada may be
treating delegate registration fees to its functions improperly and in
contravention of the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act. We ask that
you investigate what, if true, would include millions of dollars of unreported
and undisclosed contributions to the Conservative Party of Canada.

Delegate Registration Fees:

We understand that the Conservative Party has not treated any portion of
delegate registration fees as a contribution to the Conservative Party and,
therefore, has not issued income tax receipts or receipts required under the
Canada Elections Act for any portion of such delegate registration fees. Hon.
John Baird, Treasury Board President, indicated publicly that this was the case
with regard to the 2005 Conservative Party annual convention. This was
confirmed in subsequent media reports which included statements by the
Conservative Party itself. They further stated that this practice had been
ongoing for some time, implying that this possible contravention has occurred
numerous times.

We further understand that since the Conservative Party of Canada has not
recorded any portion of the delegate registration fees as a contribution, then
accordingly, they may have misstated contribution information of the
Conservative Party of Canada (or its predecessor parties) in public filings as
required to be made by all registered political parties.

While a delegate may receive some value in materials and services for his or her
registration fee, it is highly unlikely that such value amounts to the entire
delegate registration fee at the current levels of such a fee. Whether or not
the function involved results in a financial surplus is irrelevant as it is the
calculation of the value received by the delegate in exchange for his or her
registration fee that determines whether the person paying the delegate
registration fee has made a contribution to the Conservative Party of Canada
and, if so, the amount of such contribution. In not issuing a receipt for the
amount of the delegate registration fee that is a contribution to the
Conservative Party of Canada there may have been what I am certain you will
agree is an egregious violation of the Canada Elections Act.

Possible Excess Contributions:

Further, as the Conservative Party of Canada did not issue receipts for the
contribution portion of delegate or observer registration fees it could not
track the total contributions of an individual delegate or observer in the year
during which the function was held to ensure that total did not exceed the
maximum contribution allowed pursuant to the Canada Elections Act. Accordingly,
it is quite possible that a person who paid delegate or observer registration
fees exceeded the allowable contribution limits under the Canada Elections Act.

We would, therefore, ask you to investigate the refusal of the Conservative
Party of Canada to recognize contributions by persons who paid delegate and
observer registration fees, issue receipts to such persons and treat such
payments as contributions.

Yours very truly,

Steven MacKinnon
National Director


  • Of course, this letter comes from the wholly unbiased source of the Liberal Party president...

    who in no way shape or form means ill towards the Conservative party in general..

    Just pointing that out... carry on.

    By Blogger Eric, at 4:35 p.m.  

  • Meh, I still don't grasp (I know, I know, I'm an idiot) what this is all about...

    I don't know what which party did to try and screw over the other party, but gosh, this is never going to get the Liberals back on top.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 5:07 p.m.  

  • I still think if the donations were not legitimate, that they were made by the individual. And thus it is not the party that elections Canada should go after but each and every individual who cheque swapped and claimed a tax deduction with the receipt issued.

    You're still barking up the wrong tree and so is Steve MacKinnon.

    By Blogger trustonlymulder, at 5:12 p.m.  

  • So the Liberals' complaint is that the Conservative attendees were underreimbursed by the Canadian taxpayer, according to his intrepretation of what constitutes a "fundraiser"?

    By Blogger Paul, at 6:29 p.m.  

  • I dunno, southernontarioan [sic], I thought the letter came from Elections Canada...

    By Blogger WeeDram, at 11:08 p.m.  

  • WeeDram: the letter was addressed to both Elections Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency; it was signed by the National Director of the Liberal Party of Canada, Steve MacKinnon.

    It basically presents the position of the Liberal Party that conventions are fundraisers, while claiming that the maximum possible amount should be counted for tax receipts.

    Kinda like, if you have a political dinner with a speaker, your receipt must ONLY be deducted the value (and not the actual cost) of the meal. The cost of the speaker, the hall, the cost of printing the tickets, and the computer time to arrange the gig, according to the Liberal Party, must be included in your fundraising receipt for tax deduction purposes.

    By Blogger Paul, at 3:15 a.m.  

  • By the way, what the law actually says is that you cannot provide a tax receipt for the "full cost" of such a "fundraiser", but MUST deduct the cost (phrased in terms of "actual value") of what the recipient receives.

    The clear and unambiguous intent of the section of the Elections Act is to prevent political Parties from providing receipts for tax purposes (which are reimbursed by the taxpayer) in excess of what the individual has actually donated to the Party. Basically, the exact opposite of what MacKinnon is now claiming.

    By Blogger Paul, at 3:21 a.m.  

  • Jason Bo Green,

    You're just pretending to be stupid. The bottom line is, the Tories broke all sorts of LAWS running their last convention. I suspect you would be a lot cleverer if it was Liberals had broken all these LAWS. But LAWS are LAWS, and the Tories appear to have broke 'em. You guys keep talking about responsibility. Here's your chance to take some.
    Have Steve fire someone. Send someone to jail.

    The weird thing is, the Tories were already corrupt when they were OUT OF POWER! That's what Donationgate tells us! Moreover, it was probably everyone who attended their convention broke the law!

    With Adscam, it was just a few individuals. With DonationGate, the rot goes right to the bottom!

    By Blogger bigcitylib, at 6:54 p.m.  

  • DonationGate / ConGate has legs.

    By Blogger Walks With Coffee, at 8:20 a.m.  

  • Much to do about nothing... from what I understand, Liberal conventions are fundraisers because they charge such high fees, but Tory ones aren't because their fees are set so as to only cover the actual costs.

    Am I missing something here?

    By Blogger Christian Conservative, at 3:13 p.m.  

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