Sunday, July 02, 2006


The irony in this is quite delicious. The Tories misinterpret Elections Canada rules and, as a result, don't receipt convention fees. Because of this, several Tory riding associations and members decide to break Elections Canada laws by cheque swapping, so that delegates at the convention can get tax receipts.


I will say this much - if this story was going to break, Harper couldn't have picked a better time for it to be completely ignored.

UPDATE: Hellyer for leader takes a big hit with these revelations.


  • The Elections Canada investigation will take a couple of weeks to unfold. So believe me, this won't get forgotten.

    What astounds me is how many Tory bloggers are basically ready to admit that there was some dirty business going on. Now their defense is, this was not as illegal as the illegal stuff the Libs were up to.

    (A number of Blogging Tories were at the convention, and admit to cheque swapping.)

    By Blogger bigcitylib, at 2:11 PM  

  • Damn!

    Looks like I wasted my money ordering all those Draft Hellyer signs and t-shirts for the convention.

    They had little U.F.O's on them and everything.


    By Blogger Manitoba Liberal, at 2:17 PM  

  • "Now their defense is, this was not as illegal as the illegal stuff the Libs were up to."

    Right on !
    The libs stole 40 million from the Canadian taxpayers. The Cons,if they are wrong(and if they are wrong so are the Libs)MAYBE got an illegal tax benfit(for which they will be penalized by CCRA)

    That's like comparing a guy who robs a brinks truck of a million dollars to someone who takes a towel from a hotel room.

    Sorry, but you can't explain away 12 years of liberal graft, corruption and thievery that easy.

    Horny Toad

    By Blogger Fred Mc, at 2:24 PM  

  • I am still waiting for the Liberals to pay back the 1 billion for the HRDC, and 1 billion for the Gun registry.

    That not even counting the stuff they stole!

    This last election showed a sea change in Canadian politics, and this will only lead to more polarization, which will lead to more conservative governments.


    Kanter On Politics

    By Blogger Steve Kanter, at 2:34 PM  

  • Maybe we will have a fall election afterall, punishing the Cons for their brief but corrupt time in power, paying off their donors and lobbyist friends.

    Then we can pick a new Prime Minister in December to clean up the Tory graft machine.

    By Blogger Manley Man, at 2:36 PM  

  • I'm starting to feel embarrassed about my past Liberal votes... :(

    Can't we all, in each party, focus on policy and the future and national direction instead? This accounting-gloating is tiresome after only one weekend.

    By Blogger Lois, at 4:03 PM  

  • I was once a vice-president of a Liberal riding association and the things that went on certainly were questionable, and there are such activities in every party. What is ridiculous is the way parties point at the other parties. Hopefully the Accountability Act will clean things up. As for the current Conservative trouble, it is a tempest in a tea pot.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 4:25 PM  

  • I agree with nuna d., the implications for this are not as grievous as Adscam. Is it wrong? Yes. Are actual taxpayer coffers being robbed? No.

    A question regarding the Liberals' convention: how much are youth fees this time around? Are they getting as badly fleeced as the grown-ups? The fee for youth back in the footnote convention of '03 was something like $350-$400, there's no way they're charging $995 this time around is there?

    By Blogger RGM, at 4:32 PM  

  • Youth fees will be approximately 500$

    By Blogger Lookout Mountain, at 5:18 PM  

  • Thanks, k o, not cheap by many standards but at least it's not full-price.

    By Blogger RGM, at 8:42 PM  

  • If the Tories can't follow the current rules, how would one expect them to follow anything new?

    this may be a tempest in a teapot. But if it were a Liberal tempest in a Liberal teapot, it would scream front page headlines for a week. instead, it goes virtually unreported.

    It's that --say it together now-- conservative media bias...

    ho hum.

    By Blogger Mark, at 10:41 PM  

  • You know what's funny about this whole story? Is the evolution of the denunciations that has occured.

    First thing, is the accusation that the Tories were not declaring the convention fees as donations. When that argument turned into a legal debate, the accusation then turned to the claim that the Tories were 'cheque-swapping' in order to declare the donation locally but not at the convention.

    So the logic has this fatal twist.

    IF the convention fees are actually donations, THEN the cheque-swapping is a declaration of the donation (they were declared locally - hence they were declared donations).

    However, IF the convention fees are not to be considered donations, THEN the cheque swapping would be illegal.

    You can't have it both ways, one or the other actions (cheque swapping or not declaring convention fees as donations) is illegal (or seems to be).

    Good news for the Tories is that the Liberals are tying themselves in knots trying to accuse them. Bad news is that it looks like either way they have trouble brewing.

    By Blogger SouthernOntarioan, at 11:35 PM  

  • Cheque-swapping is illegal if it is for meals out of pocket, and flights.

    It wouldn't be for convention fees.

    By Blogger Lookout Mountain, at 11:57 PM  

  • The Conservatives said that they would clean up politics. But at best, they seem intent to impose new rules halfway through the Liberal leadership campaign (which is grossly unfair) and at worst, they are engaging in corrupt practices (eg cheque swapping and not reporting donations that are donations according to Elections Canada).

    The Conservatives are rushing in new rules but have been breaking the old ones!

    Time to come clean!

    Call an inquiry immediately!

    By Blogger Hamilton Liberal, at 11:18 AM  

  • How dare ANY of you question the ethics of Stephen Harper's Conservatives. You are in NO position to criticize the Conservative Party.

    It's only vile scum in the Liberal Media who would make any sort of a deal over this. They want Harper to fail because they want CANADA to fail.

    By Blogger Jim, at 11:53 AM  

  • Wow Jim: Nice rant!!

    By Blogger ottlib, at 12:28 PM  

  • Be carefull on this, lots of Liberals have used turn around cheques. It is one of those soft crimes with no victims kind of things, that people justify because only the taxman gets hurt. Jeez in the hurry to play gotcha The Grits and the Tories are gonna burn the whole thing to the ground. We will end up with a cleaned up political system that can't function. Anyone who works as a volunteer and has lost 6 months of their life being an official agent for a campaign or treasurer for a riding association knows how bad thingsd are. The controls are just stupid and then Elections Canada does not understand them either nor do they really enforce anything as they have no teeth.

    By Blogger Aristo, at 12:41 PM  

  • The laws changed back in 2004. What you might be able to accuse the Liberals of prior to that time, doesn't amount to much, because the law did not address this issue prior to then.

    By Blogger Meaghan Walker-Williams, at 2:25 PM  

  • what worries me about this is the timeing. The gtorries may have leaked this them selves (on their own web site) If the result of this is a "justified" receipted donation for convention fees and the Torries lower the personal donation limit to $1000 that means that anyone who has given more than $5 to the Liberal PArty this year or any of the condidates won't be able to go to the leadership convention at $995. We don't want convention fees receipted. This could really screw the Liberal party.

    Does anyone else feel this is what might happen if we get all outragious about convention fees not being paid directly or receipted directly?

    By Blogger s.b., at 3:43 PM  

  • S.B. Thanks for noticing that tid-bit.

    As I mentioned on my blog, no matter who is correct, everyone suffers with this 'scam'.

    If the current Liberal stand is correct, that is that 100% of the convention fee is a donation, then the Accountability Act screws them as S.B. indicated.

    If the current Liberal stand is incorrect, then there are no convention problems for the Liberals, BUT, they have to suffer (emotionally) when Elections Canada comes out and vindicates the Tories.

    That's one reason why the Liberals aren't pushing the issue very hard.

    By Blogger SouthernOntarioan, at 5:34 PM  

  • It would appear Mr. Harper is a wee bit smarter than the Liberal backroomers once again.

    they leaked it on themselves....think about it.

    As Southernontarian has already pointed out.....this would be the PERFECT time to say, "We made a mistake...and are correcting it"

    At which time the Liberals would be outraged....because Stephen Harper is once again cleaning house.

    Can't win either way...the Libs know it.

    By Blogger James Halifax, at 9:19 PM  

  • And Harper eats the liberal's "LUNCH" once again.

    I LUV IT!!!

    Horny Toad

    By Blogger Fred Mc, at 11:20 PM  

  • And yet nobody is worried about the lie told by Bairds office that Elections Canada had reviewed the Convention books and ok'd everything - which was promptly proven to be a lie within a day....

    And no concern about the cheque-swapping thing...

    Sure... right... This is all more BRILLIANT STEPHEN HARPER STRATEGY (tm)...




    By Blogger Meaghan Walker-Williams, at 3:01 AM  

  • "IF the convention fees are actually donations, THEN the cheque-swapping is a declaration of the donation (they were declared locally - hence they were declared donations).

    However, IF the convention fees are not to be considered donations, THEN the cheque swapping would be illegal. "

    What you are not understanding is that there are two sets of laws being violated here. One is Campaign finance laws, and the other is Revenue Canada taxation laws.

    It is possible to break both sets of laws ya know..

    And it's not like the Liberals have put the CPC in a catch 22. It's more like the CPC has painted itself into a corner and it really has now way out, except to admit that it broke ONE set of laws, while keeping the other... or vice versa.

    By Blogger Meaghan Walker-Williams, at 3:03 AM  

  • Meaghan is right, in that one way or the other the Tories are off their high horse. Likewise, only one set of Liberal accusations can stick.

    As to the "auditing the books claim", that "lie" was an unattributed CP quote which might well refer to quarterly financial statements the Tory, and every other, federal party has been providing Elections Canada with.

    By Blogger matt, at 11:20 AM  

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