Raid on federal Conservatives has connection to Malpeque

Wayne Thibodeau
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A legal battle between the federal Conservative party and Elections Canada that resulted in an RCMP raid on the party's national headquarters Tuesday has a P.E.I. connection.
Elections commissioner William Corbett asked the Mounties to execute a search warrant, but officials wouldn't say why.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed that the raid was connected to a protracted legal battle between his party and Canada's elections watchdog over alleged spending irregularities during the 2006 election campaign, but he insisted his party had done nothing wrong.
That battle centres on 66 Conservative candidates and court documents reveal one of those candidates is George Noble, who ran for the Conservatives in Malpeque in the 2006 election campaign.
Court documents also make reference to Leonard Russell, Noble's official agent.
The Liberal party made the names public last September.
Contacted Tuesday, Noble said he has no knowledge whether the federal party funneled money to his riding.
He said he also wasn't aware that Malpeque was one of the ridings being investigated.
"I heard some rumbling a long time ago,'' said the North Rustico man.
Elections Canada launched an investigation in April 2007 into $1.2-million worth of Conservative election television and radio advertising that was challenged by Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand.
Mayrand refused to reimburse Conservative candidates for part of the advertising money when they claimed it as local expenses. The ads were produced for the party's national campaign, which has a separate limit for election spending.
The Conservatives insist the transactions were legal and went to court to challenge Elections Canada's ruling. About $7,900 was allegedly transferred from the Conservative party to its Malpeque riding association.
Malpeque MP Wayne Easter said he doubts whether anybody at the local level knew anything about the so-called "in and out scheme,'' as it is being called.
Charlottetown MP Shawn Murphy said the Conservatives could have avoided the investigation - and the spectacle of having the RCMP raid its headquarters - by allowing a Commons committee to look into the matter.

With files by The Canadian Press

Organizations: Conservatives, Elections Canada, RCMP Commons committee

Geographic location: Malpeque, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Don't believe the hype
    June 21, 2010 - 20:37

    To Jim, It is low life taxpayer, not low live. I know, cause I am one of them too. However I do know this, the reason that Elections Canada is investigating it is because what is alledged is a voilation of the Election Act, not the Criminal Code. And Elections Canada is delegated powers under their act to investigate these voilations. However, their autority is limited. They are unable to obtain and execute search warrants, so when this is required, they contact the RCMP who can apply for the warrant and execute it on their behalf. Elections Canada then get the evidence obtained through the warrant and continues the investigation. Elections Canada would not normally turn over an investigation like this to the Police, RCMP or otherwise, unless there is evidence of an offence against the Criminal Code. What I do not know, is what is Elections Canada's penalties or powers of prosecution. That would be interesting to know.

  • Nail Harper!
    June 21, 2010 - 20:30

    His Tory party, like all political parties are cheaters too! I don't like the guy!

  • JIM
    June 21, 2010 - 20:15

    I said it yesterday and I will say it today if this is a fraud why are the Police just assisting Elections Canada? Could the PC Commissioner of the RCMP be in conflict with his ties to Converatives party? Do Elections Canada have special fraud invesgative skills that the RCMP do not have? If Elections Canada have grounds to believe an offence has take place base on the fact they obtained a search warrant , would the police not have become aware of a possible crime? OR is it easier to sweep this under the rug if there is no Police Officer leading this investigation? Sound like another cover up but then what I know I'm only a low live taxpayer