This was a painfully obvious open-and-shut case to most people, and I’m glad Elections Canada agrees. Personally, I would not ban corporate and/or union contributions, and I would not limit the amounts people can give to political parties (in fact, I’d deregulate the whole mess). But if we are going to have rules banning union contributions, we should enforce them.
OTTAWA - Elections Canada says the NDP will have to fork over money collected at union-sponsored events at its national convention in Vancouver last year.
The federal agency that oversees elections in Canada has found events at the NDP’s spring convention, including a VIP dinner with the party’s former leader Jack Layton, were sponsored by unions.
The Conservative party launched a formal complaint about the matter last August and now say more information should be disclosed about the NDP convention donations.
“The Conservative government banned corporate and union donations to remove conflict from political donations. Elections Canada has confirmed in their letter that sponsorships are considered donations,” said Tory spokesman Fred Delorey.
“Given that the NDP had sponsorships from unions at their last convention, Canadians deserve to know what happened to these illegal donations. How much money did the NDP rake in, and where is the money now?”
NDP officials maintained the party did not breach rules outlined in the Elections Canada Act.
“As stated in the letter from Elections Canada, the NDP is in compliance with the Act. We will not further comment on the matter,” said NDP interim national director Chantal Vallerand.
In November, the NDP admitted it broke rules governing donations to political parties by soliciting donations that would be transferred to the Broadbent Institute, a left-wing think-tank.