Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ignorantia juris non excusat Elections Canada!

Good Day Readers:

Little wonder there are so many cases of Members of Parliament exceeding legal campaign spending limits. If caught they can simply enter into a "compliance agreement" with the Commissioner of Elections and have the amount deemed an "inadvertence and an honest misunderstanding of what constitutes an election expense."

Recall earlier this year Ms Glover was gung ho determined to fight Elections Canada's ruling in Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench to the bitter end then suddenly without adequate explanation (code for no explanation) suddenly dropped her litigation. Can you imagine what a judge would say if you used the line, "Well Your Honour, 'inadvertence and an honest misunderstanding of what constitutes an election expense' resulted in the over spending?" Their likely response, "Ignorance of the law excuses on one."

It really does beg the question, "What's the upper limit for an "inadvertence and an honest misunderstanding of what consititues an election expense" - $5,000? $10,000? More than $10,000? ... etc.

To go from the ridiculous to the sublime, Shelly Glover then indicated she planned to spend exactly $2,267 less in her 2015 campaign assuming she runs again which CSB certainly hopes is not the case. My God, where's Liberal candidate Dan Vandal to save Saint Boniface voters? Elections Canada are you ready to monitor Ms Glover's 2015 under expenditure of exactly $2,267? Will this constitute two wrongs making a right?

To fellow Manitoba Conservative MP James Bezan CyberSmokeBlog says at trial try the compliance agreement defence.

The Mike Duffy Connection

A couple days before the 2011 election CSB received an unsolicited telephone message from everyone's favourite Senator Mike Duffy - that is, before he became really "famous" - extolling the virutes of the Conservative Party and in particular Ms Glover. Upon listening to it CyberSmokeBlog almost became violently ill!

After Duffygate broke, CyberSmokeBlog subsequently e-mailed Shelly Glover two simple questions:

(1) How much did it cost to produce and distribute the aforementioned recorded message?

(2) From what source did the money come to pay for it?

Well, Ms Glover replied, problem is, she didn't answer the questions. Rather, she sent a response that sounded like it came directly from the Prime Minister's Office. It went on and on and on ad nauseam about how the Conservative Party of Canada was so upset about what had been happening in the Senate it had tabled legislation to prevent it from ever happening again. And, of course, it was the opposition parties that were blocking passage of said legislation.

So CSB had to re-write Shelly Glover to thank her for responding but not answering the two questions - this was indicated in BOX CAR SIZED LETTERS. For good measure a third was added to the mix, "Did Mike Duffy charge the Senate and ultimately Canadian taxpayers for this work?"

Still no answers so in August of this year CSB visited her Constituency Office to talk with one of her young office workers. He took copious notes promising to pass the information on to Ms. Glover. Recall a couple years ago then Auditor General Sheila Fraser tried to bring MP's office expenses under federal Access to Information laws. How do you figure Shelly Glover voted? We also requested a listing of her office expenses for the past two years. To this day the questions remain unanswered.
Current Winnipeg City Councillor Dan Vandal and declared Liberal candidate for Saint Boniface.

My God, where is Councillor Vandal when Saint Boniface really needs him?

Clare L. Pieuk
No penalty for Shelly Glover exceeding legal campaign spending limit

Friday, November 15, 2013
Heritage Minister Shelly Glover in Ottawa on July 15, 2013. (The Canadian Press/Patrick Doyle)

OTTAWA - Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover won't be penalized for exceeding her legal campaign spending limit in the 2011 election.

But she's promising to make up for over-spending last time by under-spending next time.

Glover's official agent has struck what's known as a "compliance agreement" with the commissioner of elections, Yves Cote.

Under the agreement, the Glover campaign acknowledges it spent $2,267 more than the legal limit for her Manitoba riding of Saint Boniface.

The over-spending is deemed to have been the result of "inadvertence and an honest misunderstanding of what constitutes an election expense."

The agreement notes that if Glover is confirmed as the Conservative candidate in Saint Boniface for the next election in 2015, she's promising to voluntarily spend $2,267 less than the legal limit.

Glover and fellow-Manitoba MP James Bezan were at risk last spring of losing their right to sit and vote in the House of Commons because of problems with their campaign financial returns.

Chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand wrote Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer, asking that the two Conservative MPs be stripped of their privileges because they refused to modify what Elections Canada deemed to be inaccurate calculations of some campaign expenses.

Glover briefly threatened to take the elections watchdog to court but eventually backed down and agreed to modify her return to more accurately reflect the cost of roadside billboards.

That led to the admission of overspending and Friday's compliance agreement.

Bezan continues to insist he's done nothing wrong and is pursuing his dispute with Elections Canada in court.

His case is to be examined by the Commons procedure and House affairs committee, which could yet recommend that Bezan be stripped of his privileges until the dispute is resolved.


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