Kady at CBC learned that Peter Penashue’s campaign started while he was still a Minister, suggesting the Conservatives calculated at least one last photo-op before he stepped down as Minister and an MP for Labrador.
Yesterday I sent an email to Elections Canada and three MPs, regarding the startling lack of charges laid against Penashue. I suspect Elections Canada is seeking a way to justify ordering only a “compliance agreement” where they will make him spend less than his limit in his upcoming election campaign, even though he blew past the last limit with impunity and tens of thousands of dollars!
UPDATE: PVL’s name isn’t listed, because his campaign associate’s is listed in its place.
Peter Van Loan got a slap on the wrist years ago for spending thousands above his campaign limit, which is a crime. Elections Canada, since 2000, has the option of simply contractually compelling a (potentially charged) criminal candidate with a warning called a compliance agreement.
Elections Canada fails to mention this sort of slap against Van Loan on their page of Compliance Agreements!
The Commissioner has been given authority to conclude a compliance agreement with anyone the Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds has committed, is about to commit or is likely to commit an act or omission that could constitute an offence.
A compliance agreement is a voluntary agreement between the Commissioner and the person (the contracting party) in which they agree to terms and conditions that the Commissioner considers necessary to ensure compliance with the Act.
A compliance agreement may include a statement by the contracting party in which he or she admits responsibility for the act or omission that constitutes the offence. It is important to note that the admission of responsibility does not constitute a criminal conviction by a Court of law and does not create a criminal record for the contracting party.
In order to maintain transparency, a notice that sets out the contracting party’s name, the act or omission in question and a summary of the compliance agreement is made public.
A summary of each compliance agreement is available below. These summaries are also published in the Canada Gazette.
A compliance agreement against Penashue (and his agent) would leave him without a criminal conviction that can bar him from running for public office in a time period. Penashue states on his pre-campaign website that he wants to be accountable to voters. Well, he has to be accountable to the LAW first. Elections Canada seems more willing to cop-out, than to actively police criminal candidates. People need to contact their MPs, and Elections Canada and share their outrage.
sgriffin 2013/03/18at 11:52 AM ET on CBC.ca:
The Elections Act needs teeth. It also needs a new process that can considerably speed up the legal process.
That they even have the ability to be able to run this candidate before the whole legal process under the Election Act is finished boggles the mind. That they do it in such an “in your face” manner is disgusting.
What happens if Penashue is re-elected and then charged? Another by-election would have to be called and the taxpayer, once again will pay. There should be a stipulation, that if this was to occur, the Conservative Party has to pick up the tab.
Two days ago I made this same point:
“The Conservatives inexplicably are signalling that they’ll welcome Penashue as their candidate in the upcoming Labrador byelection, despite the fact that it seems probable that he’ll be found guilty of election fraud at some point in the coming years (because the wheels of Elections Canada justice turn that ridiculously slow).”
BONUS: Here’s some VERY early independent media coverage of the Robocalls (RoboCon) scandal.