Conservatives Admit Guilt in In-and-Out Scandal
Yesterday the Conservative Party of Canada dropped their Supreme Court appeal over the “in-and-out” scandal that has dogged them since the 2006 election. In so doing, the Conservative Party of Canada is finally admitting wrong-doing and will be forced to repay taxpayers $230,198.
- In the 2006 election, Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party exceeded their spending limits by over $1.3 million. This illegal activity funnelled money from local campaigns to the national Conservative campaign to pay for more national advertising that affected the outcome of the election.
- This scheme allowed the Party to collect Elections Canada rebates they did not deserve. Conservatives had no choice, after admitting guilt with their plea bargain, to pay back candidate rebates to which they were never entitled in the first place.
- In November, in a related case before the criminal courts in Ontario, top Conservative officials pleaded guilty to four charges that they had knowingly violated the Canada Elections Act during the 2006 election.
- The Conservative Party ultimately pleaded guilty to violating the Canada Elections Act and was forced to pay $52,000 in fines, the highest possible under the Act.
- This is the same Conservative Party that is withholding records from the 2011 federal election, after being implicated to yet another election scandal. The robocall scandal was clearly a coordinated attack in many ridings across Canada in order to suppress voters.
- In defending themselves against voter suppression allegations, Conservatives are taking a page out of the “in-and-out” script: deny, deny, deny—even if it obstructs democracy.