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NDP’s ad scheme shows need for audits, rulings disclosure by Elections Canada

Set out below is a letter-to-the-editor by Democracy Watch Coordinator Tyler Sommers which was published in the the Hill Times on September 3, 2012

The clear need for Elections Canada to be given the power, and mandate, to audit federal political parties’ and riding associations annually, and to disclose all of its rulings and reports publicly, has been shown yet again by the fact that a media outlet (the Toronto Star) obtained secret documents recently that revealed that Elections Canada made a deal with the federal NDP to have it return more than $340,000 to various unions and other organizations that had paid the NDP excessively high amounts for advertising at conventions since 2006.

The NDP’s ad scheme should have been revealed by Elections Canada through an audit in 2006, and the deal Elections Canada made with the NDP should have been made public by Elections Canada as soon as the deal was completed.

Who knows how many other questionable schemes parties and riding associations have been involved in that have escaped anyone’s attention because Elections Canada does not do audits.

Elections Canada continues to hide how it has resolved almost 3,000 complaints received during elections since 1997, and has never even disclosed how many complaints it has received in between elections since 1997.  See details at: this news release

Democracy Watch filed an access-to-information request last April for every ruling Elections Canada has made since 1997, and is still waiting for a full response while Elections Canada continues to make excuses for the delay.

For more details, go to Democracy Watch’s Voter Rights Campaign page