NDP repays more than $344,000 in illicit donations 0
Thomas Mulcair. (QMI AGENCY PHOTO)
OTTAWA - The NDP's financial statements are finally publicly available and reveal more than $344,000 in ad money was repaid to unions and other groups after Elections Canada deemed it to be in conflict with political financing laws.
According to the NDP's quarterly financial statement published on the Elections Canada website Friday, $344,468 worth of ad revenue generated through unions and other groups - including the United Steelworkers and United Food and Commercial Workers - was paid back on April 5.
The steelworkers union was repaid one of the highest amounts at more $81,000.
All political parties were required to file financial statements by June 30 to Elections Canada but the NDP applied for an extension and was granted an additional 60-day window.
The NDP said it believed it was acting in accordance with the law when it sold advertising slots at party conventions dating back to 2006.
"Following the complaint by the Conservative Party in 2011, the NDP underwent a lengthy process with Elections Canada to determine whether these sales were in fact contributions," NDP national director Nathan Rotman said. "The NDP decided that it was in the best interest of the party to return the funds instead of fighting the issue in court even though we believe we have a legal argument in this case."
Earlier this year, the agency overseeing elections said the NDP violated financing laws by accepting money from sponsors - a breach of rules banning union and corporate donations.
Tory spokesman Fred Delorey said the NDP was looking to dodge Elections Canada rules.
"Had the Conservative Party not alerted Elections Canada to these illegal donations, the NDP would have continued giving big unions bosses and corporations a 'sponsorship' loophole to avoid the law's ban on big money in politics," Delorey said.
Elections Canada found the Tories broke laws in the 2006 election campaign by skirting spending caps and failing to report expenses in what is known as the "in -and-out" scheme.
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