Moncton family's anti-PC flyers don't break election rules
Mark Mattison distributed 90,000 flyers before the election officially started
A Moncton-area family is not violating campaign financing rules despite sending out 90,000 flyers slamming the Progressive Conservative government’s policy on seniors.
The flyer stating ‘Say no to David Alward’s senior care policy' arrived in 90,000 New Brunswick homes last week.
It was signed by Mark Mattison, whose mother Pauline is being charged more than $4,600 a month for her care.
Mattison said the provincial government changed the funding rules and though his mother is on dialysis and in need of acute care, she is paying the bills at a private, special care home.
He said he's been told a subsidy now only applies to those with advanced dementia.
"There's nowhere for these seniors to go. So the big nursing homes are plugged,” he said.
The flyers were distributed before the campaign started, but Mattison said he is trying to influence the election.
"That's the game plan going through is to cost them votes in ridings across New Brunswick,” he said.
And Mattison said the feedback he's getting shows the campaign, which cost him $7,800, is working.
Nathan Phillips, the assistant supervisor of political financing at Elections New Brunswick, said says the flyers were out before the election writ was issued Thursday so there were no rules broken.
“They do not qualify as election advertising,” he said.
This isn’t the first time questions have been raised over election advertising by outside individuals.
In 2013, a Rothesay businessman was found guilty of violating the Political Process Financing Act for a large sign that was designed to raise awareness about the province’s debt situation.
David Bishop failed to follow election rules put in place before the 2010 provincial election, provincial court judge Andrew LeMesurier ruled. It was the first prosecution and conviction of its kind in New Brunswick.
Bishop failed to identify himself as the author or instigator of bumper stickers and a huge banner that appeared on the side of a tractor-trailer in Quispamsis after the election was called in August 2010.
The materials contained a message for the then-premier: "We live within our means: Please tell Shawn Graham!"