P.E.I. ridings named in election controversy
Court documents filed by Elections Canada name three Conservative campaigns on P.E.I. in connection with an alleged circumvention of election spending laws in the last federal election.
Elections Canada is alleging the Conservative Party was able to spend $1 million more than allowed under election rules by sending money to local ridings. The ridings sent the money back, the agency says, but claimed it as a campaign expense.
The agency is investigating 67 ridings across the country in connection with the case, which also led to an RCMP raid on party headquarters last week.
A lengthy affidavit made public Monday mentions three P.E.I. ridings: Malpeque, Cardigan and Egmont. It also includes an e-mail exchange between the federal party's executive director during the last election, Mike Donison, and Dennis King, who represented P.E.I. on the party's national council.
King writes that Malpeque and Cardigan want to drop out of a plan to buy advertising. Donison replies, "They cannot do that … Read them the riot act."
King later reports Malpeque is ready to participate, and suggests Egmont as a replacement for Cardigan.
King refused a request from CBC News for an interview.
A shared ad buy, says official
George Noble, the Conservative candidate for Malpeque, did talk to CBC News, and had this answer Monday when asked if his campaign was involved.
"Not that I know of, no. I'm not aware of it whatsoever," said Noble, but went on to acknowledge it was possible things happened without his direct knowledge.
"That's not fair for me to answer that because I don't know."
Leonard Russell, Noble's official agent during the campaign, told CBC News the campaign was involved in a shared media buy, and it was all done according to the rules. But Elections Canada says the ridings involved claimed a refund on their election spending that was not rightfully theirs.
The allegations have not been tested in court, and they've sparked a lawsuit from the Conservatives.