Penashue insists no wrongdoing in 2011 campaign
Peter Penashue insists he did nothing wrong during his controversial 2011 election campaign.
He told the OKâlaKatiget Society Inuit radio station on Friday he was ultimately responsible, and felt he should resign.
Penashue said he first heard of problems when a CBC News investigation revealed irregularities in the summer of 2012. He said it wasn't until this week, when he signed off on the Elections Canada report, that he realized the extent of the errors. Penashue remains adamant the mistakes were made by his official agent — not him.
"I haven't done anything wrong because I didn't have any knowledge to it," he said. "And now that it is confirmed that there are illegitimate contributions, I'm ultimately responsible; and now that I have that information and it's confirmed, it is the right thing to take responsibility first of all, and then to take the next step and resign, and have the people decide for themselves as to who they would like to have them represented [by] in Ottawa."
Penashue's agent and campaign manager was Reg Bowers, who also resigned this week. Bowers was appointed to the offshore petroleum board months after Penashue won the seat in Labrador.
Penashue doesn't see any reason why he shouldn't run in the Labrador byelection. He said he fully expects to win the seat again.
"I think I have a very good chance of getting elected, because I think I've done a very good job in the last two years," said Penashue. "So the files that have been sitting idle for the last number of years when we have been in the opposition are now being moved to the front, and we're dealing with those issues. So I don't believe there's any reason why I shouldn't be in contention."
- The headline of an earlier version of this story inaccurately attributed the word "oblivious" to Peter Penashue.Mar 16, 2013 4:20 AM NT