Companies admit illegal contributions to Peter Penashue campaign

Seven companies have acknowledged giving illegal donations to former federal cabinet minister Peter Penashue during the 2011 election campaign.

CBC News reported in May that ex-federal cabinet minister took illegal donations

Peter Penashue, left, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, admitted in November 2012 that he had violated campaign rules. Seven companies have now admitted they made illegal contributions to the former cabinet minister's election campaign. (Canadian Press file photo)

Seven companies have acknowledged giving illegal donations to former federal cabinet minister Peter Penashue during the 2011 election campaign.

Executives with the seven have struck "compliance agreements" with the commissioner of elections, in which they publicly acknowledge having made illegal contributions and promise to abide by the ban on corporate donations in the future.

The admission of responsibility does not constitute a criminal conviction by a court of law and does not create a criminal record.

In March 2013, the CBC's Peter Cowan originally reported that Penashue's campaign had to settle up after taking 28 illegal contributions in his 2011 federal election campaign, including more than $18,000 from Provincial Airlines and $5,500 from construction company Pennecon.

Penashue, elected as the Conservative MP for Labrador, resigned in 2013 amid allegations that his 2011 campaign had accepted illegal corporate donations and discounted airfares.

He put his reputation to the test in a byelection and was defeated.

Reg Bowers, Penashue's official agent in the 2011 campaign, has since been charged with three counts of accepting illegal corporate contributions, an offence under the Canada Elections Act.

with files from CBC News