Politics

Tories ask elections commissioner if Liberals are breaking campaign rules

A Conservative MP has written to the commissioner of Canada Elections asking him to determine if the Liberals have violated campaign rules by bringing Liberal candidates along to government announcements.
Conservative MP Peter Kent has written to Commissioner of Canada Elections Yves Côté to look into whether bringing Liberal candidates to official government announcements is a violation of the Canada Elections Act. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

A Conservative MP has written to the commissioner of Canada Elections asking him to determine if the Liberals have violated campaign rules by bringing Liberal candidates along to government announcements.

Thornhill MP Peter Kent wrote Yves Côté Friday saying the governing Liberals "have been criss-crossing the country making partisan announcements where they have been weaving campaign narratives into official government speeches and news releases."

"Of equal, if not greater concern, is the fact that they have invited non-elected Liberal Party of Canada candidates to attend these official, taxpayer-funded government announcements," Kent said.

Côté's office acknowledged that it had received Kent's letter but, for privacy reasons, would not confirm or deny whether it will be conducting an investigation into the matter.

"Each complaint received by our office is reviewed to determine whether or not it falls within the commissioner's mandate," Côté's office said. "Should formal compliance or enforcement measures be taken by the commissioner, these would be published on our website."

Liberal cabinet ministers and MPs have been making dozens of announcements highlighting already-announced funding commitments each week across the country.

The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement saying that it introduced new campaign financing rules that the Conservatives voted against.

"Our government is engaging with Canadians through positive announcements about our efforts to support the middle class," the statement said.

"This is a matter for the commissioner as an independent officer of Parliament. We respect his independence."

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