Da Legal Stuff...

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Conservative Reps Flee Reporters after Secret Meeting

Tell me it doesn’t leave you with a dirty taste in their mouth, and the feeling of being unclean, when official representatives of Canada’s governing party secretly plan meetings and then sneak down the back stairs of hotels to avoid the media. In fact, for me, it conjures up thoughts of Watergate and the Nixon era in America.

On Friday information finally surfaced about the affidavit and resulting search warrant used to take documents and computer equipment from Conservative party headquarters in Ottawa.

The affidavit and the warrant that were used by Elections Canada to conduct the three-day search, seeking evidence of alleged election fraud, were unsealed on Friday. Instead of all 700 pages, only 70 pages of material were released to television networks by the Conservative party and Ryan Sparrow, a party spokesman, refused to explain when contacted by The Globe and Mail, why the Conservatives released only a portion of the documents.

According to a CTV report, the portions of the affidavit handed do not reveal much more about the case than was already known, but it does confirm that the search was not related to a lawsuit launched against Elections Canada by the Conservatives. Instead the warrant was related to a so called “In and Out” scheme that allegedly allowed the party to list the cost of national campaign ads as local ads and in doing so claim additional tax refunds while circumventing election spending limits by more than a million dollars during their 2006 campaign.

According to the Globe and Mail, “In releasing the abridged version of the documents to select media, the party hoped to give Mr. Sparrow, campaign organizer Doug Finley and party lawyer Paul Lepsoe a chance to explain the Tory point of view.”

“In the end, the plan went horribly awry.”

“On Saturday Mr. Sparrow called a number of reporters to ask them to come to meetings that had been scheduled for yesterday at the Lord Elgin Hotel in downtown Ottawa saying it "would be worth their while."

“But media outlets not among those invited got wind of the meetings …began to ask what was going on. When one reporter asked in an e-mail about the news conference, Mr. Sparrow replied: "No conference, not sure where you got that from."

“Shortly after, the Liberals found out about the briefings and advised all of the Ottawa press gallery, some of whom were quite miffed to find they had been excluded. When they threatened to show up at the Lord Elgin, despite the lack of an invitation, the meeting was secretly moved to the Sheraton.”

“The first briefing for select television outlets took place but, by then, the excluded reporters found out the new location and began to stake out the hotel. That led the Tories to cancel all subsequent briefings, including the one they had planned with The Globe.”

“Mr. Sparrow, Mr. Finley and Mr. Lepsoe fled from the Sheraton down a back set of stairs.”

I ask you, what has Canada become?

The government of Canada is quickly building a long resume of very questionable and perhaps even illegal activities.

The firing of Canada’s nuclear regulator because she did her job and made the Minister to whom she reported “look bad”.

An audio tape clearly identifying that the Prime Minister was aware of some kind of financial offer to the late MP Chuck Cadman in return for his vote in the House of Commons.

Attempting to blame the military for acting on its own with prisoner exchanges in Afghanistan, the equivalent of accusing them of no longer being under government control.

Ramming through immigration legislation, hidden inside the budget bill, that would allow the Conservative Minister to cherry pick which individuals or “types” of applicants will be reviewed for entry into Canada and which will be denied a chance to enter the Country.

Tabling censorship legislation (though they don’t call it that) which will leave it up to the governing party to decide which television programs or movies are “offensive” and denying much needed tax breaks to those they judge unworthy.

Now we find ourselves witnessing the RCMP and Elections Canada raiding Conservative headquarters. We see a PM claiming the 3 days of removing files and computers was not a raid but a “visit”. And we have party representatives attempting to hand pick which media will cover the story then running down the back stairs of a secret meeting location to escape reporters who want to provide the public with answers.

As one columnist put it recently, “The only difference between Canada and a Banana Republic is Canada’s inability to grow bananas.”


Anonymous said...

Typical political dirty tricks. Bush rose to power in his first term by stealing the election through manipulation of the law and now Harper has done the same thing.

The Liberals are no better.

The Greens have a leader who until the arrest of the crew of the Sea Shepherd boat sat on the advisory board for this terrorist organization.

The only ones untouched, as far as anyone knows, are the NDP and that's only because they've either never had the chance or never been caught.

A crooked goveernment in a corrupt country.

Anonymous said...

More like a wheat or potato republic but the result is the same. Corrupt leadership, politicians lining their pockets and citizens being fed propaganda while the corruption grows.

Welcome to Canada!!!!

Anonymous said...

Stealing the election in 2006 is no different than stealing the vote in 1949. Ottawa gets what Ottawa wants. There is no such thing as democracy in this farce of a nation.

Anonymous said...

If a country allows deceitfulness within its midst, it is corrupt. If Canada's rulers allow corrupt practises, well then Canada's corruption is the same as if it were practised in Romania or Liberia.

Corruption is corruption!

Myles, you quoted a columnist in this artice who said "the only difference between Canada and a Banana Republic is Canada's inability to grow bananas". No truer words were ever spoken.

With everything that has occurred within Canada over the past few years that broke the laws of the land, I consider Canada as corrupt as any country in the world which has been labelled with corruption in the past. The only difference being Canada is a rich country, with rich resources and lots of money to get lost in the fray and to do cover ups.

And the biggest corruption of all is that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador lost its raw natural resources to the other provinces of Canada, and then for Canada to turn around and say that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador contributed very little does terrible harm to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Canadian citizens never find out the truth.

How can they state such a LIE with a straight face?

The carbon footprints are still evident and the resources are still percolating the economies of the other provinces.

1. Upper Churchill Hydro-electric Energy project which churns out coveted hydroelectricity saw Quebec Hydro become the primary beneficiary secured in a 72 year contract. Quebec received the rights for the sale of the power to markets in the Eastern Seaboard of the United States or to create industry within its own province; and the contract did not include an escalator clause to protect the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in the case of rising electricity rates, which we have seen go through the roof. Quebec not only reaps up to $2 Billion dollars per year, but gets to keep the coveted Kyoto points that should belong to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec supposedly doesn't report the revenue in the equalization formula, so there are 3 big bonuses in that deal for Quebec.

2. Iron Ore, which is smelted in Sept Iles, Quebec. Up to last year there was a total of 1 Billion ton of Iron Ore shipped off to market.

3. Oil, sweet crude, which gets refined in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

4. Nickel Ore which gets shipped to Sudbury, Ontario and Thompson, Manitoba to keep economies percolating in those towns.

5. Fish Quotas, which get allotted by Ottawa to countries to almost every continent on the globe.

Ottawa took control of the fish quotas for protection and maintenance, why then has it allowed the same fish quotas to be fished to near extinction?

If Ottawa hasn't gotten anything in return for doling out the fish quotas, in the name of international trade or external affairs clout, why then would it allot fish quotas and take the responsibility and liability of having to pay the piper down the road for the lost of the fish quotas which it held for protection? Why did Ottawa not see vibrant fishing industries created in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador with the fish quotas it sanctioned for other countries use, given the fact that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador is crying out for economies to be created?

Anonymous said...

Former Hill reporter here...
Short term gain...long term pain... this is what happens when inexperience takes power. Libs are no saints, but at least they knew how to govern. How many more amateur mistakes before caucus punts Harper, the control freak. What he forgets is with every pie he has his finger in, he risks getting filling on his tie. This guy can only wear so much of this stuff. And it is no secret in Ottawa some members of his Caucus would love to see him take the high jump.
A few more mega screw ups...and it just might happen. Also note, who ran the private news event... Sparrow and Findlay? Chuck Cadman anyone???

Calvin said...

To hell with them all I say .Vote for the Newfoundland and Labrador First Party.Can they do any worse then what this den of liar's and thieve's is doing.At least we will see were we stand in this so called federation.


Sounds like the Nationalist had it down pat in " 49 " Myles.You can have your " Canada ".If this is what you want to be ,then by all means.Makes me proud to say that I'm a Newfoundlander first and foremost.

Patriot said...

From today's T.O. Star:

The Conservatives keep protesting their innocence...but new evidence suggests they knew full well that they were at least skirting the law with their "in-and-out" scheme in the 2006 election campaign.

...Prime Minister Stephen Harper says confidently that the Conservatives followed the law and their legal case is "rock solid."

Maybe not so solid, as we saw this week with the release of nearly 800 pages of documents...Among the documents were comments from local Conservative campaign officials expressing serious misgivings about the "in-and-out" scheme. One called it "a little too creative." Two ridings flatly refused to participate.

There were also concerns expressed by executives at the media buying firm that was acting for the Conservatives in the election. One executive balked at an altered invoice. Another declared: "While our thinking is that this option would be legal, we are not certain of this beyond all reasonable doubt."

In defending their virtue, the Conservatives have a fallback position: that the other parties, notably the Liberals, were doing the same thing...But in an affidavit filed earlier this year with the Federal Court, an Elections Canada official stated that these opposition transactions were of a quite different nature than the ones in which the Conservatives were involved...