- The Prime Ministers fundraising rules for ministers and parliamentary secretaries (called Accountable Government) state:
“There should be no singling out, or appearance of singling out, of individuals or organizations as targets of political fundraising because they have official dealings with Ministers, Ministers of State, Parliamentary Secretaries, or their staff or departments.”
- The parliamentary secretary to the Canadian Heritage Minister is Paul Calandra.
- The CRTC is funded by Canadian Heritage Ministry.
- The CRTC decides who gets broadcast licences.
- Stan Antony applies to the CRTC for a new radio station.
- Mr. Antony is then invited to make a donation to Parliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage, Paul Calandra's Conservative Electoral District Association.
- Mr. Antony donates $500.00
- While the competition was taking place, Parliamentary Secretary Calandra's riding association raised in excess of $5000 from individuals connected to companies vying for the radio station.
- The donations become public through news reports.
- Parliamentary Secretary Calandra tells the newspaper, The Globe and Mail that the money will be returned to the donors.
- The office of the Federal Ethics Commissioner has not decided whether or not to launch an investigation to determine if the Conflict of Interest Act for public officeholders or the Conflict of Interest Code for MPs were contravened by the Parliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage.
- The Accountable Government rule looks to be intentionally written to have the appearance of rather than actual accountability. If the Prime Minister was truly serious about ethics and accountability he would have said "There will be no singling out,..." instead of "There should be no singling out...". The word should only indicates that the action is a bad idea and not that it is prohibited. Being a lawyer Mr. Harper would have been aware of the legal difference between the words "should" and "will"or "shall".
- Wishy washy wording aside it is clear that a significant amount of money was donated by individuals, with official dealings with the Parliamentary Secretary's department Canadian Heritage, that were singled out as targets for fundraising.
- Failure of the Ethics Commissioner to investigate this incident would imply complacency on the part of the Federal Government.
Man vying for broadcast licence urged to donate to Tory fundraiser - The Globe and Mail:
'via Blog this'