Foreign Funding of 11 Federal Candidates Raises Doubts About Election Integrity in Canada
Recent news stories have revealed the shocking information that money was funnelled from China to the campaigns of at least 11 federal candidates in the 2019 election. In addition to that, funds were used to directly support staff working in some of those campaigns. Anyone involved in politics knows that any money given to a campaign definitely boosts a candidate’s prospects for election. Campaigns that can afford online television and print materials have a much greater chance of persuading voters to support their candidates. Paid staff are a luxury many candidates cannot afford.
Our Prime Minister was warned by Canadian intelligence officials of China’s interference, yet even elected officials (presumably duly elected without foreign interference), are not able to get an answer from our Parliamentary Secretary for Public Safety. Watching Pam Danoff do everything but answer the question as to who the 11 candidates are is enlightening on the fine art of creative avoidance.
The Canada Elections Act requires that federal political contributions can only be made by Canadian citizens or permanent residents and are limited in the amounts that each donor can give in a single year.
This year, qualified donors are permitted to contribute up to $1675 to a candidate and the same amount to a political party. Those contributions must be made via a trackable instrument, such as a cheque or money order. Cash contributions and anonymous contributions given at events are strictly limited to $20 per person. Political parties and campaigns are bound by the law to refuse or return any cash contributions in excess of $20.
Corporations and unions are forbidden from making campaign contributions, although both sometimes find creative (and legal) ways of getting around the regulations. For instance, registered third-party advertisers are able to spend money outside of campaign limits to support or oppose a candidate or policy . . . as long as they follow stringent third-party guidelines. This option is not available to foreign governments.
The illegal contributions from China are said to have come through the Chinese embassy in Ottawa and the Chinese consulate in Toronto and are thought to represent donations of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The names of the candidates who received these contributions have not yet been made public, in spite of the extreme seriousness of the allegations and the illegality of accepting foreign donations. Apparently, the Prime Minister knew something about these charges as far back as January of this year. Yet he has taken no steps to expose the guilty, and the Parliamentary secretary obfuscates the truth by presenting a truth that is not pertinent to the question. Obviously, we all agree that foreign interference is a problem, yet to the question asked, she prevaricates, answering a question that wasn’t asked.
When a candidate violates election law, especially in such an egregious manner, it is deemed appropriate to remove him or her from office, since he or she may only have been elected as a result of that violation. Although the investigation into this electoral finance crime is still in its infancy, it appears that Members of Parliament who benefitted from the illicit campaign funds continue to occupy seats and continue to vote . . . along with the MPs who were legitimately elected. This must not continue. The Prime Minister has a responsibility and the Justice Minister has a responsibility to pursue this high level electoral finance crime and to bring to justice those who have been quietly and fraudulently occupying seats in the House of Commons.
It’s especially ironic that these foreign funds, which have been used to distort the balance in the House of Commons, are being treated so lightly by those who claim to care about justice and Canadian content. During the freedom convoy, loose and unproven allegations were made about potential foreign influence in the truckers’ protest. That is not even an area in which there is any regulation of who may or may not contribute. The truckers were not a political party, yet their funds were seized. And, in fact, the allegations of foreign contributions have largely turned out to be a red herring. Yet the concept of foreign funding and “dangerous outside influence” was used to turn public opinion against Canadian truckers and Canadian citizens speaking up for freedom. The contrast between government accusations in regard to the January Truckers Convoy and government silence on the issue of election integrity from January to November could not be more stark.
It’s time for the Prime Minister and the Justice Minister to make a public statement about the serious and unprecedented violation of election law, and—in conjunction with Elections Canada and the Commissioner of Elections—to conduct a thorough and speedy investigation. They must follow wherever the facts lead and must hold accountable every person who knowingly broke election laws. They do not need to implement the Emergencies Act, but they must act like it is an emergency. If they do not, Canadians will have one more reason to question election integrity, and in fact, the integrity of our current government.
The Christian Heritage Party of Canada works hard to ensure that our candidates and campaign workers understand the law and the seriousness of our obligation to work within its parameters both during and between elections. We want to win seats, and we want to influence government policy but only by lawful means. To help us reach more Canadians with our message of Life, Family and Freedom, join CHP Canada today. We’ll also be grateful for any contributions you can make . . . but only if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident! Thank you.
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Other Commentary by Rod Taylor:
- Le coût économique de l’anarchie morale
- The Economic Cost of Moral Anarchy
- Dans tout travail, il y a du profit
- In All Labour There Is Profit
- Qui est à blâmer pour la censure?
- Who’s to Blame for Censorship?
- Amis et alliés
- Friends and Allies
- Trudeau utilise un subterfuge pour interdire les produits de santé naturels
- Trudeau Uses Subterfuge to Ban Natural Health Products
- Affirmer l’égalité
- Affirming Equality