Cracks In 'Fortress Harper' Begin To Show With Former Conservative Candidates And MP's Speaking Out Over 'In/Out' Scheme
Inky Mark, who resigned his Manitoba seat last year, said his staff was contacted by party officials during the 2006 election campaign. He said the officials asked of they could deposit several thousand dollars in his campaign account and withdraw it later to buy advertising.
"I said, 'Why would you give me money and give it back?" It didn't make sense. So I said, 'No thanks.'"
Independent conservative MP Helena Guergis — who was turfed from the Tory caucus last year over rumours of wrongdoing that were never substantiated — also says her campaign was approached and rejected the plan.
"I was asked but I said no. Something in my gut told me no," Christine Brayford, Guergis' sister and campaign manager, said in an email.
The disputed expenses were claimed as local advertising by 67 Tory candidates.
Elections Canada alleges the scheme allowed the party to exceed its 2006 campaign spending limit by more than $1 million by funnelling national advertising through 67 local candidates, who in turn claimed about $800,000 in public rebates to which they were not entitled.
The commissioner of elections laid charges against four party officials last week after consulting the federal director of public prosecutions."
Winnipeg Free Press
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