AFTER 5 YEARS OF OBSTRUCTION, HARPER CONSERVATIVES PLEAD GUILTY TO BREAKING ELECTION LAW

Conservative leader must apologize to Canadians and explain himself: Turmel

OTTAWA – After five years, the Harper Conservatives today pleaded guilty to breaking Canada’s election laws.   While four Conservative insiders escaped accountability, NDP leader Nycole Turmel says that Stephen Harper cannot.  She called on him to explain his party’s illegal actions.

“After five years putting Canadians through the ringer, the Conservatives misled Canadians, claiming there was no wrongdoing on their part.  Today, forced to face the music, they finally admitted that they broke the law.  Now it’s time for Stephen Harper to apologize to Canadians for Conservative actions during the 2006 election campaign and take responsibility for breaking election laws.”

Senior members of the Conservative party were accused of funnelling $1.3 million in national advertising expenses through 67 local campaigns during the 2006 election campaign, thus exceeding their national spending cap.  Today the Conservative Party accepted a plea bargain that saw the party plead guilty but spared Conservative insiders from facing trial.

“New Democrats have been clear: big money has no place in Canadian politics.  That’s why these laws are in place” said Turmel.  “The Conservatives tipped the scales and spent more than legally allowed in an election to get Harper elected.   That’s wrong.  It undermines our democracy.  And Stephen Harper has to explain himself.”

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For more information, please contact:
Karl Bélanger, senior press secretary,613-720-6463 or Karl.Belanger@parl.gc.ca