Tories may have taken $2M in illicit donations
Updated Wed. Jun. 28 2006
6:13 PM ET
OTTAWA -- The Conservative party may have illegally accepted millions in unreported donations last year because it didn't understand political financing laws.
That's the startling conclusion drawn from testimony given to a Senate committee by the Harper administration's point man on cleaning up government.
Treasury Board President John Baird has told the committee that his party did not consider fees paid to attend its March 2005 policy convention to be political contributions.
But the Elections Act stipulates that convention fees do constitute a donation.
The Tories' 2005 convention was attended by about 2,900 party members, who paid a regular fee of $600 each, although discounts were available for some.
That means the party stood to rake in as much as $1.7 million, all or some of which should have been reported to Elections Canada as donations.
I'm willing to bet this would have gotten more than minor story status had it been the Liberals involved in it.