Canadian News Oct 14, 2021 5:27 PM EST

15 Trudeau Liberal organizers FINED for filing Election 2019 financial returns over one year late

The Commissioner of Elections yesterday levied fines against 15 Liberal Party organizers for technical breaches of the Canada Elections Act, including the agent for MP Mike Kelloway, who did not comment.

15 Trudeau Liberal organizers FINED for filing Election 2019 financial returns over one year late
Alex Anas Ahmed Calgary, AB

The Commissioner of Elections yesterday levied fines against 15 Liberal Party organizers for technical breaches of the Canada Elections Act, including the agent for a Member of Parliament. MP Mike Kelloway did not comment.

"The publication of the penalties was not withheld," said Veronique Aupry, spokesperson for the Commissioner's office. "The time required to address a particular file varies from case to case."

All the violations dated from the 2019 campaign reported Blacklocks. Aupry refused to explain why she did not disclose the penalties after the 2021 election.

MP Kelloway's agent Sonny MacDougall, a Sydney, Nova Scotia accountant, received a $300 fine for filing his candidate's 2019 financial return 427 days late. He gave no reason for the late filing. Other Liberal Party agents fined for late filing were:

• Brock Adams in Thunder Bay-Rainy River, Ont. fined $300 for filing 472 days late;

• Randall Audell in Edmonton West fined $300 for filing 627 days late;

• Elaine Barnes in Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, Ont. fined $300 for filing 483 days late;

• Preetkamal Brar in Edmonton West fined $300 for filing 418 days late;

• Frantzy Charles in Pierrefonds-Dollard, Que. fined $300 for filing 395 days late;

• Heather Evans in Regina-Lewvan fined $300 for filing 520 days late;

• Kateri Khoury in Orléans, Ont. fined $300 for filing 440 days late;

• Josee Laliberte in Abitibi-Baie James, Que. fined $300 for filing 419 days late;

• Michel Lebel in Rimouski-Neigette, Que. fined $300 for filing 597 days late;

• Morgan Macdonald in Parry Sound-Muskoka, Ont. fined $300 for filing 546 days late;

• Ian Murphy in Windsor-Tecumseh, Ont. fined $500 for failing to file any return;

• Tina Pelletier in Denesnethe-Missinippi, Sask. fined $300 for filing 543 days late;

• Anthony Poetker in Calgary Confederation fined $300 for filing 477 days late;

• Ashley Ward-Hall in Abbotsford, B.C. fined $300 for filing 451 days late.

Two independent agents in the 2019 campaign were similarly fined a total of $800 for failing to meet filing deadlines. Two Green Party agents were fined a total of $600 for late filing.

The Commissioner of Elections last May 6 fined longtime Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux $500 for advertising on election day in 2019, reported Blacklocks. Investigators found Lamoureux inadvertently ran $291 worth of Facebook and Instagram ads on balloting day, a breach of the Elections Act.

"Honest to God, it was a silly mistake," Lamoureux said in an earlier interview. "I can't deny this. I know you're not supposed to advertise on election day."

"There are reasonable grounds to believe Lamoureux committed a violation," Commissioner Yves Cote said in a statement. Lamoureux cooperated with investigators, he said.

"I paid that fine the day after I heard about it," said Lamoureux. "I can't deny this. I know you're not supposed to advertise on election day."

"It was an accident," he said. "I should have realized. It was just an honest mistake." The MP was re-elected to a fourth term in Winnipeg North by 7,112 votes.

In May, the Commissioner of Elections also fined four other local campaigns for paperwork errors from the 2019 campaign. The New Democrat campaign in Bow River, Alberta. was ordered to pay $300 for late filing of election expenses. A Green Party agent was fined $300 for late filing in South Surrey-White Rock, BC. The People's Party was fined $300 for late filing in St. Hyacinthe-Bagot, Quebec. And the Canadian Action Party was fined $1,000 for "default of the requirement to provide the return" on campaign expenses.

Then-Finance Minister Bill Morneau also received a $300 fine for misusing his public office to make campaign-style appearances for two Liberal candidates in Ontario six weeks before the election call. On July 29, 2019, Morneau toured Oakville, Ontario, with candidate Anita Anand, now Minister of Public Works, and praised her as a person of "significant accomplishments" who deserved to win the riding. "Thank you to our incredible candidate Anita Anand for showing me around Oakville today!" Morneau wrote on his ministerial Facebook page.

The Liberal Party repaid $1,661 in expenses Morneau billed taxpayers for his Oakville tour and an August 27, 2019 tour with a Liberal candidate in Dufferin-Caledon, Ontario.

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