2015 Kelowna-Lake Country federal election deal led to contraventions of Elections Act

But Elections Canada commissioner says Green Party won’t be prosecuted for supporting Liberal

The head of Elections Canada says a 2015 federal election campaign deal between Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr and Green Party candidate Gary Adams, in which Adams agreed to drop out of the race and support Fuhr in return for Fuhr promoting parts of the Green Party platform if elected, resulted in a contravention of the federal Elections Act.

But Commissioner Yves Côté says the contravention was unintentional and penalties will not be pursued.

Following an investigation into the Green Party’s action in the deal, Côté say the use of Green Party signs during the campaign to support Fuhr contravened the Elections Act.

“The Commissioner asserts that the use of these election signs belonging to the Green Party candidate’s campaign to promote the Liberal Party candidate constituted an ineligible non-monetary contribution to the Liberal Party candidate’s campaign,” Côté’s report states.

“The (federal Elections) Act does not allow for monetary or non-monetary contributions to be made between candidates’ campaigns. At the time of the use of the signs, the Contracting Party was not aware of Elections Canada’s and the Commissioner’s longstanding position that such use constituted an offence under the Act. As such, any contravention of the Act was unintentional. The Contracting Party disagrees with the application of the relevant provision to the fact situation at hand.”

The deal between Adams and Fuhr helped Fuhr defeat long-time incumbent Conservative Ron Cannan. While not happy about it at the time, the deal was not opposed by federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May and she did not name another Green candidate to replace Adams in the riding.

Since his election Fuhr has advanced and supported some Green Party initiatives. One of the most high-profile was the issue of electoral reform.

But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who had promised electoral reform during the 2015 election campaign—possibly a form of proportional representation—pulled the issue off the table last year after saying there appeared to be no national consensus on how to proceed.

At the time, Fuhr was criticized by some local proportional representation supporters but defended himself saying he did what he promised by taking the issue to Ottawa and supporting it.

In his report on the deal between Adams and Fuhr, Côté said the value of the signs the Green Party in Kelowna-Lake Country used was $722.40. In addition to using Green Party signs to support Fuhr, the deal also called for Adams to support Fuhr’s candidacy and for his campaign to help Fuhr get elected.

The report says because the contravention of the federal Elections Act was “unintentional” and an amount equal to, or exceeding, the value of the non-monetary contribution was paid to the Receiver General of Canada by Fuhr’s campaign, the effect of the contribution on the political financing regime put in place by Parliament was reduced.

Daniel Ryder, who acted as the official agent for Adams and was responsible the financial transactions of Adams campaign, has agreed to “exercise due caution in order to ensure compliance with the relevant provisions of the act in the future,” says the report.

As a result, it concludes by with Elections Canada commissioner saying the agreement constitutes compliance and he will not refer the matter for prosecution under the federal Elections Act.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Mounties delayed crash clean-up, Tuesday traffic into Kelowna backed up for hours

A Tuesday traffic jam is being attributed to RCMP keeping lanes closed for a scene analysis

Central Okanagan School Board defends SOGI 123 initiative

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity inclusivity program sparks emotional debate

Wildfire sparks near perimeter of devastating 2017 Elephant Hill fire

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

UPDATE: Rutland residents forced from home due to late night fire

Rutland Road South has been blocked off at Highway 33 while crews work to douse a fire

Okanagan Regional Library names new CEO

Don Nettleton, who has been with ORL for 24 years, takes over from Stephanie Hall

Stranded couple rescued from Mission Creek

Rescue personnel brought two people ashore from an island after their rafts were swept away.

Olympian to lead Penticton Peach Festival parade

One of the top bobsled pilots in the world will lead the Peters Bros. Grand Parade

Two-year-old found unresponsive in pool

Mission RCMP located toddler after she went missing from a local daycare

Surrey RCMP issue warning after third sexual assault this week

It is the third sexual assault since Sunday

Toronto opening 800 emergency spaces to deal with influx of refugee claimants

Beginning Thursday, Toronto will temporarily house refugee claimants and new arrivals in 400 beds in the city’s east end.

Breaking: Trump cancels summit with North Korea

Trump cancels June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim, citing ‘tremendous anger and open hostility’ in recent statement

Rivers rising: Floods in B.C., New Brunswick a warning of what’s to come

In B.C., thousands of residents are returning to homes this week marked with red or yellow signs indicating a health inspection is necessary

North Korea demolishes nuke test site with series of blasts

North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.

Penticton homeless campers devastated by park cleanup

Two women, in their 50s and 60s, said they felt like giving up after their only home was cleared out

Most Read