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Liberals add eight more complaints; Fifty-five Conservative MPs signed $594 million in false cheques

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Liberals add eight more complaints; Fifty-five Conservative MPs signed $594 million in false cheques

Posted on October 19, 2009
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Liberals have expanded their complaint to the ethics commissioner to implicate at least fifty-five Conservative MPs who were found to have presented over $594 million in false cheques in their own name or that of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“When Canadians needed fairness, the Conservatives cheated them,” said Liberal MP David McGuinty. “False announcements treating recession stimulus as a Conservative war chest insults the intelligence of Canadians.”

The expansion of the Liberal probe comes as numerous examples of unethical excessive partisanship were uncovered over the weekend:
• Prime Minister Harper’s economic plan infomercial, where real reporters were denied the opportunity to ask questions, cost taxpayers $108,000 when it could have been done for free in the House of Commons.
• The Prime Minister’s Office caved to public pressure to remove videos of his piano performance and links to partisan social media sites from the $2 million economic plan website, the centrepiece of their $56 million partisan ad campaign.
• Conservative caucus member Leo Housakos was found to have benefitted from infrastructure contracts.

“In Charlottetown PEI, the RCMP L-Division had to put up propaganda signage for the Conservative Re-election Action Plan for installing ‘internal door hardware,’” said Liberal MP Wayne Easter. “How much more did the sign cost than the doorknobs they’re advertising for?”

Of the fifty-five MPs found so far to have engaged in unethical government announcements using personalized prop cheques, eight also used Conservative logos, further blurring the line between private partisan interest and public government business.  From 223 examples of personalized cheque presentations found so far, the total amount on the cheques adds up to $594 million.

“Conservatives are acting like they’ve done nothing wrong, but Canadians know unethical behaviour when they see it,” said Liberal MP Marcel Proulx. “Holding a million dollar government funding announcement in an MP’s constituency office with a Conservative logo behind you, and signing an MP’s name on a cheque for government money is wrong.  Period.”

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Contact:
Office of MP David McGuinty, 613-992-3269
Office of the hon. Wayne Easter, 613-992-2406
Office of Marcel Proulx: 613 992-7550

Background:

New MPs added to the cheque scandal probe:

1. Vic Toews (CPC): Provencher
2. Diane Finley (CPC): Haldimand Norfolk
3. Paul Calandra (CPC): Oak Ridges– Markham
4. Phil McColeman (CPC): Brant
5. Terence Young (CPC): Oakville
6. Mark Warawa (CPC): Langley
7. Dave Van Kesteren (CPC): Chatham – Kent—Essex
8. Joy Smith (CPC): Kildonan—St. Paul

Link to complete list of fifty-five MPs:
http://www.liberal.ca/en/newsroom/partisan-cheques

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