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Open letter to the Commissioner of Elections Canada

Open letter to the Commissioner of Elections Canada

Posted on March 8, 2011

William Corbett
Commissioner of Elections Canada
c/o Elections Canada
257 Slater Street
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0M6

March 8, 2011
Dear Mr. Corbett:

I am writing to you in light of recent revelations that Immigration Minister Jason Kenney misused public funds to solicit money on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Mr. Kenney has been caught in a conflict of interest between his responsibilities as Immigration Minister and using his office resources to win Conservative votes from what he calls “very ethnic” Canadians.

I have enclosed a copy of a letter sent on behalf of Mr. Kenney by his former Director of Multicultural Affairs, Kasra Nejatian. The purpose of the letter is to solicit $200,000 from “various Conservative Electoral District Associations.” Note that the letter is printed on Mr. Kenney’s House of Commons letterhead.

It appears that Mr. Kenney’s staff undertook this partisan work during Government of Canada office hours. The fundraising letter in question is dated March 3, 2011. A copy of the letter that was delivered to the office of the Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Strathcona was made publicly available that very same afternoon. This order of events strongly suggests that the letter was prepared and delivered during standard working hours of the Government of Canada.

In addition, I have enclosed the presentation that was sent with the letter using data and statistics which may have been generated by Mr. Kenney’s department. If that is in fact the case, the use of Government of Canada data in order to target the votes of certain segments of the population is another abuse of government resources for partisan purposes, and would represent a substantial in-kind donation from the government to the Conservative Party.

I am requesting that you launch an investigation into these issues. Did Mr. Kenney’s office use data from the department in order to target partisan advertising on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada? What other Government of Canada resources has Mr. Kenney used to prepare partisan fundraising material?

As these diversions of government resources could be construed as non-monetary donations to the Conservative Party of Canada, I would ask that you gather all the facts and determine if what has transpired is a breach under the Elections Canada Act.

Sincerely,

Justin Trudeau, MP

Liberal Citizenship and Immigration Critic