Election expense” is defined in s. 407 of the Act which reads:
407(1) An election expense includes any cost incurred, or non-monetary contribution received, by a registered party or a candidate, to the extent that the property or service for which the cost was incurred, or the non-monetary contribution received, is used to directly promote or oppose a registered party, its leader or a candidate during an election period.
Finley”) served as the Director of Political Operations for the Party, acted as National Campaign Manager of the Party for the election, and was responsible for campaign strategy, the apportioning of election budget expenses and the approval of all campaign expenditures. Michael Donison (“
Donison”), the Executive Director of the Party and ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the Fund, carried out various tasks, including those assigned to him by Finley. Susan Kehoe (‘Kehoe”) was Chief Financial Officer of both the Party and the Fund and carried out tasks related to the control and expenditure of money and the apportionment of costs. Irving Gerstein (“
Gerstein”) was Chair of the Fund and an officer of the Party. He controlled the distribution of funds generally, and signed the Party’s election expense return. Campaign payments, including transfers of monies to candidate campaigns, in excess of $25,000 required the signature approval of both Kehoe and Gerstein, otherwise Kehoe’s signature sufficed. Finley, Donison, Kehoe and Gerstein were senior officers of the Party or of the Fund.
this perfectly legal” process appealed to Gerstein.
return monies to me under their writ to pay for advertising for example”, through what Finley called “
a variety of perfectly legal artifices”. This in effect would transfer TV and radio advertising costs from the Party to local campaigns. Finley explained to Gerstein that this would allow the Party to “
pay for advertising for example” and “
run a major slam dunk in the extra two campaign weeks” over its competitors.
comport to all legal requirements”. He wrote this in response to an email from Kehoe in which she informed Finley and Donison that counsel for the Party had provided legal advice that the transfers could be moved to candidates and they could be asked to pay for regional advertising, but not for national advertising, and have the expenses go against their election limit if the regional advertising included a reflection that the advertising had been authorized by official agents for the named candidates.
ascertaining cap availability” of ridings in Canada outside of Quebec, as a “
special project”, including negotiation for access to the cap room by the Party and the creation of a “
seamless process” to carry it out. Donison understood the goal to be to get local campaigns to allocate “
a certain amount of their individual candidate caps to this buy.”
asked for a $2.1M drop in this line item”, referring to the advertising budget.
may be spending up to their legal limit” and that they were “
thinking of switching some of the time over to the ridings. It sounded like the reason was to legally maximize advertising expenditures.”
we were in the hands of the ad people who had already made the market commitments on Day 1 of the campaign before we decided to do this
Transfer to Candidate Caps”. The transfer of media buy expenses, Quebec production costs and Montreal and Quebec City office expenses were listed in this column and were identified as an “
the Official Agents for Conservative Party candidates” by means of a standardized email to media outlets. This message identified RMI as the purchasing agent for the Party. Each message said that they needed to “
shift dollars” from the Party to “
the Official Agents for Conservative Party candidates”. No specific candidates or ridings were identified. RMI noted that “
(t)his in no way changes the overall commitment we as agents have made on behalf of our clients.” RMI then specified that either “
all weight” or specified dollar amounts of the “
current bookings” were to be transferred from Party to the “
new advertiser name”.
the Official Agents for Conservative Party candidates” for the advertising, with a single invoice listing 40 ridings outside Quebec, and with separate invoices to the Fund for each of the 27 Quebec ridings. The Fund paid these invoices. Authority for payment of these election expenses came from Finley and the payment authorizations were signed by Kehoe and Gerstein in accordance with the Fund procedures.
Administrative steps” to process the transfer of expenses to the local campaigns. In some cases, these campaigns were to later claim reimbursement of 60% of these election expenditures from public funds.
Administrative steps” involved the transfer of funds from the Fund to the local campaigns and the return of the same monies to the Fund to pay for the campaign’s designated share of media or office costs. The Fund would not transfer monies to local campaigns unless the Official Agent first signed and provided to the Fund a wire transfer authorization allowing the monies to be returned to the Fund. The Fund executed the wire transfer authorizations as payment for the invoices in accordance with a schedule of transfers to campaigns, and invoiced the campaigns for media costs.
we mutually entered into an agreement to provide media buys”. Further, that in respect of the candidate media buy, the letter by RMI included the following: “
Retail Media was advised of which Conservative candidates were interested in participating in additional regional media buys,” and “
(a)ppropriate regional markets were identified for all participating candidates and specific media buys purchased in those markets”. It also stated that “
appropriate tag lines were used in all advertisements identifying on whose behalf the advertisement was authorized.”