Thwap asks a very good question :
What exactly is the difference between
1. Elections Canada and federal prosecutors granting immunity to Con deputy campaign manager Andrew Prescott this month in the 2011 Guelph robocall election fraud case, and
2. Elections Canada refusing to grant immunity to a group of donors willing to testify about giving $1,000 each to Dean Del Mastro’s campaign, allegedly in return for receiving $1050 back from Del Mastro's cousin.
July 2012 : Elections Canada refuses immunity request for donors to Dean Del Mastro
"Elections Canada has rebuffed an offer of information about an alleged reimbursement scheme involving Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro’s 2008 election campaign, saying it doesn’t have the authority to give witnesses immunity from prosecution.
Elections Canada spokesman John Enright said Tuesday that the commissioner is not able to grant immunity... it can only investigate allegations of electoral misconduct and that the power to offer immunity rests with federal prosecutors."although Toronto elections lawyer Jack Siegel says :
"the commissioner can negotiate compliance agreements with people who have violated the act, which allows the office to effectively offer immunity from prosecution."
"A key player in the 2011 Guelph robocalls scandal is getting immunity from prosecution in the Elections Canada investigation into misleading calls in the last federal election, CBC News has learned.Prescott has a written guarantee "the Crown has no intention" of charging him in connection with the misleading phone calls."
So what's the difference?
Aside of course from the fact Del Mastro was Steve's parliamentary secretary, election fraud pointman, and key spokesy in the House at the time, while Prescott's Con candidate Marty Burke didn't win his seat anyway and the Guelph case appears to be hermetically sealed off from the election fraud that occurred in over 200 other ridings.
Admittedly Del Mastro is now being charged by Elections Canada in a separate investigation for overspending his 2008 campaign limit and trying to cover it up, and they are continuing their investigation into the 22 people who were issued cheques for $1,050 from Deltro, owned by Dean's cousin.
But Thwap's question remains : What exactly is Election Canada's criteria for involving Crown prosecutors in securing immunity for witnesses? Especially given it seems highly unlikely Prescott was granted immunity just to roll over on Sona in the case against him provided by Con Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton.
If Sona goes down, the Cons will draw a line through it and say it's done : One rogue lone gun on the grassy Guelph knoll that didn't change the election results in a single riding in the 2011 election anyway.