Thursday, October 16, 2008

The friends of Gary Lunn

Minister of Natural [Oil] Resources Gary Lunn had some interesting third party advertising help in keeping his seat in Saanich-Gulf Islands.

Of the 52 third parties registered with Elections Canada to advertise for special interest groups, Andrew MacLeod at The Hook reports that four of them share the same address and phone number at the law offices of former Alliance Party candidate Bruce Hallsor who, along with the four, was working to re-elect Lunn.

The office receptionist had never heard of them.
Well, we have.
Patricia Trottier, Elections Canada contact person for one of the four, the "Economic Advisory Council of Saanich", is an oil and gas consultant married to Gwyn Morgan, former CEO of EnCana Corp. where he is still a director.

Hallsor, a former member of the B.C. Chief Electoral Officer's Advisory Committee, is also named in Election Canada documents in the alleged Con in-an-out scheme, in which moneys were transferred to local candidates, who then transferred the funds back to the federal party to spend on more advertising for the national campaign. Elections Canada maintains that in this way the Cons exceeded their spending limit by more than $1 million in the previous election.

More Saanich-Gulf Islands shenanigans.
Mike Watkins writes about the automated phone calls allegedly impersonating the NDP and urging voters to vote for an NDP candidate who had already stepped down, thus further splitting the vote.
The removed NDP candidate received 3, 667 votes ; second place Liberal Briony Penn lost to Lunn by 2,621 votes.

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