This October, the Canadian government will send election monitors to Ukraine to ensure safe and fair voting.
The above is not a joke.
The Canadian government, made up of the Conservative Party of Canada, which is facing challenges in eight ridings and facing allegations in at least one more, is sending election monitors to ensure a fair election in another country.
The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Jason Kenney, made this announcement in Etobicoke–Lakeshore. Etobicoke–Lakeshore, which sits right beside Etobicoke Centre, the riding with results currently under scrutiny by the Supreme Court because of voting irregularities. Presumably the location for this announcement was chosen with a healthy dose of irony, as was the addition of Ted Opitz to the group of MPs announcing it. Opitz is the sitting MP for Etobicoke Centre, who won the riding by 26 votes and may have to face a by-election given the irregularities.
At the same time, the Conservative Party is fighting an attempt by the Council of Canadians to have the results in seven other ridings thrown out. The challenge comes as a result of phone calls purported to be from Elections Canada that told voters their polling stations had changed. Elections Canada reports they have received over 800 complaints about such calls, but the lawsuit was brought forth by just nine voters in seven ridings. A judge has already rejected a request for dismissal by the Conservative MPs representing those seven ridings.
The Council of Canadians says the phone calls show an effort to suppress the vote in the May 2 election. In a press release, they declared that the suit has nothing to do with whether the Conservative Party or any of their officials were involved in the voter suppression. The Council claims only that there was an attempt to suppress the vote, which calls into question the results. As the lawsuit moves through the courts, Elections Canada is conducting their own investigation into the calls.
In fact no specific allegation of wrongdoing has been made by the applicants against the candidates or anyone else in the Conservative Part. The job of sorting out who may have been responsible for such illegal activity belongs to the Commissioner of Canada Elections. The applications, on the other hand, are about restoring the democratic rights of voters taken from them by subterfuge.
Meanwhile, two Conservative MPs have been confronted with allegations of fundraising issues. Dean Del Mastro is facing an investigation into his campaign expenses and fundraising while Paul Calandra and Peter Penashue have both had to respond to questions about their fundraising this summer as well.
With questions about who was allowed to vote in Etobicoke Centre and how many times, who was impersonating Elections Canada on the phone across the country and who certain MPs have taken money from, does Ukraine really want help from Canada?
Photo Credit: JMacPherson
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