The Conservative Party is fighting against having elections results in seven ridings thrown out in court, Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro is under investigation by Elections Canada for going over his spending limit – and Peter Penashue may soon follow suit. Now MP Paul Calandra is facing questions about who exactly his funding came from.
Calandra, MP for Oak Ridges–Markham, reportedly attended two fundraisers held by separate bidders for a Toronto radio station – while acting as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Heritage, the ministry in charge of the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission. The CRTC is in charge of deciding the winner of the bidding process. According to the Globe and Mail, the fundraisers helped Calandra raise thousands of dollars.
When the Globe asked Calandra about the events, he first told the reporter that he had done nothing wrong, and then said he would give some of the money back. He said he had never accepted donations from anyone associated with the CEO of Worldband, though the first of the two fundraisers was held in the home of said CEO’s sister, with between 30 and 40 guests.
As is typical when Tories find themselves facing such problems, Calandra said there was another person responsible for the fundraiser and for the five donations he has since admitted were given by people listed as investors for WorldBand.
(Generally an underling gets fired, the Prime Minister declares the matter closed and we’re all supposed to believe that no one else knew anything).
Another bidder for the radio station, Stan Antony, released a statement after the WorldBand story broke, noting that he had been invited to a fundraiser for Calandra’s riding association in February and donated $500. In his statement, Antony says the radio station was not discussed at the event and that the WorldBand owner, Prabha Selvadurai, was also present. CBC took note that a former Conservative candidate is acting as an assistant to Antony in his bid.
The Official Opposition has requested that the Prime Minister’s Office look into these fundraisers to see if Calandra breached ethical guidelines. Given the history, it seems unlikely the PMO will respond to the request.
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