Elections Nova Scotia investigates Liberal mailout

uh oh

Elections Nova Scotia has launched an investigation into taxpayer-funded partisan pamphlets the governing Liberals are sending to areas where byelections will soon be called.

The single-sheet flyer is going out to 33,000 homes in Dartmouth, Sydney and industrial Cape Breton. Byelections are expected to be held soon in the ridings of Dartmouth South, Cape Breton Centre and Sydney-Whitney Pier.

The mailout was first revealed by CBC News on Friday and the opposition Tories accuse the McNeil government of using taxpayer money to fund byelection material.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Elections Nova Scotia confirmed the agency is investigating whether the rules were broken. Kevin Murphy, the Speaker and Liberal MLA for Eastern Shore, also said he'd look into the issue.

Andrew Younger, the Liberals's MLA for Dartmouth East, accused the NDP of a similar mail-out tactic in 2013 when the NDP was in power.

"This is a caucus communication sent out in unheld ridings," Younger said. "The NDP did the exact same thing a few weeks ago."
The NDP mailout arrived on doorsteps after the writ was dropped.

"Well, we're very confident that we are compliant with what has been the practice of all parties previously and, in fact, even in the past few weeks with the NDP flyer that went out," Young continued. "We do feel we are compliant but we will respect whatever Elections Nova Scotia comes up with."

Progressive Conservative finance critic Tim Houston earlier called on the Speaker of the House of Assembly to investigate the mailout.
In a news release, the Tories say the Elections Act defines a byelection period as beginning on "the occurrence of a vacancy in consequence of which a writ for an election is eventually issued."

The act also says: "No person shall knowingly conduct election advertising or cause it to be conducted using a means of transmission of the Government of the Province."

On Friday, Liberal deputy premier Diana Whalen brushed off the criticism, calling the mailout an "education piece."

The Liberals have been accused of hypocrisy for sending out the pamphlets, given Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil heavily criticized the NDP for their mail-outs just days before the 2013 election.

Elections Nova Scotia investigates Liberal mailout - Nova Scotia - CBC News
Usually the investigations don't start until they are in office. Now if they had to pick up their own legal bill.

Change a name here and there and history is about to gobble up Politicians the way Outlaws were in the past.


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