The Commissioner of Canada Elections announced today that Reginald Bowers, an official agent in the electoral district of Labrador during the 2011 federal general election, has been charged with three offences under the Canada Elections Act.
The charges are as follows:
- Failing, within 30 days of becoming aware of ineligible contributions to the candidate, to return the contributions unused to the contributor, or pay the amount of the contribution to the Chief Electoral Officer, contrary to subsection 404(2) of the Canada Elections Act;
- Providing the Chief Electoral Officer with a document that he knew or ought reasonably to have known contained a material statement that was false or misleading, to wit: failure to accurately identify ineligible campaign contributions, thereby contravening paragraph 463(1)(a) of the Canada Elections Act; and
- Providing the Chief Electoral Officer with a document that he knew or ought reasonably to have known contained a material statement that was false or misleading, to wit: failure to accurately report travel expenses contrary to paragraph 463(1)(a) of the Canada Elections Act.
According to this CBC article the charges relate to allegations of taking illegal contributions from corporations and discounted airfares in the general election.
The official agent is responsible for properly reporting the contributions and expenses of the candidate, and that is why the official agent is being charged in this case.
The charges have been filed in the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John’s. The prosecution will be handled by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, which is responsible for prosecuting offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that respects the public interest.