Neville says Tory senators abusing power

Winnipeg Free Press – ONLINE EDITION

Neville says Tory senators abusing power

By: Staff Writer

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Posted: 11/12/2010 12:15 PM | Comments: 19

Tory senators are abusing their office by using taxpayer money to send out partisan flyers into Liberal ridings, according to Anita Neville, Liberal MP for Winnipeg South Centre.

Manitoba Senator Don Plett and Ontario Senator Bob Runicman sent out nearly identical flyers about “youth crime” into Neville’s own riding and that of Liberal MP David McGuinty, Neville said in a news release Friday.

She called the flyer, which asks for people’s names, addresses and e-mails for a petition, a transparent attempt to collect the names of supporters for her Conservative opponent’s campaign.

Plett is the former president of the Conservative Party of Canada’s National Campaign Office.

“We thought we had put a stop to the Tories’ abuse of taxpayers dollars for political purposes, but apparently Senator Plett didn’t get the memo,” Neville said in the release. “If Mr. Plett wants to identify Conservative voters in my riding, it should be paid by the Conservative Party, not by Canadian taxpayers.”

Earlier this year, the Liberals passed a bill limiting spending on “10 percenter” mailings of partisan flyers to other MPs’ ridings.

All parties engaged in the practice but parliamentary expense sheets show the Conservatives were the biggest users of it. From 2005 to 2009, the amount of public funds spent on the mailings jumped to more than $10 million from $5.9 million, according to the release.

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