Liberals contravened bribery rules: Elections Ontario

The Ontario Liberals have contravened of a bribery section of the Election Act in the recent Sudbury, Ont., byelection, the chief of Elections Ontario wrote in a letter released on Thursday.

Greg Essensa, the chief electoral officer of Ontario, says there were “apparent contraventions” to the Act in the Liberals offering a former candidate incentives to not run in the election.

Essensa says since Elections Ontario has no mandate to conduct prosecutions he has referred the matter to the Ministry of the Attorney General.

“Having reviewed the evidence and findings from this regulatory investigation, I am of the opinion that the actions of Gerry Lougheed Jr. and Patricia Sorbara amount to apparent contraventions of subsection 96.1(e) of the Election Act,” wrote Essensa. “Consequently, I have reported this matter to the Attorney General of Ontario.”

He says these are “unprecedented circumstances” as no chief electoral officer has ever conducted an investigation into bribery allegations or reported an apparent contravention of the Election Act before.

h/t DM