OTTAWA – NDP MP Charlie Angus criticizes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for filming a fundraising video at the end of the year at his Hill Hill office, violating rules that prevent deputies from using parliamentary resources to raise money.
The video, posted on Trudeau's Facebook page on December 28, shows the prime minister in his office in the Block Center, flanked by two Canadian flags. "You are at the heart of this move for a positive policy – and you know what's at stake," he says, addressing his supporters. "That's why I ask you to join the tens of thousands of Canadians who have already donated this month before December 31St. the deadline to start in 2019. "
The post contains a link to the Liberal Party website, where supporters are asked to make donations.
The problem is that members of Parliament are governed by strict rules on the maintenance of their parliamentary work separate from fundraising and electoral campaigns. According to the jurisprudence of the members of the board of directors of the domestic economy governing the House of Commons, parliamentary headquarters such as the Center Block can not be used for partisan activities, including "requests for contributions and requests to join a political party" or "activities related to the re-election of a member. "
Angus said filming a fundraising announcement in the prime minister's office was a "fight with Bush" movement from someone who should have known better. "He knows the rules, this is not a backbencher activity, he is the prime minister of the country," he said. "It seems he thinks that because he is Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, the rules do not apply."
Angus said the rules are very clear, especially for a direct fund-raising call and he was surprised by the decision. "The Prime Minister has enormous resources to fulfill its mission, and the Liberal Party has enormous power and capacity to make money," he said. "It is such a direct financial question. It seems to me that they do not care that the rules are in place."
In an e-mail, Liberal Party spokesman Braeden Caley said the film was filmed in the Center's office "due to Mr Trudeau's time constraints in the other important premier activity." He said that the party "reimbursement", which will be completed by the beginning of next week but did not say what will be the reimbursement.
The party "is undergoing an appropriate reimbursement"
He also confirmed that the film was filmed using the equipment of the Liberal Party, "not with parliamentary resources, equipment or expense."
Caley argued that the Liberals are not the first to use Parliament Hill's offices for partisan purposes by showing a pre-election announcement in 2015 where former Prime Minister Stephen Harper was working in the office. However, Conservative Party spokesman Cory Hann confirmed that the ad was filmed at the 24-seat Sussex Drive's official residence, which is not subject to the same rules.
Angus said he plans to send a letter to the board of directors of the domestic economy asking for a review of the fundraising video. The Liberals have a majority in the board of directors, which is made up of seven deputies from all three major parties, but Angus said a "fierce bit of fingering" could also be useful.
"They have an obligation to ensure that all MPs comply with the rules."