POLITICS

Some election scandals that dogged the Conservatives in recent yeara

10/31/2014 04:09 EDT | Updated 12/31/2014 05:59 EST
OTTAWA - Here is a look at some of the election-related scandals that have swirled around the Conservative party in recent years.

In and Out: During the 2006 election campaign, the Conservatives moved money from local riding associations to the national party, allegedly as a way of getting around campaign spending limits. After a five-year investigation, the party pleaded guilty to Elections Act charges and repaid $230,198.

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Robocalls I: During the 2011 federal election, there were claims that automated phone calls were made in a number of ridings in an effort to misdirect voters to wrong or non-existent voting places. The Council of Canadians went to court to overturn the results in six ridings. In May 2013, Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley found that fraud was at play as a result of the robocalls, but said the scale didn't justify wiping out the results of voting.

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Robocalls II: Michael Sona, a former Conservative campaign worker in Guelph, was the only person to be charged in connection with election robocalls. In August, Sona was convicted of wilfully preventing or endeavouring to prevent an elector from voting. He is to be sentenced in November.

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Peter Penashue: In March 2013, then-intergovernmental affairs minister Peter Penashue resigned his Commons seat over ineligible campaign donations made during the 2011 campaign. He blamed an inexperienced campaign worker and repaid $30,000. He then ran in a byelection in May, and lost.

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Improper ballots: After losing his seat to Conservative Ted Opitz in the 2011 election, Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj went to court, claiming irregularities. He argued that some ballots were cast by people ineligible to vote. A Superior Court judge ruled in his favour, throwing out enough votes to cancel Opitz's narrow, 26-vote victory. The Supreme Court of Canada overruled that decision in October 2012 and Opitz kept his seat.

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Del Mastro: The former parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper was convicted Friday of exceeding spending limits in the 2008 federal election. Del Mastro was also convicted of failing to report a personal contribution of $21,000 to his own campaign and knowingly submitting a falsified document.