NDP event billed as campaign gathering with Singh result of error: party

The House of Commons clerk has been notified of the mistake

An event that the federal New Democrats say was meant to be an ”open house” for Jagmeet Singh’s new B.C. constituency office was originally billed in an email invitation as a pre-election campaign event — the result of what the party says was an honest mistake.

Federal election law restricts the use of so-called MP resources, such as constituency offices, for election campaign purposes — something the party never intended to do, said Melanie Richer, the NDP’s director of communications.

“Our caucus and staff are always looking to respect the use of our parliamentary resources responsibly,” Richer said in a statement.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the people of Burnaby South to Jagmeet’s office in the riding and showcasing the ways his office can help.”

“With election day less than three months away, the excitement keeps growing here in Burnaby,” said the original email, which was sent Wednesday. “Let’s all come together and get ready to get excited, spread the word, and run the best possible campaign here in Burnaby South!”

As soon as the party recognized its mistake, a retraction describing the original email as having been “sent in error” was distributed, Richer said, followed by a new invite that made no reference to the election.

“I’m hosting an open house on Friday — and I’m hoping you’ll be there,” said the subsequent invitation, which purported to be from Singh himself. “It’s my opportunity to connect with you and share the work I’m doing for people here in Burnaby South.”

The House of Commons clerk has been notified of the mistake, Richer added.

Liberal party spokesman Parker Lund said the gaffe conjures memories of the so-called satellite office controversy: in 2014, the House of Commons committee known as the board of internal economy ordered 68 NDP MPs to pay back $2.7 million in parliamentary funds that went to offices in Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto.

The cash-strapped party has long denied using parliamentary resources inappropriately and has been fighting the decision in court ever since. Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear their appeal.

“The NDP should have learned their lesson: you can’t use taxpayer funded offices for campaigning,” Lund said in a statement. “Jagmeet Singh should do the right thing and cancel his event.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

federal election 2019

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Donated sculpture in Sidney’s Beacon Park a testament to perseverance

Victoria artist Armando Barbon picked up sculpting 22 years ago

Greater Victoria businesses come together to help Island kids

Langford Lowe’s raises funds for youth mental health all month

Sidney builds community resilience through neighbourhood gatherings

Meet Your Street needs residents to create gatherings, safe interactions

Langford racing enthusiast back in driver’s seat of life after surviving aggressive cancer

70-year-old David Smith finishes mid-pack in Canada 200 race at Western Speedway

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read