Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Documents connect Lunn campaign, third party advertisers

*Story clarification added Mar. 30, 5:45 p.m.

Documents filed with Elections Canada draw more connections between the campaign to re-elect Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn and third party advertisers in the riding.

Lunn's campaign co-manager, Byng Giraud, helped one of the groups buy signs, the Tyee reported today.

The financial declaration from Citizens Against Higher Taxes lists just one expense: “Byng Giraud Richmond Plastics (has signs) purchase.”

Officials for the group either could not be reached or refused to answer questions. Giraud, however, said, “I picked up some signs for them . . . They just asked me to pick them up, and I said 'sure'.”

During the election period five groups sprouted up to advertise support for Lunn. Four of them shared a financial agent, Van Isle Marina owner Mark Dickinson, and were registered out of the legal office of Lunn associate and Victoria lawyer Bruce Hallsor.

Hallsor was vice-president of the Conservatives' electoral district association for Saanich-Gulf Islands at the time, and remains on the EDA executive in an "election readiness" position.

The Canada Elections Act defines a third party as “a person or a group, other than a candidate, registered party or electoral district association of a registered party.”

“You shouldn't be allowed to be involved with a third party and be involved with a campaign at the same time,” said Duff Conacher, the co-ordinator of the Ottawa advocacy group Democracy Watch.

That a third party would be buying signs from Giraud, as their submission states, raises questions, he said. “It seems to be some evidence there was co-operation and collusion between the third party and the minister's campaign workers.”

The act also prohibits third parties colluding with each other to exceed spending limits of $3,666 in any one riding. The five groups advertising for Lunn spent a total of $15,671.

“It is worthy of an investigation by Elections Canada to determine if what they did would be collusion,” said Conacher. “I feel very comfortable saying I think there is evidence pointing to them doing that.”*

Lunn's own campaign, according to recently released campaign financing reports, spent $89, 575 on election expenses, putting him within a couple thousand dollars of the spending limit in the riding.

Asked how he reponds to allegations his four groups could have colluded through him, financial agent Dickinson said, “You have a real good day, OK.”

Neither Hallsor nor Lunn returned calls.

Elections Canada's policy is to neither confirm nor deny whether an investigation is underway.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus