One candidate said yesterday his campaign was unwillingly dragged into the scheme and disclosed that the party warned him not to discuss the transactions with Elections Canada after he demanded an internal accounting last December.I'll be curious to see if Landry has more to say about which "directors" were involved. But even if he doesn't go public with that information, it seems entirely likely that Landry's mention of the "grilling" signals that Elections Canada already knows at least some details about who called the shots for the Cons.
Jean Landry, a former Bloc Quebecois MP who placed second as a Tory candidate in Richmond-Arthabaska, said that, after Elections Canada challenged his financial statements, he asked the party for bills proving $26,000 his campaign paid the party for advertising expenses were incurred on his behalf.
"Directors of the Conservative party called me to tell me not to talk to Elections Canada again because there were others dealing with the problem," said Mr. Landry, who added that Elections Canada investigators grilled him for three hours earlier this summer.
Mr. Landry says he will have nothing more to do with the Conservative party.
And Landry's comment is also significant in demonstrating central control over Con dealings with Elections Canada. If anything, if the expenditures had been ordered and made at the riding level, it would surely make sense for the matter to be dealt with at that level again. But with the national party both warning Landry against sharing the results of his own review and telling him not to talk to investigators, it seems all the more likely that there's something to hide. And the Cons' efforts to block any cooperation with Elections Canada may make for another wrongful action.
That said, whatever happens in the investigation only figures to offer a second wave of fallout. No matter what comes out later, it's clear that the Cons are already facing a serious loss of support from agents and candidates arising out of their own Adscam. And particularly given the number of Quebec ridings involved, the scandal seems likely to put a serious dent in the Cons' efforts to gain any more ground in Quebec.