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.

Just Posted

Touring exhibit from Royal B.C. Museum highlights First Nations languages

Qualicum Beach Museum will be home to a variety of interactive stations

‘Dirty Money’ in Nanoose Bay: Dr. Peter German to speak at ElderCollege

‘This is an evolving study’: presenting up-to-date information on B.C. organized crime

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to campaign in Port Alberni

Singh joins Courtenay-Alberni candidate for rally to kick off final weekend before election

Winter preparation underway for mid-Island highways

Drivers reminded to ready vehicles for changing conditions

Qualicum Beach council discusses helping out Orca Place residents

Town considers offer of temporary jobs in the future

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

Everything you need to know before getting the flu shot

Island pharmacist shares concerns, recommendations before flu season hits

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Vancouver Island’s West Coast going wild about cycling

Ongoing project will tie Tofino and Ucluelet together with a paved cycling trail

Drop, cover and hold on: Thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

This year’s drill comes as scientists announce discovery of ‘stormquakes,’ an earthquake and hurricane

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Frustration and pride in Canada after a year of legal pot

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

Most Read