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

Colwood drive-thru window smashed after suspect receives burger without mustard

Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

UPDATED: Bear spotted walking on sidewalk near Uptown

Urban sightings prompt warnings from Saanich Police Department

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP look for Lochside Drive robbery suspect

One man arrested with a second man on the run following May 1 robbery

Second bear sighting in a week at View Royal neighbourhood

West Shore RCMP warns residents to not approach black bears

Telus headquarters to come to Victoria in ‘landmark building’ development

City sells land on coroner of Douglas and Humboldt streets for $8.1 million

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Most Read