Commissioner Of Canada Elections
Canada Elections Act
This notice is published by the Commissioner of Canada Elections, pursuant to section 521 of the Canada Elections Act, S.C. 2000, c. 9.
On May 25, 2018, the Commissioner of Canada Elections entered into a compliance agreement with Mr. Douglas K. Lowry, pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act. The text of the compliance agreement is set out in full below.
May 31, 2018
Pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act (the Act), the Commissioner of Canada Elections (the Commissioner) and Douglas K. Lowry (the Contracting Party) enter into this agreement aimed at ensuring compliance with the Act.
The relevant provisions of the Act are subsection 363(2) and paragraph 497(1)(b), which make it an offence for the financial agent of a registered association who receives a contribution from an ineligible contributor to fail to return the contribution, if it has been used, to the Receiver General of Canada, within 30 days after becoming aware of the ineligibility of the contributor.
Statements by the Contracting Party
For the purpose of this compliance agreement, the Contracting Party acknowledges the following:
- The Contracting Party has been the financial agent for the registered Association of the Conservative Party of Canada in the Electoral District of Spadina—Fort York (the Association) since November 20, 2013.
- On September 29, 2015, the Contracting Party received, on behalf of the Association, a monetary contribution of $13,210.20 from the Spadina Trust.
- The Spadina Trust is not an eligible contributor pursuant to the Act.
- Indeed, paragraph 363(1) of the Act prohibits any person or entity other than an individual who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada from making a contribution to a registered association.
- Pursuant to subsection 363(2) of the Act, if a registered association of a registered party receives a monetary contribution from a person or entity that is not an eligible contributor under the Act, the financial agent of the registered association must, within 30 days after becoming aware of the contributor's ineligibility, return the contribution unused to the contributor or, if that is not possible, pay the amount of the contribution to the Chief Electoral Officer who forwards it to the Receiver General.
- On March 15, 2017, the Contracting Party was made aware by Elections Canada that the Spadina Trust is not an eligible contributor under the Act. The Contracting Party was also informed that he therefore had to return the full amount of the contribution made by the Spadina Trust to the Receiver General, as the contribution had been used by the Association.
- The Contracting Party has not yet returned the contribution in question to the Receiver General.
- Instead of complying with subsection 363(2) of the Act, the Contracting Party transferred the total amount of the contribution at issue to the law firm of Bodnaruk & Capone, in trust, by way of two cheques dated on May 19 and October 16, 2017, drawn on the Association's bank account.
- The Contracting Party acknowledges and accepts his responsibility for these acts.
- The Contracting Party understands that acknowledgement of non-compliance does not constitute a guilty plea in the criminal sense and that no record of conviction is created as a result of admitting responsibility for acts that could constitute an offence under the Act.
- The Contracting Party acknowledges that the Commissioner has advised him of his right to be represented by counsel and that he has had the opportunity to obtain counsel.
Factors considered by the Commissioner
In entering into this compliance agreement, the Commissioner took into account the factors set out in paragraph 32 of the Compliance and Enforcement Policy of the Commissioner of Canada Elections. In particular, the Commissioner took into account the Contracting Party's prompt and full cooperation in the Commissioner's investigation.
Undertakings and Agreement
The Contracting Party undertakes to recover the funds transferred in trust to the law firm of Bodnaruk & Capone (i.e., an amount of $13,210.20) and to deposit these funds into the Association's bank account, within a period of 15 days, at the latest, after publication of the compliance agreement on the Commissioner's website.
The Contracting Party also undertakes to issue a cheque to the Receiver General for the amount of the illegal contribution, and to send this cheque to the Chief Electoral Officer, at the latest, within 15 days after the funds are deposited into the Association's bank account.
The Contracting Party agrees to comply with the relevant provisions of the Act in the future.
The Contracting Party consents to the publication of this compliance agreement on the Commissioner's website and for the link to that page on the website to be transmitted via the Commissioner's Twitter account.
The Commissioner agrees that the fulfillment by the Contracting Party of the undertakings in this agreement will constitute compliance with the agreement.
Pursuant to subsection 517(8) of the Act, the Commissioner and the Contracting Party recognize that once this compliance agreement is entered into, the Commissioner will be prevented from referring this matter for prosecution to the Director of Public Prosecutions unless there is non-compliance with the terms of the compliance agreement, and in any event, the Director of Public Prosecutions cannot institute such a prosecution unless non-compliance is established.
Signed by the Contracting Party, in the City of Toronto, in the Province of Ontario, this 25th day of May, 2018.
Douglas K. Lowry
Signed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections, in the City of Gatineau, in the Province of Quebec, this 25th day of May, 2018.
Yves Côté, QC
Commissioner of Canada Elections