The Liberal Party's website has a press release from yesterday which attempts to mislead Canadians about the Canada Elections Act and its legal obligations. Either the Liberal Party doesn't understand the Elections Act, hasn't even read it, or just hopes that Canadians are too stupid to understand it themselves.
Rather than admitting that they have contravened the Canada Elections Act by not repaying leadership campaign loans on time, they pretend that they are under no obligation to do so within the 18 month prescribed period.
They claim that: "In fact the rules are clearly spelled out the Canada Election Act in Section 435.29. A number of people are under the impression that June 3 is a debt repayment deadline. In fact, the Elections Act allows candidates to honour binding agreements to pay beyond the 18-month period. The June 3 deadline is not a 'repayment' deadline at all."
How can the Liberals claim that June 3 is not a repayment deadline when the Elections Act [s. 435.24 (1)] clearly states a leadership debt "must be paid within 18 months after the end of the leadership contest." To pretend that the phrase 'must be paid with in' does not constitute a repayment deadline is sheer lunacy.
Furthermore, the Act [s. 435.26 (1)] states that an extension may be granted if the Chief Electoral Officer is "satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for doing so." This is not an automatically granted extension as the Liberal press release seems to indicate. I find it laughable also that the Liberal Party seems to think that 'reasonable grounds' for an extension include inability to pay due to lack of support, lack of fundraising, and general poverty of the Liberal Party and its former leadership candidates.
I suggest that the Liberal Party actually read the Canada Elections Act in full prior to making erroneous claims about the Act and its provisions for the repayment of debts by leadership candidates.