OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada has submitted a formal complaint to Canada’s Elections Commissioner regarding the failure of partisan “media project” PressProgress to register as a third party.
Press Progress is a project of the Broadbent Institute, a policy think tank closely aligned with the NDP that was founded by former NDP leader Ed Broadbent. The institute also has had several prominent current and/or former members of the NDP as directors including Bill Blaikie, Bill Knight, Peggy Nash and Brian Topp.
PressProgress’s work is strongly partisan. It has mirrored NDP tactics by misrepresenting Green Party policy and candidates and is using its resources and platform to influence the Canadian election. However, it has not registered as a third party under the Canada Elections Act, despite undertaking regulated activities such as partisan messaging and conducting election surveys.
“The Broadbent Institute is not above the law,” said Green Party Director of Communications John Chenery. “Claiming to be a ‘media project’ should not exempt it from Canada’s electoral regulations.”
The NDP has suffered a great deal of negative blowback recently for distributing what CTV Fact Check called “wildly misleading” pamphlets on Vancouver Island. Well known actress and BC native Pamela Anderson criticized the NDP flyers as “nasty American-style politics.”
The pamphlet, authorized by the NDP’s official agent and distributed to certain ridings on Vancouver Island, misquotes the Green candidate in North Island–Powell River and party leader Elizabeth May and contains misleading claims about Green policies. The Green Party has also submitted a complaint to the Commissioner about this literature.
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“The Canada Elections Act restricts how third parties can interact with regulated political entities and associated persons. Generally, the Act seeks to ensure that third parties operate independently of other entities to preserve the integrity of the political financing regime.
Specifically, the Act directly prohibits collusion between third parties and regulated entities for the purpose of circumventing the party's or candidate's spending limits, or for the purpose of influencing third parties' regulated activities.
As well, third parties must always be careful not to make ineligible contributions to regulated entities by working too closely with them. Coordination between a third party and a regulated entity that leads to the regulated entity benefiting from a good or service paid for or provided by the third party may result, directly or indirectly, in a contribution.”