Raitt vows to recover every penny from NDP for partisan mass mailings | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Raitt vows to recover every penny from NDP for partisan mass mailings

June 12, 2014 - 9:51 AM

OTTAWA - The minister responsible for Canada Post says she will ensure New Democrat MPs pay back "every single penny" of free parliamentary postal privileges used to send out almost 2 million partisan missives.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt says she'll be discussing the matter in the coming days with the head of Canada Post and will seek a report on the post office's plan for recovering $1.13 million in franked NDP mail.

Raitt's statement follows a decision late Wednesday by the multi-party board of internal economy that 23 New Democrat MPs improperly used parliamentary resources to send 1.8 million partisan mailings to households in 26 ridings, including four that were in the midst of byelections late last year.

The board, which oversees the finances of the House of Commons and sets rules for MPs' spending, ordered the NDP to reimburse $36,000 in direct mailing costs to the Commons.

It said it did not have the power to compel the MPs to reimburse Canada Post for misuse of $1.13 million in free mailing privileges, known as franking, but said they have an obligation to do so.

Transport Canada gives Canada Post an annual subsidy of $22 million to help defray the cost of free government mail.

In an email statement Thursday from her office, Raitt said: "Rest assured, every single penny that was misspent by the NDP will be paid back to hard working Canadian taxpayers."

The NDP has said it will challenge the board's verdict and any attempt by Canada Post to recover the cost of franking in court.

The party maintains it is the victim of a partisan "witch hunt" by Conservative and Liberal members of the board, which New Democrats say has been turned into a "kangaroo court."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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