Less than a month before he resigned from his job, former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley wrote to some Conservative candidates' campaigns instructing them to back up claims for advertising expenses that are now central to the "in-and-out" investigation of the party's financing of the 2006 election.The in-and-out scheme was not on the radar at the time of Kingsley's departure in late 2006. Wonder if Mr. Kingsley would care to elaborate upon matters now that he has some distance from the job and the in-and-out scheme has become a central public issue?
The elections watchdog told Tory campaign officials they needed to provide more details to support the advertising expenses in returns filed to Elections Canada.
Mr. Kingsley asked the candidates' official agents for copies of the contracts with their advertising agencies, scripts of the ads and the dates the ads appeared.
In a series of letters sent out beginning Nov. 29, 2006, Mr. Kingsley gave the agents firm deadlines to provide the documents and told them failure to do so would be an offence.
Less than a month after sending the letters, on Dec. 22, Mr. Kingsley wrote to the Speaker of the House of Commons saying he was resigning. The Prime Minister's Office announced his departure six days later.
The move stirred intense speculation about why he would step down from a job he appeared to relish, two years before the end of his term, and amid rumours of a possible election that spring. But at the time, the public was unaware of the simmering feud between the Tories and Elections Canada over the $1.1-million in advertising purchases now dubbed as the "in and out" scheme.