Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A few more questions on the rumble at Conservative HQ

Other interesting aspects of today's brouhaha at Conservative HQ that I'm wondering about...

First, in the House today, Peter Van Loan was acting as if the Conservatives had no idea as to why today's search warrant had been executed by the RCMP on Elections Canada's behalf at Conservative party headquarters. This tells me that Van Loan may be splitting hairs, i.e., he's distancing the Conservative government from the Conservative party at this point, and playing that it may have been within the knowledge of party officials, but not government officials as to why today's events transpired. But if you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you way up in Arctic sovereignty territory, don't ya know...

It's more believable that the Conservative government is entirely in the loop on their own party's lawsuit against Elections Canada. So if today's search warrant was indeed a surprise to the Conservatives, this suggests that Elections Canada's warrant was obtained through a court order obtained without notice to the government. And if that's the case, then this move today by Elections Canada may prove to be very interesting once its rationale becomes publicly known. Court orders obtained without notice to the other party in the proceeding are usually matters of urgency and in Ontario civil matters, for example, notice to the other side is not required if circumstances render that notice to be "impracticable or unnecessary." What the circumstances might entail in this case, where Elections Canada apparently feels it is necessary to execute such a search warrant, presumably without notice to the Conservative party, we can only speculate. But I assume we'll find out at some point.

Second, this was an interesting comment that was picked up by a reporter:
Elections Canada officer Andre Thouin left the headquarters carrying a box of what he said were "documents that concern me," but he declined further comment, other than to say the RCMP was helping to carry out "an order."
No comment should have been made by this official and I don't read too much into this. But there it is, in any event.