After months of heated denials, the federal Conservative party has quietly admitted it failed to publicly disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of donations.
That means at least three party members — including Prime Minister Stephen Harper — donated more than the legal limit last year.
Last Thursday, the party filed a revised financial report for 2005 with Elections Canada, acknowledging that it did not report delegate fees collected for its national convention that year as donations, contrary to political financing laws.
In the revised report, the Conservatives have "reclassified revenue related to the 2005 convention," disclosing an additional $539,915 in previously unreported donations, an extra $913,710 in "other revenue," and an additional $1.45 million in "other expenses."
The report does not explain what constitutes "other revenue" or "other expenses."
Moreover, the party reports almost $700,000 in previously undisclosed transfers from riding associations, presumably accounting for ridings that helped subsidize the cost of attending the Montreal policy convention for their delegates.
Opposition parties say the Conservatives are guilty of either gross ignorance or deliberately flouting the law.
"The reality is it sounds like they broke a lot of laws and they're going to have to be answering for that, no doubt about it," said Liberal MP Mark Holland, who added that the Tories are probably hoping nobody notices their admission over the holidays.
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