Liberals complain to elections commissioner about groups’ co-ordination

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OTTAWA — The federal Liberals are asking the elections commissioner to look into what they allege is possible improper co-ordination between two conservative pressure groups.

The party says in a letter to commissioner Yves Cote that Canada Proud and British Columbia Proud sent nearly identical mass emails on July 15, asking for donations to Canada Proud to save the country from a second term for the Liberals.

The catch is that Canada Proud is a registered third-party campaigner for the upcoming federal election, unlike British Columbia Proud, which ordinarily focuses on B.C. provincial politics.

The Liberals say B.C. Proud should register as a participant in the federal campaign if it’s doing third-party advocacy, and Canada Proud might be benefiting improperly from work being done by its provincial cousin.

Neither group immediately responded to a request from The Canadian Press for a response to the complaint.

Canada Proud is an offshoot of Ontario Proud, which was a major player in the last provincial election there, mainly attacking the Ontario Liberals and New Democrats.