Elections Commissioner Yves Cote asked to look into the Conservatives connections to Toronto developer Jiancheng Zhou – a former Liberal donor.
Both the Liberals and NDP are asking for Elections Commissioner Yves Cote to investigate the Conservative Party’s connections to ‘Ted’ Jiancheng Zhou – a Toronto developer who has set up “10 Chinese-Canadian conservative non-profit organizations.”
As reported by the Globe & Mail, “Mr. Zhou, a former Liberal donor who has condominium projects in Canada and China, set up Chinese-Canadian conservative groups in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario as well as a national organization called the Federation of Chinese Canadian Conservatives (FCCC). The stated purpose of the FCCC is to assist the “Conservative Party to develop new members; disseminating ideas and policies of the Conservative Party; assisting the Conservative Party to educate and train candidates, party members and to develop volunteers.””
The concern expressed by the Liberals & NDP is that Zhou’s group could be used to go around the campaign spending limits.
However, the Conservatives have denied any formal connection to Zhou’s effort:
“The FCCC is playing no role for the Conservative Party of Canada or the Conservative Fund, no caucus members are involved in the FCCC. As far as Mr. Zhou is concerned, he does not have a role either in fundraising or organizing on the party’s behalf … He has organized the FCCC as an independent group of Chinese Canadians who want to promote conservative values in their community.”
Zhou also says his group has no formal connection to the Conservative Party.
However, the formal Canada Elections Chief – Jean-Pierre Kingsley – thinks there should be an investigation:
“It raises the questions about collusion and these are matters that should be looked at frankly in order to satisfy Canadians that the financial provisions of our status – which makes Canada a leader in this field – are being respected.”
Motives of Liberals & NDP are suspect
The motives of the Liberals & NDP are suspect in this case, as both of those parties have faced their own election law related troubles. They are also likely concerned about the Conservatives potentially gaining support in the Canadian Chinese community, and want to block any groups that are seeking to get more people to vote Conservative.
That said, this should still be looked into. If the Conservatives plan to be different, and if they plan to restore some accountability to government, then they need to show that they are following the laws. Otherwise, more and more people will come to the conclusion that ‘all politicians are the same,’ which always helps the party that’s already in power.
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