NCC Says Corbeil Allegations Point to Liberal Hypocrisy on Gag law
(Toronto, April 21, 2005) The National Citizens Coalition says recent allegations suggest the federal Liberals are supreme hypocrites when it comes to election gag laws.
"The Liberal government enacted an election gag law supposedly to ensure a fair vote" says NCC vice president Gerry Nicholls. "Yet according to allegations from Benoit Corbeil, the former director of the Quebec wing of the Liberal party, the same Liberal government secretly violated Quebec?s gag law during the 1995 referendum."
Corbeil told Radio-Canada yesterday that "secret" Liberal funds were spent to aid the federalist forces in the referendum and that such spending clearly violated, if not smashed, Quebec electoral laws.
"Apparently, the Liberals think its OK for them to spend money to influence voters, even if it means breaking the law, but independent groups and private citizens must keep quiet during federal elections or go to jail," says Nicholls. "The Liberal mindset on this is not only hypocritical, it?s scary."
Nicholls points out that the Liberal government dragged the NCC into court, accusing it of breaking the gag law during the 2000 federal election.
"It seems the same Liberals who allegedly broke the Quebec gag law, were persecuting us for supposedly breaking the federal gag law," says Nicholls. "It shows that the Liberal justification for this law ? the need to create a level playing field ? was a sham. They don?t care about level playing fields, they only care about stifling dissent."
The federal Liberal gag law imposes severe restrictions on what private citizens or groups can spend to express opinions during federal elections.
The NCC battled this law in the courts arguing it infringed on freedom of expression but last year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled it was constitutional.
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