The Liberal Party blocks bids to force campaign strategists to testify on MPs’ budgets

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party successfully blocked an opposition bid on Monday, which forced one of the party’s chief campaign strategists to testify about IT contracts paid by Liberal MPs’ taxpayers to fund budgets.

After the two-hour ethics committee meeting dragged on for more than five hours, Liberal MP Brenda Shanahan suddenly adjourned the meeting. The convener of the meeting discussed the testimony summoned by Tom Pittfield. He is an old friend of Trudeau and is in charge of the management. The Liberal Party’s digital business is in the 2015 and 2019 elections.

“Today, the Trudeau Liberal Party blocked an investigation into the use of taxpayer money by Liberal MPs to fund their political activities,” said Michael Barrett, a Conservative moral critic who filed a motion for Pitfield to appear in court. testify.

Barrett said he plans to try to learn more about the contracts between Pitfield’s data science company and 97% of the Liberal Caucus.

On Friday, May 27, 2016, at the 2016 Liberal Biennale in Winnipeg, Tom Pittfield (right) participated in the 2016 presidential campaign with Revolution Messaging’s Scott Goodstein (left) and Hillary Clinton A panel discussion with Teddy Goff, chief technology and digital strategist of. (John Woods/Canada Press)

Barrett said in a statement: “Obviously, this plan is more than what the Rudo Liberal Party has told Canadians.” “The Conservative Party will continue to fight for Canadians and get answers to cover up.”

Barrett’s motion is in Globe and Mail Disclosure Members of the Liberal Party have been using taxpayer-funded members’ budgets to pay for the services of two companies that also provide services to the Canadian Liberal Party: Data Sciences and NGP Van, which is a Liberal party used to run the Liberal Party A database of activities of the US political campaign software company.

The Liberal Party insists that there is a firewall between the services provided to members of Congress to help them complete their constituency work and the services provided to the Liberal Party to raise funds and track voter support.

“Covering” and “Witch Hunting”

The dispute comes as rumors of another federal election conference call are circulating on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks.

Liberal MPs today accused the Conservative Party of pursuing Pittfield because of his friendship with Trudeau and his participation in the “witch hunt.”

The Liberal MPs of the committee accused the Conservatives of using taxpayer resources to gather information for their party’s CIMS campaign database. They cited some examples in which Conservative Party members’ staff add district information to CIMS or access it, while being paid to handle district or Capitol Hill work on behalf of members of Congress.

They suggested that this issue should be dealt with by the Internal Economics Committee of the House of Commons, which is responsible for overseeing how members of Congress use their budgets, and that any research on this issue should focus on the Conservative Party.

The debate on the Liberal Party’s database contract gave us a glimpse into the secret world of political party databases and data mining.

Parties not subject to privacy rules

Although government departments and private companies are governed by federal privacy laws, which stipulate how they must handle Canadians’ private information, federal political parties are not subject to these rules.

This allows political parties to build a valuable database containing private information about Canadians and their political leanings over the years. Because they are not bound by law, they are not obliged to tell Canadians what information about them is contained in their database.

In May of this year, Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien closed the file concerning complaints about the data collection practices of Canada’s three federal political parties, stating that political parties are not protected by privacy laws and cannot be subject to laws governing private individuals. Companies, because their activities do not meet business conditions.

At Monday’s hearing, Conservative MP Jacques Gourde suggested that the House of Commons provide software to help all MPs manage their constituencies, rather than allowing political parties to develop their own software, which is more difficult to integrate with party databases. separate.

Goode said that with the decline in landline telephone usage, more and more voters are using mobile phones-contact information can be found in the United States but not in Canada.

“We all have the same problem-we can no longer reach our voters,” he said.

Elizabeth Thompson can be reached at [email protected]

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