Special prosecutor to assist RCMP in B.C. donations investigation – Ontario News

Special prosecutor to assist RCMP in B.C. donations investigation – Ontario News

A special prosecutor has been appointed to assist the RCMP in its investigation of political donations in British Columbia, which followed a Globe and Mail report into indirect contributions from lobbyists.

A news release from the province’s Criminal Justice Branch said David Butcher was appointed to “provide legal advice to the RCMP in relation to an investigation being conducted into indirect political contributions and other potential contraventions of the B.C. Election Act.”

A recent Globe and Mail investigation found lobbyists had made indirect donations by paying under their own names on behalf of clients and companies before they were reimbursed, which is illegal. The story prompted Elections BC to launch an investigation into the fundraising activities of the province’s political parties, which was subsequently handed over to the RCMP.

Investigation: British Columbia: The ‘wild west’ of fundraising

Explainer: Political donations in Canada: A guide to the ‘wild west’ vs. the rest

Globe editorial: In B.C., political fundraising reform is coming! Eventually. Maybe

Earlier this week, the RCMP asked the assistant deputy attorney general to consider appointing a special prosecutor to provide legal advice, Thursday’s news release said.

“The [assistant deputy attorney general] concluded, based on the request and the information available about the alleged circumstances of the case that the appointment of a special prosecutor is in the public interest,” said the statement.

It said such an appointment is considered in situations “where some aspect of an investigation, or prosecution file, carries a significant potential for real or perceived improper…

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