Elections Canada Investigator stops by CC

12 x 18 NDP Poster12 x 18 NDP PosterOn Monday morning, Elections Canada Special Investigator Leonard Giles visited me at my Cannabis Culture office to open an investigation on the 2004 card & poster campaign I was involved in.
I answered his questions about the cards (80,000 printed, $4,000 from POT-TV and $2,500 from me were the facts) and after I confessed, he said: “At this point I must advise you that any statement can and will be used against you in a court of law, and that you may wish to retain a lawyer at this point in time. If you wish, I have the number of duty council you may wish to call.”

Thats never a good turn in the conversation, though usually when I hear it there are handcuffs being applied.

I clearly though unwittingly broke the law by not registering as a “third party participant” in the 2004 election campaign. I figured that the BC Marijuana Party, Cannabis Culture magazine, and POT.TV were free to pursue our ‘raison d’etre’ (‘the reason we exist’) 365 days of the year without special permit. The BCMP is already audited annually and must comply with BC Election Law. Is a registered provincial party really a third party participant?

Mr. Giles got the facts and retired back to Elections Canada. It is a certainty I will be hearing from them.

The potential fines for not registering as a ‘third party participant’ include fines of thousands of dollars and several months in jail! And no doubt my bail conditions prohibit me from getting into trouble with the law. Ulp!

However, demand created by media reports has necessitated a third printing of the cards and posters and we’ll try to print as many as demand.

— Monday, January 9, 6.00 p.m.

Our story over the weekend ran as…

The campaign to endorse the NDP’s position on prohibition and how it impacts gun crime and gang activity was only a concept on Wednesday, was designed on Thursday, printed on Friday and released Saturday. It made news within 24 hours when the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Kingsley, had representatives from Election Canada call Marc Emery to say that Elections Canada had written a special note to be delivered Monday at 11:30 a.m. in regards to the legality of the card and poster campaign.

Elections Canada is seeking information on the printing of the 2004 NDP/Jack Layton card, of which 80,000 cards were made, and whether there has been a violation of the laws of the Election Act in that case and in the case of the new 2006 card and poster series.

Shortly after announcing in the Cannabis Culture forums that Elections Canada had very definitely requested a meeting at the earliest opportunity, the internet site www.bourque.com reported on the news. Canadian Press at this time has interviewed Marc about matter and a story is expected in some media affiliated with the Canadian Press wire service.

20,000 copies of the new card have been printed so far, with 10,000 designated to both Ontario and British Columbia. The idea is to hand out the 4.25″ x 5.5″ colour cards out on Friday and Saturday night to theatre patrons, hockey fans, movie goers, pedestrians and bar patrons in the most frequented areas in Vancouver, Toronto, Hamilton, Windsor, Sudbury, Ottawa, and other areas.

The posters and cards were designed quickly by Assistant Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine Jodie Giesz-Ramsay, sponsored by Chris Goodwin’s Up In Smoke Cafe in Hamilton, and are already circulating in both Hamilton and the Vancouver area. If there is demand, Goodwin said he will print more, and has a turnaround time of 24 hours. (Make your request for your own poster supply by emailing him here.)

Handbill backHandbill backIf you want to download a PDF file of the cards (4.25 x 5.5 inches) or posters (scaleable at 12 x 18 inches) to print in your area, then go to www.upinsmokecafe.ca. Or, you can email Jodie and request PDFs of the handout and poster at [email protected].

If you want to obtain pre-printed cards, they are available in Ontario at Up In Smoke Cafe at 227 King St. East in Hamilton (email [email protected], phone 905-777-9119).

Cards and large posters are also available at the BC Marijuana Party Bookstore, at 307 West Hastings St. in Vancouver (email [email protected], phone 604-689-0590).

See the poster and card design, as well as some discussion with forum members, at the Cannabis Culture Forums – eNDProhibition Forum. Be sure to look into the Canadian Election forum while you’re there too!