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Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis speaks to reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons on Oct. 4, 2010. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis speaks to reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons on Oct. 4, 2010. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Elections Canada shuts down Tory riding association that held Paradis fundraiser Add to ...

The Conservative riding association that held a fundraising event last year with Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis is being shut down by Elections Canada.

According to a filing this month in the Canada Gazette, Elections Canada is moving to deregister the Conservative association in the Montreal constituency of Bourassa for failing to comply with its annual reporting requirements. The deregistration will be official on Oct. 31.

Mr. Paradis, whose own riding is Mégantic-L'Érable, is the Conservative Party's Quebec lieutenant and was minister of Public Works last year when he attended a fundraiser with officials from seven companies involved in a major restoration project on Parliament Hill.

Those at the fundraiser paid between $500 and $1,000 to attend the cocktail reception with Mr. Paradis, who heard some complaints about his department's handling of contracts. He has said he simply referred matters to his officials in the department.

A $9-million contract from Public Works to construction firm LM Sauvé is being investigated by the RCMP over allegations of unregistered lobbying on the file by long-time Conservative supporter Gilles Varin.

Mr. Varin and LM Sauvé president Paul Sauvé were at the Bourassa event with Mr. Paradis.

The opposition is accusing the Conservatives of running a scheme in which companies are asked to make donations after receiving federal contracts.

The government maintains there is no link between the two and that it is ridiculous to argue that, given maximum donations of $1,100, someone would be able to influence the government.

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