Political consultant Warren Kinsella is calling on the Commissioner of Canada Elections to investigate his own firm and “leave no stone unturned” after revelations that it worked on a secret campaign to “seek and destroy” the People’s Party of Canada.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has refused to confirm or deny that his party hired Mr. Kinsella’s firm, Daisy Group, to perform the work.
Michelle Laliberté, a spokesperson from the Commissioner of Canada Elections, confirmed to The Globe and Mail on Tuesday that it has received a letter from Mr. Kinsella’s firm.
“That said, the confidentiality provisions of the Canada Elections Act prevent me from discussing how the Commissioner will proceed, or not, in a particular case,” Ms. Laliberté said in an e-mail.
The Globe reported the existence of the plan – dubbed Project Cactus – last Friday and a source with direct knowledge of the work told The Globe that the Conservative Party was Daisy’s client. The source was granted anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
In a since-deleted post on his personal website dated Oct. 22 at 1:19 a.m., Mr. Kinsella showed an image of the first page of a letter on Daisy letterhead addressed to Elections Canada and the Commissioner of Canada Elections.
“We’ve written to Elections Canada. It’s a lengthy letter,” he wrote. “It makes a couple of points. One, we are proud to oppose racists like Maxime Bernier and his People’s Party. Two, we are confident we have done the right thing. Therefore, we’ve invited Elections Canada to come and investigate us. Leave no stone unturned.”
In a separate post focused on the federal election results, Mr. Kinsella said his campaign against Mr. Bernier was done in the “wrong way.”
“I lost. I’ve lost a lot in recent months, too – family I deeply love, friends, hope. While I am proud we opposed Bernier’s racism, I – not my colleagues – did it the wrong way. I hurt them, and those who trusted me. I deserve every bit of the contempt that continues to come my way. I deserve condemnation. I lost, I’m lost, and I’m not sure how to find my way back to shore.”
Mr. Kinsella declined a request to comment on Tuesday.
Daisy Group documents describing Project Cactus said the focus was to place Mr. Bernier on the defensive and keep him out of the national leaders’ debates.
“Daisy will create an arm’s-length organization that cannot be linked to the client or any participating organization,” said one internal document obtained by The Globe.
Mr. Bernier, who came a close second to Mr. Scheer for the Conservative Party leadership in 2017, failed to win his own seat Monday as a PPC candidate. The PPC received 1.6 per cent of the popular vote nationally.
Mr. Bernier said on Saturday that he would be filing a complaint with the Commissioner of Canada Elections over the matter, which he described as “an attack on the integrity of our democratic process.”