OTTAWA - The opposition New Democrats are asking police to investigate a federal budget leak that they say could have allowed insiders to manipulate the market.
NDP deputy finance critic Guy Caron has written to RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson to say a pre-budget leak into tariff breaks for hockey equipment opened an "opportunity for personal financial gain."
The National Post, followed by the Globe and Mail, both reported last week that the measure would be part of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's eighth spending blueprint.
The leak was widely interpreted as the Harper government's effort to influence media coverage — and television reports on budget day were indeed filled with kids in hockey gear.
Only later did it become clear that the Conservatives had increased tariffs on a much wider array of goods, more than offsetting any tariff cuts to a few popular items.
Caron says such budget leaks were once taken very seriously, citing the leak under the Mulroney Conservatives in 1989 that led to the resignation of the finance minister and an RCMP investigation.