Peter Penashue. — Transcontinental Media file photo
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A source close to former Conservative MP and cabinet minister Peter Penashue (pen-ASH’-away) says the prime minister will announce the byelection date for Labrador in the next two weeks.
The Canada Elections Act requires a campaign of at least 36 days, which would mean a byelection would happen by mid-May.
Penashue quit his post last week after his campaign accepted 28 separate illegal contributions but he has launched a bid for re-election.
Elections Canada documents show that almost $48,000 in improper donations have since been repaid to the federal Receiver General.
Penashue says he was unaware of the overspending and has blamed an “inexperienced volunteer” — his former official agent.
Tyler Sommers of Democracy Watch says Penashue is shirking responsibility and should not be allowed to run again until Elections Canada releases results of its investigation into his campaign spending.
Penashue’s re-election website is offering lawn signs and accepting donations, and a large ad in a Labrador newspaper is promoting his work as an MP.