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Federal appeals court says it can t hear NDP case on satellite-office expenses

Federal appeals court says it can t hear NDP case on satellite-office expenses
Politics
OTTAWA -- The Federal Court of Appeal says it can t intervene in a case where more than five dozen NDP MPs were ordered to repay $2.7 million in expenses the House of Commons says was actually for partisan purposes.

The decision is a blow to the NDP, which is already struggling financially and has been trying to get the courts to agree the 2014 decision by the House of Commons administration committee was politically motivated and illegal.

The Commons committee ruled that 68 NDP MPs had to repay $2.7 million claimed as expenses for office staff, money the board said was actually used to subsidize party offices in Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto.

The NDP was seeking a judicial review to overturn the order from the House of Commons board of internal economy, and the board argued the courts don t have jurisdiction to overturn the decision because of parliamentary privilege.

A federal judge sided with the NDP and was allowing the judicial review, but the Federal Court of Appeal is striking down the judicial review applications, saying courts have no jurisdiction to hear them.

The original price tag for the NDP was $2.7 million but some MPs have been able to prove that their expenses were for legitimate parliamentary work.

Vellacott was an intervener in the case because BOIE had required him to repay per diems it found he wrongly claimed. https://t.co/CPmjI9myKR

The appeal court decision overturns lower court decision, says that BOIE decisions are covered by parliamentary privilege and not reviewable by law. (For legal geeks: ruling cites Vaid decision regarding former speaker Gib Parent s driver.) https://t.co/CPmjI9myKR

A lot of legal principle stuff in this, but bottom line is that NDP MPs (some of them now former) may have to cough up millions of dollars in an election year, unless, of course, the SCOC agrees to hear an appeal. https://t.co/C558wiPPOH
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