Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper is aware of the allegations of improper behaviour by Cariboo-Prince George MP Dick Harris listed in a riding executive committee report, but will not comment, his communications director said Thursday.
“The RCMP has indicated they are looking at the situation to decide whether to launch an investigation, and we have no further comment,” Geoff Norquay said.
The party has no set procedure for action when allegations are made against an MP, he added, and is waiting to see what becomes of the situation.
A nominations committee report leaked to media last week lists a dozen alleged improper – and possibly illegal – tactics by Harris during his nomination battle this spring with Williams Lake dentist Elmer Thiessen.
They include dishonest phone calls, the registration of party members without their knowledge, and a conspiracy to bill the federal government for work that was not performed.
The riding executive has asked Harris to provide his phone and banking records, and give a written explanation of a memo in which it is alleged Harris asked a staffer to divert money to his girlfriend.
Sgt. John Ward, media officer for RCMP “E” Division headquarters, would not comment on the status of the investigation, launched in September after former Harris membership chair Josh Bredo alleged financial irregularities during the nomination campaign.
Thiessen, who sits on the riding’s board, said he and his campaign decided to “let things be” following the second nomination vote.
Harris won it by 16 votes, after appealing the original vote, which Thiessen won by three.
“At the time the (second vote) was called for, I had a big lump in my throat,” he said. “But I’m free of those (negative) feelings and thoughts now.”
He said he is also waiting to see how the situation develops.
Harris has said he will not comply with the association’s requests for information, alleging his political foes are trying to still fight the nomination campaign.
Riding association president Bryan Withage said the executive is neutral and impartial, and is simply trying to get to the bottom of the allegations.