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Seven companies admit to making illegal corporate donations to ex-MP Penashue

Last Updated Jul 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm EDT

OTTAWA – Seven companies have acknowledged giving illegal donations to former federal cabinet minister Peter Penashue during the 2011 election campaign.

Executives with the seven have struck “compliance agreements” with the commissioner of elections, in which they publicly acknowledge having made illegal contributions and promise to abide by the ban on corporate donations in future.

The admission of responsibility does not constitute a criminal conviction by a court of law and does not create a criminal record.

Penashue, elected as the Conservative MP for Labrador, resigned in 2013 amid allegations that his 2011 campaign had accepted illegal corporate donations and discounted airfares.

He put his reputation to the test in a byelection but was defeated.

Reg Bowers, Penashue’s official agent in the 2011 campaign, has since been charged with three counts of accepting illegal corporate contributions, an offence under the Canada Elections Act.

Penashue has described Bowers as an “inexperienced volunteer.”

The compliance agreements were published Friday in the Canada Gazette.

Executives of Air Labrador Ltd., Dee-Max Innu Tautshuap Ltd., Innu-Chiasson Construction Ltd., Kakatshu Construction Ltd., Labrador Sales Ltd. and N.E. Parrot Surveys Ltd. admit they directed their companies to donate $1,000 each to Penashue’s campaign.

The CEO of Pennecon Ltd. admits that six of his company’s officers were involved in sending Penashue’s campaign a $5,500 corporate cheque.