NDP could be hit hard on postage payback ruling

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

David Akin, National Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 12:17 AM ET

OTTAWA - Federal New Democrats are fuming after a secretive House of Commons committee dominated by Conservatives ruled it will have to pay back what could be tens of thousands of dollars in postage costs that would otherwise have been picked up by taxpayers.

NDP MPs sent thousands of pieces of pro-NDP mail into the Montreal riding of Bourassa just before the November byelection won by Liberal Emmanuel Dubourg.

Under House of Commons rules, MPs may send pamphlets at taxpayer expense into ridings they don't represent as long as they abide by certain restrictions. One of those is that no riding can receive mailings during an election period.

The NDP was accused of distributing party propaganda into Bourassa -- where they would finish second -- during the byelection period.

The NDP said they sent out the mailings before the byelection was called, though they were received by Bourassa voters during the campaign period.

And while Elections Canada found no wr


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