Dozens of New Democrat MPs, including Leader Tom Mulcair, have been ordered to reimburse taxpayers $2.75 million in salaries paid to aides who worked in satellite party offices.
The secretive, multi-party Board of Internal Economy, which polices House of Commons spending, has sent bills to 68 MPs, including several who no longer sit as New Democrats, ordering them to personally repay the money.
The party is challenging the board’s ruling on the satellite offices in Federal Court, as well as an earlier ruling that found New Democrat MPs had wrongly used $1.17 million worth of free parliamentary mailing privileges to paper 26 ridings with almost 2 million partisan missives.
It emerged Feb. 3 that lawyers for the board and the NDP have been discussing the possibility of an out-of-court settlement of both matters and jointly asked the court last November to suspend proceedings pending further negotiations.
Those negotiations are still in progress.
The NDP maintains that its MPs have done nothing wrong and that both decisions are the result of a partisan ganging-up by Conservatives and Liberals on the board.