Elections Canada has cleared the Friends of Science Society of accusations of wrongdoing during the 2006 federal election by running radio ads without registering with Elections Canada as a third-party advertiser.
Jean-Claude Bernais, the chief investigator at Elections Canada, concluded that the Friends of Science was not required to register as a third party during the campaign since the radio ads did not fall under the definition of "election advertising."At the University of Calgary, Professor Barry Cooper is quoted:
"The audio statements do not refer to the election nor do they mention any political party or candidate," wrote Moise in a separate letter from Sept. 21, 2007, to an individual who filed the initial complaint. "They do not promote or oppose a registered party, or the election of a candidate. They take the position that the public have been misled about global warming. To the extent that all of the major parties in the 2006 federal election acknowledged the problem of global warming and were taking steps to address it, though in different ways, (the Liberals, NDP, Bloc Quebecois with the Kyoto accord, and the Conservatives with a Made in Canada approach) it would be difficult to conclude that the audio statements by taking a position on global warming, were targeting one particular party or candidate or a particular party's policy."
"It was a frivolous and vexatious compliant," Cooper said. "It was also an attempt - fortunately unsuccessful in this instance - of stifling debate."See also the Friends of Science website.