Rebel News founder Ezra Levant was fined $3,000 by the Elections Commissioner over a 2019 book critical of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet.
In the letter sent to Levant following the conviction, the Commissioner referenced the book title as a reason behind the charge.
The book in question “The Libranos: What the Media Won’t Tell you About Justin Trudeau’s Corruption” was written prior to the 2019 election and details the various scandals and corruption charges the ruling government has faced since taking power.
“…the book title’s reference to ‘Libranos’, which was clearly designed to create an association between the name of a registered party and The Sopranos, a mafia-themed television show, and to link the party to corruption,” the ruling states.
“The advertising message also contained an edited version of a graphic used to promote the show; drawings of the show’s characters were replaced with drawings of the leader and other public figures of the party,” the Commissioner continues.
Last year, Levant was grilled by two former RCMP officers Tim Mackin and Paul Couture over the book.
A secret recording of the incident shows the two investigators refusing to provide details about who filed the complaint against Levant.
“Section 2 of the Elections Act clearly exempts books and the promotion of books from election finance laws. And yet that’s exactly why Trudeau’s commissioner convicted me. It’s especially curious given that there were 23 other books about Trudeau published at the same time, and none of them were prosecuted by Trudeau’s commissioner,” Levant told True North.
“Even more strange, Trudeau’s commissioner refuses to show me the complaint against me, or even to tell me who filed the complaint, or when. Neither was I invited to any hearing — in fact, I wasn’t even told about it, until I received the convictions in the mail.”
According to the Elections Act, books are exempt from sections 352 and 353.
“For greater certainty, [the Act] does not include … the distribution of a book, or the promotion of the sale of a book, for no less than its commercial value, if the book was planned to be made available to the public regardless of whether there was to be an election,” states the Canada Elections Act.
Despite this exemption, the Elections Commissioner still found that Levant had broken the Act.
“This is just a sign of what’s to come — as you probably saw in the Globe and Mail a few days ago, Trudeau is planning to start a new government agency dedicated to censorship,” said Levant.
“Trudeau has always believed in censorship — including when his hand-picked debates commission barred our reporters (and True North’s) from the election debates. A leopard doesn’t change its spots. What I’m more interested in, is whether any journalists, authors, publishers, artists, or anyone else in the creative industry cares about this censorship — or if they’re fine with it, because it’s a “right wing” author who’s being censored.”