Harper has resigned from Conservative fundraising board
OTTAWA -- Former prime minister Stephen Harper has resigned from the board of the Conservative Fund, the party confirms.
One senior party source described the resignation to CTV News as unexpected.
The Conservative Fund is responsible for the party’s finances and fundraising and is overseen by a board of senior conservatives.
This comes just days into the Conservative leadership race and on the heels of former Harper-era cabinet minister John Baird providing his campaign post-mortem to outgoing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.
“Mr. Harper has left his position on the Conservative Fund. The Fund thanks former prime minister Harper for his tireless work on the board, and wishes him well. His contributions, support and wise counsel to the Board over the past many years has been appreciated,” said party spokesperson Cory Hann in an email.
The fund was recently in the news in relation to Scheer’s controversial expenses. Scheer was in hot water on the day he announced his resignation, over using party funds to cover the difference in cost for private schooling for his children in Ottawa versus the cost of schooling in Regina.
The party said those personal expenses were above board and were associated with “being a national leader.” But some Conservatives called on Scheer to repay those funds and questioned why the party’s decision to cover these costs was not disclosed to donors.
As The Canadian Press has reported, some members of the Conservative Fund were not aware of the details of Scheer’s spending and were surprised to learn that an agreement was made between Scheer and then-executive director of the Conservative party Dustin Van Vugt regarding the expenses.
The party is reviewing the expenses, which reports suggested were considerably higher than usual, and Van Vugt was removed from his role.
Harper is currently in India for an international governance conference.
With files from CTV News' Michel Boyer