Politics
Martin's fundraising continues despite settling defamation suit

NDP MP Pat Martin is seen alone during a press conference with MP NDP Romeo Saganash at Parliament Hill in Ottawa Jan 28 2013.

Credits: ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY

DANIEL PROUSSALIDIS | QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA - A week after settling a $5-million defamation lawsuit against him, NDP MP Pat Martin's fundraising website to cover his legal costs still says the "court case is proceeding and legal expenses are mounting."

"We are reaching out to supporters for help in meeting these costs and we appreciate any contribution you might make," says the main message on the website patmartindefencefund.ca.

Martin has confirmed to QMI Agency that he settled the lawsuit with automated call company Racknine for an undisclosed amount on Feb. 4.

Both he and NDP officials have not responded to questions about the fundraising site or to what purpose donations will now be directed.

Racknine sued Martin last February after he publicly accused it of trying to "defraud the electoral system" through so-called deceptive robocalls on behalf of the Conservatives in the 2011 election.

Rookie Conservative MP Erin O'Toole has asked the federal ethics commissioner, Mary Dawson, to investigate whether the website violates conflict of interest rules.

The commissioner's office says O'Toole's letter was delivered Monday.

"I can confirm that a letter was just received around noon today and the commissioner will be reviewing it," spokeswoman Jocelyn Brisebois said in an e-mail. "Due to confidentiality rules, the office cannot comment further."

Speaking on Martin's behalf, the NDP dismissed O'Toole's complaint Sunday.

The party issued a terse statement saying that the ethics commissioner, Revenue Canada, and Elections Canada were all consulted before Martin's fund was set up.

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