The Mississauga News article is from last night, so it was before the CEA Marc Mayrand spoke before the Committee, but Szabo's quotes are good foreshadowing:
"The issue really is determining what was spent, on what and how was it accounted for," Szabo told The Free Press...."If it's legal, why not discuss it?" ...The committee managed to get the hearings on the agenda only after months of stalling by the Tories. Szabo told The Free Press he finds it ironic they are insisting they have done nothing wrong after trying hard to prevent a public examination of the matter.
And here comes Marc Mayrand, confirming what everyone save Pierre Poilievre already thought/knew: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/07/15/inandout.html
"Elections officials found no evidence that other political parties engaged in a scheme to circumvent spending limits as the Conservatives are accused of doing in the 2006 federal election, Canada's chief electoral officer said Tuesday."
Marc Mayrand told MPs he asked Elections Canada staff to review the returns of all major political parties in the 2004 and 2006 federal elections.
The review, he said, found no evidence of other parties directing money to local candidates who would then transfer the funds back to the party to spend on more advertising for the national campaign.
"Elections Canada has not identified any other transaction or group of transactions in which all of the other factors were in play," Mayrand said.
Which has pretty much been the opposition line the whole time, now backed up by official Elections Canada findings.
Of course, the Tories still think that a non-partisan, independent, globally respected institution is full of Liberal hacks (just like the civil service) out to bully the Conservatives, so they have bravely defended the promises they made about open, accountable government by insisting the Liberals knew about the raid. Look Pierre, I was volunteering at Liberal Party HQ during the period around the raid (I wasn't there the actual day I should note, but I've talked to plenty of people who were) and you wanna know how we knew about the raid? Just down the hall from the lobby, the we have a kitchen/caf room. Nothing fancy, just a sink, a fridge, some cabinets with cups/plates/cutlery, and an old almost broken TV mounted up on the wall. This TV (along with others in various places around HQ) is almost always set to CBC. So when we saw the CBC report that Elections Canada, someone rushed over to Tory HQ, (which is only a couple of blocks away) camera in hand. No evil conspiracy on the part of the Liberal Party, just someone who happened to be watched CBC in the kitchen room. So if the Tories want to sue anyone, they can sue the Liberal Party fridge, although last time I checked, it was pretty empty, although I think they had some coffee in it.