Nova Scotia MLA says questionable donations made at his fundraiser

(CP) - Nova Scotia's energy minister says questionable political donations under investigation by Elections Nova Scotia were made to the Liberal riding association in Richmond County.

Elections Nova Scotia will only say it is investigating after a forensic audit found instances of Richmond County councillors claiming reimbursement for expenses perceived to be political donations, but the elections watchdog isn't releasing any other details.

Energy Minister Michel Samson says the donations were made by Richmond County councillors at a Liberal fundraising dinner in his riding in May 2014.

Samson says the money involved, $300 according to the audit, was donated through personal cheques by the individual councillors and that some had the "honest but mistaken" belief that they could seek reimbursement from the municipality when they couldn't under the Elections Act.

He says the issue is between the councillors and the municipality and it's not the responsibility of the Liberal Party to reimburse taxpayers.

Opposition Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says the Liberals should pay the money back because they know as a result of the audit that the contributions broke the rules regarding political donations.