Evidence of meeting #24 for Procedure and House Affairs in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was candidate.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Marc Mayrand  Chief Electoral Officer, Elections Canada
  • Stéphane Perrault  Senior General Counsel and Senior Director, Legal Services, Office of the Chief Electoral Officer

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

I am an accountant, an auditor, and I agree with my counterpart from the Bloc that it becomes difficult when we have to do a lot of micromanagement ourselves.

I need to understand something. I think both Mr. Lukiwski and Mr. Proulx had talked about the in-and-out scandal. I won't call it a scandal; I want to call it the in-and-out possibility. How does one avoid--

October 7th, 2010 / 12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

On a point of order, Mr. Chair, I think maybe the now dismissed charges that are being appealed at public expense might be a more appropriate title.

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

It doesn't matter. I just want to ensure that this doesn't happen again. You put checks and balances in place, and therefore I wish Mr. Reid had waited for me to finish my question, because I'm asking factual questions, audit trails. How do you ensure a better system? How do you avoid going into legal expenses and challenges and counter-challenges, which is a waste of taxpayers' dollars? So let's put a system in place that works.

12:20 p.m.

Chief Electoral Officer, Elections Canada

Marc Mayrand

Well, again, there are a number of recommendations in the report that seek to improve transparency and accountability with regard to political financing. They have nothing to do with the case you referred to. In fact, it builds on the recommendations of previous reports that had similar suggestions in terms of having access to political parties, documentary evidence to support their expenses.

What we've done in this report is we've curtailed the recommendation that was done following the 38th election, which I think was found to be a little bit too invasive by the committee at that time. So we're putting here, in my mind, a very reasonable recommendation that we didn't show more transparency regarding electoral expenses of political parties. As I point out, the federal jurisdiction is the only jurisdiction in Canada that does not have anything equivalent to this.

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Fair enough.

When you talk about a very stringent recommendation, I looked at the reimbursement of election expenses and I was wondering whether it really goes far enough. For example, a two-to-one ratio, which you're suggesting in 2.2, would that act as a disincentive? Because the more stringent the regulations, the more stringent the sanctions. Perhaps that would be something to look at.

12:20 p.m.

Chief Electoral Officer, Elections Canada

Marc Mayrand

That's something the committee may want to consider. The point of the recommendation is that we need additional measures other than penal offences to encourage compliance.

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

And my last question before I hand it over to Ms. Foote is—

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Joe Preston

Well, in the ten seconds you have left.

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Okay, sorry.

You talk about disposal of a candidate's surplus and that it should go to the party. I'm wondering what happens to independent candidates who want to run again if they win or don't win. What do they do with their surplus?

12:25 p.m.

Chief Electoral Officer, Elections Canada

Marc Mayrand

The surplus goes to the Receiver General.

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Fair enough.

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Joe Preston

Thank you.

Mr. Reid.

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

I'm glad you made that last comment. That's really unfair. I hadn't known that.

Are we doing three-minute rounds or five-minute rounds?

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Joe Preston

Well, I'm trying to stay at five, but you're being very cooperative in doing less than that.

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Historically, yes. I'll try to break that pattern.

First of all, thank you for coming here today.

I wanted to ask you, Mr. Mayrand, with regard to those outstanding loans to former leadership candidates for the Liberal Party, based on the most recent reports—I know this is public information and I probably should have it at my fingertips—how much is currently owed, and by whom, as of the last time this stuff was reported?