House of Commons Hansard #94 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the issue here is not the incompetence of the Liberals with their campaign. It is about voter fraud that happened under the Conservatives.

Now we have a Conservative who is coming forth and the government pretends that he acted alone. Who paid for those scripts? Who gave him the money to make those calls? Why did he have access to the national Conservative database? Do the Conservatives really think that Canadians will believe that the guy who named himself after cheese curds and gravy is behind this as though he is some kind of robofraud equivalent of Dr. Evil? When will the Conservatives come clean with their involvement in this coordinated campaign of voter harassment?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:20 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, once again, it is the unsubstantiated smear campaign of the NDP.

What we know and what we have evidence of is that at five o'clock on Saturday, April 30, in the riding of Guelph, the Liberal member for Guelph placed an illegal robocall. These deceptive robocalls used a phony number, a phony person and they attacked and suppressed votes in Guelph. That was the real intent behind them.

The Liberal candidate and the Liberal Party has acted in a fashion that is deceptive, disgraceful and dishonest.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is so certain about his phony allegations, perhaps he would agree with me that the time has now come for a royal commission into what happened in the last election and what happened in previous elections to ensure that it never happens again.

I can assure the hon. member that nobody on this side has anything to fear from a royal commission. We ask for it, we demand it and the people of Canada require it. Is it willing to do it?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:25 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Or, Mr. Speaker, we could just go to liberalist.ca and we could observe on page 105 where it advises the Liberals that they should pick a caller ID for the robocall, that it must be a land line and should be a phone number that recipients can call to contact their team about the robocall.

However, that is not what the member for Guelph did. In fact, the member for Guelph used a completely bogus phone number with an exchange that does not exist.

The Liberal Party has acted in a disgraceful, deceptive and dishonest fashion. We know it made hundreds of thousands of these calls because the Liberal Party paid millions of dollars for these calls to be made right across the country.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada is fully aware of that voice drop. This was an issue-based call that could have easily been tracked back to our service provider. It was totally different from the fraudulent calls that came from Pierre Poutine on election day. It was included in my financial return and I disclosed it to Elections Canada. I have been fully open and co-operative with Elections Canada.

On the other hand, the deputy campaign manager in Guelph is running and hiding from Elections Canada. When will the Conservatives finally start co-operating with the election fraud investigation?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:25 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is not uncommon, when confronted by substantiated evidence, where folks will in fact confess when they have broken the law. That is what the member has done. He has confessed to the fact that he has broken the Elections Canada Act and broken CRTC regulations.

For the last number of weeks, that member has conducted an unsubstantiated smear campaign against this party and this Prime Minister but not once did he breathe a word to this House that he had conducted those illegal calls.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we believe, as I am sure the New Democrats do too, that Canadians want a public inquiry, a royal commission. That is what we want. That is what we demand.

Is the government willing to create a royal commission? Clearly, Canadians want a public inquiry, a royal commission to get to the bottom of all of this.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:25 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let us consider for a moment the hon. leader of the Liberal Party's audacity. Over the past few weeks, members of the Liberal Party have been rising in the House to conduct a smear campaign against our party, knowing full well that the Liberal Party and its members made illegal calls to voters in the riding of Guelph.

The leader of the Liberal Party should rise and apologize to all Canadians for his party's unlawful behaviour.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2006, the Conservatives were caught red-handed conducting an in and out scheme. They recently decided not to appeal because they are guilty of violating the Canada Elections Act. And yet, during the last election campaign, we once again saw mystery cheques for $15,000 being given to RMG in a number of ridings across the country. Some candidates admitted that they paid $15,000 and did not receive any services in return.

This is the 10th anniversary of the Liberal sponsorship scandal, and clearly nothing has changed in Ottawa.

When will the Conservatives change the legislation to give Elections Canada more power?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:25 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right in saying that the Liberal Party has not changed since the sponsorship scandal.

The problem is not a loophole in the legislation. The legislation is here. I have it in my hands. The problem is that the Liberal Party refuses to obey the law. The Liberal Party is breaking the law.

I am therefore calling upon the Liberal Party to rise and explain why it hid the fact that it broke the law during the election.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:30 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in reality, we simply traded Liberal scandals for Conservative ones. It is the same old same old.

Let us talk about the facts and the connections that the Conservatives do not want to hear about. First, we know that a plan was put in place to interfere with the voting process. Second, we know that the person or persons responsible are connected to the Conservative Party. Third, we know that Elections Canada's investigation extends much further than the riding of Guelph.

If the Conservatives are not afraid of getting to the bottom of this matter, will they change the legislation to give Elections Canada more power and will they hold a public inquiry?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:30 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the opposition told us that our allegations were completely ridiculous when we said that the Liberals had paid millions of dollars to make hundreds of thousands of calls and that some of the calls that may have resulted in complaints were made by the Liberal Party.

However, we now know that the hon. member for Guelph, a Liberal, broke the law. He has since admitted to doing so. So what we have been saying from the beginning is completely true. The Liberals should rise in the House and explain their unlawful behaviour.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

10:30 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know there were dirty tricks on the last campaign and they want an inquiry. What are the Conservatives hiding?

Elections Canada is now asking for the age of those who received the fraudulent calls and evidence suggests that an overwhelming number of those targeted were seniors. We are talking about seniors who are vulnerable to being misled and who were first identified as not supporting the Conservatives.

How can the Conservatives be so underhanded that they would attempt to trick seniors out of their right to vote? Why did they target seniors?