House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rail.

Topics

New Democratic Party
Statements By Members

March 13th, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, last May, millions of Quebeckers and Canadians were fed up with the old ways of doing politics. That is why they voted for the NDP—so that we would clean up Ottawa. Unlike the Liberals and the Conservatives, the NDP works relentlessly to get results that address Canadians' concerns.

To this end, over the past few weeks, the NDP has won passage of several motions in the House of Commons: one on employment, one on first nations education, and one that was passed unanimously yesterday in order to give Elections Canada more power to investigate election fraud. Tomorrow, we are going to propose a new motion that seeks to resolve the drug shortage crisis in Quebec and in Canada.

We are not going to let the Conservatives stand in the way of Canadians' priorities. The NDP is not only an opposition party, but also a party that makes proposals. Quebeckers and Canadians can count on us to take action.

41st General Election
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal interim leader denied having centralized calling capabilities. Let us look at the facts.

The Liberals purchased their Liberalist software from the U.S. for that exact purpose. They used it last election. They spent millions of dollars on hundreds of thousands of phone calls during the last election. Now we have that heard voters in Guelph were targeted by robocalls from the member for Guelph's Liberal campaign. That robocall training was provided by the national Liberal Party to campaign workers hours before the illegal anonymous messages were sent by the Liberal campaign to voters using a fake phone number by a Liberal volunteer using a fake name.

Why is the Liberal interim leader trying to cover up the existence of Liberalist? The Liberals need to tell us what kind of dirty tricks they are teaching their Liberal volunteer campaign workers.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in 2005, the Prime Minister said that anyone in the position that he currently holds has the moral responsibility to respect the will of the House. Yesterday evening, the House adopted the NDP motion to get at the truth about the fraudulent activities of the last election. We voted in favour of accountability.

Will this government respect the motion and introduce amendments to the Canada Elections Act within six months?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have clearly stated from the beginning that we want Elections Canada to continue its investigation. The reality is that Elections Canada already has evidence of illegal calls made by the opposition in one riding. Obviously, I hope that all the parties will share all their information with Elections Canada.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government must respect last night's vote by taking the necessary action as quickly as possible. Most Canadians want a public inquiry. They want to know the truth. The NDP requested a public inquiry 18 days ago, when this scandal broke. An inquiry must be conducted in order to find out the truth and really clear the air.

Why will the Prime Minister not agree to order a public inquiry?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada is already conducting an investigation. We have been sharing all our information with Elections Canada from the beginning.

In this case, we see from the NDP's documentation that the party has not been fully transparent. It is essential that all parties share their information with Elections Canada.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we need a public inquiry to find the truth and clear the air.

The Prime Minister needs to take responsibility here. This is the House of Commons, not a schoolyard. “I know you are, but what am I”, is not leadership.

Someone linked to the Conservatives was questioned by Elections Canada yesterday. Why are they playing games in question period? Why will they not take responsibility for their role?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in terms of the assertion about what the House of Commons is not, some days I wonder.

The fact is there is an inquiry by Elections Canada, which is the independent agency authorized to do just that. This party has been fully transparent with Elections Canada in assisting in its investigation.

We encourage the opposition, which has already now admitted that it deliberately did misleading calls, to come forward with the information on which it bases its allegations.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about misleading. Only one party is under investigation by Elections Canada.

Yesterday the parliamentary secretary attempted to change the channel by going after the Liberals for breaking the rules. Now the problem was that the parliamentary secretary in Peterborough had his own monkey games on election day with his phones.

He might think that having Liberals and Conservatives rolling around in the mud will divert attention, but we are talking about electoral fraud. Only one party is being investigated for electoral fraud. Only one party's operatives are being brought forward.

Who paid for those scripts and who paid for the calls?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting. Only one party actually tried to defraud Elections Canada by funnelling money into the Broadbent Institute, and that would be the NDP. It had to return that money.

The calls in Peterborough, referred to by the member opposite, used a real name, identified a real campaign office with a real phone number. The hon. member for Guelph has admitted to paying for misleading and in fact illegal calls with a message from a fake person using a fake phone number.

The opposition has now admitted to making illegal calls. We know it paid millions of dollars to make these calls. We want Elections Canada to investigate this and we would like the opposition to assist it.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, this has nothing to do with robocalls and everything to do with robo fraud. This is about the fact that 5,000 votes in 12 key ridings decided the last election.

The issue of voter suppression and interfering with the right of Canadians to vote is serious business. There is only one party, the Conservative Party, that is once again being investigated for electoral fraud. There is only one party that has been convicted of electoral fraud, and that is the Conservative Party.

Why will the Conservatives not come clean to Canadians? When are they going to call a public inquiry so that we can get to the bottom of their interference with Canadians' right to vote?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this party did no such thing. In fact, we are the only party that has been completely transparent with Elections Canada.

We invite the NDP to provide that same level of transparency to Elections Canada, because what we know is that the opposition has now admitted—in fact, confessed—to making illegal calls when confronted with the evidence. We know that they paid millions of dollars to make these calls to Canadians in the last election.

We are assisting Elections Canada. I have indicated we are providing the transparency they need. We would like the opposition to do the same.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a court order to the Conservative Party in Guelph requiring production of documents. That is the court order that is in place. That is why they are co-operating with elections Canada with respect to what took place in Guelph: they have to. They have no choice.

I still did not hear the Prime Minister clearly answer the question that was posed to him. It has to be answered again.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to set up a royal commission to look at what has happened and to establish new rules and new ways of ensuring a really fair election process in Canada? Why is the Prime Minister refusing to do that?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course there is an inquiry under way by Elections Canada, which is charged under the law with this responsibility.

It is interesting, now that we have had weeks of these kinds of allegations, that we now find out that the Liberal Party in Guelph, the winning Liberal candidate, made deliberately misleading calls and in fact authorized such calls, so clearly he knew about them all along.

I guess the reason for all of these allegations has been to cover that very fact. It makes us wonder how many other ridings the Liberal Party did this in.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can make all the allegations and all the smears that he wants. The point has to be made clearly--