House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

41st General Election
Oral Questions

March 6th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, in this case, all Conservative Party documentation is available. That is not the case with the opposition. The opposition has made allegations, but to date, it has not turned any information over to Elections Canada, and it needs to do so.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, with great respect, the Prime Minister has simply not answered the question.

The Chief Electoral Officer has asked for additional powers with respect to the Elections Act. We approved of those additional powers. The New Democratic Party approved of those additional powers. The Conservative Party refused to give him those powers.

Why would the Conservative Party refuse to give powers to an officer of Parliament who is seeking to look at the electoral process in this country? What are they afraid of?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, as we have repeatedly said, and of course as we have said to Elections Canada, all of the information on this matter that we have is all very well documented by the party and is all available to Elections Canada.

The real question here is why the leader of the Liberal Party would make allegations about calls purporting to come from Liberals without checking his own records and providing those to Elections Canada? Why is he afraid to do that?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that the government is scrambling to divert attention from electoral fraud.

First they blamed the kid in Guelph. Then they blamed Elections Canada. Now they are blaming the other parties, when they are the only party being investigated. The fact is that only the Conservatives, or in fact a dozen ridings, hired RackNine and RMG and only the Conservatives tried to keep payments to RackNine a secret from Elections Canada. Keeping payments secret, that is what crooks do.

Why did the Conservatives try to mislead Elections Canada?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

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

Of course, Mr. Speaker, we have done no such thing. We are in fact assisting Elections Canada. This member knows that full well.

These exaggerated allegations demean millions of voters who cast legitimate votes in the last election. The opposition paid millions of dollars to make hundreds of thousands of phone calls. Before continuing these baseless smears, it should prove that its own callers are not in fact behind these reports.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, there we go. That is the athlete caught doped up on steroids laughing at the people who ran the race fairly. Conservatives think this is about winning at all costs, but this is about fraud and this is about cheating.

Let us go back to the facts. We know that the Conservatives gave over $1 million to RMG. This is the company that controls and operates the Conservative call list. This is the company that Tom Flanagan credited for the Conservatives' 2006 victory.

As the Elections Canada investigation expands, will the government come clean and tell the House what business it has been doing with RMG?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, of course, we know that because the Conservative Party has been fully transparent in disclosing its expenses.

However, these exaggerated allegations demean millions of voters who cast legitimate votes in the last election. The opposition paid millions of dollars to make hundreds of thousands of phone calls. Before continuing these baseless smears, it should prove that its own callers are not behind these allegations.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, shifting the blame to others is the most pathetic attempt to evade the issue I have ever seen. The members opposite keep burying their heads in the sand and pretending that everything is just fine.

The truth is that Nipissing—Timiskaming is now under investigation by Elections Canada. The truth is that their friends are being subpoenaed left and right. The truth is that while the rest of the country is outraged over widespread, disgusting electoral fraud, this government is shrugging its shoulders and pointing the finger at others.

Are you finally going to listen to the indignation out there? Are you going to get rid of your broken record and start giving real answers?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I would remind the hon. member to address his questions to the Speaker and not directly to his colleagues.

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, these false allegations demean millions of voters who cast legitimate votes in the last election. The opposition paid millions of dollars to make hundreds of thousands of phone calls. Before continuing these baseless smears, the opposition parties should prove that their own callers are not behind these allegations.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, trying to prevent people from voting undermines the democratic process.

Why did RackNine receive a cheque from the government? Silence.

What did RMG do to get tens of thousands of dollars from the campaigns in Quebec? We do not know. Silence.

Why were payments to RackNine not declared in the Conservative campaign report in Guelph? Silence. We do not know.

Who is hiding behind Pierre Poutine and the thousands of fraudulent calls made during the last election campaign? Silence.

When we talk about electoral fraud, the Conservatives start shaking. What is this government afraid of? Why is it refusing to disclose everything?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, before continuing these baseless smears, the opposition should prove its own callers are not behind these allegations.

These false allegations demean millions of Canadians who cast legitimate votes in the last election. The opposition paid millions of dollars to make hundreds of thousands of phone calls. They are the ones who should be answering questions.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, if we have understood today's robo-answers correctly, robocalls are the norm for the Conservative Party.

After Fernand Coulombe, two other people contacted Le Devoir and said that they had been subject to aggressive solicitation. In all cases, the number used was reported for harassment. These people were harassed by the Conservative Party's fundraising arm, which, we should remember, has the same address as RMG in Toronto.

Are harassing calls the norm and are they recognized and supported by the Conservative Party?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

No, Mr. Speaker.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will quote part II.1 from the report of the Chief Electoral Officer following the 40th general election, which states:

[The] Chief Electoral Officer does not receive any documentary evidence of the expenses reported in the election expenses return. Nor does the Act provide the Chief Electoral Officer with the authority to request that a party provide such evidence. Therefore, he has no means to verify the accuracy of the reported expenses on which the reimbursement is based.

We, in the opposition benches, voted to give the Chief Electoral Officer that power. The government said “no”. Why?