House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elections.

Topics

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, we make no apologies for the fact that our party has very high standards. If someone does not hold up to those very high standards, then in fact we expect companies to act. In this case, the company did act and removed a single individual and let that individual go.

However, it is interesting to hear these kinds of smears and baseless allegations coming from the NDP members when they themselves, in fact just last fall, had to return donation cheques to folks when they were trying to direct money into the Broadbent Institute, contrary to the Elections Act. They know full well they did that.

Elections Canada
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, with great respect to the Prime Minister, I am still trying to figure out the exact position of his party with respect to the motions that are being debated today together with the amendments.

Could the Prime Minister give us his assurance today that the government will in fact support additional powers to the Chief Electoral Officer that will apply not only to future elections, but the election just passed and to previous elections? Will he give us that guarantee and also guarantee that the government will be forthcoming with legislation within a very short period of time?

Elections Canada
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the government has been very clear in its decision on the matters before the House today. If the opposition has any other useful suggestions in terms of legislation, I would encourage it to bring forward detailed proposals.

None of this in any way obscures the responsibility of all political parties, including the Liberal Party, to provide Elections Canada with all information needed.

Elections Canada
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, the Prime Minister did not answer my question. My question is very simple and direct, and the Prime Minister keeps dodging it.

Does the government agree that the additional powers proposed in the NDP's motion today will apply not only to future elections but to the election just passed? Can he assure us that amendments will be made in the near future, as is clearly set out in the NDP's amended motion?

Elections Canada
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has indicated its support for today's proposals and encourages the opposition to bring forward any constructive suggestions. If the opposition has any detailed proposals, we would be happy to hear them. At the same time, it is important that all the parties, including the Liberal Party, co-operate with Elections Canada's investigations.

Pharmaceutical Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Ontario health minister today made a very important statement with respect to the issue of drugs and access to drugs. I am sure the Prime Minister will know that there is a major problem facing hospitals right across the country with respect to drug shortages. The Ontario minister made it very clear that the provincial government had not received advanced warning with respect to drug shortages.

This is a very serious issue across the country. It does not just affect one province, it affects patients across the country with respect to elective surgery. This is a major issue for the country.

Could the Prime Minister tell us why the regulations seemed to have been so failing at this—

Pharmaceutical Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Pharmaceutical Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, everyone is aware of this issue. Certain provinces have undertaken to sole source certain critical medications.

The Minister of Health has indicated that Health Canada is working on a range of options and solutions, including the fast-tracking of approvals for that problem. We work with and encourage provinces to find multiple sources for vital medication.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning we heard a first sample of the type of fundraising that RMG does for this government. We heard a telephone operator insult voters and behave like a bum. An expert even said that these calls amounted to harassment. Lack of respect, harassment, intimidation: for the Conservative Party anything goes when it comes to collecting money.

Is this government really comfortable with the idea that its election was paid with harassment calls?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

March 8th, 2012 / 2:25 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, RMG fired that employee.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, some are losing their voice, but when one does not have anything intelligent to say, it is sometimes difficult to say it loud and clear.

Each day brings a new potential scandal, which undermines people's confidence in our electoral system a little more every time. It is now in Eglinton—Lawrence, in Toronto, that revelations are surfacing. Dozens of non-listed electors were able to vote without having to provide an address, in blatant violation of the Canada Elections Act.

Even though new revelations keep surfacing, this government continues to talk about isolated incidents, to insult the Canadians who are filing complaints and fighting for their rights. When will this government stop making light of this electoral fraud?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park
Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada is responsible for voter registration, not political parties. Given the history of the person making the allegations, Elections Canada may want to take a very close into this matter.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, contracts signed by Conservative MPs with RMG make one thing clear: scripts are created in consultation with clients. RMG was not working on its own.

The Minister of Finance, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and the Minister of Canadian Heritage spent over $96,000 on RMG in the last campaign.

Did their campaigns fund the misdirection of voters? Could just one of them stand today and tell Canadians what the campaigns paid RMG to say?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I would like to remind members that their questions have to touch on the administrative responsibilities of government, not political financing.

I see the hon. parliamentary secretary rising to answer, so I will allow him a chance to do so.

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, I appreciate that clarification for the member.

Let me be clear. Our party has very high standards. We have already indicated that. We also have provided full transparency to Elections Canada. What is also clear is that the opposition parties have spent millions of dollars to make thousands of calls right across the country, but they have not provided the same transparency to Elections Canada. Before continuing their baseless smears in the House, they should prove their own callers were not behind the calls they allege.