House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was epilepsy.

Topics

41st General Election
Oral Questions

March 9th, 2012 / 11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, widespread allegations of voter suppression are serious enough, but now we are hearing about the artificial inflation of voters lists. In Eglinton—Lawrence, Etobicoke Centre, York Centre and Nipissing, hundreds, even thousands of voters were put on the voters list without proof of residency.

What will the government do to guarantee the integrity of Canadian democracy and to ensure that no one has stuffed the ballot boxes?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

11:20 a.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. Any specific complaints arising from a riding can be put to Elections Canada.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, once upon a time there was a political party that got caught using the in and out scheme, which it called an administrative dispute, and repeated that every day. It was convinced that it did not have to comply with the Elections Act. It was ready to take the battle all the way to the Supreme Court, until new allegations of in and out transactions surfaced.

There is a very simple way to shed light on the 2011 election fraud: the government should give Elections Canada more powers.

When will it do so?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have already spoken to the NDP motion. I invite the hon. member to read our comments.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a motion and the motion demands that the government enact legislation. The point of the question was to determine when the government plans to pass legislation.

I will say it again. In the beginning, it was an isolated incident. Then it was a rogue employee. After that, it was a smear campaign by the opposition. Now, the Conservatives are trying to blame the opposition by changing their version of the story and saying that we are attacking everyone who voted legitimately.

Denial, diversion, evasion, confusion: it is not an isolated incident.

New types of election fraud require new powers.

Will they amend the act? We are not asking if they will vote in favour of the motion. Will they amend the Elections Act and, if so, when?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park
Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the motion that was before the House yesterday, we have been clear that we support that motion. The Conservative Party is assisting Elections Canada in its work. The fact remains that the opposition spent millions of dollars on hundreds of thousands of phone calls made in the last election. If the opposition wants to assist Elections Canada in that work, it will make all its documents available to Elections Canada. We expect Elections Canada will get to the bottom of the allegations in Guelph.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a staggering act of arrogance, deputy campaign manager, Andrew Prescott, started bragging about the crime the Conservative campaign in Guelph was about to commit. Prescott sent out a message on Twitter that voter suppression was under way in Guelph two days before it happened. Prescott even flaunted the Conservatives' plans to reporters in Ottawa. This was a premeditated election crime.

Why is it taking so long for the Conservative government to fess up and tell the truth? Who is it protecting?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the allegations of voter suppression in Guelph, which we have heard from many sides, are serious and expect that Elections Canada will look into this matter.

If the allegations are proven to be true, we would expect those responsible will be held fully accountable. The Conservative Party, as I have indicated many times, is fully assisting Elections Canada. It is the opposition parties that are not.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, the thing is that Andrew Prescott had already started planning and blaming the other parties for this crime. Prescott wrote, “Voter suppression phone calls currently under way in Guelph”, while blaming the Liberals. This is very similar to the talking point being used by the parliamentary secretary on a daily basis.

The fact is that this was an organized election fraud and, as much as it likes to deny it, the Conservative Party is the only one under investigation, not the Liberals and not the NDP. When will it stop blaming others and take some responsibility? When will it start being honest with Canadians?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are always honest with Canadians. We are also assisting Elections Canada with this matter, which we have made very clear, and we will continue to do so. We believe the allegations in Guelph are indeed serious.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, ties between RMG and the Conservative Party can be found in scandals of all kinds, from fraudulent calls to prevent people from voting to harassing citizens—like Mr. Coulombe in my riding—to fill the party's coffers.

It is impossible to say with a straight face that the Conservatives' subcontractors follow the highest standards. To obtain its majority, the Conservative Party used harassment to solicit donations and fraudulent techniques to suppress votes.

Will the Prime Minister turn our motion into legislation in order to give Elections Canada greater powers right away, yes or no?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park
Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has been clear on its support for the motion that was before the House yesterday.

The fact remains that the opposition spent millions of dollars on hundreds of thousands of phone calls made in the last election. If it wants to support Elections Canada's work, it would provide all the documents related to those calls.

The Conservative Party's documents are available to Elections Canada. We expect Elections Canada will get to the bottom of the allegations in Guelph.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of National Defence announced changes to the Canadian Forces protocol when communicating with ground search and rescue operations as a result of the tragic loss of Burton Winters in Labrador.

Clearly this is some acknowledgement that problems exist in Canada's search and rescue system. As his grandmother wrote in a letter to the Prime Minister, “Burton has sadly become a poster boy of just how inadequate emergency services are within our coastal Labrador communities”.

Will the minister honour the memory of Burton Winters and call a full and independent inquiry into this incident?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the loss of young Burton Winters was indeed a tragedy and we continue to send our thoughts and prayers to his family and to the entire community of Makkovik.

Yesterday, we did announce a protocol change that will see the Canadian Forces and our joint response centre call back. Essentially, that is when a call comes in and, for a number of reasons, weather related or otherwise, aircraft are not able to leave, there will be call back protocol that will improve the communication between the primary responsibility, ground responsibility for search and rescue that is held by the province, and whatever assets the Canadian Forces can lend to the effort.

We are making improvements and we continue to do so.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canada's job market continues to struggle. Almost 3,000 more jobs were gone last month. That is 37,000 fewer Canadians working since last September.

What is the Minister of Finance's plan? It is to bring down a reckless budget that could kill another 100,000 jobs.

Does the minister not realize that he cannot create work by cutting jobs? Why will he not introduce a real jobs plan instead of a budget that will kill more jobs?