moved for leave to introduce Bill C-453, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (preventing and prosecuting fraudulent voice messages during election periods).
Mr. Speaker, as MP for Toronto—Danforth and as the official opposition's democratic reform critic, I rise to introduce this private member's bill entitled, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act (preventing and prosecuting fraudulent voice messages during election periods). Seconding the bill is my hon. colleague the member for Winnipeg Centre. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to him and his staff for all of the work that they have done, which has been crucial in developing the bill.
On March 12, the House of Commons voted unanimously to adopt a New Democratic motion that called on the government to bring forward legislation within six months to amend the Elections Act in the way that the bill seeks to do. It is now well over six months and the Conservatives have not yet acted on the motion. Accordingly, the bill steps into the breach at least for the moment. It now proposes amendments to the Canada Elections Act to make it an offence, subject to severe fines, to knowingly transmit false information through voice messages. In addition, it creates certain obligations to report to Elections Canada in a mandatory framework.
The NDP has taken the initiative by doing the groundwork. No doubt the bill could be improved, perhaps greatly improved, through collaboration with all parties in the House. I look forward to such collaboration.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)