Elections Modernization Act

An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments

Sponsor

Karina Gould  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Canada Elections Act to establish spending limits for third parties and political parties during a defined period before the election period of a general election held on a day fixed under that Act. It also establishes measures to increase transparency regarding the participation of third parties in the electoral process. Among other things that it does in this regard, the enactment

(a) adds reporting requirements for third parties engaging in partisan activities, partisan advertising, and election surveys to the reporting requirements for third parties engaging in election advertising;

(b) creates an obligation for third parties to open a separate bank account for expenses related to the matters referred to in paragraph (a); and

(c) creates an obligation for political parties and third parties to identify themselves in partisan advertising during the defined period before the election period.

The enactment also amends the Act to implement measures to reduce barriers to participation and increase accessibility. Among other things that it does in this regard, the enactment

(a) establishes a Register of Future Electors in which Canadian citizens 14 to 17 years of age may consent to be included;

(b) broadens the application of accommodation measures to all persons with a disability, irrespective of its nature;

(c) creates a financial incentive for registered parties and candidates to take steps to accommodate persons with a disability during an election period;

(d) amends some of the rules regarding the treatment of candidates’ expenses, including the rules related to childcare expenses, expenses related to the care of a person with a disability and litigation expenses;

(e) amends the rules regarding the treatment of nomination contestants’ and leadership contestants’ litigation expenses and personal expenses;

(f) allows Canadian Forces electors access to several methods of voting, while also adopting measures to ensure the integrity of the vote;

(g) removes limitations on public education and information activities conducted by the Chief Electoral Officer;

(h) removes two limitations on voting by non-resident electors: the requirement that they have been residing outside Canada for less than five consecutive years and the requirement that they intend to return to Canada to resume residence in the future; and

(i) extends voting hours on advance polling days.

The enactment also amends the Act to modernize voting services, facilitate enforcement and improve various aspects of the administration of elections and of political financing. Among other things that it does in this regard, the enactment

(a) removes the assignment of specific responsibilities set out in the Act to specific election officers by creating a generic category of election officer to whom all those responsibilities may be assigned;

(b) limits election periods to a maximum of 50 days;

(c) removes administrative barriers in order to facilitate the hiring of election officers;

(d) authorizes the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to provide the Chief Electoral Officer with information about permanent residents and foreign nationals for the purpose of updating the Register of Electors;

(e) removes the prohibition on the Chief Electoral Officer authorizing the notice of confirmation of registration (commonly known as a “voter information card”) as identification;

(f) replaces, in the context of voter identification, the option of attestation for residence with an option of vouching for identity and residence;

(g) removes the requirement for electors’ signatures during advance polls, changes procedures for the closing of advance polls and allows for counting ballots from advance polls one hour before the regular polls close;

(h) replaces the right or obligation to take an oath with a right or obligation to make a solemn declaration, and streamlines the various declarations that electors may have the right or obligation to make under specific circumstances;

(i) relocates the Commissioner of Canada Elections to within the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, and provides that the Commissioner is to be appointed by the Chief Electoral Officer, after consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions, for a non-renewable term of 10 years;

(j) provides the Commissioner of Canada Elections with the authority to impose administrative monetary penalties for contraventions of provisions of Parts 16, 17 and 18 of the Act and certain other provisions of the Act;

(k) provides the Commissioner of Canada Elections with the authority to lay charges;

(l) provides the Commissioner of Canada Elections with the power to apply for a court order requiring testimony or a written return;

(m) clarifies offences relating to

(i) the publishing of false statements,

(ii) participation by non-Canadians in elections, including inducing electors to vote or refrain from voting, and

(iii) impersonation; and

(n) implements a number of measures to harmonize and streamline political financing monitoring and reporting.

The enactment also amends the Act to provide for certain requirements with regard to the protection of personal information for registered parties, eligible parties and political parties that are applying to become registered parties, including the obligation for the party to adopt a policy for the protection of personal information and to publish it on its Internet site.

The enactment also amends the Parliament of Canada Act to prevent the calling of a by-election when a vacancy in the House of Commons occurs within nine months before the day fixed for a general election under the Canada Elections Act.

It also amends the Public Service Employment Act to clarify that the maximum period of employment of casual workers in the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer — 165 working days in one calendar year — applies to those who are appointed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections.

Finally, the enactment contains transitional provisions, makes consequential amendments to other Acts and repeals the Special Voting Rules.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

Dec. 13, 2018 Passed Motion respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments
Dec. 13, 2018 Failed Motion respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (amendment)
Dec. 13, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments
Oct. 30, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments
Oct. 30, 2018 Failed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (recommittal to a committee)
Oct. 29, 2018 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments
Oct. 29, 2018 Failed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (report stage amendment)
Oct. 29, 2018 Failed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (report stage amendment)
Oct. 29, 2018 Failed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (report stage amendment)
Oct. 29, 2018 Failed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (report stage amendment)
Oct. 29, 2018 Passed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (report stage amendment)
Oct. 29, 2018 Failed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (report stage amendment)
Oct. 29, 2018 Failed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (report stage amendment)
Oct. 29, 2018 Failed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (report stage amendment)
Oct. 29, 2018 Failed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (report stage amendment)
Oct. 29, 2018 Failed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (report stage amendment)
Oct. 29, 2018 Failed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (report stage amendment)
Oct. 29, 2018 Failed Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (report stage amendment)
Oct. 25, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments
May 23, 2018 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments
May 23, 2018 Failed 2nd reading of Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (reasoned amendment)
May 23, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 10th, 2018 / 4:55 p.m.
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Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister talked about using a voter information card and reinstating that as a form of identification. In the last election 986,613 voter information cards were reported to have inaccurate information, were sent to wrong addresses, and had erroneous information.

Can the minister address why he is using as a piece of identification for voters something that for as many as a million voters had inaccurate information?

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 10th, 2018 / 4:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, one of the recommendations from Elections Canada, having had the opportunity to analyze the impact of the changes that the previous government made in eliminating vouching and voter information cards, was that we bring back voter information cards. In fact, I mentioned earlier that over 160 experts on elections felt it was the wrong decision, and Stats Canada has said that in fact 170,000 Canadians who ought to have been able to vote did not have the opportunity as a result of that. We believe democracy is stronger when more Canadians participate, and that is why we are bringing it back.

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 10th, 2018 / 5 p.m.
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Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, in the 1980s and 1990s, the Mulroney government appointed the Lortie commission on electoral reform. The government of Jean Chrétien followed through on a number of the commission's recommendations, including by reforming the electoral financing system and overhauling the political financing rules. We cleaned up political financing in Canada.

However, that tradition of consensus was largely abandoned, unfortunately, in the last Parliament not once, not twice, but several times by the Harper government which retroactively changed election laws, laws respecting leadership campaigns, and so on, and suppressed votes. The one thing that most Canadians took extreme offence to was the suppression of votes and particularly the suppression of young people's votes. Can the minister tell us how he is correcting that historic error by encouraging and getting more Canadian youth to vote?

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 10th, 2018 / 5 p.m.
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Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, again, we believe very strongly that having more Canadians active in the political process, including in elections, is really important and vital for our democracy. That really starts with young Canadians.

To have a registry of future voters and to engage young Canadians early by giving them an opportunity to work in elections is really important. We think restoring the ability and the mandate of Elections Canada to promote engagement and to do outreach makes a great deal of sense. That is why it is in this bill.

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 10th, 2018 / 5 p.m.
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Québec debout

Gabriel Ste-Marie Québec debout Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the President of the Treasury Board for his speech.

Obviously, we would have preferred the bill to have been tabled sooner. The President of the Treasury Board says he would like the bill to be passed quickly so that it is in place for the next election. We would have liked the bill to be more substantial, especially by including a proportional voting option. That option was abandoned in spite of a unanimous report from the committee that was supported by every party in the House. We would also have liked to see public financing included in this bill, which it is not. Enhanced public financing of political parties could help our elected officials avoid the appearance of acting in their own financial interests.

My question is about the youth vote. Students are often registered to vote in their parents' riding, but they live near their college or university. This makes it hard for them to vote.

What measures does Bill C-76 provide to make voting easier for students who do not live in the riding where they are registered?

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 10th, 2018 / 5 p.m.
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Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is a great question.

Again, it is very important to increase flexibility to help voters participate in the electoral process, just as it is very important to protect the integrity of our voting system.

To restore vouching, as an example, is one area of flexibility. The member raises a very good point about students having the opportunity. Their addresses are sometimes transient because they live in different places.

Again, vouching requires an individual to make a solemn pledge and take an oath as to somebody's identity. It's not something that is entered into frivolously. People can only vouch for one person. That is one example.

I would be interested to ensure that young people who are not living at their parents' address have that flexibility. I think that is one example of how voter information cards or vouching can provide a necessary and important flexibility to ensure that they have the opportunity to vote.

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 10th, 2018 / 5:05 p.m.
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Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today and participate in the debate on Bill C-76, the amendments to the Canada Elections Act.

One of the privileges we have in Canada and as Canadians is to participate in free and fair elections. I do not think there is anyone in this House who would disagree with the importance of that privilege and honour that we have as Canadian citizens to participate in our democratic rights.

However, the government has shown its inability to properly introduce legislation to change our elections. In fact, the acting Chief Electoral Officer made it very clear to Parliament and at committee that in order for Elections Canada to make the changes necessary for the next election in 2019, legislation had to receive royal assent by April 2018. Here we are in May, only just kicking off debate on this matter.

On April 24, 2018, at committee, the acting Chief Electoral Officer, Stéphane Perrault, had this to say to the procedure and house affairs committee:

When I appeared last February I indicated that the window of opportunity to implement major changes in time for the next election was rapidly closing. That was not a new message. Both Monsieur Mayrand and I had previously indicated that legislative changes should be enacted by April 2018. This means that we are now at a point where the implementation of new legislation will likely involve some compromises.

Later in his comments he said:

However, it is also my responsibility to inform you that time is quickly running out. Canadians trust Elections Canada to deliver robust and reliable elections, and we do not want to find ourselves in the situation where the quality of the electoral process is impacted.

The government tabled Bill C-76 in April 2018, the same day legislation was supposed to be in place. The government botched the entire process for implementing changes to the Canada Elections Act. As a result of its mismanagement, the government had to introduce this omnibus bill in order to play catch-up and distract from past failures.

The Chief Electoral Officer provided recommendations for legislative reforms following the 42nd general election in 2015. The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs was reviewing the recommendations and preparing a report for this House. Then, on November 24, 2016, before the committee had completed its work, the former minister of democratic institutions introduced Bill C-33, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts. She introduced an incomplete bill and demonstrated a blatant disregard for the committee's work.

Then, after rushing to create a bill and, in their haste, creating a flawed bill, the Liberals stalled. They have been sitting on the bill and have still not brought it forward for debate at second reading a year and a half later. If we add to that their failed attempt to change Canada’s electoral system to favour their party, the tremendous delay to appoint a permanent Chief Electoral Officer, and the incomprehensible action to perhaps create a debates commission, this government's democratic reform has been a colossal disappointment. The Liberals waited well beyond the April 2018 deadline to introduce Bill C-76.

What is more, Bill C-76 is an omnibus bill. It is 350 pages long and contains hundreds of different sections. At best, it contains seven vastly different elements. Many of these elements are flawed, and not only will they not improve our elections, but in some cases they will actually weaken them.

This brings me to one of the key points contained in the bill, which is the subject of identification. The government is clearly out of touch with what is reasonable in the 21st century.

Today, photo ID and identification with one's address is commonly and routinely used for interactions with governments at all levels, whether federal, provincial or municipal. Under the current law, nearly 50 different types of identification are permitted to allow a Canadian voter to prove his or her identity and address.

Canadians are used to using identification. In Canada, no one bats an eye when he or she is required to show ID to board a plane. No one bats an eye when he or she is required to show ID to prove his or her age to purchase alcohol or tobacco. Students are regularly required to show ID when they take VIA Rail to get the student discount. When we drive a car, we need a driver's licence. When we go fishing, we have a fishing licence. When we go to get a prescription for medication, we show identification. Even to borrow a library book, we need a library card, which, I might add, in most municipalities is free. What is more, when we get that library card, we can also use it as one of the acceptable forms of ID with Elections Canada.

I am proud to have a library card for both the Wellington county libraries and the libraries in Perth county, and I use them regularly. I encourage all Canadians to go to their local libraries and get a card.

Let us look at the list of some of the identification that is currently approved by Elections Canada. Of course, there is the driver's licence or a provincial or territorial ID card. In Ontario, that includes both a photo ID as well as an address on those cards. Also, there is the Canadian passport, a birth certificate, and a label on a prescription container.

It has been mentioned before that perhaps those living in a retirement home or a long-term care home may have a challenge finding identification. However, I would challenge anyone to show me a senior who may be living in a long-term care home who does not have perhaps a pill bottle or prescription that has his or her name and identification on it. Another case would be an identity bracelet issued by a hospital or long-term care facility. Also, one could use a credit card, debit card, or employee card.

The minister talked about students. Nearly every student in high school, college, trade school, or a university has a student card. Most students also have a bus pass or public transportation card. It is unfortunate that the Liberals got rid of the public transit tax credit but, nonetheless, most students do have a transit card, particularly if they do not have a driver's licence.

One could also use a licence or card issued for fishing, trapping, or hunting, one of the great pastimes in Canada. One could use a utility bill, whether that be for electricity, water, telecommunications, cable, or satellite. What is more, Elections Canada also accepts either e-statements or e-invoices for that type of ID. In a growing technological world, I know many of us receive our bills solely online, which is an acceptable form of ID.

One could use a personal cheque, a government statement of benefits, or an income tax assessment. All Canadians are required to file their taxes every year. April 30 was just upon us, and I am sure all Canadians remember that well, with the Liberal government in power.

One could use correspondence issued by a school, college, or university. Again, a student going to college or university in Canada would potentially have that letter. Barring that, it could be a letter of confirmation of residence from a place such as a student residence, for those attending university, or a seniors residence, a long-term care home, a shelter, or a soup kitchen, so that those who may not have a permanent fixed address would still have confirmation of their eligibility to vote.

There is also a third option, in which an oath can be taken to provide confirmation of one's address from someone within the same electoral district undertaking that confirmation.

Most Canadians would see these rules as reasonable and fair. The rules ensure that only those who are eligible electors vote, and that they vote in the correct riding. Canadians are rule-loving people. We respect the rules. When we are asked to prove that we are in fact legitimate voters within an electoral district in Canada, we are happy to do so.

This brings me to the government's decision to use the voter information card as identification. It is an information card, not an identification card, as is often said by members across the way. These are information cards because that is what they provide, information. It has been stated before that, in the 2015 election, 986,613 of these voter information cards had inaccurate information, were sent to the wrong address, or were not complete, yet the Liberals are okay with nearly a million voter information cards being used as identification.

Canadians know that things change. Addresses change, and the voters list is not always entirely up to date. Nonetheless, the Liberals are relying on that information to be used to confirm residence within a riding.

One of the challenges with using the voters list and the voter information cards is that much of this information comes from the Canada Revenue Agency. I will cite a couple of examples where the CRA has mistakenly declared people dead, yet this information is now being used to inform the voters list, and then the voter information card, which entitles people to vote.

I would draw the members' attention to an article from November 2017 in which a Scarborough woman was declared dead and her estate was sent her tax refund of nearly $2,800. Another example recently from CBC, in April 2018, talked about a Cape Breton man whose error on a tax return declared both him and his late wife dead, despite the fact that he never submitted a death certificate for himself. Again, this information is being used to inform the voter information cards, which the Liberals now want to use as a confirmation of an address.

The minister also said that the Liberals would be removing the voting restrictions for those living outside of Canada, removing the five-year limitation and the intent to return to Canada. There are two points on this matter. First, it might be reasonable for Canadians who want to see this country prosper and thrive to at least give an indication that at some point in the future they wish to return and live in this great country we call Canada.

Second, when we look at our Commonwealth cousins and the example of Commonwealth countries around the world, we see that they have similar provisions in place. In the United Kingdom, a national who leaves for more than 15 years is not eligible to vote in a national election. In Australia, the length of time is six years.

I want to talk briefly about foreign financing. The Liberal government tries to claim it is shutting the door on foreign financing, that it is blocking foreign influence in elections. What is actually happening is it is opening up a great big loophole that will allow foreign influence to funnel large amounts of money into U.S.-style super PACs to be distributed within Canada during an election campaign.

In a recent article, John Ivison writes:

In the last election, foreign money wielded by political advocacy groups targeted Conservative candidates—Leadnow claimed its 6,000 volunteers helped defeat 25 Tories.

Leadnow said no international money went towards the campaign. However, the New York-based Tides Foundation donated $795,300 to a B.C.-based non-profit called the Sisu Institute Society, which in turn donated to Leadnow.

Leadnow acknowledges Sisu contributed grants for its “other campaigns” but said the election campaign was funded entirely by Canadian sources. Yet, as Duff Conacher at Democracy Watch pointed out, this is nonsense. “Any grant frees up other money, if it’s all in one pot.”

There is nothing in the new bill to stop this from happening again.

Another example comes from our good friend Andrew Coyne, who wrote:

But let’s examine those much-hyped measures to “protect and defend” Canadian democracy. For example, we are told the bill will prohibit foreign entities “from spending any money to influence elections.” Wonderful, you say: how much were they allowed to spend until now? Er, $500.

But then, the real scandal, to borrow Michael Kinsley's phrase, is not what is illegal—direct foreign spending on Canadian elections—but what's legal: foreign money, by the millions, funneled through Canadian intermediaries, which pass it on to domestic advocacy groups to spend.

This is wrong, and Canadians understand that this is not the way that Canadian elections ought to be run. Creating loopholes that we could drive a Mack truck through, allowing foreign influence in Canadian elections, is wrong, and Canadians understand that. They understand that so much of what the Liberal government is doing in the bill is wrong. Canadians believe that voters should be required to prove their identity before they vote. Canadians believe that proper identification is necessary before they vote in an election. They believe that foreign influence in Canadian elections is wrong and that loopholes should not be allowed in the bill, as the Liberals have done.

Canadians also wonder about the lack of urgency of the Liberal government. We have known for a year and a half that we would need a Chief Electoral Officer, and yet the Liberals waited 18 months. They introduced Bill C-33 and let it languish on the Order Paper, and now, at a point in time when the Liberal government has been told directly by the Chief Electoral Officer that they do not have time to implement the changes, the Liberals are proposing to go ahead anyway with this information.

It is for this reason that I move:

That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following:

the House decline to give second reading to Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments, since the Bill fails to address the high error rate in the National Register of Electors, and the high rate of erroneous Voter Identification Cards, reported at 986,613 instances in the 2015 election, and does nothing to deal with foreign interference in Canadian elections because the Bill proposes to double the total maximum third party spending amount allowed during the writ period and to continue to allow unlimited contributions in the period prior to the pre-writ period.

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 10th, 2018 / 5:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Anju Dhillon Liberal Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, QC

Mr. Speaker, what this legislation does is to get youth more involved in the electoral process. I think it is a good thing when our youth are involved in our democracy, so I would like to ask my colleagues across the way why they are now opposing the youth electoral registry when at committee they supported it.

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 10th, 2018 / 5:25 p.m.
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Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, we all encourage young people to vote. I am always honoured in my campaign to have enthusiastic young people out there. A lot of the time, those who cannot even vote yet are coming out to help me on my campaigns. In my riding association I have a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old who are super-eager and excited. We are all going to encourage young people to vote.

However, let us go back to the point that I raised in my speech about identification. The Liberals keep going back to the point that young people and students do not have identification, but as we have clearly shown, nearly 50 types of eligible identification are permissible for those students, including student ID cards or a letter from a college or university or an institution such as that.

We need to encourage young people to vote, and we as a party and we as parliamentarians will be doing all we can as candidates in the next election to encourage young people to vote. I would encourage the Liberals to do the same, rather than trying to introduce a 350-page omnibus elections bill that the Chief Electoral Officer clearly showed should have been introduced and passed by last month, yet here we are only just beginning debate today.

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 10th, 2018 / 5:25 p.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was looking forward to this debate because we have been waiting so long for it.

We had clear indications from Elections Canada that they needed new legislation to have passed both the House of Commons and the Senate and to have received royal recommendation to be law. Elections Canada warned the government more than a year ago that this was required.

I am not sure that my friend's efforts to amend the bill in the way that he has is really going to help us along the path. Someone once said that a lack of effort on their part does not create a crisis on our part. I asked the Treasury Board secretary earlier if he would commit to not fast-tracking the bill, thus shutting down debate, because it is very large, at 350 pages, and incredibly complex. It also deals with constitutional rights, such as freedom of speech and access to the Canadian electoral system.

My basic question is this, though. If the Conservatives are only going to offer to try to derail the bill, I am not sure that it sets us up well for the 2019 election. This bill was introduced by the Liberal government on the very day that Elections Canada had told them that they needed the legislation passed. Canadians can be rightly quite cynical and skeptical as to whether the Liberals are truly committed to fulfilling their promises to the changes that they ran on in the last campaign.

To my friend, on the specific amendment that he has moved, what is the effort and what eventual goal do the Conservatives have in advancing the conversation around our democracy?

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 10th, 2018 / 5:30 p.m.
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Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley on one particular point, which is that the Liberals cannot be trusted to implement what they ran on. They ran on one policy and then in the end failed to deliver on so many of the policies that they introduced.

The purpose of the amendment was clear. This is a flawed piece of legislation and we do not believe that we should proceed.