Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak, Mr. Chair.
I want to support the amendment presented by my Conservative colleague. I urge my colleague to be cautious, because his interpretation of the intent behind such an amendment seems to reflect what he is denouncing.
I will give the example of Quebec. We heard the same comments following the 1998 election, when there was a phenomenon of identity theft, what was called the $10 votes. As a result, there is now a requirement in that province to present photo ID.
According to Quebec's parliamentary tradition, the electoral law cannot be changed if there is no consensus. It isn't even changed by a vote, as was mentioned earlier; there must be a consensus.
We had to go to court as a result of this phenomenon. I invite my colleague to read the Berardinucci decision. The latter had appealed, but the Superior Court of Quebec ruled in favour of the plaintiffs. So there was an organized system of identity theft when there was no obligation to show a voter card with a photo.
At the federal level, I was pleased to see that voters could show several documents to the scrutineer to be able to vote. If it was as restrictive as the current system in Quebec, where showing photo identification is mandatory, I might be able to understand that people would rant and rave about it, and say that this would prevent people from voting. In Quebec, it's just the way things are. Before even being asked, people present photo ID and don't feel mistreated or anything.
The legitimacy of the electoral process is fundamental. A voter card is something that can be duplicated. In Quebec, during a general election, people were able to pay others to assume the identities of other voters. People had the nerve to go to the same polling station and swear on the Bible that they had not already voted. It isn't just in Quebec that such a thing can happen.
I think the integrity of the electoral process is much more important. There are plenty of cards or documents that can be presented to vote in a federal election. The voter card is more of a reminder. It allows the election to take place in an orderly way, people find out where to go, and the vote is seamless.
If we allow the voter card to be used as a piece of identification, we open the door to the duplication of these cards by malicious people who know the electoral process, and by people elsewhere.
That's why I support the amendment. I urge my colleague to be cautious: we aren't here to stigmatize each other.