Evidence of meeting #125 for Procedure and House Affairs in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site.) The winning word was election.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Trevor Knight  Senior Counsel, Legal Services, Elections Canada
Jean-François Morin  Senior Policy Advisor, Privy Council Office
Anne Lawson  Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Regulatory Affairs, Elections Canada
Stephanie Kusie  Calgary Midnapore, CPC
Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Andrew Lauzon
Jennifer O'Connell  Pickering—Uxbridge, Lib.
Linda Lapointe  Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Lib.
Manon Paquet  Senior Policy Advisor, Privy Council Office
Philippe Méla  Legislative Clerk

5 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Mrs. Kusie.

5 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

As well, I mentioned yesterday the absence of “disclosure at any time for any purpose”. It's not present within this. Again, while we can state, “No, it's bad and you shouldn't do this”, there are not the mechanisms within the bill to ensure that this does not occur. We don't believe that there are enough safeguards for Canadians and for the electoral system to absolutely ensure that these circumventions do not occur.

5 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Does this hurt that any or is this just not included?

5 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

It's just not included. It's omitted.

5 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

This doesn't hurt that any. It just doesn't go as far as you want.

5 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

Yes, it's not far enough.... It's kind of empty, very honestly, Mr. Chair, in terms of an obligation to the Canadian people.

5 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Mr. Reid.

October 16th, 2018 / 5 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

I would just mention that even in Ontario's municipal election law if you want to set yourself up as a third party to participate in a municipal election in a tiny municipality of a couple of thousand people, you have to set up a separate bank account. If it's being done and it's managed right at that level, it's not clear why it's not needed to protect this here as well.

5 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Was it proposed anywhere in any of the amendments by anybody?

Is there any further discussion on this amendment? We'll break as soon as we finish this one item.

5 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

There's motivation.

5 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

My understanding is that this doesn't hurt the accountability, but it doesn't go far enough in your view.

5 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

That's correct.

5 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

We'll vote on LIB-26, which is one of the amendments to clause 222.

I'm going to read the ramifications again because I made a slight inaccuracy the first time I read it. The vote on this applies to LIB-27, LIB-29, LIB-33, LIB-37, LIB-44, LIB-46, LIB-50, and LIB-56.

5 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Bingo.

5 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

It does not, as I implied earlier, apply to LIB-59 because that has already been passed.

Also, if this passes, CPC-95 and CPC-96 cannot be moved, as it amends the same line as LIB-29, and CPC-108 and CPC-109 cannot be moved because they amend the same line as LIB-33, which would be approved consequentially here.

There is a request for a recorded vote on LIB-26.

(Amendment agreed to: yeas 9 ; nays 0 [See Minutes of Proceedings])

Just so people know what we're going to do as soon as we come back, we stood down clauses 191, 194, 197 and 205. We'll go back to them, and then we will go back to finish clause 222 because that was only the first amendment under clause 222.

We won't take a very long break because we don't want to be here late in the week.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

People are having far too much fun. We have to get back to work.

(On clause 191)

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

We're going back to clause 191, and we'll just revisit the first amendment, which is a new CPC amendment that is referenced in the top left corner as number 10008652.

Stephanie, do you want to reintroduce it so people remember what we were talking about?

5:20 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

In regard to the inverted polling station and polling division relationship, Mr. Nater has a clearer understanding of this issue than I do on the specifications in regard to the amendment.

John, would you mind doing this?

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

This relates back to the vote at any table concept, and it's basically clarifying that, when something happens, it happens at each ballot box. There are amendments that flow from that for the other sub points to that.

I talked briefly offline with Ms. Lawson. I'm not going to speak for her.

Ms. Lawson, I'll allow you to offer your observations rather than trying to speak on someone's behalf, which always gets people into trouble.

5:20 p.m.

Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Regulatory Affairs, Elections Canada

Anne Lawson

My understanding currently of the Bill C-76 provision that we're looking at is that it requires the count of votes to take place in the presence of candidates and their representatives or, if none of them are present, in the presence of at least two electors.

In our understanding, that would apply to the count across the polling station, meaning with respect to each box at the polling station. In our view, the existing provisions already, I think, provide what seems to be of concern, which is that the count takes place in front of witnesses. All of the counting that takes place by election officers is done in the presence of witnesses.

So I'm not sure that what is being proposed is necessary. I don't have an objection to it, either. I think it's something we can certainly work with if it's felt to be important, but in our view, already the intent of that provision is for the count to take place witnessed.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Is there any further discussion?

(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])

Now we go to CPC-69.

Mr. Nater, do you want to present this?

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Following that, this is part (b). Currently it says:

any candidates or their representatives who are present or, if no candidates or representatives are present, at least two electors.

We are proposing the following:

(b) at least two candidates or their representatives who are present, at least one elector if only one candidate or representative is present or at least two electors if no candidates or representatives are present.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Elections Canada or Monsieur Morin.

5:20 p.m.

LCdr Jean-François Morin

I am just afraid there might be a drafting mistake in the motion. The list of persons who are there are the only persons who can be present during the count, so at least two candidates or their representatives who are present, then at least two electors if no candidates or representatives are present, but in the middle, there is at least one elector, but if one candidate or representative is present... Sorry, it's a logical test, but the way it is worded, it seems like that candidate or representative who is present cannot be present because....

You know, it should say, “if only one candidate or representative is present, that candidate or representative and at least one elector”.

This is a technical comment on the drafting of the motion.

5:25 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

Is it not to ensure there are two people present and not just the candidate, and that if the candidate is not there, that there...? It seems to me, from the wording, that it's to ensure that two people are there for the count.

Is that your reading of it, John? That is clearly not specified in the bill as it stands, so we are suggesting this amendment, it would seem to me.