Evidence of meeting #126 for Procedure and House Affairs in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site.) The winning word was agreed.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Stephanie Kusie  Calgary Midnapore, CPC
Jean-François Morin  Senior Policy Advisor, Privy Council Office
Trevor Knight  Senior Counsel, Legal Services, Elections Canada
Robert Sampson  Legal Counsel, Legal Services, Elections Canada
Philippe Méla  Legislative Clerk

4:35 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

Let's say that under Bill C-76 there will now be caps for all entities, including third parties. Third parties have a cap during the election period, during the pre-election period. I was asking—

4:35 p.m.

LCdr Jean-François Morin

This amendment is about reporting, so it does not impose a new cap. The cap that is being enacted for the pre-election period and the election period remain in other provisions, but this amendment would make it mandatory for third parties who are required to provide a financial return after the election to disclose all their expenses of a partisan nature that have happened since the last general election. All partisan advertisements, all election surveys, all partisan activities would be captured by this reporting requirement.

4:35 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

Thank you.

I think this is the direction in which things are going. If you look historically at, I think, the good planning of some political parties, they thought, “Oh, there are election limits during the election period, so we we will move to the pre-writ”—to what was not defined as the pre-writ before. Then they started spending like crazy. Now we'll just see this pushed even further than before.

This amendment attempts to address that.

4:35 p.m.

LCdr Jean-François Morin

Well, yes and no. The way we define the various types of expenses.... For example, we do not define election advertising expenses as expenses incurred during the election period. We define them as expenses incurred, I think, “in relation to” the election period. That wording was carefully crafted to make sure that expenses that would be incurred immediately before the period, but for goods and services that would be used during the election period, would also be captured.

4:35 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

Yes, of course. It's like accrual.

4:35 p.m.

LCdr Jean-François Morin

But this goes much further.

4:35 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

4:35 p.m.

LCdr Jean-François Morin

This would require third parties to disclose every single partisan expense they've made since the last general election.

4:35 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

Well, we'll get there.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Mr. Graham.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Would this require all third parties to report all partisan activity on an ongoing, permanent basis? That seems fairly draconian.

4:35 p.m.

LCdr Jean-François Morin

It would require all third parties who have an obligation to report after a general election to report on all of their partisan activities since the last general election. A third party who did not incur expenses during a pre-writ and a writ period would not have to report anything on what happened between the two elections, but those who are required to report would, yes, be required to report on that as well.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Well, I think I have the impression. Thank you.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

I think we've heard enough to go to a vote.

(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

The CPC amendment with reference number 9964902 has been withdrawn, and amendment CPC-115 was consequential to CPC-111, so no amendments pass related to clause 234.

(Clause 234 agreed to on division)

There was one CPC amendment for clause 235, with reference number 9965053, but it was withdrawn, so there are no amendments.

(Clauses 235 to 237 inclusive agreed to)

Regarding clause 238, there was amendment CPC-116, but it was withdrawn by the Conservatives. Amendment LIB-35 passed because it was consequential to amendment LIB-32.

(Clause 238 as amended agreed to on division)

(On clause 239)

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

First of all, we have an amendment, LIB-36. The vote on this amendment will apply to amendment LIB-52, which is on page 294, as they are linked together by reference.

Ruby, present amendment LIB-36, please.

October 17th, 2018 / 4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Sahota Liberal Brampton North, ON

During testimony before PROC, the CEO criticized aspects of Bill C-76. He indicated that allowing a party to deduct the cost described above from the amount of the contribution for a convention would permit a party to raise funds for a core party activity, for example, a leadership convention or whatever, with other funds counting against an individual's contribution limit. He further indicated that this problem would be compounded by the fact that a wealthy individual could pay for multiple attendees and buy several tickets and could end up paying for most or all of the convention.

The proposed amendment would delete two contentious proposed subsections, subsections 364(8) and 364(9), from Bill C-76. This deletion would uphold the status quo with regard to the treatment of party convention fees under the Canada Elections Act while retaining a new prohibition on persons other than eligible contributors paying for convention fees.

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

If there is no debate, we will vote on amendment LIB-36.

(Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])

We just passed amendment LIB-36 unanimously. The vote applies also to amendment LIB-52. Those two amendments are linked by reference.

(Clause 239 as amended agreed to)

There are no amendments on clauses 240 to 249.

Shall clauses 240 to 249 carry?

4:40 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

Clause 246 can carry on division. The rest can carry.

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Okay.

(Clauses 240 to 245 inclusive agreed to)

(Clause 246 agreed to on division)

(Clauses 247 to 249 inclusive agreed to)

(On clause 250)

We have two CPC amendments on clause 250. The first one is CPC-117.

Would the Conservatives present that, please.

4:40 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

This requires advance notice of reporting requirements on the Chief Electoral Officer's limits on categories of candidates' personal expenses, and would amend the text to read:

(2) No categories or amounts established under subsection (1) take effect until six months after the day on which they are established. If that day is within an election period, the categories or amounts do not apply in respect of that election. (3) The Chief Electoral Officer shall make a report to the Speaker of the House of Commons in respect of any categories and amounts established under subsection (1). (4) The Speaker shall submit to the House of Commons, without delay, any report received by him or her under this section.

Obviously, candidates need to have knowledge of not only the requirements but the limits on expenses.

I would say that this is something of interest to all candidates. As well, I believe the minister herself is interested very much in personal expenses for things such as child care, a concern I share as well. The opportunity to have advance notice of these reporting requirements and the limits on the categories would prove useful.

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Mr. Graham.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

I was going to ask Mr. Morin and Mr. Knight whether they have any comments on this, to start with.

4:45 p.m.

LCdr Jean-François Morin

From PCO's perspective, I don't have any technical comment. This would create a new requirement for the Chief Electoral Officer to inform the Speaker of the House of Commons of these new categories. It would create a new delay in their implementation, but it's a policy decision.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Mr. Knight.