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

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Now we have a substantial reason for going to the vote quickly.

(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])

Now we have one of the new amendments which were recently handed out. It's supplementary amendment 9961280.

Would the Conservatives present that.

4:25 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

It is, again, our attempt to make disclosures of foreign sources of funding watertight, legislating that third parties are required to disclose foreign sources of funding received for any purpose by third parties.

The amendment would add the following:

(v) a list of all contributions received since the preceding general election by the third party from foreign individuals or entities and the date and purpose of the contribution; and

Again, it is an attempt to tighten up the language to avoid any possibility of foreign funding.

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Is there comment by the witnesses?

4:25 p.m.

LCdr Jean-François Morin

I would like to make a comment on that.

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Monsieur Morin.

4:25 p.m.

LCdr Jean-François Morin

The Canada Elections Act defines a contribution as any monetary or non-monetary contribution. A monetary contribution is defined as an amount of money provided that is not repayable.

The approach we've taken with regard to the regulation of foreign funding for third parties is on the use of foreign funds rather than on the receipt of contributions. The reason for that is that since third parties are everybody who went in to making election advertising, partisan advertising, et cetera, I'm afraid that this motion would add a very broad disclosure requirement to the act.

If I were to receive a gift of $500 from my grandmother who lived in the United States, it would need to be disclosed. I would also be afraid that many not-for-profit organizations that receive donations from abroad would have to disclose all of these contributions.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Sahota Liberal Brampton North, ON

This is regardless of whether it's used for partisan advertising, because they're not allowed to use any foreign funds. It's just anything that is not being actually used in an election.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Mr. Reid.

October 17th, 2018 / 4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

This only applies to your grandmother if she is a third party who is required to provide an expense disclosure, which, I think by definition, would not actually fit your grandmother. I think you're mistaken, Mr. Morin, in giving that example.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Would anyone else at the witness table say that Mr. Morin made a mistake?

4:30 p.m.

Senior Counsel, Legal Services, Elections Canada

Trevor Knight

I think I would read it similarly to Mr. Morin, or at least it raises that question in the sense that where, elsewhere in the third party regime, we've said a registered third party has to report contributions, they are contributions made for certain purposes—for election advertising or partisan activities. In contrast, this provision just says “a list of all contributions”.

A possibility, using a slightly different example of a non-profit group that sought to conduct third party advertising would be if it did register and it had some donors who were foreign donors. It would have to report all of those foreign donors regardless of whether it used those foreign contributions for partisan activities, etc., or for their other regular purposes.

In terms of the size of the burden, I'm not sure, but it would obviously be more reporting than is elsewhere in the contributions regime for third parties.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Stephanie.

4:30 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

Well, I appreciate that, and I think that example almost specifically outlines the necessity of this amendment. When you were a kid, how many times did your parents give you money for pizza, and you went to the mall and bought jeans? I see this as—

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

I can't say that ever happened to me.

4:30 p.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

4:30 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

Video games, then, David, or comic books....

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

If I wanted an allowance, I had to sell eggs.

4:30 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

Okay, Mr. Chair, thank you.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

I think we've had enough levity on this amendment.

We will go to the vote on CPC amendment 9961280. That is the reference number.

(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])

Just to be the devil's advocate here, Mr. Morin, really quickly, you said that if something had to be repaid, then it's not a contribution. If someone gave an interest-free loan or something to a Canadian for 10 years and that has to be repaid, it wouldn't be caught.

4:30 p.m.

LCdr Jean-François Morin

I don't want to get into that without looking at specific provisions of the act, but there are specific provisions about loans. This is a case that is being dealt with by the act already.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Okay. Now we go to CPC-114.

Stephanie, would you introduce that amendment.

4:30 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

This again is in regard to third parties. It would make it a requirement to do the disclosure of political expenditures incurred between elections as well. As outlined, clause 234 would be amended by adding after line 20 on page 134:

(v) a list of all expenses—other than those referred to in subparagraphs (i) to (iv)—incurred during the period beginning the day after polling day at the general election previous to the polling day referred to in subsection (1) and ending on the polling day referred to in that subsection

The amendment continues and ends with:

the date and place of the partisan activities to which the expenses relate; and

It would make the reportable period the entirety of the election period in terms of the political expenditures.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Is there any discussion?

4:35 p.m.

Calgary Midnapore, CPC

Stephanie Kusie

Actually, I have a question. According to the amendment, would they be applicable...? No, they would be outside of the writ and pre-writ period caps for third parties.

4:35 p.m.

LCdr Jean-François Morin

I'm not sure I understand your question.