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House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservative.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

There is less than a minute left for the member for Mississauga South.

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what the court found and that is exactly what Elections Canada reported.

When we think about it, this is not just about the in and out; it is about the character of the government and the fact that it does not respect Parliament, democracy or the law.

We have had so many other things. We have the KAIROS issue and a minister lying to Parliament. We have another minister using his office for political fundraising. We had a public works minister using his office to interfere with legitimate access to information requests.

It is basically “do as I say or you're gone”, and that is the meanness in the Conservative Party.

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I know I have very little time, so I will try to raise a few points that I do not think have been raised thoroughly in this debate today.

First, what is really offensive to Canadians is the echo effect of the whole in and out scandal, this whole well-orchestrated premeditated conspiracy to defraud the spending limits of the Elections Act, in that the ill-gotten gains from the 2006 election were supposed to bankroll the 2008 and subsequent elections in these riding associations.

I would like to raise another point that I do not think has been raised. The in and out scheme had two levels. Tier one was for advertising, and 67 riding associations took part. Many more honest riding associations turned it down.

Tier two was for polling. People seem to forget this. Fully 50 riding associations orchestrated a second parallel in and out scheme with polling overspending in the amounts of $15,000 to $20,000 per riding association under the guise that they were polling locally. Let us remember, these were expensed as local expenses.

First, no one does a public opinion poll in the middle of an election campaign in a single riding. It is just not done. It is a waste of time and money.

Second, nobody could spend $20,000 on a public opinion poll in one riding association during the writ period. It would not happen. I have priced them out. Viewpoints Research will poll 400 people in my riding for roughly $4,000, $4,500. It does not cost $20,000. In some of these cases it was $28,000.

We have the in and out scandal for advertising. Clearly the national advertising buy was expensed at the local riding associations for two reasons: first, so they could exceed the limit nationally; and second, so the riding associations could use it as a cash cow and get the rebate.

Then there is a whole second tier on one of the other big expenses in a federal election campaign, the polling costs. They are busted dead to rights. As soon as they are finished prosecuting these four people, the two senators and Susan Kehoe and Mike Donison, they can go after the architects of the second tier, which is the polling scandal.

Let me remind members what precipitated, and I hope the member for Mississauga South hears this, the 2008 federal election. It was the work that the chair of the ethics committee at the time did, the member for Mississauga South, in issuing 31 summons to 31 principals of the in and out scandal because the witnesses refused to come otherwise.

Very wisely, the member exercised his parliamentary rights and issued summons. These 31 witnesses were told not to come to the parliamentary committee, which was meeting during the hot days of summer, during August. The Conservatives advised their own official agents and officers of their party to not attend.

Some of those people were Patrick Muttart, the Prime Minister's closest aide in the Prime Minister's office. Another was the current senator, Doug Finley, and Mike Donison and Irving Gerstein. These are some of the people who refused to attend the parliamentary committee.

Just before the chair of the committee called the police to have these people dragged before committee, in a paddy wagon if they had to, guess what happened? The writ was dropped. We are talking about August 18, August 20. Parliament was going to resume, and the committee would start sitting again September 5, September 6. On September 6, the Conservatives dropped the writ to avoid this very issue, the in and out scandal.

We are getting very close to that point again. The Conservatives are running and hiding and cannot take the heat. They are busted dead to rights. They are probably going to find some way to weasel out of facing justice in this regard as well. “Villainy wears many masks, none of which so dangerous as virtue”. That was a Johnny Depp quote.

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. There seems to be a lot of members who are anxious to ask questions or comments. Maybe they could hold off until there is time for questions and comments. Right now the Chair is having difficulty hearing the member for Winnipeg Centre.

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Villainy wears many masks, Mr. Speaker, and none so treacherous as the mask of virtue. So day after day to see the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister stand up pretending he is St. Sebastian with the arrows of accusations piercing his noble breast as if the Conservatives are the victims being persecuted by a bunch of crypto-Liberals and Elections Canada is almost laughable. Then they put up Little Bo Peep when the parliamentary secretary stands down. They do not know whether they are coming or going. One thing I do know, they should fix health care not elections. That is what we say in the province of Manitoba because we are familiar with this.

The genesis of the whole in and out scandal was actually the provincial Conservative Party in Manitoba in the 1999 election. Can members guess who was busted, charged, tried and convicted for this very thing? It was the current Minister of Public Safety when he was a provincial member of the Manitoba legislature. Can members guess who the architects of that scheme were? One of them is the current member for Portage—Lisgar who was just up in the House of Commons trying to defend the indefensible.

We had a motto in Manitoba--

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. It being 5:28 p.m., it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the business of supply.

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Opposition Motion—Electoral FinancingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #195

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I declare the motion carried.

The House resumed from March 3 consideration of the motion and of the amendment.

Opposition Motion—Representation in ParliamentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Pursuant to order made on Thursday, March 3, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment of the member for Québec to the motion of the member for Hamilton Centre relating to the business of supply.

Opposition Motion—Representation in ParliamentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, if you seek it I believe you would find agreement to apply the vote from the previous motion to the current motion, with the Conservatives voting no.

Opposition Motion—Representation in ParliamentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is it agreed to proceed in that fashion?

Opposition Motion—Representation in ParliamentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Opposition Motion—Representation in ParliamentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals will vote no.

Opposition Motion—Representation in ParliamentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

The Bloc Québécois will be voting yes.

Opposition Motion—Representation in ParliamentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

The NDP will vote yes.

Opposition Motion—Representation in ParliamentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Independent

Helena Guergis Independent Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I oppose the amendment.

(The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #196