Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak on behalf of the Bloc Québécois about the motion before us. I would like to read several lines:
That, in the opinion of the House, the Conservative Party of Canada’s “in and out” electoral financing scheme was an act of electoral fraud and represents an assault on the democratic principles upon which Parliament and our electoral system are based, and that, further, the House calls upon the Prime Minister...
The Bloc Québécois supports this motion. I would like to quote an article published by Agence France-Presse that was reprinted by Le Figaro on March 2, 2011. It states:
Today the Canadian electoral authority formally charged the Prime Minister's Conservative Party and two senators from the governing party with fraud for allegedly concealing cost overruns during the 2006 election. The charges, laid at a time when many observers expect a spring election to be held, revolve around a “false or misleading statement” about the budget for the campaign that brought [the Conservatives] to power, writes Elections Canada in a news release.
These charges of fraud, which were reported by Agence France-Presse and by Le Figaro on March 2, are very serious and constitute an attack on democracy. It is important that the House take a stand on the Conservative Party's fraud.
In the 2006 election campaign, when a certain opportunity presented itself to the Conservative Party and the cash was beginning to pour into its coffers, it lacked resources for its national campaign. Given that the Conservatives had a national spending limit of $18 million, they transferred national party money to the ridings, which then returned the money to the national party to run national ads.
That is clearly against the law. A riding can collect donations from people and then run a campaign. The Conservatives did the opposite, thus contravening the Canada Elections Act. It is not surprising that they were charged. What is surprising is that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister told the House that they provided all the documents. That is false. The RCMP had to search the Conservative headquarters to obtain the evidence.
Day after day in the House of Commons, they have tried to cover up this scandal. It is becoming an international scandal given that an article in the March 2, 2011 edition of Le Figaro discussed the modus operandi of the right-wing party.
After question period, I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Châteauguay—Saint-Constant.
Getting back to the article in Le Figaro, the second paragraph states:
According to this independent [Canadian] agency, the Conservative Party deliberately exceeded election spending limits...by $1 million through an accounting scheme involving the right-wing party's local committees.
The right-wing Conservatives do not hesitate to circumvent the law and commit fraud to achieve their ends.