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House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Florence Grottenberg's brother laid down his life in World War II to make the world safe for democracy, and it makes me sick that some Conservative fraudster with a speed dialer has tried to cheat her out of her most democratic freedom and right which is to cast her ballot free of interference in a general election.

Does the Prime Minister think that Florence Grottenberg is part of the drive-by smear? Why does the Prime Minister not get RackNine to robocall Justice Gomery and get busy trying to restore the integrity of our electoral institutions because they have been compromised by some very bad people?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we said yesterday and we can demonstrate very clearly that the opposition has no evidence. This is an unsubstantiated smear campaign and the member has played a role in that.

We know that Elections Canada received 30 complaints nationally. That is what the report of the Chief Electoral Officer says and now some nine months later the NDP is coming forward with new complaints and new evidence. It is all nonsense.

This party ran an ethical and clean campaign and we were proud to do so.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is perhaps appropriate that the RCMP has declared that March is fraud prevention month. I would like to ask the Prime Minister in light of that fact, is he suggesting for one moment that there is some kind of statute of limitations with respect to complaints on electoral fraud? Is he suggesting that the people coming forward and providing evidence are not being sincere? Is he suggesting that the thousands of Canadians coming forward are in fact conducting a smear campaign?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, yesterday and other days the Liberal Party said that it had received these misleading phone calls from numbers in the United States. We have done some checking. We have only found that it was the Liberal Party that did source its phone calls from the United States. I wonder if the reason the hon. leader of the Liberal Party will not in fact show us his evidence is it will point out that it was the Liberal Party that made these calls.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and his colleagues have a remarkable ability to turn themselves into victims at the same time as they literally smear thousands of Canadians who are now complaining because they are aware of a pattern. The Prime Minister cannot deny the fact that two of the companies that are involved with respect to activities are now under serious investigation, nor can he deny the fact that there is an RCMP investigation ongoing with respect to what happened in Guelph.

Would the Prime Minister not agree that any form of voter suppression is in fact reprehensible?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course it is, which is why we encourage voter turnout and why we won the last election campaign.

Back to what I just said, yesterday the leader of the Liberal Party said that these erroneous calls claimed to be from the Liberal Party. In fact, the evidence points to the fact that they actually did come from the Liberal Party. When is the leader of the Liberal Party going to show the phone list and demonstrate where in fact these calls came from and the fact that they came from the Liberal Party itself?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to report to the Prime Minister that we are fully prepared to share all of our information on the last Liberal election campaign. We are prepared to hand over all information on any questions asked, to disclose who we called and why.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to do the same thing, yes or no?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, for the past few days, I have been trying to get this information from the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party said these calls came from the United States, but only the Liberal Party made such calls from the United States. It is up to the Liberal Party to prove that it did not make these calls to voters.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party is a bit like a Russian nesting doll: sometimes one scandal might be hiding another. Just a few months after Conservatives pleaded guilty to election fraud, here we go again: another in and out scheme. Last May, it seems that Conservative campaigns in Quebec were used as puppets to pay RMG thousands of dollars in order to get around the law. Neither the candidates nor any official agents seem to know what RMG was paid to do.

Please, is there someone across the way who can tell us who concluded these agreements with RMG, instead of hiding behind Pierre Poutine and Michael Sona?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member wants to know whether anyone can explain who signed this contract. I can. I have before me a direct quote from Bertin Denis, a Conservative candidate:

The $15,000 bill from RMG was a local campaign expense. The contract was signed by my official agent and RMG. Our campaign received the service as promised. RMG was asked to identify voters in my riding.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I get the impression that the Conservatives have been doing damage control for the past few days. The first version from the Conservative candidate in Rimouski was that the campaign paid $15,000.01 for services he was unaware of and about which he was never consulted. What is more, Mr. Duplessis said that one must never offer round numbers because they are not credible. In other words, the party gave him money and told him who to make the cheque out to. That is called fraud, plain and simple. The official agent from another campaign confirmed it, saying it was an in and out scheme.

We want to know why Elections Canada is conducting an investigation in Thunder Bay. Are they going to answer our questions?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the article in question is wrong and we have already proven that.

I have a question for the opposition. The opposition parties said that calls were coming from a telephone company with offices in North Dakota. The only party that hired a firm with offices in North Dakota was the Liberal Party: Joe Volpe, $25,000; Shafik Ruda, the Liberal candidate for Edmonton, $2,800; and the candidate for Ottawa-West—Nepean, Anita Vandenbeld, $21,000.

Let them explain why.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives need to get some better researchers, because there is a firm in North Dakota with the same name but it actually does not work for the Liberal Party. Let us get back to the real issue, which is electoral fraud.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about electoral fraud. We asked very specific questions about the shenanigans in Thunder Bay, and the Conservatives' response was, “Catch us if you can.” We asked again and they said, “We just changed the polling stations,” but no polling stations were changed.

Yesterday the Conservatives said it was a smear. Now that the police are investigating, will they come clean with who in the Conservative Party is behind the hijinks in Thunder Bay?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in a letter to the editor, Diane Janzen, the Liberal candidate in Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, indicated that they used First Contact and “First Contact relies on patented technology....The patent and the server are based in the U.S.”

We have heard a number of people come forward and suggest that there were calls made, and that these calls were made on behalf of the Liberal Party and that those calls originated in the U.S. In fact, we heard such a statement about Ottawa West—Nepean yesterday. What we can say is that Anita Vandenbeld paid $21,000 to First Contact to make calls for her campaign.

If they said they were calling on behalf of the Liberal Party and asked for these things, they were.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is spending so much time trying to sing the golden oldies of Tricky Dick he did not listen to the question, which was about the shenanigans in Thunder Bay.

When the Conservatives were caught out in Guelph, they tried to throw a 20-year-old under the bus and blame him for an elaborate scheme, which is now apparently not working.

We will go back to the fact that there is an investigation into Thunder Bay. Will the member come clean? Will he talk about their role in Thunder Bay, or are the Conservatives going to try to throw RMG under the bus to try to hide the crooks in the Conservative Party?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Again, Mr. Speaker, this party ran a clean and ethical election campaign. Those are nothing but unsubstantiated smears from the NDP. Canadians will have no tolerance for that type of behaviour.

We know the Liberal Party has claimed that a number of calls were made into its ridings, often late at night. These calls sometimes offended people. The callers indicated that they were calling on behalf of the Liberal Party. They were asking for things like lawn signs. It turned out that they were in fact calling on behalf of the Liberal Party, at least that is what it appears.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse NDP Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, he is quite right that Canadians will not tolerate that kind of attitude.

It makes no difference whether we hand over all our information to Elections Canada, because it does not have the power to ask political parties for documents. It seems that the Conservatives did not appreciate being caught using the in and out scheme. The message this sends to Canadians is that the Conservatives absolutely do not want the Chief Electoral Officer to be able to discover other scandals.

Why are the Conservatives refusing to give Elections Canada the power it is asking for? What do they have to hide?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is asking why. Because we have already given the evidence to Elections Canada. It has all the documents pertaining to this situation. We are ready to co-operate by answering all questions. It is the opposition that is making unfounded allegations. After a week of attacks and allegations, they should have some proof. They lost the election and now they are making false allegations to justify losing.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member just said that they were willing to co-operate with the Chief Electoral Officer, but a question remains. If they are interested in ensuring that all evidence necessary is brought forward, why did they refuse to give the authority that they requested of the Chief Electoral Officer to demand any documents they need to ensure that everybody here is being honest? If they are not willing to give him that power, which they have now proven they are not, what else are they hiding?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in a letter to the editor, written by Diane Janzen, a Liberal candidate in Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, she indicated that First Contact relies on patented technology. The patent and server are based in the U.S.

I read a story just a few minutes ago out of the riding of Northumberland—Quinte West about an individual who had received numerous annoying phone calls from a caller indicating the call was on behalf of Liberal candidate Kim Rudd. Kim Rudd, in fact, paid $11,300 to First Contact to conduct research work in that riding. It turns out—

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques.

Service CanadaOral Questions

March 1st, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, election fraud on one hand and the in and out scheme on the other. And now, the Ethics Commissioner is investigating the relocation of the employment insurance processing centre from Rimouski to Thetford Mines, an investigation that directly targets the Minister of Industry. The Conservatives could save us a lot of time and money by answering our questions.

Did the Minister of Industry use his influence to have Service Canada jobs moved to his riding or not?