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House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elections.

Topics

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The amendment is in order.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I was not opposed necessarily to the original motion, but I am a little concerned with this amendment. One would think those members could have gotten together on their motion as they have done with their smear tactics.

Would the amendment, or the original motion as a stand-alone, allow Elections Canada to investigate the illegal contributions which the NDP took from unions?

Also, we have learned that people can only contribute a certain amount to a candidate. The Liberals have come up with an interesting way of getting illegal contributions in the sense of loans. People lend them, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars which the Liberals do not repay. Elections Canada cannot determine if that is a scam, a loan or a contribution.

Would the member confirm for me if this amendment would allow for Elections Canada to investigate those two things as well?

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the interesting thing is that Elections Canada did not need this additional power in order to deal with the spurious allegations that were made by the government with respect to those issues. It brought the matter to the attention of the New Democratic Party. The New Democratic Party provided any information that was available readily. We worked with Elections Canada. We corrected whatever administrative errors there might have been. We acknowledged the fact that there were mistakes. We corrected those mistakes.

Why does the parliamentary secretary not act the same way? Why will his government not stand up and take responsibility for once?

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I think it is imperative that we tell the truth in this House. Obviously, the Conservative Party has done just that and again the member infers it was—

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order. That is not a point of order. It is a matter of debate. I am sure there will be many other opportunities to raise such questions and comments.

The hon. member for Bourassa.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are not the ones under investigation. We do not have a leader who has treated the people at Elections Canada like a bunch of idiots as the Conservatives have done. I therefore think this is an excellent initiative, to enhance these powers and make sure we can cast the net wide.

I would ask my colleague to tell us what the Conservatives have to hide. How could it happen? We are talking about the riding of Guelph, but there were a huge number of ridings affected. We know there were some very tight elections. We have seen the results. That is perhaps probably because people were making calls. We want to know what the member thinks about that situation.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, that question has been asked by government members repeatedly for the last couple of weeks.

What are they trying to hide? I just gave an example. The parliamentary secretary thought he would stand on his feet and somehow slag me and the NDP about something we did wrong. I told him in no uncertain terms how we handled it. We handled it straight up. We paid attention to what it was that was being suggested. We contacted Elections Canada. We worked with Elections Canada. We solved the problem to the satisfaction of Elections Canada. That is not something the Conservative government has ever been able to say, that it is prepared to be held accountable.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague made an excellent speech and moved an even better amendment. My question for the hon. member is with regard to the amendment.

I am ready to stand to be corrected if the government has new information. My initial response from the government is that it is not likely to support the amendment. I think that was clear from the minister's comments. One of the reasons I am hearing is that the government will suggest that like criminal law, we cannot retroactively apply it. In other words if someone did something that was legal last week, this place cannot pass a law that says that is illegal now, and therefore the person broke the law.

I am not a lawyer and I do not think my hon. colleague is either, but my understanding is that on administrative matters, there is no prevention of retroactivity. Powers and authority can be given to entities and they can then apply that authority to any file they wish.

I would ask the hon. member if that is his understanding of the difference between retroactivity in criminal law versus retroactivity in administrative law.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have heard that excuse from the government, but that is all it is, an excuse.

I am not a lawyer. I have been called a lot of things, but not a lawyer, and I say that with respect to all my friends in the legal profession. However, I have spent a lot of time dealing with legislation. The member is absolutely correct that there is nothing to prevent this chamber from passing legislation that does reach back and have retroactive impact.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are conflating a lot of different issues on the whole issue of what happened during the last election. Clearly, it seems that some serious issues took place in Guelph. I think that we as members of this House need to let Elections Canada and other authorities conduct and conclude their investigations so that we can hold those accountable to account.

There is a lot of other stuff that has been alleged. The debate is getting conflated. It actually brings disrepute on all of us in the House when we start conflating that debate.

Clearly there seems to be some problems that happened in Guelph in the last election. I do think those people who perpetrated those activities, if true, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. However, we should wait for those investigations to conclude before we jump to any conclusions.

With respect to any other issues outside of Guelph, we really need to be cautious with the kind of allegations we throw about in the House.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I could not agree more, frankly, with what the member has said.

The point is that we are trying to get to the bottom of tactics that are rattling the very foundation of our democracy. In 2006 we had some problems with what the Conservative Party was doing in terms of financing, in terms of proper accounting for election practices. It took five years and millions of dollars to finally get the offending party to acknowledge that it was wrong and to ensure that there were changes.

All we are suggesting with the motion and the amendment is that we give Elections Canada sufficient authority to conduct its investigation in a quick, expeditious and efficient manner to get to the bottom of the allegations so that they are not hanging like a cloud over all of us.

We need to get to the bottom of it in an expeditious way. We need to clarify the rules so that we make the system of parliamentary democracy in this country as transparent and effective as we possibly can. That is the goal.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to share some comments from one of my constituents, Cam Willett from Little Current. He has a Ph.D. and is an assistant professor at the school of education at Laurentian University. He said:

I hope that there is a parliamentary process by which we, as a country can express our non-confidence in this government. We need to have a proper investigation of these tactics by an impartial third party that is beyond the reach of the Conservative government and that whose findings will be respected.

Please stand up in parliament and express my outrage....In my opinion, their actions indicate some degree of culpability. If they cannot be transparent, then they are hiding something.

Perhaps my colleague could discuss why the motion was moved and what the benefits are of this motion compared to external audits from parties.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the whole point is to have an independent officer of Parliament responsible for this and not leave it to the individual parties. We need to have an independent officer to arbitrate and investigate to make sure that these matters are handled at arm's length.

I would say to the member's constituent that the New Democratic Party will continue on with Jack Layton's legacy to ensure that change is made to improve the democracy in this country so that all Canadians can be proud once again of the political process.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to add my voice to a very important debate. As is my custom, I am never really sure what I am going to say until I start saying it. I will provide my comments in that vein.

I want to start by correcting the record. It is very important that if we are having a debate on this subject, we make sure that in this place, even though there may be hyper-partisanship, all comments be factual. I can appreciate the fact that this is a place for healthy and sometimes acrimonious debate. However, the very basis of our democracy and our parliamentary system is that facts put forward in this place are in fact true.

I heard earlier today in the speech by the leader of the third party that the Conservative Party of Canada was being forced under court order, by subpoena, to forward documents to Elections Canada. That is absolutely untrue. I do not know whether the interim leader of the third party was making those comments deliberately or if he was mistaken. The fact remains those comments made by the leader of the Liberal Party were completely and substantially untrue.

I bring that forward not only to set the record straight but to point out one of the big problems we have in this ongoing debate. I refer again to some of the comments made by the leader of the third party. He said the culture of negativity in itself is promoting voter suppression. I could not agree more. His comments and comments from colleagues opposite are adding to that culture of negativity. I suggest that there is absolutely nothing in the comments made today and on previous days that offer any proof to the allegations that are being made daily. That is what causes negativity.

I heard my colleague, who just finished his intervention, say that he and his party want to get to the bottom of this and have Elections Canada determine exactly what went on. I could not agree more. The government, in light of all of the unproven allegations, wants to get to the bottom of this more than any other party in this place. We know that the Conservative Party of Canada did absolutely nothing in terms of voter suppression during the last election campaign. Yet all we hear on a daily basis, both inside and outside the House, are unsubstantiated allegations that somehow the Conservative Party was behind this massive voter-suppression scheme across Canada.

No one knows yet because no one can prove that there was any kind of a voter-suppression scheme across Canada. We believe that there were some very serious problems in Guelph. We have not found any definitive proof yet. Based on some of the comments we have heard and some of the information we have received, it does appear that something might have happened in Guelph. We encouraged Elections Canada from day one to try to find out what happened. If there were contraventions to the Canada Elections Act, if in fact there was an orchestrated voter suppression campaign, we want Elections Canada to find out who was behind it. If there was some sort of organized campaign of voter suppression, that individual or those individuals should be dealt with to the full extent of the law.

I do not think we could be clearer in our desire to see a resolution and an answer to what might have happened in Guelph. Beyond that, no one knows. All we have before us are allegations. On a daily basis in question period, we hear allegations from the opposite side of the House suggesting that somehow the Conservative Party was behind these allegations of corruption, of voter suppression, without any evidence.

Those are serious charges, unproven charges. On one hand I hear the opposition saying, “We want to be proud of our democratic system. We want to make sure that Elections Canada operates in a fashion that makes all political parties compliant with elections law”. On the other hand, the opposition is making these unfounded, unproven allegations without allowing Elections Canada to do its work.

The Conservative Party has willingly provided, and will continue to provide, information to Elections Canada to assist it in this process. However, until there is actually anything found to be beyond Guelph that was illegal or in contravention of the Elections Act, that could constitute voter suppression, how can anyone in this place stand up and say, with any firm belief or any firm knowledge, that one party or another was guilty of some offence? No one can.

That is what all members are hearing. It may have started here, but it has mushroomed. Unfortunately now Conservatives are hearing from many Canadians who are adding their voice to this controversy, without actually knowing what it is that they are adding to.

Let me give a couple of examples. We have all heard over the last week or two, and we have all read, the news reports of individuals in Canada who say that they received a phone call that might have been from a live individual or from an automated dialer. They want to report it to Elections Canada. Perhaps in some cases it was a legitimate complaint. Perhaps someone was contacted by either a live caller or an automated caller actually trying to suppress that person's vote. However, I have heard so many examples that are the farthest thing from voter suppression, and yet the opposition seems to be categorizing them as corrupt actions by the Conservative Party.

Let me give an example. Less than a week ago, I read a news report where a Canadian citizen made a complaint to Elections Canada and said, “I received a call just prior to the election. It was a live caller and that individual tried to get me to change my vote”. I thought to myself, “My God, what is next? People actually coming to your door to try to persuade you to vote for them?”

That is the hysteria that is being developed across Canada on this subject. I would suggest the opposition is fanning the flames of that hysteria. Every single day it is trotting out examples, allegations, not examples but allegations, trying to purport the Conservative Party is somehow behind it. Yet when asked, the interim leader of the official opposition had to admit that she had absolutely no hard evidence to support the allegations the opposition has been making on a daily and weekly basis.

That is what is causing the negativity. That is what is causing Canadians by the thousands, and I would suggest hundreds of thousands, to start questioning the very democratic system that we have in this country. We want Elections Canada to find out exactly what happened. It has to be able to determine the veracity of all of these contacts or complaints. It is not up to the opposition to presuppose. It is up to Elections Canada.

Yet, what do we see? We see third party groups, out of country groups, supported by members of the NDP, encouraging people to link onto their websites so the links automatically get sent over to Elections Canada.

We hear NDP members saying they think Elections Canada should do its work, and decrying the fact that anyone might have used a robocaller from outside Canada. Yet, in fact, they are complicit in assisting American and international left-wing groups in trying to persuade Elections Canada that there are complaints.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

I see I touched a nerve with my friends on the opposite side. That is understandable. No one wants to be called a left-winger. I understand that, it is true. In all seriousness, we as parliamentarians need to ensure that Elections Canada is allowed to do its work, to report back to this place and to determine the veracity of any complaint made to its organization.

I will admit, and I think any member in the House who has been involved in politics for any length of time will readily admit, that from time to time mistakes happen. Sometimes those can lead to misinformation. That is part of the problem that Elections Canada has. Has there been a deliberate attempt to suppress votes in an organized fashion across Canada? Or has there been a random selection of individuals who have contacted Elections Canada about issues that really were not organized voter suppression?

Let me give another example. I will not name the individual or the party. This happened at a provincial level, in a campaign in 2002. I smile when I tell the story because it is somewhat humorous, but it speaks to the fact that sometimes during campaigns mistakes can happen. A particular candidate of a particular party was planning the “get out the vote” campaign for election day. Part of that was having automated phone calls to the candidate's own supporters encouraging them on voting day to get out and vote. It is a valuable technique that every candidate and every party uses to try to make sure that identified supporters actually get to the polling stations and cast their ballots.

The election day chair and his band of volunteers programmed all their identified supporters into the automated call centre. The call centre was to start phoning at 12 noon on election day and go until 7 p.m. at night, to try to capture all of the supporters and encourage them to get to the polls. They programmed it and went home for the evening. What happened? At exactly 12 midnight the phones starting ringing in all the supporters' households. They had made a mistake and put 12 p.m. rather than 12 a.m. What happened? By 3:30 in the morning, that campaign was inundated. The campaign chair was phoned at home, the election day chairman was phoned at home. They rushed in and found that they had made a mistake. They were harassing their own voters and their own supporters.

I will give another example of an honest mistake. In 2004, the year I was elected, I won by a staggering majority of 122 votes in the riding of Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre. However, the outcome was challenged by my Liberal opponent. When Elections Canada sent out the voting cards, with information telling voters where their polling stations were, it did so based on postal codes. Frequently in rural constituencies and rural ridings, a person who may reside in one riding actually picks up the mail in another riding. Therefore, that individual has a postal code in a neighbouring constituency. That is what happened in my case. Hundreds and hundreds of people from my riding were sent voting cards from Elections Canada telling them to vote in a different location. Therefore, my defeated Liberal opponent rightfully went to the courts and got a court challenge to try and see whether there was a case to be made for a byelection, to overturn the election results.

As it turns out, not one person who was given incorrect information cast their ballots at the wrong station because in rural Saskatchewan, as I am sure it is in rural Canada, everyone is fairly familiar with where the closest polling station is and they normally go there regardless of what someone has told them to do.

However, my point is that Elections Canada made an honest mistake. Should that be considered voter suppression? I would suggest that if the opposition had its way, it would try to characterize that as an organized attempt if it had not been for Elections Canada doing it. It would be an organized event by the Conservative Party to suppress the vote. Sometimes mistakes happen.

I am not suggesting for a moment that the thousands of contacts made to Elections Canada were frivolous, untrue, or, if true, were as a result of a mistake. However, I am saying that there are many things that could have happened in the last campaign that could explain some of the problems that we apparently are seeing outside of Guelph.

I merely ask all members to wait and allow Elections Canada to do the investigative work it is allowed to do, compelled to do and qualified to do. I know we will not see that co-operation from members opposite because this is a partisan environment. However, at the end of the day, I am absolutely convinced that we will find the results that state that there were no organized events by our party, and I honestly hope that those results will show that there was no organized attempt by any other federal party to engage in voter suppression.

Before I conclude, I want to deal with one more aspect of the motion before us today from my hon. friend from Hamilton Centre and that is another misconception being promoted by the opposition. It is saying that in the most recent report tabled in this House from the Chief Electoral Officer, the government overturned, overruled or rejected an option provided by Elections Canada and the Chief Electoral Officer with respect to compliance audits.

The facts are that in his report to the procedure and House affairs committee, the Chief Electoral Officer made two recommendations. Overall he wanted to see compliance and proven compliance by all federal parties with election rules and law. We completely agree. To that end, he forwarded two options. Option one was that Elections Canada itself could engage in compliance audits. It would get all of the financial information from all federally registered political parties and do a compliance audit to see whether all of the rules were adhered to. Option two was that the parties themselves would be required to conduct an independent compliance audit to verify that they had followed all election rules.

We agreed to option two because we believe that it is incumbent upon the federal parties that are seeking election to cover the cost of those independent compliance audits. Quite frankly, it is the cost of doing business. I hear arguments from members opposite saying that is being unfair to the smaller parties. That is simply the cost of doing business. Why should the taxpayers of Canada bear the expense of compliance audits when the parties should be covering those costs?

Finally, while I do have great respect for my friend from Hamilton Centre, I must say that the motion before us today is extremely poorly worded in as much that it says:

...Elections Canada investigation capabilities be strengthened, to include giving the Chief Electoral Officer the power to request all necessary documents from political parties....

The Chief Electoral Officer has the ability now to request documents from political parties. How can we expand his capabilities for a power he already has?

The motion is too broad and too vague but we will not oppose it because we, more than any other party in this place, want to see Elections Canada do its work and report back to the House with the results of its investigation.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will indicate for my colleague again, as I did for the previous Conservative speaker, because they insist on putting things forward that are absolutely untrue, that the Chief Electoral Officer's report states:

Indeed, unlike candidates and other regulated entities, political parties are not required to provide any documentary evidence to support their returns.

Therefore, the Chief Electoral Officer does not have the power, which is why he came to committee to ask for the power in the first place.

If the motion is passed by the House, the government would then be required to bring legislation to the House within six months. Given that the government has now indicated that it plans to support the motion, not the amendment, is it also its clear intent to provide legislation for the committee as per the motion if it passes the House today?

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I want to ensure we are dealing with factual statements in the House. I must correct my hon. friend. He is quite right when he read from the Chief Electoral Officer's report and from the Canada Elections Act itself that political parties currently are not required to forward information. However, he motion, as I said, is very poorly written. It reads, “to include giving the Chief Electoral Officer the power to request all...documents”. He has always had the power to request documents.

It is one thing to argue that political parties should be compelled to provide information. We agree on the compliance side of things, which is why we agreed to have an independent compliance auditor look at all of the financial returns of every political party and assure the Chief Electoral Officer that all rules were followed in the correct fashion. However, the Chief Electoral Officer has the power and has always had the power to request documents. How can we expand upon a power that the Chief Electoral Officer already has?

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, on more than one occasion in his speech, I think the member said that neither he nor his party have been subpoenaed. As he knows, we rely on information given to us either by third parties, the media, unidentified sources or identified sources.

According to his knowledge, can the member tell me that not one Conservative member of Parliament, candidate, organizer or fundraiser across this country has been subpoenaed?

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, in his comments earlier today, the leader of the third party said that the Conservative Party of Canada had been subpoenaed and had been ordered to produce documents. That is absolutely untrue. I did say that I was unsure whether the leader of the third party had been mistaken in his allegation or had done so deliberately. I would hope that he did not do so deliberately. I would hope that he was not trying to mislead the House in a deliberate fashion.

I stand by my comments. The Conservative Party of Canada has not received any subpoena or any court order directing it to turn over documents to Elections Canada. We have done so willingly and we will continue to assist Elections Canada in its work.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, members have been talking about the fact that we need to give Elections Canada time to investigate and come out with the results. The whole intent of the motion is to ensure Elections Canada gets the information it deserves because the government has continuously refused to provide those documents. At committee, government members indicated that they did not want to provide the information. Now we see the tables being turned. Will the government provide all of the information required by Elections Canada to get to the bottom of this?

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what I was talking about, the opposition's habit of making unfounded, baseless allegations that are completely untrue.

The member is not on the committee. I am a member of the committee. At no time during the committee did any member of the government say that we were unwilling to hand over documents requested by Elections Canada. We never ever said that.

What I believe she may be referring to is the situation of the request of the Chief Electoral Officer on the compliance audit side. There were two options given. We readily agreed with one of the options, which was that an independent compliance audit would be performed by each political party and paid for by each political party. Just because the opposition disagrees with that and would like to see the encumbrance on the taxpayer rather than the parties does not mean that we are withholding documents. That is a false statement and I hope the member corrects the record.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, it would probably be easier just to turn around and ask my hon. friend but I do not want to interrupt his thinking so I will ask it out loud.

The leader of the Liberal Party stated this morning that the Liberals do not have any machinery. In fact, they do. It is called the Liberal list. I find it shocking that the leader of the Liberal Party would not know about his own databases but I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

If the Liberals do not even know about their own machinery, how can they be so sure that these calls that everybody is talking about did not come from the Liberals' own machinery?

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, quite frankly, I believe what the hon. leader of the third party was doing when he said that was making a self-deprecating remark that there was no real political machine in the Liberal Party that he had recently seen since it had been reduced to 35 seats in this place.

Could there have been a mistake made within their own automated phone calls and live phone banks? The leader of the Liberal Party admitted that his party did, as does every party in this place, engage in some form of “get out to vote” campaign, of voter identification campaign, utilizing either live phone banks or automated phoning apparatus.

What he has not admitted is whether there is any possibility that Liberal phoners harassed their own supporters or gave them wrong information. He cannot prove that and yet he is casting these wild, unfounded smears against the Conservative Party, which are uncalled for and are untrue.

Opposition Motion--Canada Elections ActBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister's comments are interesting. On the one hand, there is only one political party that has actually been charged and has now had to pay. Does the member remember the in and out campaign and how long his party had to fight that and how it tried to marginalize that as an issue?

Elections Canada had to take you to the Supreme Court of Canada where you--