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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

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, some are losing their voice, but when one does not have anything intelligent to say, it is sometimes difficult to say it loud and clear.

Each day brings a new potential scandal, which undermines people's confidence in our electoral system a little more every time. It is now in Eglinton—Lawrence, in Toronto, that revelations are surfacing. Dozens of non-listed electors were able to vote without having to provide an address, in blatant violation of the Canada Elections Act.

Even though new revelations keep surfacing, this government continues to talk about isolated incidents, to insult the Canadians who are filing complaints and fighting for their rights. When will this government stop making light of this electoral fraud?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada is responsible for voter registration, not political parties. Given the history of the person making the allegations, Elections Canada may want to take a very close into this matter.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

March 8th, 2012 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, contracts signed by Conservative MPs with RMG make one thing clear: scripts are created in consultation with clients. RMG was not working on its own.

The Minister of Finance, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and the Minister of Canadian Heritage spent over $96,000 on RMG in the last campaign.

Did their campaigns fund the misdirection of voters? Could just one of them stand today and tell Canadians what the campaigns paid RMG to say?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I would like to remind members that their questions have to touch on the administrative responsibilities of government, not political financing.

I see the hon. parliamentary secretary rising to answer, so I will allow him a chance to do so.

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, I appreciate that clarification for the member.

Let me be clear. Our party has very high standards. We have already indicated that. We also have provided full transparency to Elections Canada. What is also clear is that the opposition parties have spent millions of dollars to make thousands of calls right across the country, but they have not provided the same transparency to Elections Canada. Before continuing their baseless smears in the House, they should prove their own callers were not behind the calls they allege.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, clearly Mark Twain was right when he said, “Denial ain't just a river in Egypt”.

Let us look at what else the RMG contract says. It says that it collects all data from these calls and transfers them to the Conservative database. The Conservative database holds the key to uncovering who in the affected ridings could have accessed call lists and how he or she used that information.

Will the Conservative government follow the NDP's lead in helping Elections Canada get to the bottom of this voter fraud by completely opening its books and its database to investigators?

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, as we have said continuously in the House, everything is available to Elections Canada. We are assisting Elections Canada. We have no reason not to. We have provided it full transparency.

The same cannot be said of the party across the way. What we know is that opposition parties paid millions of dollars to make thousands of phone calls. Before continuing these baseless smears, they should prove their own callers are not behind these reports. They should provide full transparency to Elections Canada.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, a shocking 46.5% of elderly Canadian women live alone in poverty. This is double the poverty rate for elderly men in Canada. Seniors' poverty particularly touches aboriginal and immigrant women.

Will the government implement a real strategy to fight poverty and make reforms to our pension system to lift all senior women out of poverty?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Richmond B.C.

Conservative

Alice Wong ConservativeMinister of State (Seniors)

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that our government is working hard for all seniors. It was our government that introduced a low tax plan that removed thousands of seniors from the tax rolls completely. It was our government that introduced pension income splitting and the largest GIS increase in a quarter century. It was her party that voted against all of these.

Canadians know that they can count on this government to deliver for seniors.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot deny the facts. There are still thousands of elderly women who live below the poverty line, and successive governments have not been able to help them.

How can the government now say with certainty that future generations will be able to adjust to the changes announced to old age security? The minister has already told us that the Conservative government intends to make cuts to old age security. We already know that.

How will changes to the pension plan affect elderly people, women aged 55 who live below the poverty line, and future generations?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have already told the hon. member a number of times, 65 year old women will not lose one penny following the changes to old age security. People who are close to retirement will not lose any money either. Younger people will have a lot of time to adjust to a system that will ensure the sustainability of old age security, now and for future generations.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, five years ago, the Conservatives cut funding to organizations that do research for women and about women, organizations seeking to eliminate the inequality that women face every day. Without research and awareness-raising activities, Canadian women will never be able to achieve genuine equality.

On this International Women's Day, will the minister commit to restoring funding for research and awareness?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Conservative

Susan Truppe ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, our government has increased funding for women to its highest level ever. Since 2007, we have approved millions of dollars in projects designed to help end violence against women and girls. We are working hard with Canadians across the country to promote greater economic prosperity for women and girls. More groups are applying than ever before because our practical approach is working.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, that funding is just a band-aid solution. It is not enough. Women deserve a government that stands up for them, not a government that cancels child care agreements and introduces a bill that attacks pay equity. We will not sit back and watch. We will not abandon the fight for gender equality.

How much longer will we have to wait for the Conservatives to do something?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Conservative

Susan Truppe ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I said, our government has increased funding for women to its highest level ever. We are always working hard with Canadians across the country to promote greater economic prosperity for women and girls. More groups have applied, as I said, because our practical approach is working.

Labour RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learned today that the Treasury Board wants $16 million to create a litigation management unit to handle disputes with its unions and employees. The Conservatives are preparing for war with workers. This is a very bad sign.

Why create a hit squad to attack government workers? Is it to freeze workers' salaries or are the Conservatives planning once again to go after workers' rights to collective bargaining in the upcoming budget?

Labour RelationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, there are processes in place to deal with these issues. Budget 2012 has an action plan to reduce unemployment and improve the Canadian economy.

That is our plan of action. I believe our plans will involve the public service, but also society in general.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was not just voter-suppression calls in the last election. At least in the greater Toronto area there was clear evidence of voter augmentation, with scores of people who were not on the voters list being allowed to vote without any proof of residence. In York Centre and Etobicoke Centre there was reportedly hundreds of instant voters. In Eglinton—Lawrence, it was nearly 3,000.

Has the government asked Elections Canada to investigate this apparent abuse of our democratic process and if not, why not?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, I will remind the hon. member that Elections Canada is responsible for voter registration, not political parties.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, Eduardo Harari lives in the riding of York Centre. Last election he got a phone call asking if he would be voting Conservative. He said no. Later he got a call, claiming to be from Elections Canada, saying his voting station had been moved to a location on Wilson Avenue, which turned out to be a vacant lot.

Could the government categorically deny that anyone associated with the Conservative campaign had any role in fraudulently misdirecting Mr. Harari?

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

Once again, Mr. Speaker, I can categorically deny that. In fact, here is what we do know. These exaggerated allegations demean millions of voters who cast legitimate votes in the last election. The opposition paid millions of dollars to make hundreds of thousands of calls. Before continuing these baseless smears, those members should prove their own callers are not in fact behind these reports.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, although we cannot read the textbook from voter suppression school, the emerging pattern gives away the curriculum.

Mr. Dodds, a Conservative supporter in Kingston, was called several times by a Conservative caller until he said that because of the prison farm closure, he would not vote Conservative. On election day he received a call, which sounded like the same person, directing him to the wrong poll.

Can the Conservatives explain why we keep seeing this pattern?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I once again remind members that their questions have to touch on the administrative responsibility of government.

I see the hon. parliamentary secretary rise again, so I will give him the floor.

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, while voters make determinations on who to support for a number of reasons, I understand a lot of voters in the last election made the determination not to support higher taxes and wasteful spending. That is what the Liberals proposed.

These exaggerated allegations demean millions of voters who cast legitimate votes in the last election. The opposition paid millions of dollars to make hundreds of thousands of phone calls. Before continuing these baseless smears, they should prove their own callers are not behind these reports.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives often use a company that is known for having killed many civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan for training our troops. Blackwater's past was so dark and its image so bad that it had to change its name to Xe. Xe has become the Conservatives' company of choice for training our soldiers. The government uses its services regularly on untendered contracts.

Why is there no call for tenders when the government hires a foreign private company to train our troops?