Just in case they did not hear me, Mr. Speaker, I just want to repeat. In 2004, Stephen Harper was the leader of the official opposition. We did not know who donated to his campaign. To this day, we still do not know who donated to his campaign. We do not know which lobbyists or which stakeholders. We have no idea who donated to the Stephen Harper campaign, and to this day he will not release those numbers.
Here is what we are proposing. We are proposing that any member who runs in a leadership campaign, a prime minister, cabinet member, or any leadership contestants for a party with a seat in the House of Commons needs to release that data within 30 days.
I have to speak about the members of the official opposition who ran for the leadership. I am sorry. I have to bring this back to 2009. It is frustrating but we have to be honest and this is about an honest debate. I have to read what I have here. Those members talk about transparency and openness and cash for access, but lobbyists used to host fundraisers for their cabinet ministers, and they were caught. The lobbying commissioner caught them red-handed. I have to read part of the ruling:
The Commissioner initiated an administrative review to look into the file and she also received complaints from Parliamentarians and Democracy Watch—
I was not here in 2009, but I want to thank those members who were here for launching those complaints. Let me go on:
—to look into the matter. In July 2010, following an administrative review, the Commissioner commenced an investigation of the matter. The investigation concluded that Mr. McSweeney played a role in the organization of the event by selling tickets.
Now that is cash for access. If one is lobbying on an issue and selling tickets, that is cash for access.
During the same period of time, Mr. McSweeney was registered to lobby on behalf of the CAC in respect of subjects that fell within the purview of the Minister—
Who was that minister? It was the member for Milton.
—and communicated with her directly in respect of registrable subjects.
It is time to change the channel. We must move on. We have to provide transparency into fundraising events. We have to stop lobbyists from selling tickets to events and allowing ministers to get that cash for access, as the Liberals have talked about. We have not done that on this side of the House.
No member has left this side of the House in shackles. None of our members have left the House in shackles. Our colleague from Niagara has not left in shackles. He is a good member. He has not left in shackles. The member for Cambridge is good member. He has not left in shackles. We follow the law, and that is the important thing.
The important thing is about providing more transparency into this matter, and this is what Bill C-50 is all about.
What do we want to accomplish? Let me read a few important goals that we want to accomplish. Let me talk about some of the issues.
We want to improve the already-strong and robust rules around political fundraising events. We agree that in the past there were some issues with political fundraising events. Of course, we do not agree with $15,000 and corporations and unions giving to political fundraising. We do not agree with that, but we agree with the limit of $1,500. It is a great amount. No member could be sold for that amount. That amount was actually established by the previous government, and we agree. We can agree on that amount because it changes the channel. It takes the money away from the influence.
The other issue that we agree about is that Bill C-50 would make political fundraising events more open and transparent to enhance trust and competence in our democratic institutions. If members across the aisle are so against these events, then I hope they can guarantee tonight that no member who ran for the leadership of that party actually held those events.
I do not think they do because we know, on this side, that some of these members held these events. Therefore, at the end of the day, what we want to accomplish is more transparency with respect to political fundraising, which will benefit all political parties, the Green Party, the New Democratic Party, the Conservative Party, and even the independent members way at the back there. It will benefit all parties at the end of the day. I will leave it at that.