House of Commons Hansard #298 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have asked this question before, but I am conducting a survey of Liberal members of Parliament today. My colleague's government knew well in advance that Elections Canada needed a certain amount of time to have these changes in place in time for the 2019 election. It was identified as the month of April 2018, yet this bill was introduced on April 30 for first reading. It still has to travel through the House of Commons. It still has to go through the Senate before it receives royal assent.

My question to the hon. member is this: Why did his government take so long to bring this bill before the House? I mean, here we are, two and a half years in. They knew well in advance that these changes needed to be implemented with enough time for Elections Canada to actually get them implemented in time for the 2019 election.

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Doug Eyolfson Liberal Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley, MB

Mr. Speaker, whether we waited until a given time or not is not really relevant. We will be passing this measure in time to apply it for the next election.

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Halifax Nova Scotia

Liberal

Andy Fillmore LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to participate in the debate on this important bill, Bill C-76, the Elections Modernization Act.

This legislation is about ensuring that we break the barriers Canadians have been facing in their efforts to participate in our democracy. It is a significant piece of legislation. It will make our electoral process more secure and transparent by regulating advertising during pre-election and election periods, prohibiting foreign entities from spending any money to influence Canadian elections, and requiring political parties to provide an easy-to-read privacy policy.

Although there are many parts to this bill, today, I want to talk about how this legislation will make it easier to vote and ensure that all Canadians are able to participate in our democratic process.

Although there are many parts to this bill, today I want to talk about how this proposed legislation would make it easier for eligible Canadians to vote and how the bill would ensure that all Canadians are able to participate in our democratic process.

Whether a Canadian is living abroad, has a disability, is in the Armed Forces, lives in a care facility, is at university, has no fixed address, or is working an inflexible schedule to provide for their family, no one should face barriers to vote. Voting is a right, and as the federal government, it is our responsibility to make voting accessible to all Canadians. I firmly believe that the strength of our democracy depends on the participation of as many Canadians as possible, and that is why first and foremost this proposed legislation would undo many of the restrictive voting laws put in place by the previous government.

The previous government also put in place legislation to amend the Canada Elections Act, but its legislation was not drafted with Canadians and their needs in mind. It made it harder for Canadians to vote. Among other things, the so-called Fair Elections Act eliminated the use of vouching and the use of voter identification cards as a form of ID. This was a form of voter suppression. It was the gerrymandering of not a polling district's boundaries but rather the gerrymandering of the very act of voting itself.

A 2016 Statistics Canada survey found that approximately 170,000 Canadians did not participate in the last election because of the Conservatives' decision to make voting less accessible. The Harper government was determined to wring political gain from every measure and was determined to bring a fierce partisanship to something that ought to not have been partisan.

Official opposition members will tell us that it is not that hard for Canadians to obtain proper ID. They will make false comparisons between voting and boarding an airplane or buying a six-pack of beer. In fact, how curious to hear from the member for Banff—Airdrie raise this old canard this afternoon mere hours after he and I both heard the acting Chief Electoral Officer say at the procedure and House affairs committee that voter ID cards need to be used in conjunction with another piece of ID in proving the elector's identity. The names must match on the identification and the VIC. The level of integrity in that process is very high. We used it in 2011 and there were no concerns of fraudulent use.

Therefore, let us retire this old fiction, shall we?

According to Elections Canada, 68.3% of eligible voters cast their ballot in 2015, which is up 7%, or over 2.5 million, from 2011. This was not because the Conservatives' Fair Elections Act removed barriers to voting but rather because Canadians stood up against the barriers created by the Conservatives. We have listened to Canadians, and we have been delivering and will continue to deliver real change for the middle class and for all Canadians.

For Nova Scotians, getting a piece of government-issued ID is not always affordable. The cost of a driver's licence is nearly $90. The cost of a passport is over $100. Reinstating both vouching and the voter ID card will help not just Nova Scotians at the polls but all Canadians who cannot afford these pieces of identification to vote.

Bill C-76 would repeal many elements of the previous government's legislation and ensure that all Canadians have the ability to participate in a democratic process. We believe that voter participation actually strengthens our democratic system—unlike the Conservatives, who continue to produce barriers and continue to breed cynicism around our democratic processes.

My constituents in Halifax have shared with me their concerns about how difficult it can be to vote. Long lines at the polls, unexpected life events, work or personal responsibilities, confusion around where to vote, and lacking proper ID are all reasons to stay home on election day. Canadians in my riding work hard, and I suspect my colleagues in all corners of this House would say the same about their constituents. No one should be prevented from voting because they are working hard to provide for their family, caring for a loved one, are away from home for work or school, or have other responsibilities on election day.

We can make voting more convenient.

The elections modernization bill will make voting more convenient for all Canadians. We will streamline the intake procedures during regular and advance polls to reduce wait times, and increase the hours of advance polls to 12-hour days.

Currently, there are barriers in place that have made it more difficult for some Canadians to take part in the democratic process. This includes persons with disabilities, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, and Canadians living abroad. We want to make it easier for all Canadians to engage with our democracy.

This legislation would increase support and assistance for Canadians with disabilities by expanding accommodation measures to include all Canadians with disabilities, not just those with physical disabilities, and this includes expanding the option of at-home voting.

Let us talk about Canadian Armed Forces members, who make tremendous sacrifices protecting and defending our democracy. Our government will make it easier for soldiers, sailors, and air personnel to participate in our democracy. We will do this by allowing them the flexibility to vote at regular polls where they reside in Canada, to vote abroad, to vote in advance polls, or to vote in special military polls, as they currently do. This is a big issue for voters in my riding, Halifax, many of whom serve in the Royal Canadian Navy. I hope that my colleagues who represent ridings with Canadian Armed Forces personnel will be in support of the bill.

I imagine there is not a single member of the House who does not represent some constituents living abroad. Whether they are there for work, for school, or to support their families, Canadians living abroad should still have the option to continue to participate in our democracy and have their say on issues that are important to them. Currently, non-resident Canadians may vote only within five years of leaving Canada and must demonstrate an intention to return to Canada.

Through Bill C-76, our government will restore voting rights to more than one million Canadians living abroad.

In the past, Elections Canada has engaged in a range of educational activities with Canadians as part of its core mandate of administering elections. Unbelievably, in 2014, the Harper Conservatives limited the Chief Electoral Officer's education mandate, removing the CEO's ability to offer education programs to new Canadians and historically disenfranchised groups.

Our government believes the Chief Electoral Officer should be able to communicate with all Canadians about how to access their democratic rights. Our government believes the participation of as many Canadians as possible is essential to having a strong democracy.

That is why Bill C-76 would restore the Chief Electoral Officer's mandate to undertake broad public education campaigns about elections. This is not about partisanship. This is about ensuring that all Canadians know where, when, and how to vote. We want Canadians to be ready for election day.

Through the bill, we would empower Canadians to vote and, more broadly, to participate in our democracy. I am proud to be part of a government that is committed to strengthening Canada's democratic institutions. We want to restore Canadians' trust in our democracy and, if passed, Bill C-76 will do just that.

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that, with all the tax increases and jimmying with our democracy, yes, Canadians will be ready for the next election.

One of the first things I was told in the political training I did as a Conservative was that, generally speaking, Conservatives do better in elections where there is higher turnout. I tested these numbers. In the last 25 years, in elections Conservatives have won, the turnout has been, on average, 67%. In elections Liberals have won, it has been 65%. The same differential holds whether we look at the last 40 years or the last 60 years. In other words, consistently, Conservatives are more likely to win elections when more people turn out. We want to see more people participate in the vote, not only because it is good for our democracy, but also because it is good for us politically.

If we have a fair system, as we do now, with legitimate ID requirements, such as a library card, a status card, and many different options, which allows people to vote and ensures that voting is fair, why is the member intent on introducing a system where an ID can be used that does not actually ID at all but is just an information card?

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Fillmore Liberal Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, when we talk about the need for greater participation in our democracy, we are not just talking about Conservative voters; we are talking about all Canadians. That is who needs to vote in our elections. I am sure that the member would have an interest in reducing the number of non-Conservative voters.

Getting to the point of the member's question, we are reintroducing the voter information card, which the Chief Electoral Officer has said must be used in conjunction with another piece of ID. These, together, when the names match, are the only way to cast a vote. This has a high level of integrity. It was used in 2011 without any incidents of fraud being reported. We have high confidence moving forward that this is a way to enfranchise more and more Canadian voters to take part in our fantastic democracy, which we enjoy and love so much.

Elections Modernization ActGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Following question period, there will be three minutes and 20 seconds remaining in questions and comments following the speech of the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions.

National Seal Products DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, today I am wearing seal in honour of National Seal Products Day. Inuit and coastal communities across Nunavut, Atlantic Canada, and Quebec have relied on seal and seal products for sustenance and survival for millennia, and continue to do so to this day.

Seal day is about recognizing and honouring the historical, social, cultural, and economic contributions that seals represent for our communities. It is a day when we can recognize and counter narratives about the seal harvest that seek to delegitimize the practice, as these have had devastating impacts on our indigenous and coastal communities. Supporting a culturally sensitive, sustainable, and humane seal harvest, I believe, is just one step on our path to reconciliation with all Canadians who depend upon this resource.

I urge everyone to watch the award-winning documentary Angry lnuk, which talks about how vital the seal harvest is to Inuit food security, health, and well-being.

Today, we will host a seal products day in the Speaker's lounge. I invite all my colleagues to join us, and also to join us tonight as we meet with the seal industry of Canada to celebrate National Seal Products Day.

Bus Driver SafetyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week I took my son to the Edmonton zoo. We saw seals, elephants, lions, tigers, and caribou. As we walked around the zoo, I explained to my son that the animals were wild so we needed barriers between ourselves and them to ensure that we do not get bitten or harmed, and that monkeys do not throw stuff at us.

In light of this discussion with my son, the installation of barriers on Edmonton city buses to protect the bus drivers is a sad reflection on our society. Last I checked, wild animals do not ride city buses. However, one would think they did, after reading the CBC article that stated, “Most often drivers were punched or spat on, although many were bitten, kicked, or had something thrown at them.”

Installing Plexiglas barriers is not the solution to this type of behaviour. Rather, we need to cultivate a high regard for human dignity. We can install the bus barriers if we must, but we would be far better off if individuals were accountable for their actions, parents instilled respect in their children, and leaders encouraged a culture that values human dignity.

Victoria DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, this weekend we celebrated what many Canadians colloquially know as May Long, May Two-Four, or the unofficial beginning of summer. However, in Canada and across the Commonwealth this Monday officially marked Victoria Day.

Even before Confederation, the nation we now know as Canada has always celebrated Queen Victoria's birthday. Although this was a special day for celebrating Queen Victoria, it has now become a tradition to celebrate our country's reigning sovereign.

Of course, this long weekend, the royal family had more than a birthday to celebrate. Royal enthusiasts from across Canada tuned in during the early morning hours this weekend to watch Meghan Markle, a successful actress with an affinity for all things Canadian, wed Prince Harry, founder of the lnvictus Games and sixth in line to the throne. I wish to extend heartfelt congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their recent nuptials. I look forward to seeing how they continue to use their platform to make a difference in the lives of others.

To my fellow Canadians, regardless of whether they tuned in for the wedding or not, I hope they enjoyed an excellent long weekend, with a safe and productive Victoria Day.

Flooding in B.C.Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, floods have devastated much of my riding over the past weeks. Thousands of residents were evacuated, and hundreds are homeless. Businesses and industries are closed. The town of Grand Forks was hit the hardest. Nine hundred people are still out of their homes, and some may never be able to return. The downtown business core is devastated. Many other communities have been affected as well: Twin Lakes, Willowbrook, Okanagan Falls, Oliver, Osoyoos, Westbridge, Rock Creek, Midway, Greenwood, Christina Lake, and the Slocan Valley.

Community spirit is strong, and thousands of volunteers have been working hard. Businesses have closed to allow their employees to help out. Shuttered industries have kept paying their employees. I want to thank all those who volunteered countless hours in the hot sun. I thank the Red Cross and the government agency staff, who worked around the clock. I thank the armed forces personnel who were deployed to assist. I also thank the provincial and federal ministers who responded quickly to requests for help. I thank them on behalf of all my constituents.

Basketball ScholarshipStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raj Grewal Liberal Brampton East, ON

Mr. Speaker, each week, we run a free basketball drop-in in our riding, and over 100 kids come out to play some basketball. Today, I am very proud to rise in the House to congratulate Humraj Grewal, one of our drop-in participants, who has recently accepted a basketball scholarship to Huntington Prep high school in West Virginia. The program at Huntington Prep is known for its basketball development, and it trains young athletes to get scholarships in the NCAA division I. Past graduates of Huntington Prep include Canada's own Andrew Wiggins, who plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

At just 15 years of age, Humraj has shown amazing talent, playing small forward for his local high school in Brampton East. I have no doubt in my mind that he will show even greater promise in his new school in the United States. I want to wish Humraj and his family the best of luck in his future basketball career. All of Brampton East and all of Canada are cheering for Humraj.

Hemochromatosis Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, May is Hemochromatosis Awareness Month across Canada. Hemochromatosis is an iron-overload disorder that can lead to many health complications and even premature death. One in 300 Canadians has the genetic predisposition for hemochromatosis. Many of them do not know it.

Hemochromatosis is under-diagnosed. This is partly because public awareness of the condition is low, but also because its symptoms, including fatigue, depression, and joint pain, are confused with a range of more commonly known diseases. Let us use this opportunity to raise awareness of hemochromatosis.

I invite all hon. members to join me at the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society reception tonight, at 5 p.m. in Room 256-S Centre Block, to learn more.

Maurice QuinnStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

David Lametti Liberal LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

Mr. Speaker, every community depends on stalwart members who contribute to community development and life. Maurice Quinn was one of those exceptional individuals in Verdun. He was a proud firefighter who joined the Verdun fire service in 1959, became the director in 1991, and remained in that position until he retired in 1994.

Maurice Quinn remained a strong citizen throughout his retirement by becoming involved as an active member and then president of the Optimist Club Saint-Laurent for Verdun-LaSalle-Lachine until 2006. He contributed to funding campaigns for non-profit organizations such as the United Way and the Kidney Foundation, and was a pillar of the Irish community in Verdun. He was recognized as a Grands Verdunois in 2006.

Respected by all who knew him and loved by many, he will surely be missed by his neighbourhood in Crawford Park as well as across Verdun and LaSalle. May Maurice rest in peace.

Royal WeddingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday, May 19, His Royal Highness, Prince Henry of Wales, wed Ms. Meghan Markle in a beautiful ceremony at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom.

There are several Canadian connections to this royal wedding. Ms. Markle lived in Toronto as an actress, the couple's romance blossomed in Canada, and Prince Harry has travelled to Canada numerous times as a member of the Royal Family, including last year when he opened and attended the Invictus Games.

Thirty-three per cent of my constituents identify as being of British descent, and my team and I were excited to host an early morning breakfast on Saturday to gather our community around the telly to celebrate this very special occasion. It was a morning full of tea, crumpets, marmalade, and other goodies, and the wedding brought us a great sense of joy and optimism.

I call on members of the House to join the people of Mississauga—Lakeshore and all Canadians in wishing the royal couple the very best for the years to come.

TaxFighter AwardStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the recipients of this year's TaxFighter Award.

Last week, I joined the Canadian Taxpayers Federation as it honoured Tom Flanagan, Barry Cooper, Ted Morton, and Rainer Knopff, collectively recognized as the Calgary School. The school has made an outstanding contribution to the cause of taxpayer emancipation and the broader case for limited government that underpins our freedom.

For over 35 years, these individuals have worked toward the Conservative goals of small and accountable government in Canada. Their efforts have transformed the historical and political landscape of not only my province of Alberta but also our nation.

As a former student of the Calgary School, I am honoured to be a part of its legacy as its commitment has inspired a generation of leaders across the country in academia, law, politics, journalism, and beyond.

Taiwan NightStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the membership of the Canada–Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, I would like to invite all members of Parliament to attend “Taiwan Night” this evening at the Chateau Laurier. This evening's cultural celebration will be an opportunity to recognize and celebrate Taiwan's rich and vibrant diversity, as well as a chance to build a better relationship between Canada and Taiwan.

Taiwanese Canadians have contributed to the Canadian mosaic with pride and admiration. It is important that we take times such as these to recognize the many contributions they have made to our great country. The Taiwanese-Canadian community has made tremendous advances, and I am very proud to call many of its members as personal friends.

I look forward to seeing many of my colleagues at the Chateau Laurier tonight for a wonderful celebration.

SeniorsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, I am pleased to welcome the Club des bons amis and the Club de l'âge d'or italien de Laval to Parliament Hill today.

[Member spoke in Italian and provided the following translation:]

Welcome dear people of Laval.

[Translation]

Our seniors are our heritage. They set a course for us that is filled with hope, endurance, and perseverance. We must continue to follow that course, improve it, and cherish it with the same great sense of responsibility, the same hard work, the same resilience and determination, and the same respect for Canada and its values of openness, tolerance, and diversity.

Thank you to the seniors of Alfred-Pellan and Canada for your contributions and your sacrifices. You continue to be an inspiration to those around you.

[Member spoke in Italian and provided the following translation:]

I sincerely thank you for coming to Ottawa to see me. Have a safe trip home.

Chilliwack ChiefsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate Canada's top Junior A hockey team, the 2018 RBC Cup champion, Chilliwack Chiefs.

This past Sunday, in a thrilling championship game that had the Prospera Centre rocking, the Chiefs scored three times in the third period to come from behind and beat Ontario's Wellington Dukes 4-2 to win their first-ever national championship.

For Chilliwack, this was a victory both on and off the ice. Not only did we get to showcase our great community, our great hockey team and fans, we showed what true partnership and reconciliation look like.

The Chilliwack Chiefs Hockey Club, Tourism Chilliwack, the city of Chilliwack, and the Ts'elxwéyeqw first nation's management group worked together to host one of the most successful RBC Cup championships ever.

I thank everyone who played a part in putting on one of the most memorable events in Chilliwack sports history, and congratulations once again to the National Junior A champion, our Chilliwack Chiefs.

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and BiphobiaStatements By Members

May 22nd, 2018 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 17, people from across Canada and around the world marked the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. May 17 was chosen for a reason. It was on that date in 1990 that the World Health Organization decided to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Last year, our Prime Minister stood in this place and made an apology to members of the LGBTQ2 community who had suffered from discrimination. As our Prime Minister stated on that day, “Discrimination and oppression of LGBTQ2 Canadians will not be tolerated anymore.”

We have come a long way, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

We are just over a week away from Pride Month, beginning June 1. I am looking forward to trans fair, the Dyke March, and the Pride Parade. People should check out events in their communities.

Natural ResourcesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the deadline for Kinder Morgan approaches, I want to tell the House what I have been hearing from constituents about this project. This pipeline goes right through my riding and my constituents will be directly affected.

People are infuriated that the federal government would even consider using taxpayer dollars to bail out a Texas-based company instead of investing in services Canadians need, like affordable housing, services for seniors, health care, and a national pharmacare program.

My constituents do not accept the risks that Kinder Morgan brings to our community and our province. They would rather see a just transition to a low-carbon economy, with investments in good-paying jobs and training in the renewable energy sector. They want the government to make a bold investment in our future. They want an economy that promotes good health, good jobs, and sustainable living.

I think that makes a lot of sense, and the government would be wise to listen.

Cliff DowneyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Matt Jeneroux Conservative Edmonton Riverbend, AB

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to Cliff Downey, someone who also stood in this chamber as a former member of Parliament. Cliff recently passed away in Edmonton.

Cliff was a proud Albertan who represented the riding of Battle River from 1968 to 1972 as a Progressive Conservative. Though he served on two standing committees during his time in Ottawa, he was first and foremost a farmer.

During Cliff's career, he was a member of the Alberta Surface Rights Board and the Farmers' Advocate of Alberta. Agriculture was his biggest passion and he often returned to his hometown of Castor to visit his family farm. His smile was his trademark and he was always a man of his word.

Cliff was a great mentor to many people, including me and those of us involved in politics in south Edmonton. I want to recognize that service to Alberta. I also extend my sincere condolences to his wife, Frances, his eight children, his 16 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. He will be dearly missed.

Cultural DiversityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Sahota Liberal Brampton North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight the importance of world day for cultural diversity.

It is more than simply a day to recognize our differences; it is a day to celebrate the tremendous diversity of the human experience. In Canada, and especially in my riding of Brampton North, we are home to a diversity of languages, histories, perspectives, and cultures. We must nurture these strengths.

Three quarters of the world's major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability, and development. Our Prime Minister recently stressed the importance of respect and understanding, because merely tolerating one another is not enough to achieve these goals.

I am fiercely proud of our government's strong promotion of the principles of diversity, inclusion, respect, and dialogue. I would like to thank my constituents for affording me the privilege of bringing their diverse voices here.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the Prime Minister ordered Elections Canada to implement his electoral changes before the bill was even debated in the House of Commons, without one word of debate or one vote. If that is not trying to rig the rules in his favour, I do not know what is. Why is the Prime Minister ignoring Parliament in trying to ram through his preferred electoral system changes?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the elections modernization act is a large step forward in our government's commitment to improve and strengthen our democratic institutions. We are reversing the changes brought in by the Harper Conservatives that made it harder for Canadians to vote. This legislation will ensure that more Canadians are engaged, will help protect the integrity of our electoral system, and give Canadians more information as to what political parties do with their personal information. We committed to reversing the Harper Conservatives' unjust changes to the Canada Elections Act, and that is exactly what we are doing.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, no one believes the Prime Minister's claims that he has taken action to limit government activity in the pre-election period. Spending announcements will not be limited. Ministerial travel will not be limited. What he is doing is limiting the ability of opposition parties to engage with Canadians while refusing to apply those same restrictions to his own government. If the Prime Minister wants to fix this he has only one choice. Will he commit today to banning all ministerial spending announcements, travel, and advertising during the entire pre-writ election period?