Madam Speaker, I would like to take a few minutes to speak to Bill C-406 and more specifically to two clauses of the bill that are essential to any self-respecting democracy that wants to manage its own democratic affairs and that does not want to give others the chance to influence its democratic process.
I just listened to my colleague's speech and I have to wonder whether he agrees with the Clerk of the Privy Council and cabinet secretary, who shared his concerns with the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights this afternoon.
He said, “I worry about foreign interference in the upcoming election, and we're working hard on that.”
The purpose of the bill introduced by my colleague from Red Deer—Lacombe is to prevent this foreign interference in the next election. Groups like Tides Foundation and Leadnow invest millions of dollars to defeat candidates and influence the democratic process even here in Canada. If a Canadian group took Canadians' money to try to influence the election, it would be part of the democratic process. We have a major problem when we let foreigners interfere in our elections, with money obtained who knows where, by targeting very specific ridings where candidates are standing up for their values and their country and hoping to represent their constituents.
The interests of these groups are not those of the voters. These groups become involved because they perhaps have a chance to beat someone in a riding, to get out their message and to score points on the international scene by stating that they influenced the outcome of an election in Canada. That is something that happens and it will happen again if we do nothing. Therefore, we must guard against this interference.
I am pleased that the Clerk of the Privy Council raised his concerns this afternoon about the major role that this foreign interference could play in the next election. That is why our colleague from Red Deer—Lacombe is asking that we prohibit any foreign entity from making a contribution to a third party for election advertising purposes. It also proposes to prohibit any foreign entity from making a contribution to a third party for election advertising purposes that comes from money, property or the services of another person or entity that was provided to that person or entity for that purpose.
That is clear. I believe that Canadians are mature enough to make their own decisions. I believe that Canadians who want to influence the election can make a donation to the various political parties and strictly Canadian organizations. Why would we allow foreigners to meddle in our electoral process? That is completely unacceptable.