Conservatives fail to crack down on voter fraud calls

Nearly a year after Parliament unanimously voted for the NDP’s motion calling for legislation within six months to give Elections Canada more investigative power, Conservatives have failed to act.

“There’s evidence of widespread voter suppression calls during the 2011 election and Elections Canada has been demanding more power to investigate potential wrongdoing,” said NDP Democratic Reform Critic Craig Scott (Toronto – Danforth). “While the Conservatives have dragged their heels, the NDP proposed practical changes to the law to crack down on voter fraud calls.”

The Conservatives eventually bowed to public pressure and supported the NDP motion – but the government has since refused to bring legislation forward to fix the Elections Act and enhance the powers of the Chief Electoral Officer. After waiting months for the government to act, the NDP tabled its own bill, C-453.

“Given recent reports linking misleading calls in the 2011 elections to the recent devious calls in Saskatchewan, it’s clear the Elections Act needs to be strengthened,” said Scott. “Our bill would help prevent and punish such fraud in the future.”

“If Conservatives were serious about stopping voter suppression calls and cooperating with the authorities, they would have already taken action,” said NDP Democratic Reform Deputy Critic Alexandrine Latendresse (Louis – Saint-Laurent). “So why are they dragging their feet on this legislation?”