Inside Politics

UPDATED - Tories cancel debate on Liberal by-election fraud motion

Hot off the Liberal caucus press comes word that the Third Party will devote its upcoming opposition day to a motion that calls on Elections Canada to be on the lookout for reports of "fraudulent activity" during next week's by-elections. 

If passed -- which it almost certainly won't be, given the somewhat mischievous reference to Justice Mosley's conclusion that the Conservative Party's much-vaunted CIMS database was "the likely source of election fraud in ridings across the country in the 2011 election" -- Elections Canada would also have to report "any complaints or evidence" related to such illicit activities back to the House within 90 days. 

Here's the full text of the motion, which will be debated on Thursday:    

 That, in light of the Federal Court of Canada finding on May 23, 2013 by Justice Richard Mosley that the Conservative CIMS database was the likely source of election fraud in ridings across the country in the 2011 general election, the House call on Elections Canada to fully enforce the Canada Elections Act for the current by-elections in Provencher, Brandon--Souris, Toronto Centre, and Bourassa, paying close attention to any reports of similar fraudulent activity, and to report to the House within ninety calendar days any complaints or evidence that it has received of such fraudulent activity taking place.

Well, that didn't take long. 

According to a statement just now from Government House Leader Peter Van Loan, due to the urgent need to send the government's bid to tighten restrictions on future InSite-like drug programs to committee, Thursday's opposition day will be postponed until next Tuesday, the day after the by-elections in question.

The government can, of course, reschedule supply days pretty much at will, as long as it uses them all up within the allotted cycle. It doesn't do so very often, however, since it can give weight to claims that its members may not be eager to discuss a particular issue on the floor of the House of Commons. 

In this case, of course, that issue would be allegedly fraudulent activities that occurred during the last election. 

The Liberal lost no time pointing out that this is actually the second time that the government has yanked an opposition day at the last minute, which they see as a sign that they're successfully getting under the government's skin.

The unofficial word on the government side of the aisle. however, is that the Liberals were given a heads up on the coming schedule change earlier this week, which, if accurate, would mean they were well aware the motion would never go to a vote, but put it forward anyway, presumably so they could subsequently freak out when it was yanked from the schedule. 

As yet, I have been able to conclusively determine which version of events bears the closest resemblance to what actually happened. I will, as always, keep you posted. 


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