Opposition Motion — Proposed changes to the Elections Act

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. minister. I appreciate the fact that I was consulted in advance of Bill C-23.

In my written submission to the minister, I pointed out that Canada had a crisis of voter turnout and that claims that we had an issue of voter fraud were erroneous and there was no evidence for it. I urged him to further expedite voting by reducing the number of pieces of ID required in various circumstances in changes to the Elections Act that his administration brought forward a number of years ago. He did not give me a hint of what he had planned or I would have been a bit more forceful in my recommendations that the Conservatives not make voting harder for Canadians.

Given that Mr. Neufeld’s report and Mr. Neufeld himself have made it very clear that they found no incidents of fraud, and I put it to the minister that the authorities could certainly have investigated it had they suspected it as there is more than enough information there to investigate if there was a suspicion of fraud, there is no suspicion of fraud. I say again that the electoral crisis in Canada is not that Canadians are voting more than once; it is that they are voting less than once, and we must change this bill.

Will the minister consider amendments?

Pierre Poilievre: Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate the input that the member provided before the bill was introduced. She is one of the most informed people in the country about matters of electoral mechanics, having been a leader in two or three successive elections. Yet, one of her public press releases suggested that Canadians require photo ID to vote when they do not require photo ID to vote. They do not even require government-issued ID to vote.

One of the problems the fair elections act seeks to solve is the bad information that circulates around the mechanics of voting. A lot of Canadians do not know what ID they need because Elections Canada does a bad job of communicating that information. Elections Canada’s own data shows that many people do not know what occasions and which days they can vote on in the lead-up to an election.

The fact that one of the most informed people in the country on the subject is not aware that photo ID is not required to vote tells us that the agency needs to do a better job of informing Canadians that there are 39 different acceptable forms of ID to vote. They do not need photo or government-issued ID. There are plenty of options. We will make sure that Canadians know what they are.