Pierre Poilievre, the Democratic Reform Minister who has a curious running definition of democratic reform, plans to table legislation to amend the Elections Act. Whether or not he consulted with the folks at Elections Canada is the subject of some disagreement. Postmedia reported this morning that Elections Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer, Marc Mayrand, had not been consulted on the forthcoming bill—though a meeting was in the works.
This isn’t exactly news, or at least shouldn’t be surprising. John Geddes, Maclean’s bureau chief in Ottawa, interviewed Mayrand last October. At the time, Mayrand told Geddes that his initial meeting with Poilievre, the only meeting specifically reported to have occurred, “was more about getting acquainted” than discussing coming legislation.
Craig Scott, the NDP MP from Toronto-Danforth, rose in the Commons to question Poilievre on his apparent lack of direct consultation of the man most familiar with Canada’s electoral laws. “We know there were no consultations” with Mayrand, said Scott, who asked Poilievre to “explain how he thinks he consulted with this person.”
“I did meet with the CEO of Elections Canada some time ago, and we had a terrific and a very long meeting, at which I listened carefully to all of his ideas,” said Poilievre. He may have listened to Mayrand, and may have listened for some time, but that’s certainly not what Elections Canada considers consultation. The opposition, prone to siding with anyone who’s not Conservative in a debate about electoral reform, won’t let up on this file.