The QP Clip: How does Poilievre define consultation?

The exchange you can’t miss starring Craig Scott, Elections Canada and the Democratic Reform Minister



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.


The QP Clip: How does Poilievre define consultation?

  1. Poilievre’s idea of consultation probably was to lecture Mayrand on what the Cons want in the election laws.

    • The Conservatives think laws are for losers and that Mayrand should just do whatever the boss wants him to do even if he says one thing and then changes his mind later.

  2. Poilievre is a very effective politician, but he is also full of shit.

    • Worse Mayrand is saying there was no consultation.

    • Well you’re half right. Guess which half?

  3. Mayrand produced a report on electoral reform, right? The government received the report, right? They had a conversation with him, right? So he was consulted. He isn’t elected.

    The government is not obliged to run their reform ideas by some unelected civil servant. We live in a democracy, something Trudeau and Mayrand don’t seem to understand.

    • Why appoint and pay a Chief Electoral Officer if you aren’t even going to ask his opinion about a draft bill that changes the Act he is responsible for administering?

      The only reason I can think of is that they are planning to force through another set of embarrassing legislative mistakes that don’t address what they think they should. That way they can stomp their feet and blame him when he follows the legislation they pass rather than what they retrospectively wished they said (anyone remember veils and voting?)

      It’s ridiculous. No private sector organization would operate this way, only the swaggering wannabes who think they must be smart business people because they talk about how much they hate government all the time.

    • You’re kidding, right?

    • Thank you for defining for me, once again, the reason why I will never vote for teh Harper conservatives.

      God forbid they seek advice from people who know what they are doing. They think the fact they were elected magically makes them knowledgeable.

      • They did seek his advice. He testified before a parliamentary committee in the spring about his recommendations.

        His input was received.

        So exactly what is the problem.

        • Do you remember how Tony Clement stated that the change from the mandatory to voluntary Long Form Census was being made after consulting with, and at the recommendation of StatsCan boss Munir Sheikh? After Sheikh resigned in protest, Clement was forced to admit Munir had not made that recommendation.
          Notice how things were worded this time around.

        • My problem is this statement from your original post:

          “The government is not obliged to run their reform ideas by some unelected civil servant”

          The implication being, that someone who is unelected should have no input. As if winning an election makes you an expert on anything.

          • You’ll recall that Conservatives don’t listen to experts in any field when the knowledge and wisdom that those experts have accumulated over the years contradicts conservative fantasy and willfulness.

    • Are you serious? Amazing you can spell ‘democracy’. Now you shld look it up.

      Anyway if your ideas are good, why be afraid to see if they are resilient to diverse points of view. Or maybe even seek support. Or other good ideas. Where’s the risk? Unless you’re either governing by ideology or afraid of views.

  4. Must be time for the Cons to pick a fight with another Officer of Parliament.

  5. Two simple yes/no questions for Pierre Poilievre:

    1) Will this legislation strengthen the investigative powers of elections officers with respect to elections fraud and illegal campaign donations?

    2) Will this legislation be retroactive?

    An unqualified yes to both would be good.

    Otherwise, please, try and convince me this is not just a cynical attempt to “prorogue” all ongoing investigations, f**k up everything else in the meantime, all the while pretending to be Captain Democracy in short pants and a cape.

    • Retroactive laws are probably unconstitutional (i.e. probably violate the criminal law provisions of the Charter).