The federal New Democrats are promising new powers for Elections Canada and to punish political operatives found guilty of voting interference.
NDP candidate Peter Julian, who’s running in the New Westminster-Burnaby riding, said Friday his party would introduce the Voter Protection Act.
He said the proposed legislation would repeal Conservative voting laws, which have been criticized for its stricter identification requirements that some critics say could hinder groups like First Nations from casting a ballot. It would also empower the elections agency to investigate and crack down on electoral fraud.
Julian highlighted several voting-related breaches during the Conservatives’ time in power, including the 2011 robocall scandal and convictions against Stephen Harper’s former parliamentary secretary, Dean Del Mastro. He said the NDP is aspiring to regain voters’ trust to boost turnout.
Earlier in the day, the party released its platform geared specifically to Toronto and its surrounding suburbs – a vote-rich region of the country that could determine who wins on Oct. 19.
The platform, entitled “Building a Better Toronto,” is based on the NDP’s national platform but highlights the policies the party believes will most resonate with Torontonians. It takes some of the promises from the NDP’s national platform and breaks down what it would mean for Toronto.
For instance, it promises $12.9 billion over 20 years for Toronto transit infrastructure and commits to create 165,000 $15-a-day child care spaces in the city.
So, ex-Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro is headed to jail.
A Peterborough judge sentenced the Prime Minister’s former Parliamentary Secretary to one month in jail and four months of house arrest after being convicted of charges relating to election law violations and submitting falsified documents to the court.
Although Del Mastro is the only sitting parliamentarian to be sentenced to jail, by no means is he the first person affiliated with the Stephen Harper’s government to be on the wrong side of their law-and-order agenda.
Here’s a look at some of the other allegations (and convictions) of fraud, bribery, breach of trust and even assault: