The robocall scandal continued to dominate question period in the House of Commons this week.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s current and former Parliamentary Secretaries, Dean Del Mastro and Pierre Poilievre, have taken the brunt of questions, answering with well-worn refrains that describe the allegations as exaggerations while calling on opposition parties to release their own call records.
Tory support was holding steady throughout the scandal, at least until Feb. 28, but an Ekos Research released a poll on Mar 2 found support for the Tories virtually unchanged. Pressure related to the issue could be behind a change of position for the government, however. On Wednesday, the PM said he was “not opposed at all” to an NDP motion making it easier for Elections Canada to investigate wrongdoing.
A spokesperson for the PM confirmed the Tories will be supporting the motion, which calls for three changes to the Elections Canada Act. These include granting the agency stronger investigative powers, such as the ability to compel parties to provide more detailed expense documents and forcing telecommunications companies to verify the identity of election clients—a change that would deter future Pierre Poutines, the fabricated name assigned to the burner phone behind robocalls made in Guelph, Ontario during the last election.