Conservatives relent, agree to new audit powers for Elections Canada

OTTAWA — The Conservative government has reversed course and now says it will support an NDP motion to give Elections Canada increased audit powers.

OTTAWA — The Conservative government has reversed course and now says it will support an NDP motion to give Elections Canada increased audit powers.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has battled the federal elections watchdog for much of his political career, told the House of Commons on Wednesday his government will support new legislation within six months — as proposed by the official Opposition.

New Democrats and Liberals have been making hay of the fact a Conservative-dominated committee last month formally turned down a recommendation by the chief electoral officer for new investigative powers.

Marc Mayrand wants to be able to compel political parties to back up their financial statements with receipts and details — a power currently held by all his provincial counterparts.

The Conservative committee rejection was used by the opposition parties as damning evidence against the government in the context of Elections Canada’s growing investigation into fraudulent election phone calls.

For a prime minister who has long railed against the power of Elections Canada, New Democrats say the reversal reflects the political toll the robocall scandal is taking on the Conservative government.

Just Posted

Fear of bats unnecessary despite rabies death

Bats are beneficial, says Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer

Gord Bamford Foundation golf classic returns to Red Deer

12th annual charity golf tournament to be held Aug. 7 and 8

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

VANCOUVER — A proposed high-speed rail link connecting Vancouver, Seattle and Portland… Continue reading

Man whose family died in Boeing 737 Max crash: Scrap the jet

A man who lost his wife, mother-in-law and three young children in… Continue reading

Technology beating romanticism at Tour de France

ALBI, France — With all the technology stacked against them, the six… Continue reading

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

No guarantee voters will flip in this fall’s federal election

The brief get-together of five conservative-minded premiers last week was meant to… Continue reading

Jennifer Abel makes Canadian history with silver medal at world championships

GWANGJU, Korea, Republic Of — Diver Jennifer Abel has set a Canadian… Continue reading

Slovakia to MLB draft: Canadian resident Macko takes unconventional road to pros

Seattle Mariners prospect Adam Macko didn’t lack confidence when he shared his… Continue reading

Jason Reitman shares ‘family’ photo on Calgary set of ‘Ghostbusters’

CALGARY — Director Jason Reitman is sharing a first glimpse of his… Continue reading

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

LOS ANGELES — Netflix has decided to remove a graphic suicide scene… Continue reading

Chavis’ grand slam helps Red Sox beat Blue Jays 10-8

BOSTON — Rookie Michael Chavis hit a grand slam, Xander Bogaerts had… Continue reading

You don’t feel alientated, Trudeau tells western Canadians

By David Marsden National unity is not being threatened by the federal… Continue reading

Group wants charges in horse deaths during Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races

CALGARY — An animal welfare group is renewing its call for cruelty… Continue reading

Most Read