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

Red Deer GoodLife no longer installing pool

Red Deer GoodLife Fitness members itching to swim will need to find… Continue reading

Hwy 2 detour Friday

Traffic detoured between Gaetz Avenue and Taylor Drive

Red Deer students are fighting subtle discrimination to help build a culture of tolerance

‘Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination’ marked at local high school

Updated: Man posing as U.S. Marine sentenced

Peter Toth pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing military decorations and documents

WATCH: Red Deerians can have a say about crime fighting

Municipality will poll citizens about policing priorities

Facebook crisis-management lesson: What not to do

NEW YORK — The crisis-management playbook is pretty simple: Get ahead of… Continue reading

Calgary remains interested in 2026 bid, but awaits word from feds, province

Calgary city council approved a slate of moves towards a possible bid… Continue reading

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to girl, 14, in Canada, police say

American authorities say a 14-year-old girl in Canada has been charged with… Continue reading

Comedian Mike MacDonald remembered for gut-busting mental health advocacy

If laughter is the best medicine, then standup veteran Mike MacDonald was… Continue reading

The Weeknd, Bruno Mars to headline Lollapalooza in Chicago

CHICAGO — The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White and Arctic Monkeys will… Continue reading

No rest for the retired: Opioid crisis fills empty nests as grandparents step up

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — She is a Newfoundland woman who worked hard… Continue reading

Duclos defends gender-neutral language amid criticism from opposition

MONTREAL — Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos defended Service Canada’s decision to ask… Continue reading

Lawyer and negotiator: Thomas Molloy is new Saskatchewan lieutenant-governor

REGINA — Lawyer and negotiator Thomas Molloy has been sworn in as… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month