May 1, 2014 4:05 pm

Electoral reform bill prompts ugly debate in Question Period

Watch above: NDP MP David Christopherson and Minister of Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre face off in a heated debate on whether voter information cards should be used as identification when voting.

OTTAWA – The Conservative bill on electoral reform is in the final stages of review at a Commons committee, and things are getting ugly.

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After long hours of scrutiny of each of the Fair Elections Act’s many clauses, only two technical amendments by the opposition have been approved so far.

READ MORE: 5 things to know about Conservative election reforms 

NDP MP David Christopherson grew frustrated when the committee rejected a proposal to ensure voter information cards are clearly marked to indicate they are not considered valid ID.

Much of the debate around the bill has been about the government eliminating vouching and voter information cards for people who cannot produce the right identification at polling stations.

READ MORE: Mulcair lauds electoral reform amendments, wants to see details

Christopherson says the government’s attitude to the amendments proves the entire bill was always about keeping certain Canadians from voting.

Conservative MP Scott Reid took great offence at Christopherson’s comments, which he described as painting the Tories as bigoted and racist.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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