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Poilievre: No need to panic over election reform bill

Pierre Poilievre, Minister of State for Democratic Reform, stands in the House of Commons during Question Period on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on March 28.

FRED CHARTRAND/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The minister responsible for democratic reform says he's listening to the growing tide of outrage about the Harper government's controversial new electoral reform bill, but Pierre Poilievre would not commit to making changes.

Doing the circuit of political shows on Sunday, the junior minister continued to defend the overhaul and once again denied that he misquoted the author of a report the Conservatives have used to justify extraordinary measures in the legislation.

Poilievre, appearing on both CTV's Question Period and Global Television's The West Block, said a House of Commons committee is only four days into hearings over Bill C-23, known as the Fair Elections Act, and it's too early to determine whether there will be any amendments.

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Former B.C. electoral officer Harry Neufeld, who authored a report often cited by Poilievre, told a Commons committee last week that his position on voter identification has been misrepresented and the minister has been "selectively reading and quoting" from it.

Neufeld said his concern with irregularities revolves around administrative errors, not voter fraud.

Poilievre said he's quoted Neufeld "verbatim."

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