Fair Elections Act [Bill C-23]
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- Read the Fair Elections Act: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1013265-fair-elections-act.html
- Conservatives delay election reform legislation: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/conservatives-delay-election-reform-legislation-1.1407481
Issues/Concerns/Proposals: Fair Elections Act [Bill C-23]
- The less Canadians know about Fair Elections Act, the more they support it: poll CHRIS HANNAY, The Globe and Mail, Published Thursday, Apr. 17 2014, 10:00 AM EDT, Last updated Thursday, Apr. 17 2014, 10:32 AM EDT – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/the-less-canadians-know-about-fair-elections-act-the-more-they-support-it-poll/article18052641/
- 9 things to know about voting under the new elections act By Leslie MacKinnon, CBC News Posted: Apr 17, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 17, 2014 5:00 AM ET – http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/9-things-to-know-about-voting-under-the-new-elections-act-1.2612571
- Full Pundit: Put down the Fair Elections Act, and back slowly away Chris Selley | April 16, 2014 | Last Updated: Apr 16 1:12 PM ET – http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/04/16/full-pundit-put-down-the-fair-elections-act-and-back-slowly-away/
- Globe editorial: A less bad Fair Elections Act is still not good enough The Globe and Mail, Published Tuesday, Apr. 15 2014, 7:30 PM EDT, Last updated Wednesday, Apr. 16 2014, 8:31 AM EDT – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/editorials/a-less-bad-fair-elections-act-is-still-not-good-enough/article18031911/
- Fair elections act: 7 things you may not know By Laura Payton, CBC News Posted: Apr 15, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 15, 2014 4:20 PM ET – http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/fair-elections-act-7-things-you-may-not-know-1.2605535
- Senate gives government cover to pass anti-democratic bill By: Tim Harper National Affairs, Published on Tue Apr 15 2014 – MP Craig Scott, the NDP’s democratic reform critic, says the Conservatives are “putting lipstick on two pigs — themselves and this bill.’’ http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/04/15/senate_gives_government_cover_to_pass_antidemocratic_bill_tim_harper.html
- CCLA Highlights Problems with Proposed ‘Fair Elections Act’ April 15th, 2014 – http://ccla.org/2014/04/15/ccla-highlights-problems-with-proposed-fair-elections-act/
- National Post editorial board: Attacking your own appointee National Post Editorial Board | April 10, 2014 12:01 AM ET – http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/04/10/national-post-editorial-board-attacking-your-own-appointee/
- Tory cabinet minister launches astonishing personal attack on elections watchdog Marc Mayrand Joan Bryden & Bruce Cheadle, Canadian Press | April 8, 2014 12:10 PM ET – http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/04/08/conservative-cabinet-minister-poilievre-accuses-elections-watchdog-of-wanting-more-power-bigger-budget/
- Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge
By Murray Dobbin, 7 Apr 2014, TheTyee.ca – http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2014/04/07/Unfair-Elections-Act/
- Pierre Poilievre does not speak the truth By Karl Nerenberg | April 4, 2014 – http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/karl-nerenberg/2014/04/pierre-poilievre-does-not-speak-truth
- Fair Elections Act proof the Conservatives are no normal government Andrew Coyne | March 28, 2014 8:58 PM ET – http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/03/28/andrew-coyne-fair-elections-act-proof-the-conservatives-are-no-normal-government/
- The foul called on the Fair Elections Act By Chris Hall, CBC News Posted: Mar 06, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 27, 2014 6:01 PM ET – Conservative MP Brad Butt’s fairy tale about election fraud hasn’t helped the cause. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/the-foul-called-on-the-fair-elections-act-1.2561643
- Everything you need to know about the Fair Elections Act by Chris Hannay, The Globe and Mail, Published Tuesday, Mar. 25 2014, 9:33 AM EDT, Last updated Thursday, Mar. 27 2014, 12:06 PM EDT – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/fair-elections-act/article17648947/
- Election expert Harry Neufeld NEWS | Mar 27, 2014 – Harry Neufeld, who wrote a report often cited by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre in support of Poilievre’s proposed election changes, takes questions from reporters. http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/ID/2445145740/ [Video]
- Expert says election reform bill must be amended THE NATIONAL | Mar 27, 2014 – The federal government has cited an Elections Canada report to back its proposed changes to electoral laws, but the report’s author says it’s being misinterpreted and quoted selectively – http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/ID/2445195045/ [Video]
- Minister stands by election reform bill POLITICS | Mar 27, 2014 – MP Pierre Poilievre on election expert Harry Neufeld’s accusation that the government has selectively quoted his report to justify proposed election reforms. http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/ID/2445181545/ [Video]
- Harry Neufeld on election reform bill POLITICS | Mar 27, 2014 – ‘I think it’s been a very selective reading of my report and selective quoting as well,’ says election expert. http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/ID/2445180434/ [Video]
- Jean-Pierre Kingsley: Election bill puts right to vote at risk By Laura Payton, CBC News Posted: Mar 25, 2014 10:52 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 25, 2014 7:21 PM ET – ‘Please do not get rid of it,’ former chief electoral officer says of vouching process. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/jean-pierre-kingsley-election-bill-puts-right-to-vote-at-risk-1.2585400
- Election bill sends ‘very poor message’ to budding democracies: 21 Mar 2014 – The Conservative government is trying to change Canadian election law in a way that is “deeply disturbing” and “sends a very poor message” to countries trying to become democracies, an international democracy expert says. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/election-bill-sends-very-poor-message-to-budding-democracies-1.2582351
- Pierre Poilievre ‘selectively’ reading election report, author says By Laura Payton, CBC News Posted: Mar 14, 2014 9:16 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 14, 2014 9:17 PM ET – Former B.C. chief electoral officer Harry Neufeld says parties not properly scrutinizing voters. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/pierre-poilievre-selectively-reading-election-report-author-says-1.2573603
- Don’t undermine Elections Canada National Post, Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2014 – http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/03/10/mcgregor-anderson-how-the-fair-elections-act-might-actually-hurt-the-tories-in-2015/
- Do the Tories have any experts on their side to defend Unfair Elections Act? Mar 11, 2014 by PressProgress – http://www.pressprogress.ca/en/post/do-tories-have-any-experts-their-side-defend-unfair-elections-act
- Pierre Poilievre Misrepresenting Voter Fraud Report: Study Author: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/07/pierre-poilievre-voter-fraud-fair-elections-act_n_4917506.html
- Voters may regret Fair Elections Act, election chief Marc Mayrand says By: Susan Delacourt, Parliament Hill, Published on Fri Mar 07 2014 – No bill at all, Mayrand said, would be “certainly better for the tens of thousands of electors who will be denied the right to vote …. I certainly can’t endorse a bill that disenfranchises electors.” http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2014/03/07/voters_may_regret_fair_elections_act_election_chief_marc_mayrand_says.html
- Proposed Amendments to Bill C-23 Presented by the Chief Electoral Officer to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs on March 6, 2014 Published by 247politics – http://www.scribd.com/doc/211020015/Elections-Canada-proposals-for-Bill-C-23
- Election chief Marc Mayrand fears Canadians could be denied vote By Laura Payton, CBC News Posted: Mar 06, 2014 10:48 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 06, 2014 8:29 PM ET – Chief electoral officer says biggest fear is ‘Canadians will be denied the right to vote’. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/election-chief-marc-mayrand-fears-canadians-could-be-denied-vote-1.2562153
- Privacy concerns raised by Marc Mayrand over election changes: By Laura Payton, CBC News Posted: Mar 06, 2014 7:05 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 06, 2014 8:28 PM ET – C-23 proposes providing lists to parties detailing who voted. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/privacy-concerns-raised-by-marc-mayrand-over-election-changes-1.2563048
- Fair Elections Act attacks participation and debate: By: Ed Broadbent, Published on Wed Mar 05 2014 – Ed Broadbent says the Conservative government is ramming through changes to the elections act that will mean many Canadians won’t be able to vote. http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/03/05/fair_elections_act_attacks_participation_and_debate.html
- Elections bill would give incumbents too much power, expert warns By Rosemary Barton, CBC News Posted: Mar 02, 2014 6:00 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 02, 2014 6:00 AM ET – Fair elections act would give winning candidate from previous election right to appoint polling supervisor. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/elections-bill-would-give-incumbents-too-much-power-expert-warns-1.2555498
- Tories kill bid to investigate Brad Butt voter fraud claim By Laura Payton, CBC News Posted: Mar 04, 2014 9:49 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 04, 2014 10:17 PM ET – Conservative MP Brad Butt claimed he saw people abusing voter cards, then said he misspoke. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tories-kill-bid-to-investigate-brad-butt-voter-fraud-claim-1.2558342
- Fair Elections Act sure to deprive Canadians of voting rights, U.S. experts warn Alexander Panetta, Canadian Press | February 16, 2014 11:17 AM ET – http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/16/fair-elections-act-sure-to-deprive-canadians-of-voting-rights-u-s-experts-warn/
- Full text of House Speaker Andrew Scheer’s ruling on Brad Butt: http://www.scribd.com/doc/210365407/Full-text-of-House-Speaker-Andrew-Scheer-s-ruling-on-Brad-Butt
- Election bill draws furious debate at House committee By Laura Payton, CBC News Posted: Feb 13, 2014 10:41 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 13, 2014 4:25 PM ET – http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/election-bill-draws-furious-debate-at-house-committee-1.2535555
- Elections Canada chief calls government’s electoral reform plans retaliation for clashes with Tories Glen McGregor, Postmedia News | February 13, 2014 | Last Updated: Feb 13 2:36 PM ET – http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/13/elections-canada-chief-calls-governments-electoral-reform-plans-retaliation-for-clashes-with-tories/
- NDP grounds Commons committees over lack of hearings on Fair Elections Act By: Alex Boutilier Staff Reporter, Published on Wed Feb 12 2014 – In response to Conservatives’ refusal to hold cross country hearings on the Fair Elections Act, the NDP refused consent for committee travel budgets. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/02/12/ndp_grounds_commons_committees_over_lack_of_hearings_on_fair_elections_act.html
- What problems are the Conservatives really trying to solve with bizarre Fair Elections Act? Andrew Coyne | February 7, 2014 8:07 PM ET http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/02/07/andrew-coyne-what-problems-are-the-conservatives-really-trying-to-solve-with-bizarre-fair-elections-act/
- What might be problematic about the Fair Elections Act? by Aaron Wherry Posted on: Thursday, February 6, 2014 – Questions about the bill begin to mount. http://www2.macleans.ca/2014/02/06/what-might-be-problematic-about-the-fair-elections-act/
- The sketch: Is the Fair Elections Act a lesson in democracy? by Aaron Wherry Posted on: Thursday, February 6, 2014 – ‘Mr. Speaker, we have only begun debate’ http://www2.macleans.ca/2014/02/06/the-sketch-could-the-fair-elections-act-be-a-good-lesson-in-democracy/
- 5 things you need to know about Orwellian “Fair” Elections Act Feb 4, 2014 by PressProgress Updated Feb. 10. – http://www.pressprogress.ca/en/post/5-things-you-need-know-about-orwellian-fair-elections-act
- Election reforms would bring big changes to campaign spending: By Laura Payton, CBC News Posted: Feb 04, 2014 12:54 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 04, 2014 10:05 PM ET – Some fundraising to be exempt from expense limits under changes proposed by Pierre Poilievre. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/election-reforms-would-bring-big-changes-to-campaign-spending-1.2522795
- What is Harper’s problem with Elections Canada? Kate Heartfield, First published Oct. 5, 2013 – “This essay of mine was first published in October,2013 in the Citizen’s weekly Observer section. Since we’re about to getelection-act reform in Canada, it seems now is a good time to repost it.” (Edited to add: I’ve clarified the circumstances of the fineto Frank Valeriote’s riding association in this version.) http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2014/02/03/the-harper-conservatives-and-elections-canada/
Videos: Fair Elections Act [Bill C-23]
- Fair Elections Act [Bill C-23] Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqFL1UDjYPeqVFniC1uSi8u4
- 09Apr2014 – In Committee from the Senate of Canada Legal and Constitutional Affairs
- Part 1: The committee continues with its pre-study of Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act. Dr. Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, senior consultant to policy exchange at Constitutional Affairs, testifies from Oxford, U.K., via videoconference, on the role of the U.K. Electoral Commission and compares the British electoral model to the Canadian model. He calls vouching a peculiarly Canadian practice and calls for less political rhetoric in the debate over Bill C-23. (April 9, 2014) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqEjMV2rwyEdFlmp-HNxGXWx (8 videos)
- Part 2: CIVIX president Taylor Gunn discusses his concerns about the impact of Bill C-23 on the Student Vote program run by his organization. The current draft of the Fair Elections Act would disempower Elections Canada from supporting the national program, which is a parallel election for students under the voting age. (April 9, 2014) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqHvmamZ9GRTelU7CuEUJQxQ (4 videos)
- Part 3: Senators hear from academics as they continue with their pre-study of Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act. Appearing as individuals are Pauline Beange, lecturer from the University of Toronto; Paul Howe, professor from the University of New Brunswick; Paul Thomas, professor emeritus from the University of Manitoba; and Nelson Wiseman, associate professor from the University of Toronto. The witnesses touch upon many aspects of the bill but they mainly speak on the restructuring of Elections Canada, the role to educate and raise voter turnout, vouching and voter information cards, and party fundraising. (April 9, 2014) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqFMItZUeK_EyoVovM9f3i6l (12 videos)
- 08Apr2014 – In Committee from the Senate of Canada Legal and Constitutional Affairs
- Part 1: The committee begins its pre-study of the government’s Fair Elections Act with testimony from Pierre Poilievre, the minister of state for democratic reform. The controversial legislation has been met with widespread criticism. Among the measures in Bill C-23 are proposals to eliminate the practice of vouching for voters without proper identification, limit the public education outreach programs of the chief electoral officer, and move oversight of the elections commissioner from Elections Canada to the office of the director of public prosecutions. The Conservative government wants the legislation passed by the end of June to ensure the changes will be in place before the next federal election, which is scheduled to take place in the fall of 2015. (April 8, 2014) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqGo5kfOvVQ_9nnXRmx2VkxG (7 videos)
- Part 2: The committee continues with its pre-study of Bill C23, the government’s overhaul of Canada’s election laws. Chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand and his predecessor Jean-Pierre Kingsley share their perspectives of the widely-criticized legislation. The proposed bill includes measures that would curtail Elections Canada’s powers. (April 8, 2014) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqE1DWKkTz7s5tLuGdqUsQhY (10 videos)
- Part 3: Former auditor general Sheila Fraser testifies as part of the committee’s pre-study of Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act. She has called the proposed legislation an attack on democracy. Some members of the Conservative Party have questioned her credibility, as she is paid for co-chairing Elections Canada’s advisory board. (April 8, 2014) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqEKuOVO0oTGbtM9Bqi5wAZn (6 videos)
- Part 4: Diane Bergeron, spokesperson for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and Kory Earle, president of People First of Ontario, testify on accessibility issues and offer their recommendations on how to improve voting for the visually impaired and for Canadians with low literacy levels. Also testifying is Gerald Chipeur, lawyer for Miller Thomson, who presents Supreme Court cases that justify Bill C-23 and doing away with vouching. (April 8, 2014) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqFfLWx82RQ9uvn0TZ9Nvjr0 (8 videos)
- 01Apr2014 – In Committee from the House of Commons – Procedure and House Affairs
- Part 1: The committee continues its hearings on the Conservative government’s Fair Elections Act. Diane Bergeron with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Kory Earle from the organization People First of Lanark County offer their recommendations on how to improve Bill C-23 in order to address the needs of voters with disabilities. Senior CRTC officials Christianne Laizner and Manon Bombardier outline how the regulator will fulfill its new responsibilities if the bill is passed in its current form. The CRTC will have to establish and maintain a registry for voter contact calling services. (April 1, 2014) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqG66-81GTS5NPCIbX-IaJMF (11 videos)
- Part 2: Yves Côté, the Commissioner of Canada Elections, testifies on Bill C-23 at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. His predecessor, William Corbett, also appears. PrimeTime Politics – April 1, 2014 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqHL88jlzv1vi8R5h1274rSV (10 videos)
- 27Mar2014 – In Committee from the House of Commons – Procedure and House Affairs
- Harry Neufeld makes an anticipated appearance at the committee to testify on Bill C-23. The former B.C. chief electoral officer is the author of a report on voting irregularities that is often cited by Pierre Poilievre, the minister of state for democratic reform, to justify the government’s controversial Fair Elections Act. Neufeld has publically stated that the minister is misrepresenting his report. Samara executive director and co-founder Alison Loat, Fair Vote Canada board member Nathalie Des Rosiers, Institute for Research on Public Policy president Graham Fox, and Civix president Taylor Gunn present their views on the election reform bill during the second hour of the meeting. (March 27, 2014) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqHq0H_3k6RgNzE4Sst-ECc8 (11 videos)
- 27Mar2014 – Election Expert Harry Neufeld #cdnpoli #FairElectionsAct Media Scrum – Harry Neufeld, who wrote a report often cited by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre in support of Poilievre’s proposed election changes, takes questions from reporters.
- 27Mar2014 – Elections Expert Harry Neufeld Says #FairElectionsAct Must Be Amended #cdnpoli – The Harper Regime has cited an Elections Canada report to back its proposed changes to electoral laws, but the report’s author, Harry Neufeld, says it’s being misinterpreted and quoted selectively. The National reports the election reform bill must be amended. https://youtu.be/sHQj3vdb_AY
- 27Mar2014 – Election Expert Harry Neufeld on #FairElectionsAct Reform Bill #cdnpoli #pnpcbc – ‘I think it’s been a very selective reading of my report and selective quoting as well,’ says Election Expert Harry Neufeld to Evan Solomon on Powers and Politics. https://youtu.be/DKN8As159Kg
- 27Mar2014 – #Harper MP Pierre Poilievre Stands by #FairElectionsAct #cdnpoli #pnpcbc – Powers and Politics Evan Solomon interviews Harper Regime MP Pierre Poilievre on election expert Harry Neufeld’s accusation that the government has selectively quoted his report to justify proposed election reforms. https://youtu.be/AL7kfRVlDM8
- 25Mar2014 – In Committee from the House of Commons – Procedure and House Affairs
- Former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley, Northwest Territories Chief Electoral Officer David Brock and B.C. Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer share their perspectives on Bill C-23, the government’s Fair Elections Act. All three witnesses express concerns about the proposal to eliminate the vouching process. (March 25, 2014) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqHzv8s4f2svegffYfqiqYMm (10 videos)
- 25Mar2014 – Vouching Process Must Remain: Jean-Pierre Kingsley #FairElectionsAct #cdnpoli #pnpcbc – Jean-Pierre Kingsley, former Elections Canada chief electoral officer, explains to Powers and Politics’s Evan Solomon why vouching for voters ‘must be retained’ under the Canada Elections Act. https://youtu.be/xi6ER496vPE
- 25Mar2014 – Protests Against #Harper’s Proposed new #FairElectionsAct #cdnpoli – Terry Milewski reports for The National with chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge about ongoing protests in Canada against the Harper Regime’s proposed changes to the Elections Act that would leave some Canadians unable to vote. https://youtu.be/iUVYAjUy1oE
- 25Mar2014 – MP’s on #Harper’s #FairElectionsAct #cdnpoli Criticisms #pnpcbc – Harper Regime Loyalist Paul Calandra, NDP’s David Christopherson and Liberal Party’s Kevin Lamoureax debate on Power and Poltics whether the Harper Regime’s proposed changes to the Elections Act will aid or disenfranchise voters. https://youtu.be/1Zrcc-LqSsg
- 25Mar2014 – Jean-Pierre Kingsley on #Harper’s #FairElectionsAct #cdnpoli Law Changes – Jean-Pierre Kingsley, former Elections Canada chief electoral officer, is questioned about his concerns regarding the Harper Regime’s proposed changes to Canadian election laws. https://youtu.be/8vh_j6lgGd8
- 25Mar2014 – Jean-Pierre Kingsley Criticizes #Harper’s #FairElectionsAct #cdnpoli Reforms – Jean-Pierre Kingsley, former Elections Canada chief electoral officer, says he has serious concerns about the Harper Regime’s planned changes to the Elections Act. https://youtu.be/ny5tvSUVA4M
- 21Mar2014 – #Harper’s Proposed #cdnpoli #FairElectionsAct Rebuked Globally #pnpcbc – Power and Politics Rosie Barton speaks with Andrew Reynolds, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was one of 18 professors from around the world who earlier this week signed an open letter about their concerns. Their letter came the week after an open letter to the Harper Government’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper by 159 Canadian political science and law professors. https://youtu.be/_nPGoDfJtQY
- 13Feb2014 – In Committee from the House of Commons – Procedure and House Affairs
- Pierre Poilievre, minister of state for democratic reform, defends the Conservative government’s proposed electoral reform bill (C-23). During the second part of the meeting, NDP MP David Christopherson presents his party’s motion to allow the committee to hold cross-country hearings on the controversial Fair Elections Act. (February 13, 2014) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqF9vTjCNiCk3lqDaCGURMj3 (4 videos)
- 07Feb2014 – CBC’s Evan Solomon talks with Marc Mayrand re #FairElectionsAct – THE HOUSE: Evan Solomon’s discussion about the Harper Regime’s proposed Fair Elections Act with Marc Mayrand. Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer has several concerns about the bill, and what the changes being proposed would mean for the state of Canada’s democracy.
- 04Feb42014 – Evan Solomon interviews Pierre Poilievre re #FairElectionsAct #cdnpoli #pnpcbc – The Harper Regime’s Minister of Reforming Democracy, Pierre Poilievre, opaquely and confusingly attempts to describe the benefits of their planned changes to electoral policy and Elections Canada with Evan Solomon on Power and Politics via CBC. https://youtu.be/IM2RuAZuw3w
Senate Pre-study: Fair Elections Act [Bill C-23]
- Read the Fair Elections Act: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1013265-fair-elections-act.html
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has the honour to table its
Your committee, which was authorized by the Senate on Monday, April 7, 2014, to examine the subject-matter of Bill C-23, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to certain Acts, introduced in the House of Commons on February 4, 2014, in advance of the said bill coming before the Senate, now tables an interim report.
Your committee held six meetings on this study. In total the committee heard from 21 witnesses including the Minister of State (Democratic Reform), the Chief Electoral Officer and the Commissioner of Canada Elections, along with many experts, academics, political parties and other stakeholders. The committee also received a number of written submissions.
Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act, was introduced because it is important to protect the trust, participation, and reliability of the electoral system.
The committee recommends as follows:
- Specifically authorize communications between the Commissioner of Canada Elections and the Chief Electoral Officer.
- Include a requirement that attestations of name and address should be given to those who seek it (the elderly, homeless, Aboriginal peoples, etc.).
- Remove the provision on spending during an electoral period – the part that would exempt as an election expense the commercial value of services provided to a registered party for the purpose of soliciting monetary contributions only from individuals who have made at least one contribution of $20 or more to the registered party or to one of its registered associations, nomination contestants or candidates in the last five years.
- Extend retention of automated calling service call records to three years, from the one year proposed in Clause 76 of the bill, and make the contracting calling service company the repository for these records.
- Clarify Elections Canada’s new, reduced role that ends democracy promotion so it will not affect Elections Canada’s working relationship with Student Vote, a project of CIVIX, or other electoral educational programs in elementary and high schools.
- Encourage Elections Canada to place photographs of candidates on ballots, to address concerns of people who have trouble reading.
- Encourage Elections Canada to provide information to those with vision loss, such as information about the availability of braille ballots, and to conduct a pilot project in the use of specialized voting kiosks, described to the committee by the CNIB witness.
- Encourage Elections Canada to consider allowing verified electronic correspondence as a means of identification at polling stations.
- Both the Chief Electoral Officer and the Commissioner of Canada Elections should expressly be able to inform the public of problems they uncover in the electoral system.
Attached, as an appendix to the committee’s interim report, is a minority opinion from the Honourable Senators George Baker, P.C., Serge Joyal, P.C. and Wilfred P. Moore.
MINORITY OPINION FROM THE HONOURABLE SENATORS
GEORGE BAKER, P.C., SERGE JOYAL, P.C. and WILFRED P. MOORE
to the Sixth Report of the
Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
(Subject-matter of Bill C-23)
1. Constitutionality of the Bill
Bill C-23 lacks sufficient safeguards to ensure that voters who are qualified to vote are not disenfranchised. The bill, therefore, is clearly unconstitutional in that it violates the right to vote set out in section 3 of the Charter and cannot be saved by section 1.
2. Voter Information Cards
The Chief Electoral Officer’s authority to authorize the voter information card as a valid piece of identification as one of the alternatives to a government-issued piece of photo identification should be restored. (Clause 48(3) amending section 143(2.1))
The clauses of the bill which repeal the provisions that enable a voter without the prescribed pieces of identification to vote, or to register to vote, should be struck from the bill. (Subclauses 48(1) and (2), clauses 49, 51 and 52, subclauses 53(1), (3) and (5) and clause 54)
4. Commissioner of Canada Elections’ Power to Seek Court Order to Compel Witnesses to Provide Evidence
The bill should grant the Commissioner of Canada Elections the power to apply to a court for an order to compel witnesses to provide evidence to assist in an investigation of a violation of the Canada Elections Act.
5. Chief Electoral Officer’s Mandate to Communicate with the Public
The broad mandate that the Chief Electoral Officer currently has under section 18 of the Canada Elections Act to provide information to the public relating to Canada’s electoral process, the democratic right to vote and how to be a candidate, should be restored. Clause 7 of the bill should, therefore, be struck from the bill.
6. Treasury Board Approval to Pay Remuneration for Temporary Employees with Electoral Expertise
Clause 10, amending section 20(1), should be amended to strike out the requirement that the Treasury Board approve the remuneration and expenses of persons with technical or specialized knowledge engaged on a temporary basis by the Chief Electoral Officer.
7. Inability of Commissioner of Canada Elections to disclose any information relating to investigations
Clause 108 of the bill should be amended by striking out new section 510.1, which prevents the Commissioner of Canada Elections from disclosing any information relating to an investigation, except under certain limited circumstances.
- Senate’s proposed election act fix won’t fly: Editorial Published on Wed Apr 16 2014 – http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2014/04/16/senates_proposed_election_act_fix_wont_fly_editorial.html
- Senate pushes back on Fair Elections Act By Annie Bergeron-Oliver | Apr 15, 2014 2:33 pm – http://www.ipolitics.ca/2014/04/15/senate-pushes-back-on-fair-elections-act/
- EDITORIAL: Senate right to send elections bill back to Commons THE CHRONICLE HERALD Published April 14, 2014 – 4:46pm – http://thechronicleherald.ca/editorials/1200489-editorial-senate-right-to-send-elections-bill-back-to-commons
- Tory-dominated Senate committee to recommend major changes to feds’ elections bill By MARK BURGESS | Published: Monday, 04/14/2014 12:00 am EDT, Last Updated: Monday, 04/14/2014 1:19 pm EDT – http://www.hilltimes.com/news/legislation/2014/04/14/tory-dominated-senate-committee-to-recommend-major-changes-to-feds/38162
- Senators recommend 9 changes to controversial elections bill CTVNews.ca Staff, Published Monday, April 14, 2014 4:25PM EDT, Last Updated Monday, April 14, 2014 10:23PM EDT – http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/senators-recommend-9-changes-to-controversial-elections-bill-1.1775682
- Senators want nine major changes to controversial Fair Elections Act, setting up clash with House Joan Bryden, Canadian Press | April 15, 2014 10:02 AM ET – http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/04/15/senators-want-nine-major-changes-to-controversial-fair-elections-act-setting-up-clash-with-house/
- Senators want nine changes to proposed Fair Elections Act By Wojtek Gwiazda | firstname.lastname@example.org, Tuesday 15 April, 2014 – http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2014/04/15/senators-want-nine-changes-to-proposed-fair-elections-act/
- Senate panel to push for changes to proposed fair elections act By Leslie MacKinnon, CBC News Posted: Apr 14, 2014 4:46 PM ET Last Updated: Apr 14, 2014 10:43 PM ET – http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/senate-panel-to-push-for-changes-to-proposed-fair-elections-act-1.2610003
- Senate panel sets up confrontation with Harper on Elections Act JOSH WINGROVE, OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail, Published Sunday, Apr. 13 2014, 10:15 PM EDT, Last updated Monday, Apr. 14 2014, 7:52 AM EDT
- The Senate vs. The Fair Elections Act by Aaron Wherry, Posted on: Monday, April 14, 2014 – http://www.macleans.ca/politics/the-senate-vs-the-fair-elections-act/
- Fair Elections Act: Senators Call For 9 Major Changes To Bill By Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press Posted: 04/14/2014 4:18 pm EDT | Updated: 04/14/2014 6:59 pm EDT – http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/04/14/fair-elections-act-committee-changes_n_5148631.html
- Canada’s Senate could turn the table on Tories over Fair Elections Act By Andy Radia | Canada Politics – April 14, 2014 – https://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/canada-politics/senate-could-tories-next-opponent-push-fair-elections-195557277.html
Unsorted and Miscellaneous
- Read the Fair Elections Act: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1013265-fair-elections-act.html
- Resources on the Fair Elections Act (Bill C-23) Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions – http://www.democracy.arts.ubc.ca/fairelectionsact/
- Highlights of Bill C-31 via Elections Canada: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=bkg&document=c31back&lang=e Date Modified: January 09, 2014
Sandbox: Fair Elections Act [Bill C-23]
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