Panel of experts to advise Elections Canada

Canada's chief electoral officer announces the creation of a high-profile board chaired by former Supreme Court justice Ian Binnie to provide "non-partisan" advice on election-related matters.
Elections Canada Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand has formed an advisory board to provide non-partisan advice on issues related to the electoral system 4:54

Marc Mayrand, Canada's chief electoral officer, has formed a high-profile board to provide "non-partisan" advice on election-related matters.

The 13-member panel, to be chaired by former Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie, will be called on "to study and provide advice on matters related to Canada's electoral system including the conduct of elections, electoral participation both by voters and political participants, regulatory compliance and electoral reform," according to a news release Tuesday from Elections Canada.

"The electoral process is in a period of change and needs to adapt to the expectations of Canadians in the 21st century," said Mayrand in the release. "I believe that our electoral system will benefit from the informed perspective and advice garnered from such a diverse range of Canadians, with valuable backgrounds and experiences."

The board appointments are for three-year terms and form a prominent list of former politicians, community activists, academics and civil servants:

  • Lise Bissonnette, a Quebec journalist and writer.
  • Sheila Fraser, former federal auditor general.
  • Roberta Jamieson, a lawyer, former Ontario ombudsman and First Nations activist.
  • John Manley, CEO of Canadian Council of Chief Executives and former deputy prime minister.
  • Preston Manning, founder of the Reform Party of Canada.
  • Bob Rae, retired Liberal MP and former Ontario premier.
  • Roy Romanow, former NDP premier of Saskatchewan.
  • Hugh Segal, current Conservative senator.
  • Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, engineer, Centraide Montreal executive director and chair of the board of Montreal's l'Ecole Polytechnique.
  • Paul Thomas, professor emeritus in political studies at the University of Manitoba.
  • Michael Wilson, former ambassador to the U.S. and Mulroney-era federal finance minister
  • Cathy Wong, a youth-development officer with Quebec YMCA.

The panel will meet twice a year, starting later this year, Elections Canada said.

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