Inside Politics

New Democrats want cross-country hearings on election bill

Undaunted by the speed with which the government appears keen to whisk the election bill through the House, the New Democrats have put forward a proposal that would see it get a very thorough going-over at committee, including a cross-country tour later this spring.

Here's the full text of the motion, which was tabled at Procedure and House Affairs earlier today by New Democrat MP David Christopherson, which could, in theory, be debated at any point between now and the eventual arrival of the bill itself, which will likely happen sometime next week:

That the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, upon receiving an order of reference from the House concerning C-23, amendment to the elections act, initiate a study on this legislation which will include the following:

  • Hearing witnesses from, but not limited to, Elections Canada, Political Parties as defined under the Canada Elections Act, the Minister of State who introduced the bill, representatives of First Nations, anti-poverty groups, groups representing persons with disabilities, groups representing youth advocates and students, as well as specific groups which have been active in society on elections rules, including Fair Vote Canada, SAMARA, Democracy Watch and the BC Civil Liberties Union
  • And that the Committee request to travel to all regions of Canada, (Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Northern Ontario, the Prairies, British Columbia and the North), as well as downtown urban settings (such as the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver) and rural and remote settings, and that the committee request that this travel take place in March and April 2014,
  • And that the committee shall only proceed to clause by Clause consideration of this bill after these hearings have been completed, with a goal to commence clause by clause consideration for May 1, 2014.

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