New Brunswick

Electoral reform hearings being held in Fredericton Friday

Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey says the House of Commons electoral reform committee has heard a diversity of views on electoral reform over the past three weeks.

Electoral reform committee will present recommendations to government by Dec. 1

Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey says they have heard from many Canadians on electoral reform. (CBC)

Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey says the House of Commons special committee on electoral reform has heard a diversity of views on electoral reform over the past three weeks.

"There have been a lot of people who have shown up at the expert witness panels as well as open microphone sessions who have expressed a desire to see an element of proportionality come into the electoral system in a way that would allow more diverse views to be expressed in the Parliament."

The hearings are held after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an election promise to get rid of the first-past-the-post electoral system, in which the candidate with the most votes wins, regardless of whether they receive more than 50 per cent support.

DeCourcey told Information Morning Fredericton the committee still wants to hear from more Canadians on what they think of electoral reform.

Different views

New Brunswickers will have the opportunity to make presentations to the special parliamentary committee when it holds its last hearings in Fredericton Friday.

DeCourcey said they have heard a lot of different presentations over the past three weeks as hearings were held across Canada.

"I have to say with a committee of 12 members of all parties represented in the House of Commons we have a lot of work to do distill the diversity of views that we've heard into some cohesive and consensus based report to deliver to government … and also to the House of Commons on Dec. 1."

DeCourcey said the committee's mandate is to look at alternative forms of voting.

"We do that in the context of weighing what that would yield against what the current system offers right now. So I can't prejudge what the recommendations will be, what the deliberations will be with all committee members but I have to say that  now three weeks on the road, the work of the committee, the collaboration that we've seen across party lines has been really positive."

DeCourcey said he's confident the committee can come up with recommendations for government.

"We've had a fair number of Canadians come out to these sessions. We know there is still a lack of knowledge and understanding of what the conservation is really about by millions of Canadians right across the country."

DeCourcey said professors from the University of New Brunswick are expected to make presentations at Friday's hearings at the Delta Hotel as well.

The hearings include witness panels and open mic sessions.