PEI

P.E.I. PR referendum road show launches this week

Gerard Mitchell, P.E.I.'s commissioner for the referendum on proportional representation, says his most important job is making sure Islanders understand the referendum options.

'It's the people who are going to decide this'

The question for the referendum is clear, and the process is fair, says Gerard Mitchell. (Preston Mulligan/CBC)

Gerard Mitchell, P.E.I.'s commissioner for the referendum on proportional representation, says his most important job is making sure Islanders understand the referendum options.

Mitchell will hold the first of a number of public meetings this week as part of plans to travel extensively around the province in advance of the referendum. The referendum will be held in conjunction with the next provincial election, which is scheduled for this fall but could come sooner.

Mitchell has scheduled 13 meetings in January and February. The first three are in next seven days.

  • Jan. 17, Ellerslie Elementary School.
  • Jan. 21, Morell Regional High School.
  • Jan. 22, Montague Regional High School.

All the sessions start at 6:30 p.m. A full list is available on the Referendum PEI Facebook page.

The question is, "Should P.E.I. change its voting system to a mixed member proportional voting system?" Mitchell said he believes the question is clear and that the rules around the referendum — including spending limits — are fair.

"The legislature has taken the view that this issue is so important to Islanders that it should go directly to the people," he said.

"It's the people who are going to decide this, therefore they wanted them to be able to make that decision without being unduly influenced by outside forces or corporate donations or even by the politicians."

Politicians can be members of a referendum group, but can't be principal members. Political parties can send out information to their own members, without that being considered advertising spending.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Island Morning

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