Fair Vote Canada and Democracy Watch File Joint Ethics Complaint against Prime Minister

For Immediate Release
Oct. 12, 2017

OTTAWA — Yesterday, Fair Vote Canada and Democracy Watch jointly released a letter that was sent to federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Mary Dawson, filing a complaint and requesting investigations and public rulings concerning Prime Minister Trudeau’s dishonest and improper actions concerning electoral reform.  

Set out in the letter to Ethics Commissioner, Mary Dawson, is the evidence that makes it reasonable to conclude that Prime Minister Trudeau’s statements and actions violate rules in the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons (the “MPs Code“) and in the Conflict of Interest Act.

In the lead-up to the 2015 election and beyond, Prime Minister Trudeau promised unequivocally to end the first-past-the-post voting system and replace it with a system that would “Make Every Vote Count.”

The promise to change the voting system was repeated more than 2,000 times and was a key plank in the Liberal election platform.

For five months, the MPs on the Special Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE) heard overwhelming evidence and heartfelt pleas from Canadians to change the voting system to one that would reflect proportional representation.

Thousands took their time to participate in good faith.

After hearing months of testimony from academics, experts and citizens, the Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE) submitted a majority report that reflected the recommendations of experts invited to testify. The ERRE heard 180 experts in total and of these, 107 expressed themselves on the choice between keeping our current system  or adopting a proportional system. Fully 88% of these expert witnesses called for a proportional system, according to a detailed compilation undertaken by Fair Vote Canada.

http://www.fairvote.ca/strong-mandate/

and

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/1m25MnHAKVJ_3KxLx3_JbK7JD5M5GL4WZaHcsw3lsUxM/edit#gid=0

This consultative process was the fifteenth of its kind in Canada. Every one of these recommended to make the system fairer and more representative by moving to a proportional voting system, including the federal process initiated by the Prime Minister.

Yet, our Prime Minister ignored all of the evidence and decided arbitrarily that “all forms of proportional representation would be bad for Canada.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-electoral-reform-wherry-analysis-1.4179928

This abrupt reversal of the promise made on electoral reform, and the complete rewriting of the facts show a lack of integrity. It suggests that Mr. Trudeau made his promise of electoral reform solely to attract voters in the first place and never intended to honour this promise. This becomes even clearer considering that both his election promise and the original mandate letter for the Minister of Democratic Institutions explicitly referred to proportional representation as an option, yet the Prime Minister now states he always thought proportional representation would be bad for Canada (see below).

Fair Vote Canada’s Executive Director, Kelly Carmichael states “Canadians need to feel confident that those we elect are honest and act with integrity and put the needs and desire of the citizens of this country before their partisan self-interest. In fact, in the Speech from the Throne, Prime Minister Trudeau appeared to agree with this sentiment as he he continued to laud his plan to unequivocally end first-past-the-post voting system when he stated “The trust Canadians have in public institutions — including Parliament — has, at times, been compromised.”

“If the Ethics Commissioner fails to investigate our complaint or finds Prime Minister Trudeau didn’t violate any rules with his dishonest statements and actions, it will show clearly that the rules need to be changed to prohibit politicians from blatantly misleading Canadian voters with false election promises and claims in-between elections,” said Duff a Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch

Both Fair Vote Canada and Democracy Watch want to see honesty and integrity in politics and both work to strengthen our democracy through better policy. The broken promise on electoral reform is a stellar example of why we feel it necessary to request investigations and public rulings concerning Prime Minister Trudeau’s actions on electoral reform. The policies are in place to protect citizens against dishonesty but they are only effective if  implemented and we hope Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson will use the tools at her disposal to restore integrity to Canadian politics.

-30-

BACKGROUND:

(The full request and evidence to Mary Dawson can be found here:

http://www.fairvote.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017_10_Request_MaryDawson.pdf)

  1. Background

As the code clearly states, the purposes of the MPs Code as set out in section 1 are to:

(a) maintain and enhance public confidence and trust in the integrity of Members as well as the respect and confidence that society places in the House of Commons as an institution;

(b) demonstrate to the public that Members are held to standards that place the public interest ahead of their private interests and to provide a transparent system by which the public may judge this to be the case;

(c) provide for greater certainty and guidance for Members in how to reconcile their private interests with their public duties and functions; and

(d) foster consensus among Members by establishing common standards and by providing the means by which questions relating to proper conduct may be answered by an independent, non-partisan adviser.

https://www.ourcommons.ca/About/StandingOrders/appa1-e.htm

  1. Request for ruling that Prime Minister Trudeau violated rules in the MPs Code

The MPs Code states:

  1. Given that service in Parliament is a public trust, the House of Commons recognizes and declares that Members are expected:

(a) to serve the public interest and represent constituents to the best of their abilities;

(b) to fulfill their public duties with honesty and uphold the highest standards so as to avoid real or apparent conflicts of interests, and maintain and enhance public confidence and trust in the integrity of each Member and in the House of Commons;

  1. Request for ruling that Prime Minister Trudeau violated s. 8 of MPs Code, and ss. 4 and 6 of Conflict of Interest Act

The MPs Code also states in section 8:

“When performing parliamentary duties and functions, a Member shall not act in any way to further his or her private interests or those of a member of the Member’s family, or to improperly further another person’s or entity’s private interests.”

The Conflict of Interest Act (the “Act“), which applies to Prime Minister Trudeau, contains similar rules in sections 4 and 6:

Conflict of interest

4 For the purposes of this Act, a public office holder is in a conflict of interest when he or she exercises an official power, duty or function that provides an opportunity to further his or her private interests or those of his or her relatives or friends or to improperly further another person’s private interests.

Decision-making

6 (1) No public office holder shall make a decision or participate in making a decision related to the exercise of an official power, duty or function if the public office holder knows or reasonably should know that, in the making of the decision, he or she would be in a conflict of interest.

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-36.65/page-2.html#h-4

Sincerely yours in the pursuit of honesty and integrity in politics,

Fair Vote Canada and Democracy Watch File Joint Ethics Complaint against Prime Minister | Fair Vote Canada

Upcoming Fair Vote events for Fall 2017

There are a number of upcoming events:

Discussion Night for Fair Voting — an #IDOPAN event

Chat

Discussion

When: Wednesday, 27 September 2017 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Community Room, Bread and Roses Co-operative Homes
Location: 307 Queen Street South, Kitchener Map

Discussion Nights are returning to Fair Vote Waterloo! Thanks to a bit of prompting from Fair Vote Canada we’ll be holding a guided discussion to answer the questions How can we capitalize on what has happened over the last two years? and How can we raise the profile of Proportional Representation, and elect a Member of Parliament who supports PR, and make the next election different?

If you’re coming to Discussion Night please make sure you’re subscribed to either the Discussion or Announcements mailing list. We’ll e-mail a parking permit to those mailing lists for anyone who’s driving in.


Upcoming Webinars

Fair Vote Canada has scheduled a number of Webinars in the upcoming months. Check their Webinars schedule page for up-to-date information.

Countries with PR : How has it shaped their politics for the better?

When: Sunday 24 September 2017 at 7:00pm EDT

Special Guest: Associate Professor and Electoral Reform Expert Dennis Pilon. Dennis is the author of several books including “The Politics of Voting: Reforming Canada’s Electoral System” and many articles. Full bio at Dennis M. Pilon | Faculty Profile | Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. Dennis will discuss the use of PR in other western democracies and how it has made a difference to their politics.

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2472128035323660545


Building your local team and mentoring local leadership

When: Sunday 1 October 2017 at 3:00pm EDT

Special Guest: Sharon Sommerville, leader of Fair Vote Canada’s Waterloo Region team. Sharon has been involved with Fair Vote Canada since about 2012, and leads one of the most active chapters in Canada, hosting 4-5 events, about 10 community tables, speaking engagements and numerous meetings with MPs each year, as well as regular volunteer meetings. Largely as a result of this work, Waterloo Region had one of the best attended electoral reform consultations in Canada. In this workshop she’ll share what has worked to get new volunteers involved and nurture shared leadership within the team — generating more activities and creativity and avoiding burnout. This workshop will be an opportunity for other Fair Vote Canada leaders to share their successes and challenges.

Register: If you are not on our Chapters/teams email list and would like to join this workshop, please contact anita.nickerson@fairvote.ca


PR Systems for Canada Series
Part One: Multi-member Systems — Single Transferable Vote (PR-STV) and Local PR

When: Saturday 21 October 2017 at 2:00pm EDT

Special Guest: Byron Weber Becker. Find out how Single Transferable Vote (PR-STV) and an adaptation of it (Local PR) works for Canada! Byron Weber Becker teaches Computer Science at University of Waterloo. He has combined his passion for electoral change and his computer science expertise into a web site (http://election-modelling.ca) with detailed simulations of how various proportional options for Canada perform with different features under different conditions. He testified to the all-party committee on electoral reform and was asked to do additional work for them. Byron has been involved with the design of two made-for-Canada electoral systems, Rural-Urban Proportional Representation (in collaboration with Fair Vote Canada and Fair Voting BC — see webinar three in this series) and Local Proportional Representation.

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8893666268164002817


Helping Your Team Message to and Reach Out to Youth!

When: Sunday 29 October 2017 at 1:00pm EDT

Special Guest: Chardaye Bueckert. Chardaye Bueckert has demonstrated her passion for youth engagement as a member of Fair Vote Canada’s National Council and Youth Committee, as a World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper, and as president of Simon Fraser University’s student government. Her accomplishments as a young leader were recently recognized with a Schwarzman Scholarship, enabling Chardaye to complete a Masters in Global Affairs in China. Chardaye is 26 years old and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Register: If you are not on our Chapters/teams email list and would like to join this workshop, please contact anita.nickerson@fairvote.ca


Busting the Most Common Myths about PR for Canada: Get the Facts!

When: Sunday 12 November 2017 at 2:00pm EDT

Does PR mean instability? Will MPs still be accountable? What about “fringe parties”? Get the facts to answer all the most common myths, take a look at the research on PR, and ask your questions!

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4598079947118491651


PR Systems for Canada Series
Part Two: Top-up Systems — Mixed Member Proportional (MMP)

When: Sunday 26 November 2017 at 2:00pm EDT

Special Guest: Byron Weber Becker. Find out how Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) works for Canada! Byron Weber Becker teaches Computer Science at University of Waterloo. He has combined his passion for electoral change and his computer science expertise into a web site (http://election-modelling.ca) with detailed simulations of how various proportional options for Canada perform with different features under different conditions. He testified to the all-party committee on electoral reform and was asked to do additional work for the committee. Byron has been involved with the design of two made-for-Canada electoral systems, Rural-Urban Proportional Representation (in collaboration with Fair Vote Canada and Fair Voting BC — see webinar three in this series) and Local Proportional Representation (see webinar one in this series).

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6428164274994150914


PR Systems for Canada Series
Part Three: Made-for-Canada hybrid, blended systems — Rural-Urban Proportional

When: Sunday 10 December 2017 at 2:00pm EDT

Special Guest: Byron Weber Becker. Find out how Rural-Urban Proportional and Local PR work for Canada! Byron Weber Becker teaches Computer Science at University of Waterloo. He has combined his passion for electoral change and his computer science expertise into a web site (http://election-modelling.ca) with detailed simulations of how various proportional options for Canada perform with different features under different conditions. He testified to the all-party committee on electoral reform and was asked to do additional work for the committee. Byron has been involved with the design of two made-for-Canada electoral systems, Rural-Urban Proportional Representation (in collaboration with Fair Vote Canada and Fair Voting BC) and Local Proportional Representation (see webinar one in this series).

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2400232069497311234

Tonight: “Make Every Vote Count” at Ayr Branch, Region of Waterloo Library (29 September 2016)

Make Every Vote Count poster

Ayr Branch, Region of Waterloo Library hosts Make Every Vote Count presented by Donald A. Fraser of Fair Vote Waterloo.

Prime Minister Trudeau has promised to make “every vote count” in future elections, and the process of electoral reform is currently underway.

  • Why might the current electoral system benefit from reform?
  • What electoral reforms are being considered?
  • What are their advantages and disadvantages?
  • How is this electoral reform process structured?
  • How can we participate in this process?

A panel from Fair Vote Waterloo will hold a Question and Answer session after the presentation.

What: Make Every Vote Count
When: Thursday, 29 September 2016 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Where: Gingrich Meeting Room, Ayr Public Library
Location: 137 Stanley Street, Ayr Map

Pleaser register at Ayr Branch | Make Every Vote Count

WR Greens host a Community Dialogue at Kitchener City Hall, Saturday 17 September at 3pm

Today’s Community Dialogue at Kitchener City Hall:

Where: Kitchener City Hall
Location: 200 King Street West, Kitchener, Ontario Map
Facebook: Community Dialogue: Proportional Representation | Facebook

From the Waterloo Region Greens:

Julia and Sam
Julia and Sam (Kitchener Centre Greens) are passionate about meaningful electoral reform.  The shape of their future depends on it.  They’re the driving force behind our Canada’s Voting System Is Changing event at Kitchener City Hall tomorrow.

Canada's Voting System Is Changing poster
Canada’s Voting System Is Changing poster ~ click to download larger size


The main goal of the event is to provide public information about our options.

Every MP in Canada has been asked to consult with their constituents about what they would like to see in terms of electoral reform.  Although our evening with Ms. Monsef was excellent, it would have been nice to see four Liberal Town Halls.  Knowing how long it took me to get my head around electoral reform, more events might make it easier for many citizens.

Sadly Kitchener-Conestoga residents don’t get any Town Hall at all.  Our Conservative MP Harold Albrecht has declined to conduct a consultation.  Fair Vote Waterloo will be putting on 3 more Library Information nights at Elmira Library, New Hamburg and the Ayr Public Libraries.

Earlier in the year the Waterloo NDP put on an information event with Fair Vote Waterloo, but now it’s our turn.

Proportional Representation is not a partisan issue; it is simply a way to better represent citizens in Parliament.  This isn’t about parties, but about what is best for all of us, the voters.  That’s why each of these events have worked hard to put partisanship aside in order to both inform and converse with the public.

the Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions speaks to a packed house in Waterloo Region, Wednesday Night.
The Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions speaks to a packed house in Waterloo Region

So many other countries have adopted meaningful electoral reform that there’s a lot of information out there. And yet, Canadians have heard almost nothing about the alternatives before us.

That’s why Fair Vote Waterloo co-chair Sharon Sommerville will give an introductory talk about Proportional Representation. Then we’ll break into small group discussions, much like Maryam Monsef’s National Electoral Reform Community Dialogue Tour the other night.   We have decided to have two kinds of groups; one to help those of us just beginning to learn about Proportional Representation, and another for those who have an idea of what kind of reform they would like to see.  The latter will be able to discuss the issue as a group in order to make a group submission we can forward on to the ERRE Committee.

Even if you have a pretty good handle on Electoral Reform, we look forward to seeing you in Carl Zehr Square.  It is always a lot more fun to work on a submission together, and it is amazing how much discussion can help clarify the things we’re fuzzy on.  The more Canadians participate in this electoral reform process, the better the outcome will be.

This is a perfect opportunity to help your friends and neighbors get the facts about electoral reform.  We hope to see you there!

Canada’s Voting System Is Changing: Community Dialogue
Saturday September 17th, 2016
3:00pm – 4:30pm

Carl Zehr Square, in front of Kitchener City Hall
200 King St W, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada map

RSVP on the Facebook Event:
Community Dialogue: Proportional Representation

NDP hosts PR in the Back Yard — 12 August 2016

PR
in the
Back Yard

Learn, Discuss & Debate
Proportional Representation
(PR)

Special Guest Catherine Fife MPP NDP
Fair Vote / Leadnow outreach to the local NDP
August 12, Friday at 7:00pm
184 Forsyth Drive, Waterloo

A friendly discussion in Don Fraser’s Backyard
All are welcome
Discussion Circles
Presentations
Slideshows
Q&A

Snacks will be provided

Fair Vote CanadaLeadnow.caNDP

Leadnow.ca - people powered changeRegister with Leadnow.ca

PR in the Back Yard

Steve Dyck and Ken MacKay on Guelph Politicast with Adam A. Donaldson

On 24 June 2016 Adam A. Donaldson, the Guelph Politico, interviewed Steve Dyck and Ken MacKay of Fair Vote Guelph.

elxnreform.mp3 (53 MBytes, 46m17s)

From GUELPH POLITICAST #41 – Fair Vote Guelph on Electoral Reform | Guelph Politicast:

You might have heard a lot of discussion in the news about electoral reform, but what is it, what are we reforming, and what are we reforming it into? All good questions that also have the virtue of not being easy ones to answer as well. This is the podcast that, at least initially, aimed to answer those questions, but if you’re not sure where to begin on electoral reform, then this is as good a place as any to start.

[…]

The following Q and A session is between myself and Steve Dyck and Ken McKay, two of the organizers of Fair Vote Guelph. Electoral reform’s been on my radar for a while, and it’s a topic that has a lot of traction in Guelph, which has had many people working hard on the issue since the robocall incident in 2011. The general feeling being that a less partisan Parliament – less dependent on winning a few bell-weather seats to achieve majority government status by tapping out at 39 per cent national support – would mean less illegal shenanigans to encourage people not to vote. Oh yes, and it will also help to create a more democratic country that better reflects its citizens and bring Canada in line with other western democracies that already use some form or proportional representation.

Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote – Video

On Thursday, 7 April 2016 Fair Vote Waterloo hosted a panel discussion with professors Dennis Pilon and Barry Kay, debating the merits of Proportional Representation and Alternative Vote. The evening was moderated by Diane Freeman.

Two of Canada’s leading experts on electoral reform, Prof. Barry Kay (Wilfrid Laurier University) and Prof. Dennis Pilon (York University ) discuss “Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote”.

This timely interesting and informative discussion was moderated by Waterloo City Councillor Diane Freeman. The experts took audience questions after the initial discussion.

This Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter event was recorded in the Council Chamber of Kitchener City Hall Thursday, 7 April 2016

The video has been edited for watchability; you can listen to the uncut audio of the entire event at Audio of Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote Panel Discussion

Credits:
Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote
© 2016 by Laurel L. Russwurm/Libreleft Pictures is released under a CC BY-SA 4.0Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Special Thanks to our Panel:
Barry Kay,
Associate Professor Political Science,
Wilfrid Laurier University

Dennis Pilon
Associate Professor Political Science,
York University

and Moderator Diane Freeman
Waterloo City Councilor

And

to Marianne Shilling and the City of Kitchener

Sound Recording by Bob Jonkman
Sound Technician David McLaren

Music: The Gloaming by Josh Woodward
Music Sharing Policy – Josh Woodward
©2002-2016 and released under a CC BY-SA 4.0Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

You can listen to The Gloaming, written, performed and produced by Josh Woodward on his album The Wake in its entirety.

Find out more about electoral reform from

Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter: http://www.fairvotewrc.ca/

follow @FairvoteWRC on Twitter: https://twitter.com/fairvotewrc

like Fairvote WRC on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fairvotewrc/

Fair Vote Canada: http://www.fairvote.ca/

If you’re new to the discussion (as most Canadians are) check out Laurel L. Russwurm’s Proportional Representation for Canada Whoa!Canada series.


Political science Professor Dennis Pilon is a leading expert on Canadian electoral reform at York University in Toronto.

Read more on the constitutionality of electoral reform in Mr. Pilon’s February 2016 National Post article: You can’t hide behind the Constitution to spare us electoral reform

Follow Mr. Pilon’s Wrestling With Democracy blog

get the book Wrestling with Democracy – University of Toronto Press

Always check your local book store first, but if needed you can get Wrestling with Democracy: Voting Systems as Politics in the 20th Century West (Studies in Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy) (2013)

from Kobo Wrestling with Democracy eBook by Dennis Pilon – 9781442662742

or Amazon: Wrestling with Democracy: Voting Systems as Politics in the 20th Century West: Dennis Pilon: 9781442613508

Also:

The Politics of Voting: Reforming Canada’s Electoral System (2007)

Amazon: The Politics of Voting: Reforming Canada's Electoral System: Dennis Pilon: 9781552392362

Emond: The Politics of Voting: Reforming Canada’s Electoral System

The presentation is ready: Make Every Vote Count

Make Every Vote Count |Fair Vote Canada - Représentation équitable  au Canada

Title slide Make Every Vote Count

At long last, Fair Vote Waterloo’s presentation on Proportional Representation and voting systems is ready!

This presentation, Make Every Vote Count, describes four types of voting systems: First-Past-The-Post and Alternative Vote (both Winner-Take-All systems), and Multi-Member and Mixed Member (both Proportional Representation systems).

Available as:

The presenter’s script is available as:

The presentation was prepared by Byron Weber Becker, with research, editorial advice and project management by Sharon Sommerville, Bob Jonkman, Sean Haberlin, Gordon Divitt, and Holly Featherstone.

Please send inquiries and suggestions for improvement to bwbecker@golden.net.

To the extent possible under law, Byron Weber Becker has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this Presentation in any format. This work is published from: Canada. See CC0 - Public  Domainhttp://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

Audio of Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote Panel Discussion

Video is now online!

Poster for event: Proportional Represenation vs. Alternative VoteOn Thursday, 7 April 2016 Fair Vote Waterloo held a panel discussion with professors Dennis Pilon and Barry Kay on Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote, moderated by Diane Freeman.

Here is the audio of the evening. Video is being edited and will be available in a few weeks.

Other audio file formats are available from Fairvote WRC Proportional Representation vs Alternative Vote 2016 04 07 : Fair Vote Waterloo : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive.

A Response from our Government to the petition presented by Marwan Tabbara

The Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter has received a response to the petitions delivered to Kitchener South–Hespeler MP Marwan Tabbara. Signed by Mark Holland, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions (the Hon. Maryam Monsef), the letter gives assurances that the 2015 federal election will be the last one run with the first-past-the-post voting system, and that winner-take-all systems are outdated. We hope this means that only Proportional Representation systems will be under consideration, and not winner-take-all systems such as Alternative Vote (also known as Instant Runoff Voting, Preferential Ballot, and often incorrectly called Ranked Ballot).

Our thanks go to everyone who signed the petition, and the Members of Parliament who have presented those petitions to parliament. Special thanks go to Mr. Tabbara for forwarding the Government’s response.

Electoral Reform is an urgent issue; the Liberal Government should soon be announcing the Parliamentary Committee to investigate alternate voting systems (and other aspects of electoral reform). Download FVCPetitiontoHouseofCommons_2.pdf (PDF, 144 kBytes), sign it with nine of your best friends, then mail it to your Member of Parliament. Remember, letters to MPs do not require any postage! Or you can come to a Fair Vote Waterloo Discussion Night where we’ll have petitions available, along with other information on Fair Voting.

You can download the letter received by Fair Vote Waterloo as 20160204 Electoral system petition no. 421-00058 Government response (PDF file, 59 kBytes). The text of the letter is reproduced here:

Response to Petition

Prepare in English and French marking ‘Original Text’ or ‘Translation’


Petition No.: 421–00058

By: Mr. Tabbara (Kitchener South-Hespeler)

Date: February 4, 2016

Print Name of Signatory: Mark Holland


Response by the Minister of Democratic Institutions

 

 

Signature

Minister or Parliamentary Secretary


Subject

Electoral System


Original Text


Reply

The Government thanks the petitioners for their views on this important matter.

The petitioners are contributing to a public discourse that is vitally important to shaping the future of our electoral system. To maintain public confidence, the Government understands that Canadians expect greater inclusion, transparency, meaningful engagement and modernization from their democratic institutions.

To that end, the Government is committed to ensuring that 2015 was the last election under the first-past-the-post system. The winner-take-all system is outdated. As many advanced democracies around the world have concluded, other systems are better for ensuring that every vote counts. The government wants to restore integrity and fairness to the electoral system and ensure that this cornerstone of our democracy serves Canadians. This change must be built on our collective values of fairness, inclusiveness, gender equality, openness and mutual respect.

The Government will be working to establish a parliamentary committee that will be tasked to consult Canadians from coast to coast to coast and to thoroughly review a variety of reform options to bring our voting system into the 21st Century. Once the committee is formed, further information will be available concerning its consultation plans and the opportunities for Canadians to participate in the process.

The Government invites the petitioners, like all Canadians, to get involved and have their say as part of this exciting challenge and opportunity to strengthen our electoral system.

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