Fair Elections Act to be challenged in Courts
Thursday, 17 April 2014 13:21
"Fair Elections Act to be challenged in Courts"
For Immediate Release April 17, 2014
Newmarket, Ontario – The Honourable Sinclair M. Stevens, Leader of the Progressive Canadian Party, said today, "It is the view of the Progressive Canadian Party that Bill C-23, entitled the Fair Elections Act by the Harper government, will betray basic principles of democracy in Canada even if substantially amended. Bill C-23 will deny the right to vote to large numbers of Canadians and as such must be challenged in the courts as unconstitutional."
Further, Bill C-23 undermines the role of Elections Canada as guardian of the integrity of the electoral system and would deny the responsibility of Elections Canada to promote democratic participation by Canadians.
"For these reasons and in ways indicated by scholars of Canadian constitutional law and political science published in the national media, Progressive Canadians believe the Fair Elections Act must be rejected as unfair, undemocratic, and deserving of constitutional challenge even in light of amendments which are being recommended by members of the House of Commons and in Senate committee. Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act, is deeply flawed in fundamental ways and for its apparent intent."
Mr. Stevens continued, "The Elections Act ranks in importance with the Constitution, which cannot be altered by the Government-of-the-Day at its sole discretion."
"It is the intention of the Progressive Canadian Party to begin a constitutional challenge of Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act, in federal court and in the Supreme Court of Canada should the act become law."
Bill C-23 was the creation of the Harper Government without consultation with Elections Canada officials, other political parties or Canadian citizens through public hearings. These facts were given further significance when it was learned that the author of a study cited by the Minister of Democratic Reform as supporting the Bill stated that in his view the government should either substantially amend or withdraw the act.
It is the position of the Progressive Canadian Party that whatever is passed into law the "Fair Elections Act" will be the work of the Government of Canada in inception and in passage alone and, in present or amended form, would undermine democracy in Canada. As such it is unacceptable and must be challenged in the Courts.
For more information contact:
"The Hon. Sinclair Stevens, Leader
The Progressive Canadian Party