An Open Letter to the Governor General Regarding the Fair Elections Act
For Immediate Release May 29, 2014
Newmarket, Ontario - Progressive Canadian Party Leader, the Hon. Sinclair Stevens today released the text of an Open Letter to the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Rt. Hon.David Johnston, urging the Queen’s representative in Canada not to give Royal Assent to Bill C-23, referenced as the "Fair Elections Act.” The Open Letter was issued May 27, 2014.
Citing recent Commonwealth precedent where Governors General in Australia and New Zealand have acted or been called to define the duties of their office to protect the democratic rights of citizens to hold governments accountable, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Para. 3), the historical origins of these duties in the Queen’s Oath, and recent events in Canada concerning the present government Mr. Stevens in his letter stated that Bill C-23 is a challenge to democracy in Canada in at least two specific ways.
First, the Act as proposed, if given Royal Assent, appears to threaten to disenfranchise certain identifiable groups within Canadian society despite amendments approved only by government members in the House of Commons.
Second, the Act as proposed, if given Royal Assent, will remove the duty to enforce compliance with the Canada Elections Act in the matter of political donations and funding from an officer of Parliament answering to Parliament, the Commissioner of Elections, to instead answer to the governing party through the Attorney General.
The reserve powers of the Governor General include the right 1.) To appoint a prime minister, 2.) To dismiss a prime minister, 3.) To dissolve Parliament, 4.) To force a dissolution of Parliament, and 5.) To refuse assent to legislation.
Consideration in depth has been presented to the Governor General in the accompanying OPEN LETTER. ending with this recommendation of the Progressive Canadian Party to His Excellency:
"Accordingly, it is strongly recommended that, instead of routinely signing Royal Assent, Your Excellency should discuss Bill C-23 in detail with Her Majesty and if there is any question to you simply refusing to approve the Bill, give consideration to referring it to the Supreme Court of Canada to judge its constitutionality.”
The Hon. Sinclair Stevens, Leader
The Progressive Canadian Party