April 25th, 2014

Conservatives forced to start compromising on Unfair Elections Act

After months of relentless efforts to push the Harper government, New Democrats welcome the major concessions on C-23, the Unfair Elections Act, promised today.

“Canadians came together and stood up for our democracy – and as a result, the Conservatives have backed down on some of the fundamental aspects of their Unfair Elections Act,” said NDP Democratic Reform critic Craig Scott (Toronto—Danforth). “We will be fighting for more amendments to this bill – but there’s no denying that today’s concession from the Conservatives proves the effectiveness of a united and strong opposition by the NDP.”

New Democrats grilled the Conservative government with 256 questions on Harper’s Unfair Elections Act, C-23, in addition to holding cross-country public meetings, making the bill the focus of opposition day motions and leading a major filibuster at committee. The NDP’s work in parliament and outreach to Canadians across the country culminated in the direct targeting of Conservative back-bench MPs last week.

Despite their stubbornness, Conservatives have now agreed to bring forward major amendments to their bill. The government’s concessions start to address some of the concerns raised by the NDP and many experts. New Democrats will continue to fight for amendments to empower the Elections Canada to compel documents and witnesses, keep big money out of politics by maintaining donation limits, and maintain Elections Canada’s freedom to promote voting.

“We will be reviewing the government’s concessions closely,” said NDP’s Democratic Reform deputy critic Alexandrine Latendresse (Louis-Saint-Laurent). “But we certainly congratulate all Canadians who have worked so hard to defend our democracy against the Conservatives’ Unfair Elections Act.”