March 04, 2014
Statement by NDP Deputy Leader David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre) on the Unfair Elections Act
"In the wake of the Conservatives blocking cross country public consultations on the Unfair Elections Act, Bill C-23, New Democrats will be moving ahead with our own consultations.
This bill could prevent hundreds of thousands of Canadians from exercising their right to vote. It would substantially curtail the Chief Electoral Officer’s powers and prevent him from educating and engaging young people about the importance of voting. Conservative refusal to allow citizens outside of Ottawa to have their voices heard is a slap in the face to Canadians and the democratic process.
In three decades of public service I have never seen a government as intransigent and anti-democratic as Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. For three weeks the NDP has been fighting hard to force the government to hold Canada-wide public meetings on electoral reform. We devoted an Opposition Day to it. We launched a petition and started an outreach campaign to inform the public.
Conservatives want to ram through a bill that will give them an advantage and are doing everything they can to keep Canadians in the dark. That’s why the NDP is doing everything it can to bring public and media attention to this important issue and will soon launch public consultations across Canada.
We believe citizens have the right to voice their concerns and it’s our responsibility as elected officials to make sure they are heard."