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Council calls on Liberal candidates in April 3 by-elections to be advocates for electoral reform

Mona Fortier has already been nominated, while Juanita Nathan (top) and Yolande James (bottom) are expected to be nominated soon.

The Council of Canadians continues to call on the Trudeau government to implement electoral reform in time for the October 21, 2019 federal election.

In order to do so, the government must introduce legislation by this coming May.

Five by-elections will be held on April 3 – and three Liberals are expected to be elected in those ridings and to join the federal Liberal caucus shortly thereafter.

As such, the by-election provides an opportunity to demand that these Liberal candidates pledge to support electoral reform and to argue to the Liberal caucus that it should keep its October 2015 pledge to voters that: “We will make every vote count. We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system. …Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.”

The by-elections will be held in the ridings of Saint-Laurent (Quebec), Markham–Thornhill (Ontario), Ottawa–Vanier (Ontario), Calgary Heritage (Alberta) and Calgary Midnapore (Alberta).

CBC has reported, “The ridings in contention are all considered some of the safest in the country for the two respective parties as their candidates won the seats with more than 55 per cent of the vote in the last federal election.”

Liberal candidate Mona Fortier (Ottawa-Vanier) is expected to win, as is the Liberal candidate in Markham-Thornhill (who will be nominated on March 4, but is likely to be Mary Ng), and also the Liberal candidate in St. Laurent (who should be confirmed by March 13, but is likely to be Yolande James).

In the coming days, please look for an online action alert that calls on these candidates to pledge to be vocal advocates for electoral reform in the Liberal caucus in the critical weeks before the May deadline for the Liberal government to introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.

We will also be encouraging people to ask the candidates to support electoral reform at all-candidates meetings and during door-to-door campaigning.

Council of Canadians chapters across the country have been very active on the issue of proportional representation.

Since the Trudeau government broke its promise on electoral reform a month ago, the Montreal, Saint John, London, Hamilton, Sudbury, Windsor-Essex and Ottawa chapters have all been in contact with their Member of Parliament to express their ongoing support for electoral reform.

On February 11, the Nelson, Victoria, Winnipeg, Northumberland, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Sudbury, Peterborough-Kawarthas, Quinte, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, Saint John and St. John’s chapters took part in a cross-country day of action in support of electoral reform.