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North Shore chapter passes resolution on electoral reform at public meeting with their Liberal MP

Chapter members and early arrivals gather with MP Bill Casey before the public forum.

The Council of Canadians North Shore chapter held a public forum on electoral reform with their Member of Parliament Bill Casey on April 20.

Their Facebook outreach noted, “Public meeting with MP Bill Casey on Electoral Reform, April 20, at the Tatamagouche Library. No more false majorities – we CAN make every vote count! Let’s send a message to Ottawa that voters are fed up with piecrust promises!”

After their ‘citizens forum on electoral reform’, they posted, “Many thanks to Bill and the people who came from all corners of the riding (and beyond) to participate. Great discussion! We are so fortunate in this area to have so many thoughtful concerned citizens and an MP who is always willing to listen and share.”

And on Twitter they shared, “We packed the room at #Tatamagouche Library!”

The Globe and Mail has reported, “Elected as a Progressive Conservative MP in 1988, in a slightly redrawn version of the [Cumberland-Colchester] riding, Mr. Casey joined the Harper Tories in the 2003 merger. In 2007, however, he was kicked out of caucus when he opposed the Harper budget for what he saw as a broken promise over the Atlantic Accord. In 2008, after opposing the Harper budget, he ran as an independent, winning with 70 per cent of the vote. In 2009, however, he left the House of Commons after he was diagnosed with both malignant melanoma and prostate cancer.”

After battling back against cancer, Casey ran again in the October 2015 federal election and won as a Liberal.

After an August 2016 town hall meeting on electoral reform, Casey said, “We had a considerable talk on ranked ballots versus first-past-the-post and proportional representation. There is a clear preference for a new system in the people that came to the meeting.”

On December 1, 2016, the Special Committee on Electoral Reform presented its report to the House. It recommended, “that the government should, as it develops a new electoral system … minimize the level of distortion between the popular will of the electorate and the resultant seat allocations in Parliament.”

But on February 1, despite his October 2015 election promise, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ruled out electoral reform.

Next month is the deadline for the federal government to introduce legislation to implement electoral reform in time for the October 2019 federal election.

The 35 people at the North Shore chapter’s public forum unanimously agreed to this resolution: “Recognizing that time was short to complete the process before the next election, we recommend that the Government now take up the recommendations of the Committee on Electoral Reform and not abandon the process.”

The Council of Canadians is encouraging its supporters to contact their Member of Parliament as soon as possible to tell them you support electoral reform and want to see legislation on it moving forward next month.