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Peterborough chapter attends Monsef consultation on electoral reform

The Council of Canadians Peterborough chapter attended an afternoon public forum on Tuesday (September 6) on electoral reform featuring the federal minister of democratic institutions Maryam Monsef.

During the last federal election, the Liberals promised, “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. We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting. This committee will deliver its recommendations to Parliament. Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.”

Now, the Peterborough Examiner reports, “Monsef, the MP for Peterborough-Kawartha, is travelling from coast-to-coast, asking Canadians about their view on democratic reform. …About 75 people registered for the midday event, yet roughly 175 showed up.” About 15 of those were Council of Canadians chapter activists.

The article highlights, “Before breaking into groups for discussion, attendees heard about the three major types of electoral systems: mixed electoral, proportional representation and plurality or majority systems.”

The second stop on Monsef’s 22-city tour was in Yellowknife on August 29. The Council of Canadians Yellowknife chapter was present at that consultation. We are told that there was some disappointment expressed from members of the audience that there was only a few days notice of this meeting and concerns that the sessions appeared self-serving rather than authentic. The Peterborough Examiner article notes, “With town halls being novel approach at the federal level, Monsef said there’s been some cynicism in the room in the beginning [but says] ‘I hope people leave this room with is a recognition that their government is committed to doing politics differently.'”

For Council of Canadians chapter activists and supporters who want to express their views to the minister, her town hall schedule is as follows:

  • September 8 – Terrace

  • September 9 – Vancouver

  • September 10 – Edmonton

  • September 11 – Regina – the Regina chapter will be at this consultation.

  • September 12 – Winnipeg – organizer Brigette DePape will be at this consultation.

  • September 13 – Thunder Bay – the Thunder Bay chapter will be at this consultation.

  • September 14 – Toronto

  • September 14 – Kitchener-Waterloo

  • September 15 – Ottawa

  • September 15 – Gatineau

  • September 16 – Montreal

  • September 17 – Trois-Rivieres

  • September 22 – Charlottetown

  • September 23 – Halifax

  • September 24 – Moncton

  • September 29 – Gander

  • October 1 – Goose Bay

Beyond this, there are other key dates to keep in mind:

  • September – the all-party Special Committee on Electoral Reform‘s ‘national engagement process’ including written submissions, committee travel, online suggestions

  • September – MP town hall meetings

  • September – (Sept. 15) Brandon-Westman chapter holds town hall on electoral reform; (Sept. 18) Comox Valley chapter hosts public discussion on electoral reform; (Sept. 19), the Prince Albert chapter will be at the Special Committee on Electoral Reform consultation in Regina

  • October 1 – deadline for MPs to send their submissions from the town halls to the committee; a few of those reports can be read here

  • October 7 – deadline to request to appear, to submit a brief, and to complete the online consultation for the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, more on that here

  • December 1 – the committee reports to the House of Commons

  • May 2017 – the deadline for the Liberals to introduce legislation on electoral reform

  • October 21, 2019 – the next federal election under a new electoral system

You can send your comments to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform by email to

The Council of Canadians has long-endorsed proportional representation and has criticized the current first-past-the-post system. For more on that, please see our blog Council of Canadians calls on Trudeau to implement proportional representation (November 1, 2015). We also work in partnership with Fair Vote Canada.