OTTAWA – On July 2 and 3, the Ontario Superior Court will hear arguments in a case that could have a defining impact on the federal election this fall. The Council of Canadians, the Canadian Federation of Students, and three voters are seeking an injunction to suspend key provisions of the Harper government’s so-called Fair Elections Act.
“There is nothing fair about this Act,” said Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “This voter suppression legislation will deprive tens of thousands of eligible voters of their right to vote, with a disproportionate impact on youth, seniors, Indigenous people, new Canadians, the homeless, and people with disabilities. As long as this legislation remains in place our elections will be anything but fair.”
The application targets central provisions of the act that apply restrictions to what identification people can use to vote. If the court rules in the applicants’ favour, voter identification restrictions would be set aside for the next election until a full legal challenge can be heard.
Contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which gives every citizen the right to vote, the Fair Elections Act makes voting unnecessarily difficult.
Garry Neil, Executive Director of the Council of Canadians, said: “In the 2011 federal election, fewer than 7,000 votes made the difference between a majority and minority government. If the new rules are not set aside, the very legitimacy of the 2015 election will be at risk.”
The factum as served can be read here.
330 University Avenue, Toronto (Map)
Canada Life building on the 5th floor (across the street from Osgoode Hall)
July 2 & 3, 9:30 am
Look for posted information regarding room details.
IMAGE: Garry Neil, Executive Director, Council of Canadians [Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency]