Conservative doors locked on election act opponents
A group of people deliver over 80,000 petition, regarding proposed changes to the Election Act to North Vancouver Conservative MP Andrew Saxton in North Vancouver, B.C. on Tuesday March 25, 2014. The proposed changes to the Election Act would make it harder for students and people without proper I.D. to vote. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
A group demanding an elections bill be changed or scrapped says its petition of dissent was delivered to Conservative MP offices across the Lower Mainland despite having the doors closed to them Tuesday.
The group — made up of the Canadian Federation of Students, Council of Canadians and Leadnow — collected more than 80,000 signatures opposing the Fair Elections Act, which is awaiting final approval in Ottawa.
Critics allege the act makes the electoral process less transparent while making it harder for Canadians to actually cast a ballot.
Amy Lubik led 50 people in delivering the petition to Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam MP James Moore, but said staff at the office would only open the door “a crack” to slip the petition through.
“What we really need to do is to let the government know we are watching and they can’t just slip this under our noses,” Lubik said. “I think this will let other Canadians know because it’s still not as widely known as we would like to see and it’s still getting pushed under the rug.”
Meanwhile, the organizer of 70 people who showed up at North Van MP Andrew Saxton’s office said they were forced to slip pages and pages of signatures through his mail slot because no staff were visible.
“We called Mr. Saxton’s staff beforehand to let them know we were coming,” said Jolan Bailey of Leadnow. “I guess that prompted them to decide to take lunch.”
The act has caused great concern because portions of it are said to restrict oversight of elections, muzzle Elections Canada officials and bring in what opponents said are unnecessary identification requirements.
The organizers of the petition contend the Conservatives are hoping to pass the bill to disenfranchise young and minority voters, who are not viewed as likely to vote for the party.