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Legislation

Election reform bill faces difficulties: a missed timing deadline and the absence of political consensus

By Harry Neufeld      

Numerous observers have suggested that Canada should adopt New Zealand’s approach to election law changes which require the support of at least 75 per cent of elected Members of Parliament, or the majority support of voters in a national referendum.

During his April 24 appearance before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, Stéphane Perrault, the newly-appointed federal chief electoral officer, reiterated earlier advice that legislative changes should already have been finalized and passed into law to allow proper implementation in advance of the scheduled October 2019 general election. The Hill Times photograph Andrew Meade

The federal Liberal government is currently “expediting” passage of Bill C-76, the Elections Modernization Act, using time allocation measures. This bill, containing amendments to the current Canada Elections Act and other legislation, is expected to reach the Senate any day now. Even so, it appears most unlikely that the 246-pages of amendment clauses will be passed into law before the fall session of Parliament is well underway.

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