The Council of Canadians is staging protests across the country, trying to raise opposition to the Conservative government’s changes to the Elections Act.
The Council’s Mid-Island chapter has two demonstrations planned in Nanaimo, March 25th at noon. One will be downtown at Terminal and Commercial and the other is set for Conservative MP James Lunney’s office at 6894 Island Highway.
The group hasn’t announced any protests on the Sunshine Coast, but other protests on the Island include Courtenay and Campbell River. Both are in the riding of Conservative John Duncan. His election in Vancouver Island North was one of the 2011 results challenged, unsuccessfully, in court in the wake of the “robocalls” scandal.
The Council claims the changes will open the door to what it calls “voter suppression”, something comonly alleged in the U.S.
“We need legislation that deals effectively with electoral fraud,” says Paul Manly of the Mid Island Chapter Council of Canadians, “including heavy penalties for the misuse of political party databases and the ability for the Chief Electoral Officer to compel witnesses to give testimony in cases of fraud. The recent Robocalls court case shows that there are serious flaws in the current system but this proposed legislation would not correct those problems.”