Resources on the Fair Elections Act (Bill C-23)

Page last updated: May 12, 2014 at 4:03 p.m. PST.

PRESS RELEASE issued April 23, 2014:English and French.
Read the second Open Letter: Over 460 Academics Call on Government to Withdraw Fair Elections Act. Published in The Globe & Mail, April 23, 2014.

Signatories to the Second Letter regarding the Fair Elections Act.
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE issued March 11, 2014: English and French. Read theOpen Letter regarding the Fair Elections Act(Bill C-23) issued and signed by a group of professors.(French version). See the list of signatories. (Updated March 31, 2014. Number of signatories to date: 180). The letter was published in the National Post on Tuesday, March 11, 2014.

Read the remarks by Chief Electoral Officer, Marc Mayrand (full transcript).
See also: a chart with the proposed amendments by the CEO to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs on March 6, 2014.

Elections Canada’s Proposed Amendments to Bill C-23.

The Globe & Mail published an excellent series on the Fair Elections Act. Read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.

Read Pierre Poilievre’s letter to the editor in the Globe & Mail in response to “Slow it Down, Mr. Poilievre (Part 2, March 11).

Comments by Professor Paul G. Thomas, Professor Emeritus, Political Studies, University of Manitoba.

Opening Remarks by Paul G. Thomas to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs on Bill C-23 on March 31, 2014.

Additional: Response by Paul G. Thomas to question about the Introduction of a Voter ID requirement for all Elections in the UK. April 2, 2014.

Comments on Bill C-23 by Patti Tamara Lenard for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. March 31, 2014.

Comments on Bill C-23 by Yasmin Dawood, Faculty of Law at University of Toronto to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. March 31, 2014

Read the report by Harry Neufeld, Reviewer. Compliance Review: Final Report and Recommendations. A Review of Compliance with  Election Day Registration and Voting Process Rules.

Media links:

Peter Loewen, “Column: Making elections fair in the context of a political feud.”. Ottawa Citizen. February 4, 2014. 
Michael McGregor and Cameron Anderson, “McGregor & Anderson: How the Fair Elections Act might actually hurt the Tories in 2015”. National Post. March 10, 2014.
National Post, “Don’t Undermine Elections Canada”. March 11, 2014.
Le Devoir, “Une loi électoral nocive pour nos institutions”. 11 mars 2014.
Radio Canada interview with Prof. Daniel Weinstock (Faculty of Law, McGill University). March 11, 2014.
Peter O’Neil, “B.C. academics join condemnation of Harper electoral changes”. Vancouver Sun. March 11, 2014
The Montreal Gazette, “Editorial: Federal elections bill needs major changes”. March 11, 2014
Carol Linnit, “Fair Elections Act Would ‘Damage…the Heart of Our Country’s Democracy,’ Group of Professors Say.” DESMOG. March 11, 2014.
Janique Dubois, “Three ways Harper’s Bill C-23 undermines democracy”. The Star. March 12, 2014.
Larry Brown, “New Elections Act finds no support”. National Union of Public and General Employees. March 14, 2014.
Listen: Maxime St-Hilaire interview “Le projet de loi sur la réforme des règles électorales”. ICI Radio Canada.
Jeffrey Simpson, “With so many critics, how can the Fair Elections Act be fair?”. The Globe & Mail. March 14, 2014.
Democracy Watch, “Democracy Watch reveals the 10 really unfair measures in the so-called ‘Fair Elections Act’ and 10 priority measures that must be added to the Act make federal elections actually fair”. Democracy March 17, 2014.
Patti Tamara Lenard, “Canada’s ‘Fair Elections Act’ risks disenfranchising voters and handing an advantage to wealthy candidates”. Democratic Audit. March 18, 2014.
Listen: Yasmin Dawood interview on Redeye Vancouver Cooperative Radio (CFRO 100.5 FM), “Experts in constitutional democracy critique Fair Elections Act”. Posted on March 18, 2014.
Josh Wingrove, “Scholars denounce Conservatives’ proposed Fair Elections Act”. The Globe & Mail. March 19, 2014.
Watch: Andrew Reynolds interview on Global National, “Fair election bill”. March 19, 2014.
Watch: Melissa Williams speaking at NDP Fair Elections Act Town Hall. March 19, 2014.
Laura Payton, “Election bill sends ‘very poor message’ to budding democracies”. Also includes video: Andrew Reynolds on Power & Politics. CBC News. March 21, 2014.
Dianne Varga, “Letter: Democracy depends on fair elections”. Capital News. March 21, 2014.
Victoria Wicks, “U of T professors voice concerns about Fair Elections Act”. The Varsity. March 24, 2014.
Pierre Poilievre, “Why the Fair Elections Act is, in fact, fair”. The Globe & Mail. March 24, 2014.
Watch: Pierre Poilievre interview on Power Play, “Elections Act Debate”. CTV News. March 24, 2014.
Nick Taylor-Vaisey, “Everyone’s an expert on electoral reform”. Macleans. March 24, 2014.
MP Kennedy Stewart comments on, Debates of March 24, 2014.
Question Period on March 24th, with comments from Tom Mulcair (at 6:10min) and Scott Simms (at 23:33min). CPAC. March 24, 2014
Listen: Yasmin Dawood on NewsTalk 1010 with host Jim Richards. See podcast (starts at 58:32 min) from March 24, 2014 .
Cameron, Dawood, Deveaux, Johnson, Tamara Lenard, Williams, “Criticism of Elections Act is legitimate, and should not be brushed off”. The Globe & Mail. March 25, 2014.
Alex Boutillier, “Tories’ Election bill will shake faith in the system, says former Elections Canada head”. The Star. March 26, 2014.
Aaron Wherry, “Further reading on the Fair Elections Act: More debate on C-23.” Macleans. March 26, 2013.
Watch: Pierre Poilievre on Power & Politics with Evan Solomon (starts at 29:18 min) CBC. March 27, 2014.
Listen: Jennifer Smith interview on CBC Radio with Don Connelly, Information Morning. “Fair Elections Act could disenfranchise many voters”. CBC Radio. March 27, 2014.
Tabatha Southey, “Fair is foul: We’re being told a tall tale on election fraud”. The Globe and Mail. March 28, 2014.
Andrew Coyne, “Fair Elections Act proof the conservatives are no normal government”. National Post. March 28, 2014.
Sally Young, “Canada’s attack on democracy sets tone for Australia”. The Age. April 1, 2014.
Watch: Laura Payton, “Senators push Pierre Poilievre on controversial election measure”. CBC News. April 1, 2014.
Listen: Max Cameron interview on CBC’s All Points West, “A Fair Elections Act primer”. CBC Radio. April 2, 2014.
Kristen Everson, “Fair Elections Act slammed by former auditor general Sheila Fraser”. CBC News. April 5, 2014.
Murray Dobbin, “Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge”. The Tyee. April 7, 2014.
Duff Conacher, “The ‘Fair Elections Act’ is wrong, but not for the reasons you may think”. The Globe and Mail. April 7, 2014.
Josh Wingrove, “Tories on the attack as Fair Elections Act faces critics”. The Globe and Mail. April 8, 2014.
Joan Bryden & Bruce Cheadle, “Tory cabinet minister launches astonishing personal attack on elections watchdog Marc Mayrand”. National Post. April 8, 2014.
Althia Raj, “Fair Elections Act may hurt plan to increase youth voter turnout, groups warn”. Huffington Post. April 8, 2014.
Althia Raj, “Fair Elections Act: Harper pressed on concerns from Seniors, Students”. Huffington Post. April 9, 2014.
Josh Wingrove, “Trudeau says he’ll repeal Fair Elections Act if elected PM”. The Globe and Mail. April 9, 2014.
Althia Raj, “Trudeau urges free vote on Fair Elections Act, vows to repeal bill if elected PM”. Huffington Post. April 9, 2014.
Steve Rennie, “Poilievre statement on Fair Elections Act put to the test: Canadian Press Baloney Meter”. The Globe and Mail. April 9, 2014.
Christina Commisso, “Critics argue Election Act isn’t actually ‘fair’ at all“. CTV News. April 13, 2014.
Globe Editorial, “A less bad Fair Elections Act is not good enough“. The Globe and Mail. April 15, 2014.
Laura Payton, “Fair elections act: 7 things you may not know“. CBC News. April 15, 2014.
Joan Bryden, “Senators want nine major changes to controversial Fair Elections Act, setting up clash with House”. National Post. April 15, 2014.
Stewart Prest, “Op-ed: The backbenchers’ calculus and the Fair Elections Act”. Ottawa Citizen. April 16, 2014.
Eric Grenier, “The more Canadians know about the Fair Elections Act, the less they like it: poll”. April 18, 2014.
Jessica Hume, “Opposition parties ‘hypocritical’ for decrying elimination of vouching: Minister”. Toronto Sun. April 21, 2014.
J.J. McCullough, “The Public’s Fair Election Fatigue is the Left Wing’s Doing”. Huffington Post. April 21, 2014.
Chris Plecash, Mark Burgess, Laura Ryckewaert, “Conservatives unhappy with Poilievre’s ‘bombastic’ style on elections overhaul bill”. The Hill Times. April 21, 2014.
Watch: MPs discuss whether there should be a free vote on the Fair Elections Act. “Battle over election law changes”. Power and Politics, CBC. April 21, 2014.
Williams, Dawood, Cameron, Deveaux, Fuji Johnson, Lenard, “An open letter on the Fair Elections Act”. The Globe and Mail. April 23, 2014.
Kathryn Blaze Carlson, “Academics call on Tories to drop Fair Elections Act”. The Globe and Mail. April 23, 2014.
Watch: Yasmin Dawood interview, “How fair is the Fair Elections Act?”. The Globe and Mail. April 23, 2014.
Second Open Letter published, “We are 465 Academics Against the Fair Elections Act”, The Huffington Post. April 24, 2014.
Watch: The Agenda with Steve Paikin, “A Fair Elections Act?” TVO. April 24, 2014.
John Ivison, “Pierre Poilievre unveils changes to Fair Elections Act after weeks of criticism”. National Post. April 25, 2014.
The Canadian Press, “Elections bill changes to come within 3 days, Conservatives say”. CBC News. April 28, 2014.
Duff Conacher, “Conservatives’ changes only go halfway to making so-called Fair Elections Act actually fair”. Rabble. April 28, 2014.
The Canadian Press, “Conservatives set three-day deadline to vote on nearly 300 election bill changes”. CTV News. April 28, 2014.
Josh Wingrove, “Harper government submits 45 amendments to contentious Fair Elections Act”. April 28, 2014.
Dawood, Williams, Cameron, Lenard, Fuji Johnson and Deveaux, “Five changes Poilievre missed on Fair Elections Act”. The Globe & Mail. April 28, 2014.
Althia Raj, “Why the Fair Elections Act is a Very Good Thing for Rich Politicians”. The Huffington Post. April 29, 2014.
Laura Payton, “Vote against elections act, Tom Mulcair tells Conservative MPs”. CBC News. May 12, 2014.
Joan Bryden, “NDP Launch Last-Ditch Effort to Kill Fair Elections Act”. The Canadian Press. Posted on Huffington Post. May 12, 2014.
Mark Kennedy, “Controversial election bill expected to pass Tuesday”. Ottawa Citizen. Posted in The Province. May 12, 2014.

Watch: Yasmin Dawood interview on CBC’s Power & Politics with Evan Solomon. March 11, 2014.