Electoral Reform Consultation
Our electoral system is the basis of our democracy, and it shapes the way our government operates and makes decisions. However, with the exception of the most recent election, since the 1980s, voter participation rates in federal elections have been declining. National levels fell as low as 58% of the public voting in 2008. One of the main reasons that seems to be contributing to this is our current voting system – the First Past the Post system.
On October 11, I hosted an open discussion about electoral reform at the Tom Brown Arena. Some 150 participants enthusiastically shared their ideas on this very important topic. It was great to hear constituents from Ottawa Centre express their views on our current system, and the principles they would like to see form the foundation of the electoral system of the future.
I joined other MPs from across the country in sending a report, including feedback and ideas from our consultations, to the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Reform.
A Special Committee on Electoral Reform was also struck by the House of Commons in June 2016. Its mandate is to identify and conduct a study of viable alternate voting systems to replace the first-past-the-post system, as well as to examine mandatory voting and online voting, and to assess the extent to which the options identified could advance the following principles for electoral reform:
- effectiveness and legitimacy;
- accessibility and inclusiveness;
- integrity; and
- local representation.
The Special Committee on Electoral Reform, which includes MPs from all parties, will release a report including recommendations on what changes should be made to our electoral system and what additional methods should be used to engage with Canadians.
On October 12, I had the honour of representing the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship at a ceremony for 60 new citizens at the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region. It was both heartwarming and poignant to see these new citizens, many who have made enormous sacrifices to move to our country, realize the unique freedom and opportunity that comes with being Canadian. As our Prime Minister has said many times, our diversity makes us a stronger nation.
It was certainly a busy week in Ottawa Centre last week. On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of joining my colleague, Minister MaryAnne Mihychuk, to announce $1.9 M in funding for the Canada Green Corps. The project, led by United Nations Association in Canada, will help young unemployed and underemployed post-secondary youth build meaningful environmental interests or careers, and provide employers with resources to find and keep innovative youth in their organizations.
On Wednesday, I was at Carleton University with Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan. Minister Duncan and I were fortunate to visit the lab of Professor Matthew Johnson, and to announce $22 M in funding for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s Strategic Partnership Grants for Networks program. These funds will support research initiatives that will help us tackle pressing challenges such as climate change and pollution, among many others. Important research in this field is taking place at Carleton University.
On Friday, I was happy to take part in the Canada 150 tulip planting ceremony at Commissioner’s Park for the Canada 150 celebrations. It will be exciting to see the tulips in full bloom next spring.
Calendar Updates There is a lot going on in Ottawa Centre, so I also want to use this newsletter to update you on some of the amazing community events taking place. If you happen to have an event you would like me to include in the newsletter for future weeks please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
9 am – 3 pm
The Grand Market is a one-day, colourful ‘sale of sales’ of high-quality donated items, with 100% of the proceeds going to support the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
FSO Music on a Mission
Music Trivia Night in support of Family Services Ottawa
If you want to come and watch Question Period just fill out this form and my staff will be able to set aside tickets for you!