Contest aims to turn Northwest ideas into Canadian law

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP hears pitches from Terrace residents

Terrace residents got an opportunity to pitch NDP MP Nathan Cullen their ideas for a Private Member’s Bill during a town hall discussion last Wednesday.

A new contest proposed by the Skeena-Bulkley Valley representative called ‘Create Your Canada’ could see ideas tapped directly from northwest residents converted into Canadian law. All that’s required to be submitted is the bare bones of a proposal.

“Then a volunteer committee picks a winner, and that winner we then take and transform it into a law, using the drafters in Parliament,” said Cullen at the town hall meeting at the Best Western Terrace Inn on May 16. “Then I fly the winner to Ottawa to watch their idea, now as a law, be introduced for debate in Parliament.”

This is the second time the contest was held. During its first run in 2009, the contest took submissions from high school students in an effort to get them more involved in the legislative process. Now, after close to a decade, the contest is open to all members of the public to submit.

“Three young women out of Smithers ended up banning asbestos exports out of Canada, which was amazing,” Cullen said of the announced winners in 2009. “They really shifted federal policy that has been in place for a hundred years.”

There are some restrictions on what can be submitted, however. The idea must fall under federal jurisdiction, be constitutional, and cannot cost money to implement.

“You have to figure out what you can effect through federal law. Sidewalks and dogs barking at night? Not so much. But fisheries, First Nations, climate change, the economy… big, important questions, you can.”

Around 20 people crowded into the room with Cullen and presented their ideas, which varied from banning bankruptcy bonuses for executives of failing companies, to streamlining the immigration process so experienced doctors can begin their practice in Terrace without having to go back to school.

“The voices of Canadians come with such sincerity and no partisanship,” Cullen explained. “They aren’t trying to win elections, they just have ideas about how their country works and how to make it better.”

With the deadline falling on June 29, there is limited time to submit for the private bill presentation in the fall.

To enter the Create Your Canada competition, you can email your submission to nathan.cullen.c1@parl.gc.ca. You can also mail your submission to Cullen’s Smithers constituency office at PO Box 4919, Smithers BC V0J 2N0.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Schools ramp up contact efforts with students

Efforts of school district employees called “extraordinary”

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read