Changing Elections Canada role would be wrong

What's "fair" about the Fair Elections Act? Editorial: The Terrace Standard, Feb. 19, 2014

AS important as the just-released federal and provincial budgets are to the governments who prepared them, even more important is how that government was chosen in the first place.

Enter the Fair Elections Act, introduced several weeks ago by the federal Conservative government.

Just from the legislation’s title you know there’s trouble, for it would have us believe that something unfair has been going on.

Perhaps one unfair aspect was having Elections Canada, the non-partisan agency charged with overseeing how federal voting and elections are carried out, digging too deep into the use of robo-calls during the last federal election.

Someone used fairly sophisticated computer-driven automatic phoning programs to direct voters away from their intended polling stations in six ridings during the last federal election. While that someone, a federal court judge subsequently ruled, was not the Conservative party, that someone did have access to a voter database maintained by the Conservatives.

So, yes. Passing legislation to remove the power of inquiry from Elections Canada and hand it to an agency to be appointed by the Conservative government, which is one of many changes being proposed, sounds like a pretty darn fair way to correct something the Conservative government obviously feels is so unfair in the first place. Not.