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Fair Vote Canada Takes Strides

October 3, 2002

Fair Vote Canada continues to make strides. At its June convention, the Canadian Labour Congress (the Candian version of the AFL-CIO) backed the following resolution: "Be it resolved that the Canadian Labour Congress reaffirms its support for proportional representation and actively campaigns for reform of the Canada Elections Act and corresponding provincial acts on this basis; and be it further resolved that the CLC endorses and supports Fair Vote Canada and encourages members of affiliates to join Fair Vote Canada and to campaign strongly for democratic voting reform."

In September, Fair Vote Canada issued the following news release about progress in British Columbia:

September 23, 2002

Contact: Larry Gordon 416-410-4034 Doris Anderson 416-947-1380

British Columbia commended as first province to move forward with voting reform program

Fair Vote Canada commends the Government of British Columbia for becoming the first provincial government to announce a specific process and timetable for voting system reform.

On September 20, attorney general Geoff Plant announced the appointment of Gordon Gibson to develop recommendations on how to establish a citizensí assembly on electoral reform. The assembly will study and make recommendations on alternative ways to elect British Columbia MLAs. Gibson must table recommendations by December 15. The process he recommends must ensure the citizensí assembly can report to the attorney general in time to allow a referendum question to accompany the May 2005 general election.

ìWhile the Government of Quebec is engaged in public consultation on a variety of democratic reform issues and the Government of Prince Edward Island is considering the issue, British Columbia is the first to commit to a specific citizen-driven process and completion date,î said Doris Anderson, president of Fair Vote Canada.

ìAt this time, it appears that British Columbians may be the first Canadians given an opportunity to adopt a more proportional and fair voting system,î said Larry Gordon, executive director of Fair Vote Canada. ìBut we may see similar announcements in PEI or Quebec, or even Ontario, where the two opposition parties support an electoral reform process. Interest in fair voting is growing so quickly at both the federal and provincial levels, we are expecting other related developments in the near future.î

Fair Vote Canada was launched in April 2000 to press all levels of government to engage citizens in a process to consider proportional voting systems. The campaign has members and chapters across the country, and has attracted supporters from all points on the political spectrum. The National Advisory Board of Fair Vote Canada includes a diverse range of prominent Canadians, including Pierre Berton, Hugh Segal, Ed Broadbent, Claude Ryan, Karen Kain, Lincoln Alexander, Maude Barlow, Walter Robinson and David Suzuki, as well as current and former MPs from the Liberals, PCs, Alliance and NDP.

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