Ottawa agrees to major changes to Elections Act overhaul

The Conservative government is embarking on a major climbdown on its proposed overhaul of election rules with a series of amendments that will remove many of the most contentious aspects of the bill.

OTTAWA — The Conservative government is embarking on a major climbdown on its proposed overhaul of election rules with a series of amendments that will remove many of the most contentious aspects of the bill.

Pierre Poilievre, the minister for democratic reform, revealed the proposed changes at a news conference today that was ostensibly called to respond to a Supreme Court reference on Senate reform.

The government is prepared to remove the requirement for all voters to show residency identification in the next election, said Poilievre, responding to widespread criticism of his proposal to remove the “failsafe” of vouching for voters lacking full documentation.

“While the Fair Elections Act will require people show ID proving who they are before they vote, we will support an amendment to help people whose address is not on their ID,” he said.

Poilievre said voters will now be able to sign an oath attesting to their local residence, but must still provide at least some proof of personal identification.

A restriction on how the chief electoral officer can communicate with Canadians is also being rewritten.

“We will support amendments to ensure that the CEO of Elections Canada knows he has all the freedom to speak or report on any matter,” said Poilievre.

The government is also removing a provision that would have allowed parties to contact former donors during election periods without incurring an election expense under their campaign cap.

In response to opposition criticism that a proposed new robocall registry doesn’t go far enough, Poilievre said calling companies employed by political parties will be required to retain their scripts for three years, instead of the one year in the original legislation.

While Poilievre said the bill will be amended to “maintain Elections Canada’s discretion to appoint central poll supervisors,” he noted that a controversial injection of partisan appointments into polling station oversight remains the Conservative government’s preferred option.

Just Posted

Red Deer woman target of robbery in broad daylight, near police station

Walking home, in broad daylight, Barb Smith never thought for a minute… Continue reading

Red Deer County developing regional plans

Red Deer County must prepare 14 intermunicipal agreements according to new provincial rules

Tsunami warning for B.C.’s coast is cancelled after Alaska quake

VANCOUVER — A tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia was cancelled… Continue reading

Sewage spill shuts beaches along California’s Central Coast

MONTEREY, Calif. — Nearly 5 million gallons of sewage spilled into the… Continue reading

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

RDC chosen to host 2019 men’s volleyball national championship

Sports enthusiasts in Red Deer will have more to look forward to… Continue reading

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month