FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28th 2014
Students from across the country welcome the Minister of State for Democratic Reform, Pierre Poilievre’s proposed amendments to the proposed Fair Elections Act, bill C-23.
Amending the proposed Act by allowing a form of vouching for voters who have identification that doesn’t list their home addresses, will ensure students living away from home can still vote. Vouching remains a failsafe that protects the democratic rights of Canadian citizens.
The government however, did not address the issue of Voter Information Cards (VICs) in its amendments proposed on April 25th. Under the Fair Elections Act, it no longer allows VICS to be used as a secondary piece of ID to prove an address.
“Students are positive about the amendments to the proposed Act but have been calling for expanded use of the Voter Information Card as a form of identification”, said Travis Gordon, Board Member of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA).
CASA remains concerned regarding the proposed limitations on the Chief Election Officer’s communications with the public. The amendments do nothing to allow Elections Canada to perform outreach across post-secondary campuses. There is a clear linkage between effective outreach campaigns and voting, and CASA continues to call on the government to take the necessary steps to promote and encourage youth voter turnout.
“The electoral engagement of Canada’s youth should be concerning to everyone”, added Gordon. “Consulting with students first could have helped identify concerns from the outset”.
For further information please contact:
Jonathan Champagne, Executive Director
Office: 613-236-3457 ext. 222