Statement by Executive Director Rick Smith on special parliamentary committee on electoral reform




OTTAWA—The Broadbent Institute welcomes the announcement on Thursday by the Minister of Democratic Institutions to support the NDP motion to reconfigure the composition of the special parliamentary committee on electoral reform to reflect how Canadians voted in the 2015 federal election.

This is a very good development and we congratulate NDP critic for democratic reform Nathan Cullen for proposing the idea and Minister Maryam Monsef for agreeing to this important change. Every voter should count in a democracy, and it would have been simply unfair to deny the voices of Green and Bloc Québecois voters on the special electoral reform committee.

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Ed Broadbent to deliver keynote address at Fair Vote Canada conference



OTTAWA — Broadbent Institute chair Ed Broadbent will deliver a keynote address at the annual conference of Fair Vote Canada. He will also participate in a panel discussion with fellow keynote speakers Guy Giorno, Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, and former Chief Electoral Officer at Elections Canada Jean-Pierre Kingsley.

The conference is being held just as a special parliamentary committee gets set to begin consultations on options to replace Canada’s first-past-the-post voting system. The Liberal government has promised the 2015 federal election was the last using the majoritarian system.

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Leading women’s organizations and advocates join campaign for proportional representation



Principle of proportionality most effective way to increase diversity in politics, say new supporters of Every Voter Counts Alliance

OTTAWA — A voting system based on the principle of proportionality is the most effective way to achieve greater diversity in Canadian politics, say new supporters of the Every Voter Counts Alliance committed to increasing the representation of women and visible minorities in the House of Commons.

Following the announcement of a parliamentary committee to study electoral reform with a special emphasis on gender equity and inclusiveness, a growing number of supporters have come on board the campaign for proportional representation. The government has committed to tabling legislation by next April to scrap Canada’s winner-take-all majoritarian system before the next federal election in 2019.

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Statement by Broadbent Institute Executive Director on electoral reform consultations



OTTAWA—The Broadbent Institute cares deeply about renewing Canada’s democracy and we welcome the launch of a special parliamentary committee to study new voting systems.

We know our current first-past-the-post system is broken. It creates false majorities, exacerbates regional divisions and produces legislatures that don’t reflect the diversity of our country. We have a chance to get this right and we must seize the opportunity.

This means making sure every voter counts. The only way to do that – as well as advance the key first principle identified by Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef to underpin the new system – is a proportional system. It’s the only way to ensure that votes are fairly translated into elected results so the system is effective and legitimate.

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Broadbent Institute Executive Director Rick Smith available to comment on electoral reform consultations



OTTAWA—Executive Director Rick Smith is in Ottawa and available to comment on the federal government’s announcement Wednesday of the appointment of a special parliamentary committee to study alternate voting systems.

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Canada’s largest unions join campaign for proportional representation



Big boost to the Every Voter Counts Alliance just as federal government gets set to launch electoral reform consultations

OTTAWA — The country’s largest unions are joining the fight for proportional representation to make sure every voter counts in the next federal election.

Unifor, United Steelworkers, the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Public Service Alliance of Canada are among the newest supporters of the Every Voter Counts Alliance. Together, they represent over 1.3 million people.

Launched in February with 16 organizations showing wide, multi-partisan support for proportional representation as the only way to fix what’s wrong with Canada’s broken voting system, organizational support for the Every Voter Counts Alliance has more than doubled in just six weeks.

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Young campaigner awarded the Jack Layton Progress Prize for No Tax on Tampons campaign



Winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for Excellence in Policy Research stands out for her research on precarious work

OTTAWA — Charles Taylor and Olivia Chow on Saturday awarded two leaders in policy research and campaigning with prizes named after two great Canadians at the country's flagship progressive policy conference.

Jill Piebiak, who spearheaded the successful No Tax on Tampons campaign last year, accepted the Jack Layton Progress Prize on behalf of Canadian Menstruators, an organization founded by Piebiak to press the federal government to eliminate tax on tampons; the group secured over 70,000 signatures on an online petition as part of a larger winning campaign.

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Largest annual progressive politics conference kicks off with call to bring fair voting system to Canada



Ed Broadbent warns 1,000 progressives of dangers of getting electoral reform wrong

OTTAWA — Broadbent Institute founder Ed Broadbent on Friday kicked off the country's flagship progressive policy conference with a call for progressives to make sure the next election is held under a proportional voting system.

Speaking to 1,000 people at the sold out conference, Broadbent called on delegates to seize this “once-in-a-generation opportunity for progressive change, an opportunity to ensure we have a fair voting system in which every voter counts, in which every citizen has a real opportunity to elect a candidate according to his or her values.

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Gloria Steinem to headline Canada’s largest annual progressive policy conference



1,000 progressives descending on national capital this week for sold out #prgrs16

OTTAWA — The Broadbent Institute is hosting the country’s flagship conference for progressives. The mix of training and policy sessions from top international organizers and thought leaders at Progress Summit 2016 will showcase the pulse and strength of Canada’s progressive movement and offer solutions to shape the future.

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Federal budget falls short on fair tax agenda



OTTAWA—The 2016-17 federal budget is a missed opportunity to implement a fair tax agenda and build Canada’s shrunken fiscal capacity that is needed to fight inequality, the Broadbent Institute says.                                                                       

The new Canada Child Benefit is welcomed, as is a commitment to enhance the Canada Pension Plan and funding to consult Canadians on electoral reform. The new income tax cut, however, is ill-advised as it will deliver half of all the benefits to the top 10% of income earners, with two-thirds of Canadians not receiving any benefit at all because they don’t earn enough; the increase to the top income tax rate applicable to the top 1% earning more than $200,000 will not fully offset the tax cut.

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