Elections Canada wants no part in organizing leaders debates

Agency must stay above the political fray, chief electoral officer says

Canada’s independent elections watchdog wants no part in organizing leaders’ debates during federal elections.

Stephane Perrault, the acting chief electoral officer, says Elections Canada must stay above the political fray and should not be perceived as being involved in anything that could influence the outcome of a campaign.

Perreault says leaders’ debates can be pivotal moments in a campaign, often helping to define the ballot-box issues.

A House of Commons committee is examining the idea of appointing an independent commission or commissioner to organize leadership debates, as promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the 2015 campaign.

Perrault says such a commission should be given broad latitude to shape the format of debates, but it should have little or no discretion to decide which party leaders are allowed to participate.

He says court challenges by smaller parties over their exclusion from debates in the past have failed because they were considered private, media-sponsored events not subject to scrutiny under the charter of rights; that would no longer be the case if a government-created commission was involved in organizing the debates.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Massive Monday morning fire destroys Chemainus home

Firemen on the scene at Waynes Road for several hours

Ladysmith Striders hand over Cinnamon Bun Fun Run to LRCA

The 12th annual Cinnamon Bun Fun Run raised $1,550 and and 3,000 lbs of food for the LRCA food bank.

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

RCMP probe Canada Post mailbox thefts in Ladysmith, Chemainus

Local RCMP are investigating following numerous break-ins to several Canada Post mailboxes… Continue reading

Teen allegedly robs woman at gunpoint in Duncan

A Duncan teenager is facing charges after allegedly robbing a young woman… Continue reading

Smithers mayor loses bet, makes video on Ladysmith’s First Ave

Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach visited Ladysmith last week and caught up with… Continue reading

Ladysmith Kinsmen bonfire at Transfer Beach a go for Saturday night

Come on down to Transfer Beach on Saturday night and cozy on… Continue reading

B.C. dog owners warn about chain collars after puppy almost strangled

Young Rottweiler pup couldn’t breathe after another dog caught tooth on his collar

Accused NYC subway bomber expected to face federal charges

Akayed Ullah, 27, was charged Tuesday with terrorism and weapons related charges

Strategy announced for Indigenous cancer care

Various stakeholders have come together to provide a road map from prevention to survivorship

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

B.C. Conservatives applaud Site C decision

B.C. Conservatives happy with government decision to proceed

Hwy. 1 avalanche improvements promise less delays

B.C.’s new remote avalanche-control systems near Revelstoke are ready for avalanche season

Nanaimo votes to ban plastic bags

City councillors voted in favour of banning the bags on Monday, but staff have yet to determine whether or not they have the authority to impose a ban.

Most Read