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

Island Health, Victoria Hospice fund 15 more patient beds for end-of-life care at Royal Jubilee Hospital

New patient beds in hospice and acute palliative care to be in place by spring 2020

Sidney has highest walk-in clinic wait times in the country: report

Several Vancouver Island facilities wait times notably poor

Beaches near Sidney’s Tsehum Harbour to receive first clean up in years

Peninsula Streams Society hopes to attract 50 volunteers for the Saturday event

Food truck pilot program in Saanich parks gets the green light from council

Pilot program will see food trucks permited in certain parks as early as next summer

‘Homespun’ brings six Greater Victoria artists together for genre-bending music

Highlands Music Coffee House returns Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

Chevron move to exit Kitimat LNG project a dash of ‘cold water’ for gas industry

Canada Energy Regulator approved a 40-year licence to export natural gas for Kitimat LNG

Most Read