Electoral Reform in BC – Update

electoral reformAt our AGM on Nov. 23, Comox Valley Council of Canadians welcomed Terry Dance Bennink, chair of the Fair Vote Canada – BC Steering Committee (FVC-BC).

Ms Bennink gave the keynote address about what is happening with electoral reform in the province of BC. She spoke about the need for reform. Our current system is outdated and does not represent the diverse nature of our society. Proportional representation (PR) is a more democratic way to govern and almost every vote counts. You can watch her speech at this link.

The BC Government has introduced legislation to hold a referendum in the fall of 2018 which will ask British Columbians to decide whether B.C. should keep its current voting system (First Past the Post) or move to a system of Proportional Representation.

The most important thing you can do now is to participate in the government online survey before February 28, 2018.

FVC-BC steering committee has put out a guide to the survey in order to help answer questions that are difficult to understand.
The survey is asking for input from voters on key elements of the fall 2018 referendum.

It is also very important to sign the pledge to vote yes for PR in the upcoming referendum so that you can be counted on to help change the way we fulfill democracy in BC.

We have a very good chance to bring democracy into the 21st century for both British Columbia and the rest of Canada in the future.

2017 AGM with Keynote Speaker

It has been another busy year for the Comox Valley Council of Canadians. On Thursday, Nov. 23, the Chapter invites you to attend their 2017 AGM and presentation Proportional Representation Gives Every Voter a Voice!

The evening will begin with the Chapter’s news and updates on their various campaigns and activities, in what has been an exciting year. We will also present our Community Action Award for 2017.

Keynote speaker Terry Dance-Bennink, chair of Fair Vote Canada-BC, will address how, by moving forward with proportional representation (PR), we can make sure every British Columbian’s vote counts.

“B.C. is a vast and diverse province and people want to know their values are being represented in the legislature,” says Barb Berger, member of the CV Chapter. “Canada is one of the last Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries yet to adopt a proportional voting system. It’s time we take this important step to bring our democracy into the 21st century.”

“We may just get our chance,” says Dance-Bennink, “when BC holds its referendum on PR next fall. With PR, parties will no longer be able to rely on ‘safe’ seats during an election.”

Dance-Bennick will highlight why we need to change our voting system. She’ll also discuss the benefits of PR and lay out the Fair Vote campaign strategy to win the 2018 referendum.

The Chapter invites you to bring your questions to our highly regarded guest speaker. Let’s talk and grow the PR discussion!

Everyone is welcome to what promises to be an interesting and informative evening – bring a friend – Thursday, Nov. 23, Lower Native Sons Hall, Courtenay 7 p.m.

Beyond Banksters – What You Can Do!!

Organize, raise awareness, make these issues part of the national conversation!

Join forces with groups that are working to oppose privatization and corporate rights deals, promote public services (like postal banking), and raise awareness of financial alternatives: Council of Canadians, Friends of Public Services, Canadian Bank Reformers, COMER, the Public Banking Institute, LEAP manifesto… and many more…

Form a reading/discussion/action group for Beyond Banksters. Watershed Sentinel can will connect you with others in your area who are also interested.

Ask for a copy of Banksters at your public library or university/college library, or order your own to donate to friends/family/libraries.

Follow Beyond Banksters on Twitter and the Watershed Sentinel on Facebook to get and share news of the book and related issues.

Learn more & spread the word: Do your own research. Check out CUPW’s cool resources on Postal Banking – including great animated videos that you can share to explain how postal banking works and why we need it.

Sign the Council of Canadian’s NAFTA petition to the Prime Minister demanding that the government:

• Protect water by explicitly removing it as a tradable good, service or investment. We cannot leave our water vulnerable to bulk exports or privatization.
• Eliminate Chapter 11 investment provisions that allow corporations to sue governments over public interest laws or policies that hurt future corporate profits.
• Free Canada from the energy proportionality clause that locks us into supplying the U.S. with oil quotas that are destroying our environment and restricting real action on climate change.

Take Action on Water!

3 petitions you can sign:
Stop Nestles Water Grab https://secure.canadians.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1899&ea.campaign.id=59428

Strengthen the BC Water Sustainability Act – Protect Community Water https://secure.canadians.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1899&ea.campaign.id=46959

Ban Fracking Now https://secure.canadians.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1899&ea.campaign.id=31179

Send your Letter Now: Though the Water Sustainability Act (WSA) delivers some gains and positive steps forward, it falls short of what it must do to put the needs of communities ahead of private interests, corporations and industries, and to protect the health and vitality of our precious BC waters.

The Chapter has put together a list of points to assist you in writing your letter. https://cvcofcanadians.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/a-stronger-water-sustainability-act/

Your Election Guide to Water Issues in B.C. http://canadians.org/blog/your-election-guide-water-issues-bc

Ensure that ALL candidates in your riding are aware of the issues that matter to you. Voters in the Courtenay-Comox Riding should contact:
Ernie.sellentin@greenpartybc.ca                                    Ronnarae.leonard@bcndp.ca
info@leahmcculloch.ca                                                   jim.benninger@bcliberals.com

Voters in the Mid-Island-Pacific Rim Riding should contact:
darren.deluca@bcliberals.com                                      alicia.larue@bcgreens.ca
scott.fraser@bcndp.ca

Write letters to the editor of your local paper: editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Be sure to exercise your right to vote!