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

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Campbell River supportive living facility celebrates 25 years

Willow Point Supportive Living Society provides housing for low-income seniors

Chili Fest raises funds for Campbell River community group

Jack-o’-lanterns take over Spirit Square during Halloween event

Campbell River RCMP catch youth with stolen handgun

Gun was allegedly stolen in break-and-enter on Dogwood St.

‘Violent’ wanted man possibly in Campbell River – Crime Stoppers

A wanted man is “violent” and “may be in the Campbell River… Continue reading

VIDEO: Campbell River resident captures backyard bears in photos and video

Amateur photographer David Baar, who lives on Chum Rd. in North Campbell… Continue reading

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

HPV vaccine does not lead to riskier sex among teen girls: UBC

Girls are less likely to have sex now than they were a decade ago

VIDEO: Rescued eagle released in Ucluelet

“I’m very confident that he’s going to make it. He’s done very well.”

Koreas agree to break ground on inter-Korean railroad

The rival Koreas are holding high-level talks Monday to discuss further engagement amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Most Read