Chief Elections Canada, Mayrand, to Testify on Proposed Electoral Changes

Putting an end to NDP committee’s filibuster on the Conservative government’s proposed electoral changes, Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer is anticipated to soon testify in front of the committee this week. The delay was caused by The Procedure and House Affairs committee, headed by NDP Deputy Leader David Christopherson, as it passed hours of time as the committee reviewed the “Fair Elections Act” but that ended on Tuesday evening.

The NDP had been deliberately trying to force cross-country hearings on the bill, in order to prevent the Conservatives from rushing through the House of Commons. However, now NDP has decided to instead hold its own cross-country hearings. Now that the filibuster is over, the committee is anticipated to begin hearing witnesses. Elections Canada spokesman, John Enright, revealed that the Chief Electoral Officer, Marc Mayrand, was the first one to have come forward and inform the committee’s clerk that he was available on Thursday. The bill plans to significantly change Mr. Mayrand’s role, as it intends to place limits on what he and his successors can say in public.

The Conservatives, who have often had issues with Mr. Mayrand’s office, have decided to apparently welcome him to committee. In an emailed statement issued on Tuesday, senior advisor to Conservative Government Whip John Duncan, Laura Smith, mentioned that “a deal was reached tonight and the opposition will finally stop filibustering and preventing witnesses from appearing on the bill. We certainly feel that Mr. Mayrand should appear as soon as possible.”

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