A PR Strategy for Ontario – Exploring the Options, Saturday March 23, 2019

MPPs Harden and Des Rosiers to Join Fair Vote Canada, NCR Chapter for Ontario Strategy Session, Saturday, March 23


On Saturday, March 23, 2019, the NCR chapter of Fair Vote Canada will organize a strategy session and public discussion on Ontario prospects for electoral reform.

Venue: Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington St. West.

Length: Doors will open at 12:30 PM and the event will run from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM.

Who is invited?

Members of the public, representatives of civil society groups from across the spectrum, and Fair Vote Canada supporters and volunteers are all welcome to attend and participate.

Ottawa MPPs and noted proportional representation proponents Nathalie Des Rosiers (Liberal, Ottawa-Vanier) and Joel Harden (NDP, Ottawa-Centre) will join us as panelists, with particular emphasis on the political likelihood of reaching a Québec-style accord in Ontario.

Other input will come from Jean-Sébastien Dufresne, Executive Director of Quebec’s Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle, who will provide a briefing on the Quebec process, and Réal Lavergne, President of Fair Vote Canada, to offer some initial thoughts on what might or might not be possible in Ontario. Ms. Des Rosiers and Mr. Harden will respond with their own thoughts, to launch the discussion.

For background, in 2017, the Parti Québécois, CAQ, Québec Solidaire and Parti Vert in Québec signed an accord to introduce legislation on proportional representation within the first year of their mandate, whichever party won the next election in 2018. Thus far, the signs look promising that the CAQ will follow through on this promise in 2019. Ontario’s next election will take place in 2022. We have three years to implement a similar process in time for that election, if there is the political will to do so.

This March 23 event is the first exploratory meeting in Ontario to consider the potential ways forward on PR in Ontario, in light of the Quebec experience. If successful, it should start the process towards mounting a concerted campaign province-wide. We will share the results with chapters across the province and involve as many partners as possible from the beginning.

Guiding questions for discussion:

  • What parallels, political, societal or otherwise, exist between Québec and Ontario that could lead to achieving a similar accord in Ontario? What distinct obstacles?
  • What should we ask of politicians, parties and civil society ahead of the 2022 election to ensure we advance electoral reform as far as possible?
  • Are we prepared to forge as wide a consensus as possible amongst political and civil society groups to ensure maximum influence and accountability over the next three years?
  • What sort of process would make the most sense in Ontario’s case, considering the province’s distinct experience with regards to the PR agenda? This would include considering another citizens’s assembly and pressure for another referendum.

Through these questions and the subsequent discussion, our objective is to explore what is possible, stimulate interest in the idea, share our results and initiate a discussion on next steps.

We would appreciate RSVPs to fairvotecanadancr@gmail.com, and you can also follow us on our website, www.fairvotecanadancr.ca, for further updates, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

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