Elizabeth May moved for leave to introduce Bill C-503, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (local endorsement of candidate).
She said: Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure I rise today to put forward a bill to carry forward the momentum of democracy which is sweeping the House of Commons. We saw a blow for democracy from the Federal Court last week in the decision on the Parliamentary Budget Officer and your own ruling, Mr. Speaker, that we as members of this House have the right to free speech.
To ensure our rights to free speech do not operate under the shadow of the leader’s ire threatening to not sign our nomination papers, my private member’s bill would eliminate the fact that currently the Canada Elections Act requires a leader’s signature in order for a member to stand in his or her place as a candidate for the party. It would restore the grassroots democracy in that it would be the electoral district association of a person’s riding signing the nomination papers and not the leader.
I hope this bill will have full support from all members of this House.