Electronic Petitions

That the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be instructed to recommend changes to the Standing Orders and other conventions governing petitions so as to establish an electronic petitioning system that would enhance the current paper-based petitions system by allowing Canadians to sign petitions electronically, and to consider, among other things, (i) the possibility to trigger a debate in the House of Commons outside of current sitting hours when a certain threshold of signatures is reached, (ii) the necessity for no fewer than five Members of Parliament to sponsor the e-petition and to table it in the House once a time limit to collect signatures is reached, (iii) the study made in the 38th Parliament regarding e-petitions, and that the Committee report its findings to the House, with proposed changes to the Standing Orders and other conventions governing petitions, within 12 months of the adoption of this order.

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Burnaby—Douglas for bringing forth this important motion. I do hope it will get support from across the aisles. In my own riding, a group of constituents from Saanich—Gulf Islands raised the same issue with me. I have a petition in support of the idea.

I wonder if there is anything my hon. colleague would like us to do on this side of the House in getting people’s support. It is really a non-partisan issue.

Kennedy Stewart: Mr. Speaker, I think what is important here is for all of us to talk about this motion with colleagues and people we have made friendships with who are open to reasonable change in the House.
If this went all the way through and were introduced, it would not affect the business here in the House greatly, but it would impact the lives of Canadians.