I want to engage Canadians, and need your help to ensure we are heard in the House of Commons. One of the ways is by taking advantage of an MP’s privilege to table petitions on issues that Canadians care about. I can table a petition or two every single day that Parliament is in session which is roughly 140 to 280 petitions a year!
What is a Petition?
A petition is a formal request to an authority for redress of a grievance. Public petitions, addressed to the House of Commons and presented to the House by its Members, constitute one of the most direct means of communication between the people and Parliament. Petitions today may be described as a vehicle for political input, a way of attempting to influence policy-making and legislation and also, judging by their continued popularity, a valued means of bringing public concerns to the attention of Parliament. Petitions also have their place among the tools which Members and Ministers can use to formulate public policy and to carry out their representative duties.
Petitions So Far
It is my goal to table at least petition a day. So far in the 41st Parliament I have tabled petitions to:
- Stop the Northern Gateway Pipeline;
- Fight the Omnibus Crime Bill;
- Create a National Affordable Housing Program;
- Re-instate and extend the ecoEnergy Retrofit – Homes Program;
- Prevent the development of the Brewster Glacier Discovery Walk in Jasper National Park;
- Adopt a National Climate Strategy to fight climate change;
- End the practice of shark-finning;
- Place a ban on bottled water in federal institutions; and
- Modernize the federal Importation of Intoxication Liquors Act to ease purchase and shipment of wine across the provincial borders.
In addition we have numerous other petitions ready to go on a myriad of issues.
This is a call to action!! Engage your friends, neighbours, colleagues, loved ones or whomever by creating new petitions or by collecting signatures for existing petitions. Let me raise the issue for you in the House of Commons. When creating a new petition, be sure to follow the guidelines on the Parliament of Canada website. Petitions not meeting the form and content requirements cannot be certified and only certified petitions can be presented to the House:
Here are a few tips to make note of when collecting signatures:
- A petition should contain signatures of residents of Canada only;
- There is no minimum age requirement for anyone signing a petition;
- Each petitioner must sign, not print, their name directly on the petition;
- If a petitioner cannot sign because of illness or a disability, this must be noted on the petition and the note signed by a witness. Aside from this exception, you can only sign for yourself;
- A petition must contain original signatures written directly on the document and not pasted, taped, photocopied or otherwise transferred to it; and
- A petition must be single sided.
Please return all signed petitions, postage free, to:
Elizabeth May, MP
518 Confederation Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
If you need help in putting together a petition, please send an email to me at email@example.com, or call my office at 613-996-1119.
I look forward to being inundated with petitions from my constituents and other Canadians!