Former Auditor General Sheila Fraser dropped a political bomb on the Canadian Government’s plans to meddle around with the Fair Elections act on CBC’s “The House” over the weekend. Fraser debunked the Governments’ claims to try and attack her credibility as a paid member of Elections Canada, stating that while she is a paid member of Elections Canada, the committee in which she sits hasn’t had time to formulate a consensus on the Fair Elections Act, and that her comments are her own as a Canadian citizen and not that of the bi-partisan Elections Canada committee.
One of Fraser’s main concerns on the bill is with respect to Elections Canada not being able to have independence, or be seen to have the independence from the government of the day, should the fair elections act pass as is. Fraser stated that provisions in the bill affect the ability Election Canada has to communicate with the public, and require Elections Canada to seek approval from cabinet Ministers when it seeks to hire experts, effectively making Elections Canada a less independent body of Government.
Fraser decided to take the opportunity to speak publicly on the bill, since she has seen a number of experts come before committee raise serious questions on this legislation that she finds “troubling”. The full audio interview can be found here, and a must for those who have been following the debate around the Fair Elections Act.
While many are focusing on the vouching issue of the Fair Elections act, and ID requirements, the most troubling aspect of this bill is that it appears the Government of the day is trying to change the law so that Canadians who deserve and answer and accountability of the current governments missteps in the 2011 election, are left with none.
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