â€œConservatives do not want to hear from Canadians and have been blocking every attempt by the NDP to hold cross country public consultations. Canadians deserve better,â€� said Mr. Mulcair.
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians will be prevented from exercising their right to vote if Bill C-23 is adopted. The Chief Electoral Officerâ€™s powers will be severely curtailed and he will even be forbidden from educating and engaging Canadians about the importance of voting.
â€œThe Conservativesâ€™ refusal to hear from Canadians is a slap in the face. Stephen Harper is trying to skew the rules unilaterally to benefit his own party, a dangerous and unprecedented move in our democracy,â€� said NDP Deputy Leader David Christopherson.
For three weeks, Christopherson has led the fight on behalf of Canadians at committee and was able to secure the appearance of Chief Electoral Officer Mark Mayrand before a parliamentary committee on Thursday.
â€œThere is a groundswell of opposition to this bill and we believe Canadians should be allowed to express themselves â€“ and as elected officials, it is our duty to make sure they are heardÂ¸â€� concluded Mulcair.
The NDP will hold public consultations across the country as well as encourage Canadians to express themselves online through a dedicated web site. A petition is available at http://petition.ndp.ca/stand-up-for-canadian-democracy.