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Supreme Court of Canada upholds changes to Elections Act

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The BC Civil Liberties Association says it’s disappointed a judge has dismissed an appeal to changes to Canada’s Elections Act.

Raji Mangat with the BCCLA says they were hoping the Supreme Court of Canada would see the changes, making people provide ID and proof of residence, effectively disenfranchise groups like the homeless and Aboriginals and that the impact far outweighs the threat of fraud. “Should we really be looking at ways to discourage political participation when there isn’t really much of a problem to begin with. This really isn’t going to get at the essence of the bigger voter fraud and concerns about electoral optics, if you will, that the public has been concerned about.”

“We feel this is a very disproportionate response, especially as there is no fail-safe in this legislation that would allow someone, as they could before, make a solemn oath and swear that they are who they are,” she adds.

In its ruling, the court admits the amendments made to the Act do infringe on the Charter, however, they’re justified under a reasonable limits clause.

The changes were introduced in 2007.