It's hard to believe that 2009 is coming to a close. This is a busy time of year for many people. And it seems like 2010 is filling up fast too!
Liz and our Chief Agent, Stephen Best, just returned from anther Elections Canada meeting of the Advisory Committee of Political Parties. The committee is chaired by the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Marc Mayrand, and is "a forum to discuss administrative issues, and as an outreach mechanism to political parties." (http://www.elections.ca/). At this meeting the very important issues of auditing and identification and vouching rules were discussed.
All parties agreed that existing auditing requirements are excessive and unnecessary for parties with nil accounts. In the last federal election, if you recall, we had four candidates and the amount of reporting we had to do, considering how little we spent, was absolutely ridiculous. There were heaps of paper with zeros on them. Full audits for bank accounts with no money in them - silly is the only (clean) word that describes the current reporting process.
Identification and vouching rules are a more complicated issue. Currently, a voter with proper identification can vouch for only one other person. So, for example, if a family of four eligable voters moves to a new riding, and only one person has acceptable identification, only two out of the four voters can vote! The rules have become complicated because the larger parties are worried about voter fraud - in a country where no voter fraud has ever been recorded! Again, silly is the only (clean) word that describes the current voting process.
On top of these administrative issues, Liz will have to head out to Nova Scotia again to discuss the commercial seal hunt that takes place on Hay Island, a protected wilderness area no less! The seals are killed for their fur, to supply a dying industry. For more information, visit www.hsicanada.ca/wildlife/seals/. We'll let you know how the issue unfolds.
And Karen had an editorial on farm animal transport printed in the Guelph Mercury. Bill C-468 to amend the transport guidelines has passed first reading but is waiting to be introduced a second time. To read the article, visit http://news.guelphmercury.com/printArticle/571679. And for more information on how you can help, visit the Farm Animal Campaign section at http://www.animalalliance.ca/.
That's all for now.