February – MLA Mike Ellis’ Report

Calgary West

Thank you to the many of you who have written to my office to provide me with feedback on the issues that are important to you and your family. It is always a pleasure to hear from constituents, and I am very appreciative for your candid feedback.

One matter that hasn’t received a lot of attention in the media, but I think bears acknowledging is the recent NDP changes to the Elections Act. Bill 32, which was introduced on a Monday, was passed by the government majority in just 4 days, with no committee hearings, no expert witnesses, and without consultation from Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer. In contrast, when the federal government passed revisions to the federal Elections Act, it took 133 days to pass, involved 29 committee meetings (most of which were multiple hours in length) and incorporated the comments of more than 100 witnesses.

One of the changes included in the bill are to drop the “six-month residency rule” which means that someone doesn’t need to live in Alberta for six months prior to the election in order to vote. The bill also makes changes around how third parties can spend money in elections. For example, if you and three neighbors wanted to inform voters about different candidates’ positions on a specific issue, you are now subject to much more detailed reporting and spending rules.

I encourage you to review Bill 32 for yourself and let me know what you think. I can be reached at [email protected].

Mike Ellis, MLA