Media Statement – May 14, 2015
Andrew Weaver calls on government to delay debate on Bill 20
For Immediate Release
Victoria, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party is calling on the BC Government to delay the debate on Bill 20, scheduled to take place today.
The Minister of Justice circulated amendments to Bill 20 yesterday, one day before the final debate on the Bill is scheduled to take place. However, at the end of the day yesterday, additional changes were brought forward by government that amended the most recent amendments.
“This is not a thoughtful manner for government to propose amendments to legislation especially when it concerns fundamental issues of privacy,” said Weaver. “We are witnessing a clumsy attempt by government to push through legislation that puts their political interests ahead of the interests of British Columbians.”
The Privacy Commissioner’s concerns have been public for over a month. On April 13th 2015, The Privacy Commissioner wrote a letter to government regarding Bill 20, expressing serious concerns with aspects of this Bill, and urged the government to withdraw sections which amended s.51(2) of the Election Act. These provisions would give political parties the ability to receive information on who voted at the end of an election. Her concerns were related to how this information would be used, especially since making the information available after the election runs contrary to the government’s stated purpose that this information was to be used for “get out the vote”.
“I am profoundly concerned the Privacy Commissioner will not have adequate time to review the amendments and offer recommendations before this Bill is passed. This has the appearance of desperation. The government appears to want the Bill to pass quickly without critical information and review,” said Andrew Weaver. “Let’s postpone this debate and gather the necessary information before proceeding on this Bill”.
Press Secretary – Andrew Weaver, MLA
Cell: 250 216 3382
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