Friday, March 22, 2024

Bill C-65 - Canada's Election Act and MP Pension Greed

Canada's Trudeau government recently introduced Bill C-65 entitled "An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act".  Here is a summary of the bill:


"This enactment amends the Canada Elections Act to, among other things,

(a) provide for two additional days of advance polling;

(b) authorize returning officers to constitute polling divisions that consist of a single institution, or part of an institution, where seniors or persons with a disability reside and provide for the procedures for voting at polling stations in those polling divisions;

(c) update the process for voting by special ballot;

(d) provide for the establishment of offices for voting by special ballot at post-secondary educational institutions;

(e) provide for new requirements relating to political parties’ policies for the protection of personal information;

(f) establish new prohibitions and modify existing prohibitions, including in relation to foreign influence in the electoral process, the provision of false or misleading information respecting elections and the acceptance or use of certain contributions; and

(g) expand the scope of certain provisions relating to the administration and enforcement of that Act, including by granting the Commissioner of Canada Elections certain powers in respect of any conspiracy or attempt to commit, or being an accessory after the fact or counselling in relation to, a contravention of that Act.

The enactment also provides that the Chief Electoral Officer must make a report on the measures that need to be taken to implement a three-day polling period, a report on the measures that need to be taken to enable electors to vote at any place in their polling station, a report on the feasibility of enabling electors to vote at any polling station in their electoral district and a report proposing a process for the determination of whether a political party has as one of its fundamental purposes the promotion of hatred against an identifiable group of persons."


Of course, Canada's taxpayer-funded, bought and paid for media was all gaga about the benefits to Canadian voters of the changes to Canada's voting laws as shown here:

..and here:


Making it easier for Canadians to vote and more secure for the nation's democracy.  Who could possibly find any fault with these wonderful ideas?  It's nice to see that the Trudeau government has moved to improve Canada's voting ecosystem.


Bill C-65 is an attempt to modernize Canada's Election Act which was originally passed in 2000 which states this:


(2) Subject to subsection (1), each general election must be held on the third Monday of October in the fourth calendar year following polling day for the last general election, with the first general election after this section comes into force being held on Monday, October 19, 2009.


This was an effort to codify Canada's election dates and ensure that governments didn't use election dates to benefit their own agendas, an effort which has been an utter failure.


There is, however, one aspect of the recently proposed Bill C-65 that received almost no attention from the media.  Hidden in amongst the mind numbingly boring legalese, we find this innocuous little paragraph:


Election dates:

(2) Subject to subsection (1), each general election must be held on the third Monday of October in the fourth calendar year following polling day for the last general election. Insertion start However, if Monday, October 20, 2025 would be the day fixed for voting at a general election under this subsection, that general election must instead be held on Monday, October 27, 2025 .


Now, you may think that there is no big deal with the Trudeau/Freeland Liberals moving the fixed election date for 2025 by one week from October 20th to October 27th but you couldn't be more wrong.


According to Canadian law, Members of Parliament must serve for six years before they qualify for their gold-plated, taxpayer-funded MP pensions as quoted here:

For pensionable service accrued prior to January 1, 2016, a plan member with 6 years of service may receive their pension as early as age 55. 

For pensionable service accrued on or after January 1, 2016, a plan member with 6 years of service may receive an unreduced pension at age 65.  


Canada's election in 2019 was held on October 21, 2019 meaning that MPs who were first elected in 2019 won't qualify for their MP pensions until October 21, 2025.  If the election were to be held on October 20, 2025, a significant number of MPs would not receive their pensions.


In 2019, 27 percent of MPs elected were rookies; 38 were Conservatives, 24 were Liberals, 21 were Bloc Québécois, 7 were NDP and 1 was Green.  Among the Liberals first elected in October 2019, we have Steven Guilbeault, Canada's current Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Adam van Kouverden, Parliamentary Secretary to Steven Guilbeault and Helena Jaczek, former Receiver General for Canada and Minister Responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.  Although he was first elected in a by-election on February 25, 2019, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh who is single-handedly responsible for the supply and confidence agreement which is keeping the Trudeau/Freeland government in power, will qualify for his pension on February 26, 2025 which explains his desire to keep the current government alive until at least that date.


So, while B-65 has the appearance of making Canada's electoral system fairer, in fact, I would suggest that it's entire purpose is to ensure that certain Members of Parliament receive their taxpayer-funded pensions.


Three words - greedy, corrupt bastards.

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