Weekly Round-Up: May 16, 2014

May 16th, 2014 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

By-elections date set

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Sunday that federal by-elections would be held on June 30 in the Alberta ridings of Fort McMurray-Athabasca and Macleod as well as the Ontario ridings of Trinity-Spadina and Scarborough-Agincourt. The by-election in Whitby-Oshawa has not yet been called.

Because of the Ontario provincial election, the recently announced by-elections and the upcoming Ontario municipal elections, some Toronto-area voters are in the midst of three election campaigns. The CIVIX office is located in Trinity-Spadina and we get to experience an interesting mixture of campaign signs each day.

Ontario election update

The 41st Ontario general election is less than a month away! Special ballot voting began this week, candidate nominations opened yesterday and the leaders’ debate is tentatively scheduled for June 3. We have been compiling a list of candidates on Twitter – please let us know if anyone is missing.

We’re running our twenty-second Student Vote parallel election in Ontario. More than 1,300 schools have already registered from all 107 electoral districts. There is still time for educators to sign up and receive their free resource package!

Leadership races

Former Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe announced this week that he would not run for the Parti Québécois leadership. Pauline Marois announced that she would step down after losing last month’s Quebec provincial election.

In Alberta, former MP Jim Prentice and MLA Rick McIver picked up their nomination papers and will both enter the PC leadership race. MLA Ken Hughes was the first to enter the race but dropped out to support Prentice.

There are still no candidates in the Alberta NDP leadership race, but the Edmonton Journal has a preview of some potential contenders.

New election rules

Saskatchewan has “overhauled” their provincial election rules to “make sure that more people have access to elections.” The changes were developed by the government in consultation with the official opposition and include the development of a permanent voter registry, enabling housebound individuals to vote at home and allowing armed forces members from outside the province to immediately be able to vote in elections.

The City of Mississauga is considering “tightening rules on social media use during elections.” If approved, the changes would require incumbent councillors to create new social media accounts to advertise their campaigns.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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