Alberta retirees ask Prime Minister to live up to election reform promises

EDMONTON: Alberta’s union retirees are sending a message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reminding him of promises he repeatedly made during the last federal election to finally bring in badly-needed reforms to Canada’s election system.

In a statement circulated to the Convention of the Alberta Federation of Labour held in Edmonton Apr. 30, Lucien Royer, President of the Alberta Federation of Union Retirees (AFUR), informed delegates that both during and after the 2016 Federal Election, Trudeau promised Canadians over 1000 times that he would change the present electoral system to one that is much more fair.

“He made these promises vehemently and repeatedly,” said Royer. “He gave us every reason to believe that he would start bringing in the kind of Proportional Representation system that is in place in so many other industrialized countries.”

Those countries have proven that the system works and is much more democratic; i.e., if a party receives 35% of the popular vote, it will be entitled to 35% of the seats in Parliament. The same would hold for other parties. The party with the most seats then has to persuade the other parties to work co-cooperatively for the best for all.”

Now the Prime Minister has changed his mind, and openly says that there will be no change. He intends to maintain the ‘First Past-the-Post’ system we now have. He offers no viable explanation, and is apparently not embarrassed at all by this reversal.”

This matter will come to a vote in the House of Commons at the end of May, when Members will be asked to pass or reject the Report of the Electoral Reform Committee which favours change. All other Parties have indicated they will vote in favour.”

AFUR is therefore urging all concerned citizens to contact their Liberal MP and the Prime Minister himself to demand that they vote in favour and pass this report. We must let the government know that the people of Canada want and deserve a truly democratic system for choosing our leaders,” said Royer.

AFUR is the provincial arm of the Congress of Union Retirees (CURC), which is part of the Canadian Labour Congress. The organization has members in all major centres across Alberta. Membership in CURC is open to any past or current union members over the age of 50 years.

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