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Whitehorse, YT – Members of Fair Vote Yukon gathered at MP Brendan Hanley’s office today to hand him a petition calling on his support for an upcoming bill in Parliament.Next week on February 7 the Federal Government is expected to hold a vote on Bill M-86 which is proposing the creation of a national citizen’s assembly to look into electoral reform.

A National Citizens Assembly would be non-partisan and could include any Canadian 18 or older to provide an educated opinion on electoral reform in Canada.

Sue Greetham, a member of Fair Vote Yukon, says that by giving MP Hanley the petition, with over 150 signatures, in support of the Bill, they hope that Hanley will add his name to the list of supporters.

“Well I think he’s our supporter and I think next week when he’s in the parliament and the motion comes up if you’ll be one of the 170 votes that we actually need to get this passed for Canada,” said Greetham.

Fair Vote Yukon hands off the 150-signature petition to MP Brendan Hanley’s office. Photo Courtesy Macklen Linke/CKRW.

Fair Vote notes that Citizens Assemblies have been used effectively in the past, including in the Yukon, and that one is needed now in order to address concerns with the current First-Past-the-Post system.

The National Citizens Assembly would allow people to advocate for the implementation of a proportional representation system, among others, for elections in the future.

“We want to see the National Citizens Assembly and we want to see the Yukon Citizens Assembly effectively facilitated so that they’re reaching incorporated and unincorporated communities, people that are underrepresented,” said Geetham.

According to Fair Vote Yukon, Bill M-86 has majority support but only next week will we know if the bill gets the votes needed to pass.