An Ontario Superior Court justice has rejected a bid for an injunction to suspend voter identification provisions of the Fair Elections Act, despite acknowledging the risk eligible Canadians will be denied the vote in the next federal election. Lawyers for the Canadian Federation of Students and the Council of Canadians had argued that the law, passed by the Conservative government in 2014, was an act of voter suppression, and could prevent as many as 250,000 voters — those least likely to vote for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government — from voting in the Oct. 19 election. They had argued that the Chief Electoral Officer, Marc Mayrand, had gone on record saying he would be willing to replace the 28 million voter information cards (VICs) already printed with the words “Please note that this card is not a piece of ID,” if the injunction had been allowed.
However, on Friday, Elections Canada spokesman John Enright, said “the Chief Electoral Officer was an intervenor in the case but did not take a position on the merits of the injunction motion and only offered submissions to assist the court.
… The act “is an obvious attempt to undermine democracy,” said Maude Barlow, national chair of the Council of Canadians. “We are more committed than ever to getting people out to vote despite the new identification requirements. “The government may not want Canadians to vote this October, but we certainly do.”