Canada

Articles about voting issues in Canada.

Canada: Liberals strike deal with Conservatives to raise pre-election spending limits | The Globe and Mail

The federal Liberal government will raise the maximum amounts political parties can spend in the run-up to an election after striking a deal with the Opposition Conservatives to allow the government’s election bill to move ahead. The bill’s proposed spending limits during what will be called the “pre-election” period were a major concern of the Conservatives, who generally lead the way when it comes to fundraising and would be in a position to outspend their competitors in the weeks before an election campaign. The Conservatives had attacked the pre-election spending limit as a blatant attempt by the Liberals to tilt the electoral rules in their favour, by limiting the ability of opposition parties to advertise during a period when the governing party continues to have access to government-funded travel and other avenues for self-promotion.

Full Article: Liberals strike deal with Conservatives to raise pre-election spending limits - The Globe and Mail.

Canada: Trudeau government beefs up legislation to fight federal election interference | Associated Press

The Trudeau government is beefing up legislation aimed at making it easier for Canadians to vote and harder for foreign entities to interfere in federal elections. It has sponsored a number of amendments to Bill C-76, including one that would ban advocacy groups from ever using money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns. When the bill was introduced last spring, the government proposed only to prohibit the use of foreign money by so-called third parties during the weeks immediately prior to an election being called and during the actual campaign, known as the pre-writ and writ periods.

Full Article: Trudeau government beefs up legislation to fight federal election interference - National | Globalnews.ca.

Canada: New cybersecurity centre to look at election interference threats | Associated Press

A fresh look at Canada’s ability to defend against possible online threats to the next national election will be one of a new federal cybersecurity centre’s first tasks. An updated version of a groundbreaking report on lurking dangers to electoral integrity will be issued in the new year, said Scott Jones, head of the fledgling Canadian Centre for Cyber Security. The new federal body aims to be a clearinghouse of information, advice and guidance on threats for the public, Canadian businesses, and owners and operators of critical infrastructure, such as power grids and banking systems. “We want to be that trusted source of information for Canadians,” Jones said in an interview.

Full Article: New Canadian cybersecurity centre to look at election interference threats - National | Globalnews.ca.

Canada: Elections Canada preps for spring vote as MPs set deadline for new law | iPolitics

Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer has revealed that the federal elections agency intends to be ready for an election by next April, five months before the fixed election date for 2019. Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perrault outlined the timetable as he informed a Commons committee this week that a sweeping bill to overhaul the Canada Elections Act and upgrade cybersecurity would have to clear Parliament by December to give his office time to prepare. “For the next election, given the environment, I very much look forward to having this legislation passed,” Perrault told the Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, which began reviewing Bill C-76 last May.

Full Article: Elections Canada preps for spring vote as MPs set deadline for new law - iPolitics.

Canada: Trudeau says Canada does redistricting better than we do. Is he right? | The Washington Post

Speaking Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took an offhand swipe at the United States’ notoriously gerrymandered congressional districts. “Our electoral district boundaries are determined every year — every 10 years by fully independent commissions,” Trudeau said, referring to Canada’s 338 House of Commons districts. “So you get actual, you know, reasonable-looking electoral districts, and not some of the zigzags that you guys have.” Ouch. Here’s the thing, though: Trudeau has a point.

Full Article: Trudeau says Canada does redistricting better than we do. Is he right? - The Washington Post.

Canada: ‘No regrets’: world’s biggest election loser runs for 96th time in Canada | The Guardian

The first time John Turmel ran in an election, it was 1979 and his primary aim was to legalise gambling. While his door-knocking efforts earned him just 193 votes, the race marked the start of an obsession that would eventually launch the Canadian into the record books for having contested, and lost, the highest number of elections in the world.  Some four decades on, Turmel has contested 95 elections, throwing his hat into the ring for jobs ranging from city councillor to MP. Often running as an independent, the number of votes he receives fluctuates wildly, from 11 to 4,500. Long-winded and prone to campaign ideas that fly in the face of science – such as describing climate change as a hoax – the perennial fringe candidate has racked up a string of bruising headlines over the years. “Super loser fails again,” read one article, while a recent radio appearance dubbed him “politics’ biggest loser”.

Full Article: 'No regrets': world's biggest election loser runs for 96th time in Canada | World news | The Guardian.

Canada: Elections Canada wants to buy social media ‘listening’ tool to track threats ahead of 2019 election | Globalnews.ca

Twitter, Reddit, Facebook. All three have been accused over the last two years of letting themselves be used by Russian attempts to influence the 2016 American election and as a new procurement posting suggests, they are just a few of the social media sites Elections Canada wants to keep an even closer eye on as it tracks risks and trends ahead of the 2019 Canadian election. To do that, the elections agency plans to buy what it calls a “social media and open source data listening and analytics tool.” In a notice of proposed procurement posted on Tuesday morning, the elections agency writes that it needs the new tool to be able to “listen, in near real time, to key influencers to identify potential issues that may affect the election early on,” as well as to “detect, through timely and accurate notifications, potential incidents and trends affecting the integrity of Canadian electoral events in near real time.”

Full Article: Elections Canada wants to buy social media ‘listening’ tool to track threats ahead of 2019 election - National | Globalnews.ca.

Canada: Federal government to go on retreat to beef up bill to prevent foreign interference in elections | Calgary Herald

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his newly shuffled cabinet will focus squarely on next year’s election at a two-day retreat this week — including a hard look at the very laws governing elections. Last spring the government introduced Bill C-76, aimed at preventing foreign interference in elections and regulating third-party advocacy groups, as well as undoing a number of controversial measures passed by the previous Conservative government. But insiders say the Liberals now want to beef up the bill, which was being studied by the procedure and House affairs committee when Parliament broke for the summer. Among other things, the government wants to do more to ensure foreign actors or money aren’t involved in elections, require more transparency for political messaging on social media and prevent political parties from setting up ostensible advocacy groups to support them and help skirt spending limits.

Full Article: Federal govt. to go on retreat to beef up bill to prevent foreign interference in elections | Calgary Herald.

Canada: Federal government unveils plan to boost Canada’s defences against online attacks, crime | The Globe and Mail

The federal government unveiled its plan to bolster Canada’s defences against nefarious online attacks and crime Tuesday, even as it acknowledged a shortage of skilled cyberwarriors to meet the country’s needs. Backstopped by more than $500-million in new funding over the next five years, Ottawa’s newly released cybersecurity strategy lays out a range of initiatives to help Canadians, business and the government better protect against cyberthreats. The strategy was the result of nearly two years of consultations with industry, academics and other experts, and updates the first such plan released by the Harper Conservatives in 2010.

Full Article: Federal government unveils plan to boost Canada’s defences against online attacks, crime - The Globe and Mail.

Canada: Block the parties from predicting voters’ private traits | Policy Options

Over the last decade, predictive statistical models have emerged that can uncover private traits about individuals without their consent. These traits, such as personality or mood, are predicted through various machine learning methods, using digital records of online activity such as social media data. Predictive models have allegedly been used by “propaganda machines” that target individuals with ideas or advertising. The use of predicted private traits has been shown to be an effective means of mass persuasion that can significantly increase product sales. Now we are seeing  firms  like Cambridge Analytica and Aggregate IQ employing these tools for political causes like Brexit and candidates such as Donald Trump. Psychological profiling using social media data was reportedly used for voter suppression — discouraging people from casting their ballots — in the 2016 US presidential election. Cambridge Analytica claimed it used 5,000 data points per adult voter in the United States to create targeted ads for the Trump campaign.

Full Article: Block the parties from predicting voters’ private traits.

Canada: 2019 federal election a likely target for Russian meddlers, Comey warns | The Canadian Press

Canada — like any number of democracies around the world — needs to be concerned about the threat of Russian interference in its elections, says former FBI director James Comey. Any country that shares liberal, democratic and western values should be worried, considering how much of a threat those values are considered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of the world’s most famous former investigators told an Ottawa audience Tuesday. Comey headed up the controversial investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election before he was unceremoniously fired last May by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Full Article: 2019 federal election a likely target for Russian meddlers, Comey warns.

Canada: Why electronic voting in the Ontario election is a mistake | rabble.ca

A seismic shift will occur in Ontario politics on June 7 regardless of which party wins the election: electronic vote-counting machines will be used across the province for the first time. Machines will scan voters’ paper ballots and calculate the totals at each polling station that is equipped with them. Ninety per cent of the ballots will be counted this way. The rest will be counted by hand, as not all polling stations will have machines. When the polls close, offsite computers will add up the votes. On June 1, CBC News reported that the Progressive Conservatives, “wrote to Elections Ontario this week to flag several issues, including concerns about protection from hacking and the certification of the vote-counting machines.” Elections Ontario’s chief administrative officer, Deborah Danis, was quoted as responding, “There is no possibility that the counts could not be fully corroborated. I would actually argue that the introduction of technology increases our accuracy.” Unfortunately, this response from Elections Ontario falls far short. Here’s why.

Full Article: Why electronic voting in the Ontario election is a mistake | rabble.ca.

Canada: Progressive Conservatives flag concerns about Ontario’s new voting machines | CBC

The Progressive Conservative party is raising concerns about new voting technology that will be used to cast and count ballots in Ontario’s provincial election, CBC News has learned. The June 7 vote will be the first general election in Ontario to use the electronic voting machines. The technology includes devices than scan voter cards and tabulate marked ballots. The provincial agency overseeing the vote worked frequently with all the major parties over the past three years to test and demonstrate the reliability and security of the new technology. However, since Doug Ford won the PC leadership in March, the party has contacted Elections Ontario multiple times with questions and concerns. The PC party lawyer, Arthur Hamilton, wrote to Elections Ontario this week to flag several issues, including concerns about protection from hacking and the certification of the vote-counting machines.

Full Article: PCs flag concerns about Ontario's new voting machines | CBC News.

Canada: British Columbia unveils its proposed question for voters in electoral-reform referendum | The Globe and Mail

British Columbians who participate in an electoral-reform referendum this fall would first be asked whether they want to switch to proportional representation, and then to rank three specific PR systems, the province’s Attorney-General said Wednesday. David Eby said the referendum would be conducted by mail-in ballot, with the campaign to begin July 1 and a voting period to run from Oct. 22 to Nov. 30. But opponents were quick to criticize the vote as overly complicated and to seize on what remains unknown, including what the district boundaries would look like under PR. Mr. Eby’s recommendations still must be approved by cabinet, but he said starting the campaign in less than four weeks can be done.

Full Article: B.C. unveils its proposed question for voters in electoral-reform referendum - The Globe and Mail.

Canada: Liberals nominate Stephane Perreault as next chief electoral officer | CBC

Stéphane Perrault has been nominated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as Canada’s next chief electoral officer. But New Democrats are demanding to know why the government put forward a different nominee just three weeks ago. Marc Mayrand, the previous chief electoral officer, announced in June 2016 that he intended to resign at the end of that year. Perreault, Mayrand’s deputy, has been serving as the acting chief electoral officer since Mayrand’s departure. “I am pleased to announce the nomination of Stéphane Perrault as Canada’s new Chief Electoral Officer,” Trudeau said in a statement. “His experience leading the agency for the last year and a half and administering many by-elections across the country make Mr. Perrault an excellent choice to head Elections Canada.”

Full Article: Liberals nominate Stephane Perreault as next chief electoral officer | CBC News.

Canada: British Columbia’s Chief Electoral Officer suggests pre-registering 16-year-olds | Vancouver Sun

A report from the province’s Chief Electoral Officer is calling for 16- and 17-year-olds to be given the right to pre-register to vote, while also pitching a digitization of the voting process. The teens still wouldn’t be eligible to vote until they are 18, but they would be allowed to have their names added automatically to the voters list when they turn 18. Creating a system where voters can vote at any polling station and all votes are counted on election night is also proposed (PDF). The report suggests service to voters would be improved while making for more efficient staffing and close to real-time disclosure of voter participation data.

Full Article: B.C.’s Chief Electoral Officer suggests pre-registering 16-year-olds | Vancouver Sun.

Canada: Liberal elections bill looks to make voting easier, tighten rules on privacy, spending | National Post

The federal Liberal government wants to make it easier for Canadians to cast a ballot, while making it harder for political parties — or foreign entities — to violate their privacy or persuade them who to vote for using falsehoods or vast sums of money. Treasury Board President Scott Brison introduced a bill Monday meant to address several promises Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made on the campaign trail, including by tackling how much political parties and third-party advocacy groups can spend before and during election campaigns. It is also meant to buttress the Canadian electoral system against new threats to democracy by reining in the proliferation of so-called fake news and barring any organizations, including social media sites, from knowingly selling election advertising bought with foreign funds.

Full Article: Liberal elections bill looks to make voting easier, tighten rules on privacy, spending | National Post.

Canada: Federal act would make hacking to interfere with elections a crime | IT World Canada News

Ottawa will make it clear that hacking into a computer during a federal election period is a criminal offence, foreign states will be forbidden from buying advertising during a federal election period and federal political parties will have to create a policy for protecting personal information in their databases if proposed changes to the Elections Act are approved. These are part of a broad piece of legislation updating the laws overseeing federal elections introduced Monday by the Liberals. They hope to have it passed in time for the scheduled October 2019 vote. The proposals in Bill C-76, called the Election Modernization Act, come amidst a U.S. indictment alleging Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, and a NATO researcher who says Canada should assume Russia will attempt to interfere in the 2019 federal election. In 2017 the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), Canada’s electronic spy agency which is also responsible for securing government networks, warned in a report that it is “highly probable” cyber activity against democratic processes in other countries will be seen here. Read the full text of the bill here
Read a government summary and backgrounders here

Full Article: Federal act would make hacking to interfere with elections a crime | IT World Canada News.

Canada: Trudeau government proposes major changes to elections law | CBC

The Trudeau government is proposing to limit the length of federal election campaigns, restrict the amount of spending allowed in the period immediately before a campaign and introduce new rules to regulate third-party political activity — all part of a new set of reforms to Canada’s elections laws. Political parties also would be required to disclose how and what information they collect from voters. “The changes we are proposing in this legislation will update the Canada Elections Act to better address the realities facing our democratic institutions in the 21st century,” Scott Brison, acting democratic institutions minister, said Monday afternoon after tabling legislation in the House of Commons. “It will make real, tangible improvements to make elections more efficient, inclusive and effective for all Canadians.”

Full Article: Trudeau government proposes major changes to elections law | CBC News.

Canada: Elections Canada braces for cyberrisks as new voter-registration technology is prepared for 2019 election | The Globe and Mail

Elections Canada is working closely with Canadian security officials to address the “real risks” of potential hacking as the agency prepares to roll out new electronic voter-registration technology for the 2019 federal election. Elections Canada has secured commitments from its outside contractor that the Apple iPads deployed at some advance polls will have never been used − and will never be used in the future − in countries outside of Canada’s “Five Eyes” security partners. Internal documents reveal the sensitive discussions taking place inside Elections Canada as it prepares for an election campaign in an era when countries around the world are grappling with allegations of foreign interference and hacking in the democratic process.

Full Article: Elections Canada braces for cyberrisks as new voter-registration technology is prepared for 2019 election - The Globe and Mail.