Today in the House of Commons, I cast my vote in favour of a motion on concurrence with the report of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform.
PEI has a special connection to electoral reform. In November 2016, Islanders voted to support the implementation of a form of proportional representation in our voting system. In Charlottetown, about two-thirds of the ballots cast, in the end, supported a proportional system.
This process ran concurrently with our government’s consultation process on changing our federal voting system as well. Understandably, many people were frustrated and disappointed with the announcement that the government would not be pursuing electoral reform, given a lack of consensus around a new electoral system.
Those who have been following the work of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform will know the amount of effort that went into producing a majority report recommending a referendum – which would include a proportional option. I cast my vote in favour of the report in order to represent the two-thirds of Charlottetown voters who supported a provincial proportional option, and in recognition of the important work conducted by the members of the Committee.
Despite my vote and the votes of other members, the motion did not pass. An important part of our system is respecting the will of the House of Commons, whose members represent all Canadians across the country. I hope my constituents know that I will continue to stand for them when it matters. It’s worth noting that our government is committed to moving forward on reform to our electoral campaigns – including making voting easier and reforming our campaign finance laws. I remain proud of the work our government is doing in important areas like affordable housing, more equitable child care benefits, and standing up for the values of equality, diversity, and tolerance.
It is an honour to represent you, and I will continue to work on your behalf – every chance I get. We have much more to accomplish, and I remain as committed as ever to seeing our government’s agenda continue to benefit Charlottetown and Prince Edward Island.