Progress Update: BC Results, Strategic Opinion, Next Steps

As you’ve likely heard, the results of the BC referendum on electoral reform are in, and British Columbians have voted to keep first-past-the-post. I was disappointed to hear the results, as I’m sure you were. I’m heartened, however, by the energy and momentum that has been harnessed by pro-reform organizers in BC, and hopeful that we can channel that energy into a stronger movement for proportional representation in Canada. 

While we were hopeful for the outcome of the BC referendum, most battles for civil rights are won through a mix of grassroots political advocacy, support for candidates who are willing to stand up for those rights, and legal action against governments who stand in opposition to those rights. Our work on the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting is a key pillar in the fight for proportional representation in Canada. Our goal remains the same: to win a ruling from the courts that our current first-past-the-post voting system infringes on our democratic rights and freedoms.  

Where we stand

Thanks to your financial support, a few weeks ago we reached an important milestone on our path to court. As you may recall, this summer we hired Nicolas Rouleau, a talented lawyer who has argued and won cases in the Supreme Court of Canada. A few weeks ago he sent us a detailed strategy for arguing our case, which builds and expands on the ideas we had in mind when we launched this challenge. Tony and I are excited about the path he’s laid out for this case. Your support made this possible!

Next Steps

To move this case forward, we need your support once again. It will cost about $70,000 to file and submit a notice of application, to prepare the evidence, and secure the expert testimony we need to make our case.

Please donate now to help us reach this goal.

Remember that your donation to the Charter Challenge, via Springtide is a tax-deductible charitable contribution. If you contribute before midnight on December 31st, you’ll be able to claim up to 50% of the value of your donation when file your taxes in just a few months.

Thank you for your continued support, and Happy Holidays.


Mark Coffin

Executive Director @ Springtide

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  • Mark Coffin
    published this page in Blog Updates 2018-12-26 18:57:46 -0400

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Current Status:

- Court date is confirmed! The case will be heard September 25 - 27, 2023.

- The case was filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on October 2019.

- Served government with affidavit and evidence package in May 2021.

- Government affidavits received in late Fall 2022.

How you can help

The main way you can help is to support the case financially. We need to raise another $25,000 to cover the costs of presenting our case in court. You can support the case for as little as a dollar a month.

What to expect

- Fall 2022 - Once evidence and a response from the government is received, Charter Challenge lawyer, Nicolas Rouleau will start preparing for cross-examination and response affidavits.

- Spring 2023 - Once we have received the government’s evidence and replied to it, Charter Challenge lawyer, Nicolas Rouleau, will draft the factum

- At each step, we set a goal based on our estimate of the costs, and ask supporters to contribute to help us reach that goal, and to ensure the case can continue to move forward.