Team

Partner Organizations

The Charter Challenge project was initiated by Fair Voting BC in early 2017. Fair Voting BC is a non-partisan non-profit society that works for fair voting systems for all elections held in British Columbia - including federal, provincial, and municipal elections. In the 2009 referendum on electoral reform in BC, Fair Voting BC (FVBC) served as the official proponent of the BC’s Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform’s recommendation that BC adopt the Single Transferable Vote (BC-STV) electoral system. The project-lead from FVBC is Dr. Antony Hodgson, president of the FVBC board. 

In May of 2017, Springtide accepted an invitation from Fair Voting BC to partner on this project, to provide operational leadership, oversight and support for the Challenge. Springtide is a Nova Scotia-based charity dedicated to non-partisan research, teaching and public engagement about democracy and politics in Canada. Springtide has published two papers on electoral reform - modelling four alternative electoral systems for Canada and Nova Scotia - and conducted public engagement and education workshops on electoral reform throughout Nova Scotia. The project-lead from Springtide is Mark Coffin, executive director of Springtide. 

Advisory Board

The following individuals serve on the advisory board for the Charter Challenge project. 

  • Dr. J. Patrick Boyer, QC - Lawyer, professor, writer, former Progressive Conservative MP, expert on Electoral Law in Canada, ON
  • Annette Demers - Associate Dean, Law Library and Legal Research Services, University of Windsor, ON
  • Caitlin Urquhart - Associate Lawyer at Smyth Woodland Del Rizzo & Barrett, St. John's, NL
  • Dr. Fred Cutler - Political Scientist, University of British Columbia, BC
  • Réal Lavergne - President, Fair Vote Canada, ON
  • Matt Risser - Co-author of Springtide's discussion papers Better Choices: Voting System Alternative for Nova Scotia and Canada, NS

 



Like and Follow

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Current Status:

- In early August of 2019, we raised enough support ($70,000) to cover the costs of preparing a court application and securing expert testimony for our case.

- We intend to file the case in a provincial court in the fall of 2019.
 

How you can help

The main way you can help is to support the case financially. We need to raise another $150,000 to cover the costs associated with arguing the case at two levels of provincial court, and to file an application for leave with the Supreme Court of Canada. You can make a tax-deductible donation here.


What to expect

- Once we file, the case will be heard in a provincial court.

- Following an initial decision, there will be an appeal heard in another court. If the initial decision is in our favour, the Government of Canada will likely appeal it. If the decision is not in our favour, we will appeal it.

- Finally, if the Court chooses to grant this case leave, it will be heard in the Supreme Court of Canada, where the decision will be final. If the case isn’t granted leave, the decision of the appeal court is final.


Time and Money

We estimate the total costs for arguing and overseeing this case to be in the range of $300,000 - $350,000, spread out over the course of 2 - 4 years.

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