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For immediate release, May 29, 2017. 

We Are Not Going Away! Rally on Parliament Hill, Monday May 29, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Ottawa, ON: Civil society organizations and supporters of proportional representation (PR) in Canada are mobilizing to send a core message to the federal government.

As Fair Vote Canada President Réal Lavergne summarizes it, “We Care Passionately About Electoral Reform And Are Not Going Away! We do not accept the government’s backtracking on the Liberal campaign promise that 2015 would be the last First-past-the-post election.”

To better deliver this message, Fair Vote Canada (FVC) and its partners are organizing a rally on Parliament Hill on Monday May 29 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Speakers will include Green Party leader Elizabeth May, NDP Democratic Reform critic Nathan Cullen, former Chief of Staff for Stephen Harper Guy Giorno and former Liberal and Conservative MP David Kilgour.

Singer-songwriter Tony Turner, writer of Harperman, will debut a new song: “Every Vote We Cast.” The Ottawa Raging Grannies will join him and feature their own song, “We Want PR.”

Fair Vote Canada will unveil results of a survey on citizens’ views on PR and Leadnow will be delivering a petition of over 46 000 signers calling for PR.

FVC has been been mobilizing its supporters for weeks to encourage Liberal MPs to vote YES on an upcoming motion in the House of Commons at the end of May. Other organizations, such Leadnow and Council of Canadians have done the same.

This motion will invite Parliamentarians to concur with the final report tabled by the Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE) on Dec. 1, 2016. As Réal Lavergne explains, “It would not compel the government to implement all of the recommendations contained in the report, but would send a signal that discussions around PR need to be pursued and a way forward identified in time for the 2019 election, as originally promised.”

FVC has recently funded a poll across the country to determine to what extent a consensus does or does not exist on PR when respondents are asked direct questions on the topic and provided with a short explanation. Results show a strong consensus for PR on each of the four questions asked of respondents.

In particular, it was found that over two-thirds of respondents want their MP to advocate in the House of Commons for the Liberal government to keep its promise and bring in PR in time for the next election. FVC invites Liberal MPs in these ridings to vote with their constituents and vote YES on the concurrence motion.  

The May 29 rally on the Hill is the culmination of the work that has been going on in preparation for the concurrence motion, including the Keep Your Promise town hall tour organized by Nathan Cullen’s office in ridings across the country, as reported by the CBC on May 24.

It is also the final event of the Walk for PR (Walk4PR), a 200 km journey from Kingston to Ottawa, with stops in Perth, Smith Falls, Merrickville, Manotick and Vincent Massey Park along the way. Walk4PR is led by 75 year old Ron Weigand, an ardent supporter of PR who plans to do this walk annually until reform of our electoral system is finally achieved. As he explains,

I asked myself, ‘What can I do to contribute to the PR movement?’I’ve been walking seriously for over twenty years, so a walk like this seemed like a good way for me to contribute.  

PR supporters in the Ottawa region and surrounding areas were invited to walk with Ron for various legs of the walk.

On May 29, the walk will involve several key rallying points along the Rideau Canal starting at Hog,s Back Lockstation. The plan is to “grow” the march in flash-mob style until it arrives on the Hill.


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