Burnaby MP's e-petition plan implemented

Canadians will be able to file online petitions with government after the next federal election

Kennedy Stewart's idea to bring e-petitions to Canada is officially reality, after the House of Commons implemented the plan today.

As soon as the house sits after the next federal election, Canadians will be able to file petitions online, and a minimum of 500 signatures will trigger a response from the relevant minister.

article continues below

"It's a done deal," said Stewart, MP for Burnaby-Douglas.

Stewart has been pushing for e-petitions since 2012. The House of Commons currently accepts paper petitions but not online versions.

Stewart said there will be a website, governed by the speaker of the House of Commons, where the public can create an online petition. The site will include a drop-down menu so petitioners can ask an MP to sponsor the petition, which is a safeguard to prevent frivolous petitions. Stewart said he thinks the website will create larger-than-expected change.

"For one thing, it will make the media and Canadians know what petitions are out there, because they are all centralized now on a website. If a petition gets 100,000 signatures, or 200,000 signatures, it will go to the media, and it will be very, very hard for a minister not to do something more than just offer a lame response," he said.

Last summer, Stewart managed to convince a handful of backbenchers to support his e-petitions bill, which is why it narrowly passed by two votes, without support from the majority of Conservatives.

"I'm really happy. Remember the prime minister and the whole cabinet voted against it in the House of Commons, and I still ended up getting something," he said.

"It was really hard," he added, laughing.

Read Related Topics

© Burnaby Now


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

Please keep your comments, clean, civil and respectful. Comments deemed inappropriate or libelous will be removed. The Burnaby NOW makes no guarantee of comments’ factual accuracy.

The Burnaby Now welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Popular Burnaby Now

Community Event Calendar

Find out what's happening in your community and submit your own local events.