(The Canadian Press)

Construction industry group again tries to halt B.C.’s electoral reform referendum

Independent Contractors and Businesses Association asks to appeal denial of an interim injunction

A group representing B.C.’s construction industry is taking another shot at stopping the NDP government’s electoral reform referendum. 

On Monday, the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association was set to ask for leave to appeal an Aug. 28 BC Supreme Court decision that denied its interim injunction to halt the referendum.

In court documents, the association called the referendum question “confusing” and the proportional representation options “unclear” and “undefined.”

The referendum, mail-in ballots for which were set out last week, asks whether voters want to keep the current first-past-the-post system or switch to one of proportional representation. A second question lays out three choices for proportional representation: dual member, mixed member and rural-urban systems.

The process has been criticized for being too close to the Oct. 20 municipal election, not providing voters with new electoral maps, and for having begun the campaigning process in the summer, when the legislature is not in session.

READ MORE: Four options to be offered for B.C. voting referendum

READ MORE: B.C. cabinet approves multiple-choice voting referendum

The association also alleges the province has “rigged” the results by placing limits on campaign spending and not properly explaining the choices available.

Each official side, Vote PR B.C. and the No B.C. Proportional Representation Society, will receive $500,000 in public funds and be allowed to spend an additional $200,000.

Justice Miriam Gropper had denied the interim injunction request because she said the association’s claims were full of “rhetoric, conjecture and exaggeration.”

In a statement, Attorney General David Eby said the referendum was a chance for British Columbians to decide their democratic future.

“By appealing the decision on its injunction to suspend the upcoming referendum on electoral reform, the ICBA continues to work against the right of people to vote on how their provincial representatives are elected,” said Eby.

“As I’ve said before, our government will vigorously defend the right of people to vote on the question of whether to change B.C.’s voting system or keep the current system.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Stolen truck involved in fatal collision on Highway 16

Wednesday’s two-vehicle crash killed one man, 23, and injured two others

Local company Northern Homecraft wins big at Northern B.C. awards

Vanderhoof company won in two categories for homes built in Fort St. James area

Column: the 4-H way of life

Local 4-H member Jacinta Meir on what being a member means to her

2018 marks 100 years since the end of World War I

Quesnel legion’s historian Doug Carey documents some of the atrocities of WWI

Conifex announces a temporary curtailment in operations at Fort St. James mill

Between 180 and 200 people will be affected by the curtailment for at least four weeks

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Feds respond to sexual assault investigation at B.C. naval base

Report of Oct. 5 sexual assault on Vancouver Island base taken over by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

Most Read