(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

New maintenance crew to look after Okanagan Connector

Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. will replace Argo Road Maintenance Inc. in 2019

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Council to approve borrowing of $6.6 million for new Lake Country fire hall

Council will decide Tuesday night if the district should borrow up to $6.6 million for a new hall

West Kelowna Warriors suffer loss to the Vernon Vipers

The Warriors offence couldn’t get any traction as they lose their second in a row

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Hodge: The long road to recovery

Kelowna - The first week of recovery I was too consumed in pain to notice the lack of fluid.

Letter: Teaching children to be compassionate is never a bad thing

Kelowna - Teaching Mandarin in schools? That gets my vote.

Letter: Homeless Kelowna citizens need help now, not later

Long term solutions are needed and government has a role to play there.

Letter: Election loss in Kelowna blamed on racism

For decades I have written in the local press about racism.

Letter: Peachland watershed issues being recognized

We heard that an integrated response between industry and government is required

Most Read