Posted on May 27, 2021
NDP WILL GIVE REAL TEETH TO KENNEY’S PHONY RECALL ACT
EDMONTON - Alberta’s NDP Opposition will propose a series of amendments that will transform Jason Kenney’s phony Recall Act into a real tool for Albertans to recall their current MLA.
“Jason Kenney thinks he can deceive Albertans simply by passing a bill that says ‘recall’ on it, but he can’t,” said Irfan Sabir, NDP Critic for Justice. “This is a fake bill that protects MLAs with impossibly high requirements and unnecessary extra steps.”
Kenney’s bill requires citizens to gather signatures from 40 per cent of the entire voters list within 60 days, a nearly impossible feat. For example, Albertans seeking to recall Health Minister Tyler Shandro in Calgary-Acadia would have to gather 13,852 signatures, even though Shandro was elected with only 12,615 votes in 2019 after six months of campaigning.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in the last decade, there has been no successful recall petition in any U.S. state or Canadian province with a 40 per cent requirement. Then, even if that 40 per cent threshold was achieved, under Kenney’s proposal there is an additional step. Constituents would have to win a “recall vote”, and, if that vote was also successful, only then would there be a by-election campaign. Kenney’s bill does not include the gratuitous “recall vote” campaign for municipal councillors or school trustees.
The Opposition will present amendments in the Legislature to lower the signature requirement to 25 per cent of eligible voters, and remove the unnecessary “recall vote” step entirely for MLAs.
Kenney’s phony bill also has no set date to come into force, meaning Canada’s most disliked premier could wait as long as he wanted before proclaiming it. Alberta’s NDP will propose that the bill come into effect on July 31, 2021.
“Jason Kenney has told his own UCP supporters they will have to wait more than a year for a party review of his leadership, but we are demanding much better on behalf of all Albertans,” Sabir said. “The Premier should not be able to wait to see if his popularity improves before putting this recall legislation into force.”
The Opposition will also propose $3,000-per-person contribution limits for recall petitions to ensure they are truly grassroots campaigns.
“Kenney’s so-called Recall Act is a complete fake,” said Heather Sweet, NDP Critic for Democracy and Ethics. “Kenney designed it to be impossible to use because he knows a genuine recall act would put many UCP MLAs in danger — including himself.”
“We will propose amendments to give Albertans the real power to remove MLAs who have broken the public trust,” Sweet said. “If UCP MLAs vote these down, then they are clearly terrified of being accountable to the Albertans they are supposed to serve.”