(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

Bulkley Valley SD 54 superintendent leaving

Chris van der Mark has been superintendent with SD54 for eight years, and has hands full in Cariboo.

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

Houston property assessments nudge up

District now working on 2019 spending plans

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read