Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Residents to have their say on electoral reform Nov. 23
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 10 Nov 2006, p. 5

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Halton Hills residents will have an opportunity to have a say on the future voting system in Ontario at a public meeting to be held on Thursday, Nov. 23, 7-9 p.m. at MoldMasters SportsPlex hall. Georgetown resident John Daly, who is Halton riding's delegate to the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform, is organizing the informal information meeting. He said this information meeting would help local residents learn about the voting process and why change is being considered. This Assembly is a group of 103 randomly selected citizens- 52 male and 52 female (including the chair)- who will assess the province's electoral system and others to decide whether Ontario should keep its current system or adopt a new one. While many Assembly members were born and raised in Ontario, others call Ontario home now, but trace their roots to a number of countries including England, Germany, Malta, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Dubai and Korea. Assembly members will spend six weekends this fall learning about Ontario's "first past the post" system and other electoral systems. In the winter, they will take another six weeks to hear what other Ontarians think about electoral reform by hosting formal public consultations across the province. The first for this area is on Monday, Nov. 20, 7-10 p.m. at the YMCA, 20 Union St. in Brampton, followed by meetings Nov. 21, 710 p.m. at the YMCA Employment & community Services, 151 City Centre Dr., Suite 800 in Mississauga and on Nov. 22, 7-10 p.m. at the Oakville Public Library, 120 Navy St. in Oakville. Residents who wish to speak at these three formal presentations must register by calling 416-325-0758, 1-866-317-3208 or TTY 1-866-733-9751 or fax, 416-325-8390. The Assembly will also invite written submissions through its website and via mail. This consultation process will give residents a chance to present their views on what they value most in an electoral system and what model they think works best for Ontario. Armed with this information, Assembly members will come together for a final six weekends in the spring to deliberate and make a recommendation to the government by May 15. If the Assembly recommends a change to the electoral system, every voter in Ontario will have their say in a referendum to be held by the next provincial election in Ontario on October 4, 2007. Legislation was introduced in late October to require the endorsement of 60 per cent of those casting a vote, plus at least 50 per cent support in at least 64 ridings. To learn more visit the Assembly's website at www.citizensassembly.gov.on.ca (Cynthia Gamble can be reached at cgamble@independentfreepress.com)

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10 Nov 2006
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Residents to have their say on electoral reform Nov. 23