Parliamentary petitions — like the one on public nudity — give ordinary Canadians some skin in the game | CBC News


That is an excerpt from Minority Report, a weekly publication on federal politics. If you have not subscribed but, you are able to do that by clicking here.


A petition to finish prosecutions for public nudity is considered one of many parliamentary petitions Canadians are utilizing to construct assist for a trigger and take part straight within the governing course of.

Petitioners can use a paper or on-line petition to press the Home of Commons, the federal government of Canada, a minister of the Crown or a member of Parliament to do one thing, or to cease doing one thing.

Submitting a petition would not compel the federal authorities to behave on the concern it raises, but it surely does demand a reply. Since 1986, related authorities ministries have been required to concern responses to petitions inside 45 days of the date after they’re introduced within the Home of Commons.

Anybody can go to the government’s petition website to browse the greater than 60 digital petitions now open for signatures. Parliament’s Clerk of Petitions additionally accepts paper petitions however they can not be signed via the parliamentary web site.

The petitions presently open deal with a spread of political causes, from rescinding vaccine mandates to embracing proportional illustration to creating election day right into a statutory vacation.

A petition calling for an finish to legal guidelines in opposition to public nudity has nearly 600 digital signatures — a bit greater than the five hundred required for an digital petition to be introduced within the Home of Commons for a response. Paper petitions, which take a barely totally different path, want solely 25 signatures.

Every petition must be sponsored by a member of the Home of Commons. The nudity petition is sponsored by Elizabeth Might, the Inexperienced Social gathering’s parliamentary chief within the Home. MPs aren’t required to signal the petitions they sponsor or agree with their contents.

The petition Might is sponsoring requires the repeal of Part 174 of the Felony Code, which offers with any particular person who “overtly exposes or displays an indecent exhibition in a public place.”

The petition additionally needs language inserted into the Felony Code “specifying that public nudity, in and of itself, shouldn’t be indecent, obscene, or a nuisance.” The petition is open for signatures till the morning of Sept. 8. 

“To be clear, I’m not a supporter of the petitioners’ objective. I’m not a supporter of public nudity.  I do assist the rights of residents in a democracy to get direct solutions from their authorities.  That is an avenue too few Canadians know is offered to them,” Might stated in an emailed assertion. 

“It’s a mechanism for any and each Canadian to get their views positioned straight earlier than the federal government and get a solution from the federal government.”

A name for an finish to journey restrictions

To get an digital petition up and operating, an individual should first write a draft petition with the assist of 5 Canadian residents or everlasting residents and submit it to an MP. If the MP agrees to assist it, they’ll go it on to the Clerk of Petitions for verification earlier than it is placed on the web site.

The petitioner then decides how lengthy they need the petition open for signatures — 30, 60, 90 or 120 days. As soon as a petition’s signing interval has ended, and so long as it has garnered at the least 500 signatures, the clerk certifies it and presents it to the Home in anticipation of a response.

Whereas digital petitions want 500 signatures to be introduced to the Home, many obtain greater than that. 

Essentially the most-signed petition of the final Parliament occurred to be an e-petition demanding the repeal of Liberal firearms laws. It obtained 230,905 signatures.

Passengers presently should be totally vaccinated or have an exemption to board a airplane in Canada. A petition sponsored by Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman is attempting to roll that again. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

The open digital petition with probably the most signatures proper now could be sponsored by Ontario Conservative MP Jamie Schmale. It’s calling for the federal authorities to introduce laws to enable residents to suggest and repeal laws or take away an elected official earlier than their time period is up. It has 39,993 signatures. 

The open petition with the second-highest variety of signatures — simply over 13,000 — requires the termination of “pointless and discriminatory federal journey restrictions as they now not have a measurable well being profit.”

Whereas MPs do not should assist the petitions they sponsor, Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman has been hammering the Liberal authorities within the Home of Commons with questions that use related language.

Ryan Turnbull, the Liberal MP from Whitby, is sponsoring an digital petition with the third-highest present variety of signatures. It asks Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne to assist guarantee pensioners are getting the complete advantages promised to them by their employers.

Video cameras in slaughterhouses

The Home of Commons says that, since 2015, roughly 200 e-petitions and about 1,500 paper petitions have been introduced yearly.

Throughout the forty third Parliament, from 2019 to 2021, 1,284 petitions made it via the method and obtained a authorities response.

Liberal MP for Seashores—East York Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who has a fame as a maverick within the Liberal caucus, is sponsoring a petition that now has greater than 3,660 signatures.

This petition, which is open for signatures till Aug. 24, is asking the federal authorities to require slaughterhouses to put in video surveillance that may very well be accessed by Canadian Meals Inspection Company officers. 

Erskine-Smith has been lively on animal welfare points up to now. His private member’s bill in search of to ban imports and gross sales of cat and canine fur, and imports of shark fins, did not get the assist it wanted again in 2016.

Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith is sponsoring a petition asking the federal authorities to require slaughterhouses to put in video surveillance that may be accessed by Canadian Meals Inspection Company officers. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

Different petitions pursue extra slender adjustments to legal guidelines or laws.

NDP MP Lisa Marie Barron is sponsoring a petition asking Canada Submit and the income minister to introduce a short lived measure bumping up the per-kilometre allowance charges for workers by 15 per cent till the common worth of gasoline drops under $1.75 a litre.

That petition is open till June 10 and presently has 1,950 signatures.

The parliamentary petition web site lists 622 petitions, about 65 of which are digital petitions open for signature. About 350 are closed and have obtained a authorities response; the remaining stay open or have but to get a response.

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