As many Ottawa activists know, electronic petitions cannot be submitted to the House of Commons. Only old fashioned paper and ink petitions are permitted by House rules.
However, in February, NDP MP Kennedy Stewart introduced a motion that would change this. His motion is M-428. The issue is being debated this week in the House.
Here are more details on what the motion proposes:
Maclean‘s magazine reports, “Currently, MPs can table paper petitions with at least 25 signatures, and the government must respond within 45 days. Kennedy’s plan would allow e-petitions, if they garnered enough names and the support of at least five MPs, to ignite actual debates in the House.”
Stewart explains that with his motion, “Certified electronic petitions receiving a certain number of signatures – for example, 50,000 – and sponsored by at least five MPs would trigger a debate (similar to a ‘take note’ debate) in the House of Commons.”
Considering how many pro-life petitions are submitted to the House on a weekly basis (and yes, I monitor this trend), this a motion the pro-lifers should look into. Imagine that – our little signatures triggering a formal debate in the House?
For more information on the motion, a Q&A is available here.
(Anyone see a downside to this motion? At first glance, I don’t.)by