Groups rally against Fair Elections Act

Michael Stoesser, 26, demonstrates against Bill C-23 outside MP Pat Davidson's Sarnia, Ont., office...

Michael Stoesser, 26, demonstrates against Bill C-23 outside MP Pat Davidson's Sarnia, Ont., office in this March 25, 2014, file photo. (TYLER KULA/QMI AGENCY)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:45 PM ET

Community groups across the country rallied Saturday to oppose Bill C-23, the federal government's Fair Elections Act.

The Canadian Federation of Students - Manitoba calls the bill "a blatant attempt by the Harper government to stack the deck in favour of the Conservatives in the next federal election.

"The dangerous changes proposed by Bill C-23 will impact how and if some Canadians can vote, creating particular barriers for students, low income Canadians, and seniors. Canadians have been consistent in their opposition to this bill, and calls for its defeat are growing," CFS-M said in a statement.

On Tuesday, a rally will take place at Winnipeg's City Hall and council will be voting on a motion to oppose the bill on Wednesday.

CFS-M says the act would disproportionately impact students and youth, indigenous people, seniors, people on low-incomes, and other groups of people who the Conservatives know are unlikely to vote for them.

Last Thursday, the NDP launched an online-only ad denouncing the act, calling on Canadians to sign a petition opposing the bill.

The NDP says the bill, which eliminates the practice of vouching, will prevent tens of thousands of people from casting ballots.

A voter without proper identification on election day can vote if another citizen with ID "vouches" for them.

The Conservatives say that vouching is too susceptible to voter fraud.

Also on Thursday, a who's who of the Canadian left, including novelist Margaret Atwood and environmentalist David Suzuki, signed a letter to Prime Minister Harper denouncing the bill, which they also said will "stack the deck" in favour of the governing party.


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