Canadian Bar Association 2015 Election Engagement Kit

With the federal elections coming up on October 19th, many organizations have been producing lists of priorities, demands and positions on issues relevant to them and canvassing the major political parties to respond.

The legal community is no exception.

The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has produced an Election Engagement Kit that will “put equal access to justice on candidates’ radar and publicly call for enhanced federal leadership in this area”.

The Kit includes tips for members on how to:

  • Ask questions when candidates come knocking on your door.
  • Attend and raise these issues at all candidates’ meetings.
  • Contribute to the online debate and tweet about it by using the hashtag #whataboutalex.

The CBA also asked the main political parties (Greens, Bloc, Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats) to answer questions about their vision for equal justice.

The parties’ responses have been made available.

They were asked three questions:

  • What would your government do to bolster federal leadership on ensuring that Canada’s civil legal aid system serves the essential legal needs of all people who need help?
  • What would your government do to ensure people have the legal help they need when they face criminal charges or are incarcerated?
  • What would your government do to save taxpayers’ money by providing adequate legal aid to help meet people’s legal needs at an early, preventive stage

On a related note, the Canadian Library Association (CLA) has launched the website votelibraries.ca.

The site outlines the Canadian library community’s main priorities and concerns for the elections and beyond.

They are:

  • unstable funding for Library and Archives Canada and cuts to federal government libraries
  • the long form census
  • copyright

The site also offers summaries of the positions of the major parties relating to issues such as rural broadband service, social infrastructure, the census, etc.

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