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Canada's Bill C-23 protested during local Walk for Freedom

Walk For Freedom protestors denounce Canada
Walk For Freedom protestors denounce Canada's Bill C-23, that alters voting processes for the federal 2015 election, during Saturday's march along the Island Highway south of Duncan.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Cowichanians took to the streets Saturday to protest potential democratic fallout from federal Bill C23.

The proposed omnibus bill revamping the Fair Elections Act – toward the Oct. 19, 2015 national election – was seen as evil by Walk For Freedom marchers.

''We just want Canadians to be aware half a million Canadians could lose their right to vote," Shawna Green said of the bill banning voter vouching, and calling for voters to show ID to cast ballots.

Green noted the ID and vouching edicts, plus other limitations in the bill, will affect voters who are homeless, on reserve, and many other marginal Canadians.

However, Canadian Press reported Saturday the Conservative government has yanked the requirement for all voters to show Canadian residency ID before voting.

The act would require ID proving who a voter is, but voters can sign an oath attesting to their home address.

A party-funding loophole is also being closed in the draft act engineered by Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre.

Amanda Marchand urged "non-elites to wake up and stand up for their rights."

Tanya Friesen explained many Canucks can't get out to protest because they're too busy working to pay debts.

"This bill hurts the nation as a whole," she said, as the knot of noisy protestors stopped south of the silver bridge.

Adrien Sylvester said he believed the bill stacks the voting deck by favouring registered and decided Canadians who may vote for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives.

"Harper's scared because he knows he knows he's going to lose this time."

David Trudel was angry the feds recently dropped a probe into suspicious robocalls, made during the 2011 election, that led some voters to bogus balloting places.

"The Conservative party are cheaters, and don't fight fair in elections," he said.

But the feds now say robocall firms working for parties must keep their scripts for three years, rather than one year as formerly proposed, CP reported.

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