Shin introduces e-petitions bill

Burnaby-Lougheed NDP MLA Jane Shin -
Burnaby-Lougheed NDP MLA Jane Shin
— image credit:

Jane Shin is hoping what's good enough for Parliament will be good enough for the B.C. legislature.

The New Democrat MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed introduced a private member's bill in the legislature Monday calling for electronic petitions to be allowed in the House.

Currently, only paper petitions are accepted. Her proposed Electronic Petitions Act would allow people to provide a name, email, phone number and mailing address instead of a physical signature.

"I was inspired by the kind of collaboration Kennedy Stewart championed in the house across party lines federally for his motion on the same topic," Shin said by email.

Stewart, NDP MP for Burnaby-Douglas, accomplished a rare feat in January when his e-petition motion was passed in the House of Commons, by only two votes. He had managed to secure votes from MPs of all parties to make it happen.

E-petitions are already allowed in many other jurisdictions including the U.K., the U.S. and Quebec.

And it's about time it was allowed in British Columbia, "25 years since the Internet has became a part of life," Shin said. The measure would be a cost-effective one that will help engage more people in the democratic process.

"It allows our community to organize, campaign and voice their issues with ease, emailing and using social media to pass around a link to a petition is much more time and cost efficient than mailing and dropping off/picking up paper petitions."

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