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6 Legal Initiatives Proposed

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6 legal initiatives proposed about David Emerson’s switch of parties

Six legal initiatives were proposed during February–April 2006. These initiatives were of four types, as presented below.

(P-1)   Use of Federal Court to recover monies raised by Mr. Emerson’s Riding Association?

    On 9 February 2006, Vancouver lawyer and constitutional expert Ted McWhinney proposed in a Vancouver Sun article that a voter in Vancouver-Kingsway might be able to use Federal Court to win back the $96,755 that Mr. Emerson’s Riding Association raised to elect him.

(P-2)   Were the rights of David Emerson’s constituents violated under Section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

    This question was asked by Vancouver lawyer Peter Dimitrov on 14, 20, and 23 February 2006.

    More on this question.

(P-31-2)   Comparison with violations of “representation” in two sections of the Competition Act

    www.DavidEmersonLegal.com noted in April 2006 that the Federal Competition Act (in English; in French) contained subsections on “False or misleading representations” and “Misrepresentations to the public.”

    As Alex Boivin alluded to in his letter to Industry Canada regarding whether David Emerson engaged in false/misleading advertising, political advertising seems to be treated quite differently from commercial advertising in Canada. Nevertheless, it is interesting to compare what is unacceptable in the world of business competition under the Competition Act with what is allowed in Canadian politics under Canadian law.

    More on this comparison.

(P-41-2)   Future election candidates to swear oaths about not changing political affiliation?

    In April 2006, www.DavidEmersonLegal.com investigated whether future political candidates could be asked to swear oaths or sign contracts before campaigning in an election, making clear the status of their political affiliations.

    Contracts have limited merit, but oaths could be sworn in two ways. One way would be to amend the Canada Elections Act, which already requires candidates standing for a federal political election to make a statement under oath. A second way would be to encourage political candidates to sign a statement under oath with their official agents on behalf of their Riding Association, if there is one.

    (A weak version of the second proposal was enacted at a public meeting of Vancouver-Kingsway candidates for the 40th Canadian Federal Election on Tuesday 7 October 2008. The moderator of the meeting took the unusual step of of asking all the candidates to pledge to the voters of Vancouver-Kingsway that they wouldn’t change parties. Wendy Yuan, the Liberal Party candidate, said in response: “I personally pledge to you that I am totally committed to you.” She was not elected.)

    More on these two oath-swearing proposals.

 
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