Federal Election 2011

Burson Seeks Injunction to Register Candidacy

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 19, 2011

Karen Burson, the would-be Green Party candidate for Hamilton Centre, has not given up hope that her candidacy can be registered before the May 2, 2011 federal election.

Burson's nomination was rejected by Returning Officer James Winn, but her campaign is strill trying to get Burson's name on the ballot.

"In spite of everything that I've heard about it being impossible," Burson said, "I can't help hoping that the Returning Officer's decision can still be reversed in time for the election on May 2."

According to Norman Kearney, Burson's campaign manger, the team filed a complaint with Elections Canada on April 11, but it was rejected on April 16 by the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer because the nominations deadline had already passed. Elections Canada said they would consider the matter during its post-election review.

The campaign has requested that their complaint be referred immediately to the Commissioner of Canada Elections to request a judicial injunction to confirm Burson's candidacy.

Kearney cites Section 516 of the Canada Elections Act, which states that the Commissioner must ask the court for an injunction "if there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed, is about to commit or is likely to commit an act or omission that is contrary to this Act, and that the nature and seriousness of the act or omission, the need to ensure fairness of the electoral process and the public interest justify the issuing of an injunction".

Kearney said, "We are not satisfied that a post-election review will be sufficient to ensure fairness of the electoral process."

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By Zozo (registered) | Posted April 19, 2011 at 23:04:14

Fight the good fight! May this be the pebble that begets the avalanche of Electoral Reform in our Democracy...

{no pun intended :D)

Comment edited by Zozo on 2011-04-19 23:04:43

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted April 20, 2011 at 09:34:51

Is there an email address at Elections Canada for someone we could contact to voice our concerns and show our support for Karen? I have totally lost interest in this rushed election since it was announced that Karens candidacy was being rejected. I have always voted NDP and that loyalty goes back at least a couple of generations. This would have been my first time voting Green. Not because I am dissapointed in the NDP or David Christopherson, but because the Greens have a strong platform and Leader in Elizabeth May. I have speant a considerable amount of time on the Greens FB page watching videos, reading stories, and was feeling proud of this decision of support for a movement that cannot wait until tomorrow to make the step forward into leadership. Other parties talk about what they will do in 4 years, but what the Greens stand for has to start happening now. The World can't afford to wait for tomorrow to focus on really is important. The planet, and people. I have a Green sign on my lawn and have asked for it to not be removed until after the election either way because that is where my heart lies in this election. I won't worry about a vote for the NDP, but I am most definately dissapointed that the electoral process has let Hamilton-Central down with the exclusion of our Green candidate. Someone I know from the community, who I believe would do a fine job representing a district that I truly believe would embrace a Green shift, and would thrive under such leadership from both the candidate and the party and voice she represents. Can Karen win even if the decision was reversed considering the time she has unfortunatley lost? I do not know but the point here is inclusion and the opportunity to run and the honor of representing something that obviuosly means a great deal to her. Her city, and most importantly the movement itself.

I support Karen 100%. Does a vote really count that doesn't come from deep within your heart? A knowing that 'this is what/who my heart believes in. Everyone should have that opportunity each election. The fact that this one is so rushed, had already in itself left me with a bad taste in my mouth but the Greens changed that for me, only for process to set me right back to that rushed feeling I felt when the news of a May election was announced. Unfortunately for Hamilton-Central, there may not be an opportunity for this to truly be a May election. I think that makes these sad time for politics in Hamilton.

Like I said, I do not worry about a vote for the NDP as I feel Layton has carried himself well in the debates. I even watched the French debate just to watch the body language and to see how it differed from the English speaking one. I hadn't a clue what they were saying but Jack did well at what to me, was Jibberish. Hopefully my 4 year old can help me out with that by the next election. :)

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2011 at 09:06:04

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