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Expert says Liberal’s C-19 could compromise election integrity

Bill C-19 passed second reading in the House of Commons by a vote of 330-1, with independent MP Derek Sloan casting the only opposing vote. The legislation purports to allow a safe election with mail-in voting during the pandemic.

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A University of Western Ontario professor is concerned Bill C-19 could compromise the integrity of the federal election.

Associate Professor of Software Engineering Aleksander Essex is familiar with election problems from hackable computerized voting machines, but has grown familiar with other ways elections can be stolen.

When the Western Standard asked Essex if Bill C-19 could lead to a skewed election, he said, “Probably not, but possibly yes.”

Bill C-19 passed second reading in the House of Commons by a vote of 330-1, with independent MP Derek Sloan casting the only opposing vote. The legislation purports to allow a safe election with mail-in voting during the pandemic, but Essex said the current system is hard to beat.

“Federally, Canada has had one of the all-time best methods of casting and counting ballots in terms of public accountability and oversight. So the implications of changing the formula must be carefully considered,” Essex said.

“And while mail-in voting is strongly preferred relative to its online voting counterpart, Canada needs to better consider the implications of over-weighting the number of ballots marked in an unsupervised remote environment.

“There are several reasons. Let me focus on one.: The Canada Elections Act (sec. 163) could not be more clear: ‘the vote is secret.’ In a supervised polling place, we can enforce privacy, and we can call the cops when ruffians show up and start causing trouble. There would be lots of eyewitnesses to any funny business.

“But, voting remotely provides little means of enforcing this fundamental protection. We can’t see that domineering family member instructing family members how to vote. We can’t see people gathering around the kitchen table having ‘voting parties.’ We can’t see people buying ballots for $20 a pop. Detection and enforcement, if it ever occurs, is retroactive … after the privacy violation has occurred. And it typically would happen only in cases that rose to the level of an actual complaint.”

Nearly half of Ontario municipalities use computer voting machines. Essex’s warnings that they can be hacked usually fall on deaf ears. However, his outspokenness on the subject has moved others to reach out to him when they encounter election anomalies of various kinds. 

“I heard anecdotal accounts from candidates during the 2018 Ontario municipal election of family members or friends casting ballots on behalf of others … both with or without the person’s knowledge. In these cases, people either expressed ignorance or indifference to the offence, or an unwillingness to report their family member to the authorities over the matter,” Essex said.

The incumbent Liberals in Newfoundland and Labrador renewed power with a majority government after an election done completely by mail-in ballots. A COVID-19 outbreak in mid-February prompted provincial chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk to cancel all in-person voting set for Feb. 13. The results of the mail-in vote were announced March 27 following several deadline extensions. 

The province’s NDP filed a lawsuit that alleged voting irregularities so numerous and severe that a new election was necessary. Court documents shared with The Canadian Press allege Chaulk told Elections NL staff to register voters who didn’t have proper identification, and that he took ballot kits home and encouraged other employees to do the same.

The lawsuit was signed by NDP Leader Alison Coffin, who lost her seat in the St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi district by 53 votes. Her former constituent Whymarrh Whitby co-signed the lawsuit. He told The Canadian Press that, despite several requests, he did not receive a ballot from Elections NL.

Essex hopes the provisions of C-19 don’t last.

“If C-19 truly is meant to be a temporary measure during COVID, I don’t think it’s the end of the world. My concern would be it becomes a pathway to normalizing unsupervised remote voting,” he said.

Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan

Lee Harding is the Saskatchewan Political Columnist for the Western Standard. He is also a Research Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and is the former Saskatchewan Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Mars Hill

    May 20, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    Chairman Xi is running Canada right now (:

  2. Mars Hill

    May 20, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    I believe the return to common law will fix this sort of stuff and I have a feeling it’s just around the corner.

  3. Left Coast

    May 20, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    We are well on the way to Venezuela William . . .
    Venezuela didn’t stop producing oil, the folks just could not run the refineries or the tanker loading facilities after Chauvez tossed out the foreigners who were doing the work.
    Canada on the other hand shut down 4 or more pipelines before they were built, the Post Wuhan Flu depression is going to be long & hard !
    There are few Politicians who understand what is going on in the world today and even fewer who have the ability to Lead.
    Don’t say anything bad about Chairman Xi on twitter . . . he has a long memory and could be running this country in less than a decade.

  4. William

    May 20, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    Anybody who believes this will be temporary is an idiot. We’ve just moved another step closer to becoming Venezuela.

  5. Left Coast

    May 20, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    Are the other 330 on the CCP payroll?

    We just saw a US election last November where the counting stoped in 6 or 8 States a little past Midnight . . . the poll watchers were hustled out of the building and a few hours later trucks showed up with enough “Mail-in” ballots to change the outcome of the race.

    Audits going on today in Arizona, with the Demokkkrats & Media going insane and trying to stop the process. Audits proposed in Georgia, Utah, Michigan, Wisconsin and a couple of other states.

    A guy named Pullitzer has examined the Dominion Voting machines . . . they have found Modum Chips on the mother boards, and have hacked into them with an I-phone. You could adjust the “Weight” of a Vote . . . Candidate A .80 and Candidate B 1.2 . . . that would swing 20% of Candidate As vote to B . . . and the Leftist Media says “nothin to see here folks”!

  6. K

    May 20, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Wow. 330 to 1. There is literally 1 politician who is not corrupt that has any kind of power or knows what’s going on. Sad.

  7. Paul

    May 20, 2021 at 11:51 am

    couldn’t we just have voting stations in Walmart?

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News

Edmonton anchor fuming after pride flag ripped down

Karstens-Smith said she has called police and urged people to share her post so the culprit can be found.

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An Edmonton news anchor is furious after a Pride flag was ripped down from its pole outside her home.

“I am LIVID right now,” tweeted Breanna Karstens-Smith, a Global anchor.

Karstens-Smith

“This just happened at my house. Someone came and tore down our Pride flag. No one touched it for a year when it was a Canada flag but now that it’s for pride this happens.

“THIS IS WHY WE NEED PRIDE MONTH.”

Karstens-Smith said she has called police and urged people to share her post so the culprit can be found.

Pride flag torn down

“And they are greatly mistaken if they think we’re not putting another one up. Ordering a new flag pole now. Flag is thankfully fine but we got it from @thequiltbagyeg and would love to see more in our city,” she tweeted.

“Our flag is back up and our house feels right again. Thank you for the kind messages of support. The best part is hearing from people now putting up their own flags. I’d love to see photos of them. Happy Pride.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Regina chamber CEO calls COVID-19 protesters ‘narrow, dimwitted, racist’

“I personally do not support the anti-mask movement at all. I find their views narrow, dimwitted, racist and teetering on the edge of outright lunacy,” said John Hopkins.

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Regina Chamber of Commerce CEO John Hopkins denounced COVID-19 protesters and their message in an email sent to the organization’s members.

“The anti-mask group in Regina are a very small but loud group. They have been protesting for months. They believe that they have a right to not wear a mask,” Hopkins wrote.

“Some are of the view that there are tracking devices in the masks and still others believe that this is a global conspiracy.

“…the anti-maskers have crossed the line. They have been harassing business owners, people on the street and now their latest target, kids at schools. In my opinion targeting kids is too far, way too far.

“I personally do not support the anti-mask movement at all. I find their views narrow, dimwitted, racist and teetering on the edge of outright lunacy. They certainly have the right to say what they want but the same rights and privileges extend to the rest of us….

“Racism is a vicious challenge that we need to address as a country, province and community. The time has come to act and stand up.”

The Western Standard asked Hopkins what harassment had occurred in Regina.

“There’s a candy shop on 13th Avenue,” Hopkins said.

“The business owner asked them to put on a mask and they refused and business owner refused to serve them.”

The incident from May 26 was watched almost 30,000 times on a YouTube video. The would-be customers were standing outside on the deck of the business across from the serving window.

“There has been some altercations between anti maskers and other people, actually on the street, I believe on Albert Street,” Hopkins said.

“And throughout the course of the last 14 months on, generally speaking, it’s just been people on the side of the street.”

Hopkins’ accusation of racism concerned comments made about Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab.

“There were some very troubling remarks about Dr. Shahab that the premier addressed. We were quite concerned about that… as well as other sort of comments on telling people to go home and that type of thing on some of the signs.”

At a December 14 press conference, Premier Moe said the “end was in sight” for COVID-19 restrictions, but he was “embarassed” at “racist”,”foolish”, and “idiotic” comments made by a protester at the legislature. In a video posted days before, a man tried to say Shahab’s name a few times unsuccessfully before commenting, “can’t get these foreigners’ names right.”

Regarding students, Hopkins said, “I’ve heard that they were at a school and that they were talking to kids at a school this past week….and parking in the school parking lot….I just think going to the school is a bit much.”

Hopkins said masks help.

“It blows my mind that somehow when the Chief Medical Officer – not only one, but many across the country, and in fact, globally – are saying, wear a mask, I think it’s pretty straightforward wearing a mask is one of the things that can help people stay safe…Even though we’re making headway against the virus, it’s still out there that masks aren’t doing anything. And I find it just bizarre.”

The email was posted on the Freedom Alliance Facebook page by Kevin Volk.

“Check out this crap that was sent to me,” Volk wrote, urging people to phone the chamber to express their displeasure.

Volk told the Western Standard he had a cleaning business and had been a chamber member “for well over ten years.”

“This is just another slap in the face for business owners. The chamber has been pushing for businesses to remain closed even tho they are supposed to help businesses. They have done absolutely nothing for small businesses owners,” he said.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Canadians hit with millions of dollars of COVID fines

Cabinet tabled in the Commons detailed enforcement actions under the Quarantine Act.

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The feds have issued tickets for close to $3 million for COVID-19 scofflaws who have refused to quarantine at hotels after arriving back in the country, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Other tickets handed out include fines for fraudulent COVID-19 test results.

Cabinet tabled in the Commons detailed enforcement actions under the Quarantine Act.

“I think it is important that we adhere to the public health advice that we are all getting, that we do our part as Canadians to try and protect our health care system,” Health Minister Patricia Hajdu earlier told reporters.

Records show a total 988 air passengers were each ticketed $3,000 for “refusing to go to government-approved accommodation” on arrival in Canada. The majority of tickets, 621, were issued at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport followed by Vancouver (194 tickets) and Montréal (173).

Cabinet on January 7 passed an order requiring all air travelers to prove they were COVID-19-free with tests taken a maximum 72 hours prior to arrival. An identical order for cross-border drivers was invoked February 22.

The Canada Border Services Agency found 62 travelers with fake tests, said the report, and four were each ticketed $3,000.

Another 9,003 travelers were cited for not having proof of a valid test, including 4,583 drivers and 4,420 air passengers.

“This would include individuals who did not test at all, who were in possession of tests outside the required 72-hour time frame, tests that did not originate from the required country of origin, tests that are suspected fraudulent and other reasons,” wrote staff.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair defended the enforcement.

“Cancel your vacation plans,” Blair told reporters February 12.

“Stay home. Respect the rules. We believe that through these effective measures, appropriate screening and the testing measures in particular that we have put in place coupled with robust and enforced quarantine orders, it is the best way to prevent variants from spreading across our borders into Canada.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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