The Surrey Board of Trade is calling on the provincial government to put the brakes on the elections reform referendum so its members can have more time to study its impacts.
“Our members who participated in our survey on electoral reform made it very clear that they would prefer to have more time to study the various options,” Anita Huberman, CEO of the board, stated in a press release Tuesday, shortly after the amendment act was tabled in the BC Legislature in Victoria.
The board “represents over 6,000 business contacts represented by 2,600 business members,” she noted.
The province is set to have a referendum by mail, from Oct. 22 to Nov. 30, on what voting system should be used for provincial elections and registered voters are expected to receive voting packages in the mail from Election BC between Oct. 22 and Nov. 2.
The referendum will ask voters if B.C. should stick with the current “first past the post” system or move to proportional representation, and if proportional representation, should it be dual member, mixed member or rural urban. More information can be found on the Elections BC website under “What are we voting on?”
“We also implemented a survey to those who participated in a very informative Surrey Board of Trade Hot Topic Dialogue,” Huberman said, “and they are still asking for more time. Simply put, many don’t understand the various options and their implications or economic benefits.”
Huberman said many respondents to both surveys “strongly asked” for the referendum to be postponed because they want clear examples of what each option looks like.
“Being told that an option will have so many MLAs or another option will transfer votes does not provide a concise or tangible example that would be useful for those trying to figure it all out.”