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This article was published 7/12/2018 (534 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THE Progressive Conservative government has introduced legislation that would establish rules for conducting referendums on matters of public importance.
The government said The Referendum Act (Bill 8) would set out rules for:
• How a referendum question is determined so it is worded clearly, concisely and impartially;
• How a referendum is called, conducted and financed;
• Spending limits on campaigning for referendums for both individuals and political parties;
• Restrictions on government advertising; and
• Rules that ensure referendum voting is done in the same manner as voting in a provincial election.
Under the proposed legislation, the provincial cabinet could bring a referendum question to the legislative assembly for approval. Public committee hearings would follow, allowing Manitobans to have a say in the wording of the referendum question.
The legislation would require that a referendum be held before implementation of a significant change to how provincial votes are held or before the legislative assembly can vote on authorizing an amendment to Canada’s Constitution.
These requirements are in addition to provincial requirements to hold a referendum on major tax increases or on the privatization of public utilities, including Manitoba Hydro and Manitoba Public Insurance.