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Smith must protect democracy from Gondek’s foreign voter scheme

Keean Bexte

Sensing the urgent need to defend citizens’ rights from an unprecedented and blatant anti-Albertan agenda, Smith has stepped up, heeding the call and acknowledging the true threat that Gondek’s attempt to subvert election laws represents.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has reiterated the urgent need for Bill 20 to halt Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek’s attempt to let non-citizens vote.

Sensing the urgent need to defend citizens’ rights from an unprecedented and blatant anti-Albertan agenda, Smith has stepped up, heeding the call and acknowledging the true threat that Gondek’s attempt to subvert election laws represents.

“In rare circumstances, the province does need to take a second look at certain city decisions that are unconstitutional or fall outside their responsibility,” Smith explained.

“One example is the City of Calgary attempting to alter election laws to allow non-citizens to vote. That is simply not appropriate nor within their authority. Bill 20 will provide the province with a tool to deal with these rare but serious examples of municipal overreach.”

The bill in question, officially the Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act, would provide the provincial government with additional powers, including firing city councillors and changing bylaws.

While Bill 20 has come under scrutiny for its seemingly far-reaching powers, the bill is intended to address something very real and a threat to the democratic process in Calgary, specifically: non-citizens having a say in the governance of cities and in who gets elected or re-elected.

Gondek is desperate

This comes just one week after Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek and her council voted to allow non-citizens to vote—likely a desperate move to sure up more voters and secure her re-election after months of protests against her rule and polls showing she’s the most unpopular mayor in Calgary’s history.

Indeed, despite calls for her resignation, Gondek says she has no intention to do so and seems to have cooked up a new strategy: changing voting laws.

Of course, the municipal government has no power to change voting laws on its own; Gondek admitted as much in response to Smith. But that isn’t stopping her and her councillors from trying.

The sheer gall is palpable.

Following the vote, the resolution will now be forwarded to AB Munis, which will then lobby the government to officially change the Local Authorities Election Act to give non-citizens the right to vote.

And make no mistake, if Gondek does have her way, democracy, at least as it pertains to Calgary, will face an existential threat.

Politicians who are best able to pander to non-Canadians will hold a permanent electoral advantage, and that is why Gondek is desperate for the change.

It is also why the mainstream media is running offense for the disgraced mayor.

Native-born Canadians would become second-class citizens, while so-called ‘newcomers’ would rule the roost.

This can’t be allowed to happen. But fortunately, Smith is acting proactively through Bill 20, stating, in no unclear terms, that it will never happen.

This story is part of our opinion section. It is written with both objective fact and subjective perspective. Unlike the CBC, The Counter Signal believes it is important to distinguish between news and opinion.

 https://thecountersignal.com/smith-must-protect-democracy-from-gondek-foreign-voter-scheme/

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