NDP MLA calls on B.C. government to digitize democracy

Burnaby-Lougheed NDP MLA Jane Jae Kyung Shin has been travelling across the province advocating that government accept electronic petitions.

Burnaby-Lougheed NDP MLA Jane Jae Kyung Shin has been travelling across the province advocating that government accept electronic petitions.

“This past session I tabled an E-Petition bill for the third time,” Shin told the Tribune.

Other jurisdictions, including Quebec, the UK and U.S. have already done it, she said.

“They’ve acknowledged the Internet has been around for 30 years and it allows people to participate and voice their opinions by electronic submissions.”

When federal opposition MP Kennedy Stewart tabled the bill, the federal MPs regardless of party passed it unanimously, she added.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for B.C. to also follow through and do what makes sense for the electorate, especially the rural communities, where the challenges of distances sometimes keep people from having their voices heard.”

Shin has a petition she’s been taking with her on the road in hopes she will gather enough signatures to present in the legislature when MLA resume in July.

“I call it my petition for E-petition,” she chuckled, noting a lot of people don’t realize when they copy and paste a petition and send it to their MLA, or post it on social media to express concerns, it  does not go any further.

“It does not ever make it to the house because it’s not accepted in that form.”

Shin said people can mail in signatures or e-mail her so she can figure out how to obtain the hard copies.

“I will be happy to hear from anyone who wants to support the bill and I have an E-Petition to support the E-Petition, although I won’t be able to introduce that.”

Shin can be reached by mail Room 201 Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4, by phone 604-660-5058 or by e-mail jane.shin.mla@leg.bc.ca.

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