Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is abandoning a commitment to reform the federal electoral system.
A new mandate letter issued to Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould, released publicly on Wednesday, says “changing the electoral system will not be in your mandate.”
Opposition MPs blasted the Liberal government’s move as a cynical betrayal.
“There has been tremendous work by the House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform, outreach by Members of Parliament by all parties, and engagement of 360,000 individuals in Canada through mydemocracy.ca,” Trudeau writes in his letter to Gould.
“A clear preference for a new electoral system, let alone a consensus, has not emerged. Furthermore, without a clear preference or a clear question, a referendum would not be in Canada’s interest. Changing the electoral system will not be in your mandate.”
Gould was appointed minister last month, replacing Maryam Monsef.
“Our view has always been clear. Major reforms to the electoral system, changes of this magnitude should not be made if they lack the broad support of Canadians,” Gould told reporters at a news conference convened to comment on her new mandate letter.
“It has become evident that the broad support needed among Canadians for a change of this magnitude does not exist.”