The B.C. New Democrats want MLAs to be able to present petitions other than those of the paper variety in the legislature.
Jane Shin, the NDP MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed, today (March 24) introduced legislation that would see online petitions gain acceptance.
"Thanks to modern technology, we now have an opportunity to enhance this tradition of petitioning with increased accessibility and efficiency. Electronic petitions can serve as a low-barrier entry point for our citizens, especially the youth, to communicate their concerns to this House," Shin said in the legislature, according to Hansard.
"Signatories will provide their name, phone number, mailing and e-mail addresses to validate their identities. E-petitions can improve the aspect of legitimacy more than their paper counterpart with built-in authentication measures against invalid or incomplete entries."
At time of writing, the text of Bill M 205 (Electronic Petitions Act) wasn't available on the legislature's website.
Currently, petitions must be in print form since they require physical signatures.
According to an NDP news release, the U.K., the U.S., and Quebec already accept online petitions. The release didn't say whether the party would post an online petition in support of the bill.
In January, the House of Commons tasked its Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs with recommending rule changes in order to establish an online petition system at the federal level.
A motion by Kennedy Stewart, NDP MP for Burnaby-Douglas, asked the committee to consider the "possibility to trigger a debate in the House of Commons outside of current sitting hours when a certain threshold of signatures is reached".