Saturday, February 07, 2009

Listen to Your Grannies

Raging Grannies shake their fist
Letter to the Editor. Vancouver Courier. February 04, 2009

To the editor:

Re: "Rental activists feel threatened by Elections B.C.," Jan. 23.

Matching the concern of the Renters-at-Risk group, the Vancouver Raging Grannies have prepared a letter to the government requesting clarification of the Electoral Act. While waiting to determine the correct ministry and addressee, we submit it as an open letter to the government.

The Vancouver Raging Grannies are somewhat perplexed by new legislation that seems hell bent to silence differences of opinion during the upcoming provincial election. At least it wants those with different opinions to register and pay for the right to promote or protest political issues within 90 days leading up to the May election day.

We have noticed that advocacy groups are rushing to get their message out in advance of legislation that restricts or redefines the previous right to freedom of speech.

Where are we to register and with whom? Is there a form to fill out testifying to our political beliefs? Do we register as a group or as individuals? As for payment, do we pay up front at the protest registry desk or after we have sung our songs on the street? Do we have to get arrested before we are fined or will we be fined while singing?

We, as Grannies with a reputation to uphold, do have expenses. Should they be declared before we start our campaign? New feathers for our hats, new strings for our aprons, darning wool for our knee socks, steel toes for our marching boots.

We do have difficulty with too much legal terminology, clauses and sub-clauses, therefore we are requesting clarification in laywoman's terms, of just how this act will affect us. We are concerned about--and have protested strongly--the give away of our natural resources and the environmental impact of the Run-of-the-River projects, especially after Bill 30 disallowed local citizen input.

These issues have kept the Raging Grannies on the street, and we need to know where the line in the sand is drawn, because we want to be there crossing it every chance we get!

And we do protest this heavy-handed legislation.

Barbara Seifred,


Since when did our taxpayer dollars go toward electoral organizations becoming deputized to harass and intimidate citizens in the exercise of free speech rights protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms? When did BC cease to be a democracy? I missed that memo, perhaps someone can forward it to me.


Rental activists feel threatened by Elections B.C.

An ad hoc group of volunteers defending renters in the West End says Elections B.C. has threatened its members with a one-year jail sentence or a $10,000 fine if they don't register as an "elections advertising sponsor" by Jan. 27.

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