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Online Petitions

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Simply Put...

We are recommending that City Council create an online petition system where:
  1. Any Toronto permanent resident over the age of 14 wishing to petition the Mayor’s office can upload the wording of his/her petition to a dedicated government website.
  2. Upon the procurement of a certain number of signatures , the petition will be responded to by the Mayor’s Office.
  3. The number of required signatures (to mandate a response from the Mayor’s office) will be set to 0.05% of the City of Toronto’s population for the year the petition is uploaded (rounded to the nearest 5000th).
  4. Residents of Toronto will be able to create an account to post and sign on petitions. The account creation system will be modelled on the Parks, Forestry and Recreation accounts system. 

Background

A government’s primary aim is to represent the voices of the people and the best way to do this is to allow the public to directly petition the government. Similar online petition systems have been instituted in nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom and are greatly appreciated by citizens of the countries. In the US, a petition by college students on reducing student loan debt has affected the income-based repayment policy, and the White House Director of Digital Strategy wrote “It’s (the online petition system) by far the biggest online engagement event ever for the White House”.

Petitions will be signed using online accounts for each citizen of Toronto over the age of 14. Initial accounts will be set up using a unique citizen’s petition number, and after citizens will be allowed to change their username and password. This will ensure no fraud, be it people from outside the city signing the petition or people signing a petition multiple times. "Instituting a similar system in Toronto will only serve to increase the public interest in government and will allow residents to make changes to benefit over 2 million fellow Torontonians.

Amplifying the Youth Voice At their meeting on January 12, 2013 the Youth Council adopted a motion tabled by Youth Councillor Rishabh Kumar to examine the possibility of creating an online petition system for residents of the city to petition the Mayor’s Office, whereupon reaching a certain amount of signatures, petitions would be responded to by the Mayor’s Office.

Contact

Rishabh Kumar, Youth Council Chair
rishabh.kumar@thecyc.ca

Fay Asimakopoulos, Youth Councillor - Ward 39
fay.asimakopoulos@thecyc.ca

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