05/17/2012 08:54 EDT | Updated 07/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Manitoba introduces legislation to eliminate federal-provincial election overlap

WINNIPEG - The Manitoba government has introduced legislation that would eliminate the overlap between the 2015 fixed provincial election date and the federal election date.

Similar legislation was recently passed in Saskatchewan.

Government house leader Jennifer Howard says it's unfair to voters and political volunteers to have two elections at the same time.

She says the Manitoba government has written to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking him to change the federal election date, but if that doesn't happen the legislation will kick in and Manitoba's election would be postponed to the third Tuesday of April in the following year.

The next Manitoba election was scheduled for Oct. 6, 2015, with a federal election less than two weeks later.

Saskatchewan, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories all have elections scheduled for 2015.

The minister also introduced new legislation that would see Manitoba become the first province or territory in Canada to have an independent commissioner determine public funding process for registered political parties.

“We know that having multiple, healthy political parties is good for our democracy and for our province,” said Howard. “With this new model, Manitoba will be at the forefront of developing a fair, transparent and non-partisan process to fund all registered political parties.”