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Protests held against Harper government's controversial elections bill

People sign a petition opposing the Fair Elections Act in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday April 26, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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People sign a petition opposing the Fair Elections Act in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday April 26, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

TORONTO - Protests are scheduled for cities across Canada today against the Harper government's contentious elections bill.

A few dozen people clutched signs and unrolled a banner during a demonstration in downtown Toronto.

Organizer Anna Goldfinch says that despite the Tories' pledge on Friday to strip the bill of some of its most contentious aspects, such as a residency ID requirement, the proposed legislation still goes too far and should be scrapped outright.

She says an Elections Canada pilot project to encourage turnout on post-secondary campuses will not go ahead if the bill is passed.

Protester Andrew Porter also pointed to the bill imposing restrictions on Elections Canada's outreach work as a continuing cause for concern.

Events were held in a number of communities in Canada including Vancouver where a handful of activists tried to persuade people to sign a petition.

Goldfinch, an executive member with the Canadian Federation of Students's Ontario branch, said that even with the changes the government has agreed to, the bill will still discourage election turnout.

"I still think there's so much in this bill that really does a lot to suppress voting, to not encourage people to get out and vote," she said.

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