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Pirate Party of Canada

Pirate Party of Canada
Parti Pirate du Canada
Leader James Wilson (interim)
President James Phillips
Founded June 12, 2009 (2009-06-12)
Headquarters 43 Samson Blvd #165, Laval QC H7X 3R8[1]
Ideology Pirate politics,
IP reform,
Network neutrality,
Open government,
Civil Liberties
International affiliation Pirate Parties International
Colours Black and Purple. Alt: Red and White
Seats in the House of Commons
0 / 308
Seats in the Senate
0 / 105
Politics of Canada
Political parties

The Pirate Party of Canada (French: Parti Pirate du Canada, abbreviated as the PPCA), is a minor party in federal Canadian politics. The party was registered with Elections Canada in 2010, the PPCA is modelled on the Swedish Pirate Party and advocates intellectual property reform, privacy protection, network neutrality and greater government openness.[2]


  • Founding and development 1
  • Projects 2
  • Political positions 3
  • Party governance 4
    • Leaders 4.1
  • Elections 5
    • 2010 by-elections 5.1
    • 2011 general election 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Founding and development

The PPCA was founded in June 2009 by a handful of Canadian supporters active on the web forums of the Pirate Parties International collective.[3][4][5] The party established its own forums and removed membership fees, as part of a campaign to gain the 250 members necessary for registration,[6] gaining 1,000 members by October 2009.[7]

In October 2009 the party selected university student Jake Daynes as its interim leader and established an interim council.[8] On September 1, 2010, the first official Federal Council was elected, led by web developer Mikkel Paulson.[9][10]

According to Elections Canada, the Pirate Party became eligible to field candidates on April 12, 2010 and was registered on November 6, 2010.[11] As of November 2010 the party claims to have over 2,000 members.[12] Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May noted that the PPCA seemed redundant, as the two parties shared the majority of their platforms on copyright reform, medical patents and intellectual property;[13] but the PPCA responded that "even if the Green Party had the same stance as us, [...] they were not talking about these issues in the last election; no party was".[14]

Following the 2011 election the party examined issues that had arose with its constitution and began taking steps to reform it. Issues included a hard to reach quorum for General Meetings and the difficulties of the Federal Council members running for office while also handling party paperwork and administration. On December 19 the party adopted the new constitution and held elections for the new Executive Board and Political Council.[15]

In June, 2012 the party began the process of crowdsourcing its 2015 election platform and opened sections of its forums to guests.[16]

In July 2012, the Pirate Party of Canada failed to produce its financial report for Elections Canada,[17] citing a changeover of official agents for the party. However, internal PPCA documents demonstrate that the party's membership have been advocating for a public release of the party's financial information since the 2011 Federal Election. Forum queries and responses on the PPCA website appear to indicate that a sizable amount of money is currently unaccounted for in a preliminary release. Difficulties with PayPal have also been cited as a cause for the delay.


On September 27, 2009, the party launched a BitTorrent tracker, named the "Canadian Pirate Tracker" or "CaPT", with the aim of promoting its position on works being released online[18]

Pirate Party Radio was a weekly audio show from 2009-2011 produced by the Canadian RantMedia and host James O'Brien.[19] It was officially recognised by the Pirate Party of Canada,[20] United States Pirate Party[21] and Pirate Party UK.[22] As of May 5, 2011 the weekly broadcasts stopped.

In 2011, in response to lawful access legislation that was being put forward in Parliament, the PPCA announced it would launch a VPN service to help guard Canadians' online privacy.[23]

In early 2012, also in response to Bill C-30, several members of the Pirate Party of Canada created a new Linux distro titled Pirate Linux. It is installable as a package on an existing Linux system or as its own distribution based on Ubuntu. It includes many privacy enhancements, including utilizing Tor with browsers preconfigured for its use.[24]

Political positions

Like the Swedish Pirate Party, the PPCA platform is focused on intellectual property reform, privacy, net neutrality and open government.[2] The party has also called for net neutrality in Canada, and suggested that medical patents are preventing innovations that could save lives.[26] Candidates have also suggested that making government records available online may encourage transparency, and allow citizens to more directly scrutinize and participate in the process.[27]

Like their Pirate counterparts worldwide, the PPCA is bloc-neutral on other issues, noting that issues outside the party's realm are left to the individual candidate to represent their own constituents' desires.[27][28][29]

The PPCA has been heralded by for its "digital policy issues".[30]

Party governance

The party is run by three organs of party governance, Executive Board, Political Council, and General Meeting. The Executive Board consists of the president, vice-president, leader, deputy leader, secretary, and chairs of standing committees of the party.[31] The Political Council consists of the leader, deputy leader and other council members elected by approval voting.[32] The General Meeting is open to all members and meets monthly.[33] While the Executive Board and Political Council can act independently in most matters, the General Meeting has veto power over their decisions and may pass their own motions.[34][35]

Executive Council
Political Council
James Phillips President 2013(Mar)–Current
Craig Nobbs Vice President 2013(Mar)-Current
Ric Lim Secretary 2012-Current
Travis McCrea Leader 2013(Mar)-Current
James Wilson Deputy Leader 2013(Mar)-Current
Andrew Paolucci IT Director 2013(Feb)-Current
Patrick Fitzgerald Projects Manager 2012-Current
Formerly Held Positions
Sean Hunt President 2012(Jan)-2012(July)
Jack McLeod Vice President 2012(Jan)-2012(July)
Shawn Vulliez Leader* 2012-Current
Travis McCrea Deputy Leader* 2012-Current
Jimmy Chen Member 2013-Current
Patrick Fitzgerald Member 2013-Current
Jake Daynes Member 2012-Current
Robert McGrath Member 2013-Current
Craig Nobbs Member 2013-Current
Adrian Pappas Member 2013-Current
Steve Henderson Member 2013-Current
Leonard Parker Member 2013-Current
James Wilson Member 2013-Current
Formerly Held Positions
Sean Hunt Member 2012-2013
Johann Weiss Member 2012(Jan)-2012(July)
ex-party leader Shawn Vulliez


  • Jacob Daynes (Acting) (2009–2010)
  • Mikkel Paulson (2010–2012)
  • Shawn Vulliez (2012–2013)
  • Travis McCrea (2013-2013)
  • James Wilson (2013–Present)[36]


The first federal election contested by the party was the November 2010 by-election in Winnipeg North, finishing ahead of the Communist and Christian Heritage parties, but behind the Green Party.[12][37]

For the 2011 federal election, the PPCA put forward candidates in 10 of the 308 ridings but failed to win a single seat, averaging 0.63% support for their candidates. The media noted that Craig Nobbs ran a zero-dollar campaign.[38]

2010 by-elections

Riding Province Candidate Votes % Placement
Winnipeg North Manitoba Jeff Coleman 94 0.60% 5/7

2011 general election

Riding Province Candidate Votes % Placement
Edmonton Centre Alberta Mikkel Paulson 289 0.59% 5/6
Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta Brent Schaffrick 374 0.82% 5/6
Langley British Columbia Craig Nobbs 353 0.64% 5/5
Nanaimo—Alberni British Columbia Jesse Schroeder 363 0.55% 5/7
Prince George—Peace River British Columbia Jeremy Coté 415 1.08% 5/5
Vancouver Centre British Columbia Travis McCrea 192 0.33% 7/8
Provencher Manitoba Ric Lim 215 0.55% 6/6
Kitchener—Waterloo Ontario Steven Bradley Scott 245 0.37% 5/7
Ottawa South Ontario Mike Bleskie 382 0.65% 6/6
Laval—Les Îles Quebec Stéphane Bakhos 369 0.68% 6/7


  1. ^ "Pirate Party of Canada - Contact". Pirate Party of Canada. 
  2. ^ a b "About the Pirate Party of Canada". Pirate Party of Canada. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  3. ^ CBC News (June 30, 2009). "Copyright Fighting Pirate Party Coming to Canada". Retrieved November 1, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Pirate Party of Canada - History". Pirate Party of Canada. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  5. ^ "PPI Canada Board". Pirate Parties International. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Pirate Party drops fees in drive for recognition". CTV News. August 30, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Pirate Party of Canada; Arrrrrrrrrrrrrr!". VUE Weekly. October 7, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Interim Leader and Directors". Pirate Party of Canada. October 8, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Leadership". Pirate Party of Canada. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Leadership acceptance letter". Pirate Party of Canada. September 1, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Registered Political Parties and Parties Eligible for Registration". Elections Canada Online. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b Black, Debra (November 4, 2010). "Winnipeg North first Canadian battleground for Pirate Party". Toronto Star. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  13. ^ Wilson, Drew (July 8, 2009). "We Don’t Need a Canadian Pirate Party – Green Party Leader". Zeropaid. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  14. ^ Wilson, Drew (July 8, 2009). "Exclusive Canadian Pirate Party Responds to Green Party". Zeropaid. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Constitution 2011-12-18". Pirate Party of Canada. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Registered Political Parties Submit 2011 Financial Returns". AlphaTrade Finance. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  18. ^  
  19. ^ "Pirate Party Radio Official Website". 
  20. ^ "Link on Pirate Party of Canada Site to Pirate Party Radio". 
  21. ^ "Approval of Pirate Party Radio for US Pirate Party". 
  22. ^ "Pirate Party UK tweet endorsing Pirate Party Radio". 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ Capilano Courier, Free the Internet
  26. ^ "Avast! Pirates officially on ballot". Niagara Falls Review. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  27. ^ a b
  28. ^ "Pirate/Non-Pirate Issues (PPCA Wiki)". Pirate Party of Canada. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ Pirate Party of Canada. "Leadership". Retrieved February 26, 2011. 
  35. ^ Pirate Party of Canada. "General Assembly". Retrieved February 26, 2011. 
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Winnipeg by-election attracts Pirate Party candidate". Toronto: The Globe & Mail. November 4, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  38. ^

External links

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