The Liberal government is preparing to expand the voting rights of non-resident Canadians, The Huffington Post Canada has learned. Canadians who have lived abroad for more than five years are essentially banned from casting a ballot right now. They cannot receive a special mail-in ballot, and although they can technically come to Canada vote in person, they have a near impossible task of proving residency here. Two sources told HuffPost that Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef is looking at tabling legislation that would give expatriate Canadians the right to vote by special ballot no matter how long they have been away. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case in February involving two Canadians who live in the United States and want to vote. Jamie Duong and Gillian Frank first challenged the law in an Ontario court and won in 2014, placing an estimated 1.4 million Canadians back on the voter rolls, but the Conservative government successfully appealed the ruling before last year’s election.
In a statement last month, Monsef announced that the federal government had filed a memorandum of argument defending the current restrictions on non-resident Canadian citizens — a move that angered many expats who felt the Liberals were betraying their campaign commitment.
During the 2015 election, the party told the Canadian Expat Association: “We believe that all Canadians should have a right to vote, no matter where they live, and we are committed to ensuring this is the case.”
In her October statement, Monsef signalled that legislation would be introduced before the end of the year that would “meet the needs of highly mobile Canadian citizens who live in today’s increasingly interconnected world” but she did not elaborate.
Full Article: Liberals To Expand Voting Rights For Canadian Expats.