Government Elections

Ensure that all Canadians have a right to vote, no matter where they live.

Liberal Response October 8, 2015
Achieved
Dec 2018

An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments

Parliament of Canada December 13, 2018

This enactment amends the Canada Elections Act to establish spending limits for third parties and political parties during a defined period before the election period of a general election held on a day fixed under that Act. It also establishes measures to increase transparency regarding the participation of third parties in the electoral process. Among other things that it does in this regard, the enactment:

(h) removes two limitations on voting by non-resident electors: the requirement that they have been residing outside Canada for less than five consecutive years and the requirement that they intend to return to Canada to resume residence in the future.

A month later on January 11, 2019, the Supreme Court also ruled that expats should have their voting rights guaranteed, essentially agreeing with the current government legislation as introduced by the Liberals and ensuring that subsequent government won’t be able to reintroduce residence-based voting limitations.

Apr 2018

Trudeau government proposes major changes to elections law

CBC News April 30, 2018

In broad strokes, Bill C-76 touches on a series of concerns that have been raised about Canada’s electoral and political systems, including changes made by the previous Conservative government, the activity of third-party organizations and the collection of data by political parties.

[...] And the Liberals also would repeal statutes that make Canadian citizens ineligible to vote if they reside outside the country for five consecutive years. Brison said that change would "restore voting rights to more than one million Canadian citizens living abroad."

Nov 2016

Liberals amend voting rules, reversing some Conservative changes

CBC News November 23, 2016

Justin Trudeau's Liberal government is proposing to repeal controversial changes to the voting process that were made by the previous Conservative government and expand voting rights of Canadians living abroad.

Bill C-33, introduced on Thursday by Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef, would also repeal existing statutes that make Canadian citizens living abroad ineligible to vote if they reside outside the country for five consecutive years or more. That restriction has been in place since the 1990s and is the subject of a legal challenge.

"We recognize that, in the 21st century, people are living abroad for a number of different reasons, and we see greater value in opening up democracy than we do in placing unnecessary barriers for good, honest, hardworking Canadians who want to be able to vote," Monsef said.