Permanent residents in B.C. should be able to vote, group says

B.C. Civil Liberties Association backs local for voting rights for non-citizen permanent residents

A woman walks by voting signage in Colwood, B.C., Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

A B.C. group that supports civil liberties and human rights has backed local politicians seeking voting rights for permanent residents who are not Canadian citizens.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association says mayors and councillors at a convention in September endorsed a motion calling for updated provincial legislation to allow permanent residents to vote in local elections.

A statement from the association calls the resolution from the Union of BC Municipalities historic and an “extraordinary opportunity” to extend the vote to more B.C. residents.

The association says it is working with the group #LostVotes to campaign for the change.

Together, they have requested a meeting with Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson to discuss next steps.

The association says voter turnout is declining and access to citizenship is increasingly restrictive, so offering voting rights to permanent residents would be timely.

Meghan McDermott, acting policy director for the civil liberties association, says the B.C. government should take advantage of the municipal resolution because enfranchising immigrants would foster deeper civic engagement.

“Given the barriers to accessing Canadian citizenship, including increasing costs and long government backlogs, we are very excited by the prospect of making local government elections more inclusive of all residents,” McDermott says.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Camp fun still offered in Greater Victoria

Easter Seals offers day camp options to replace cancelled overnight camps

Swim advisory issued at Cadboro Bay beach due to high bacteria levels

Island Health advises against water activities, swimming

UPDATED: Saanich firefighters investigate early morning fire at elementary school

Fire crews remain on scene at Strawberry Vale Elementary

Saanich councillors scurry to ban rat poisons on municipal properties

A ‘small but important first step’ to protect local wildlife, councillor says

No swimming or skating at Juan de Fuca rec centre for now

The Q Centre to reopen starting on July 13

VIDEO: Langford cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read