Expat Voting Appeal Before Top Ontario Court

By Dex Tennyson, for ExpatBriefing.com 08 January, 2015

The Court of Appeal for Ontario is currently considering whether non-resident Canadian citizens who have been out of the country for more than five years should be allowed to vote in federal elections.

The Government is challenging the outcome of Frank v. AG Canada, which was heard at the Ontario Superior Court last year. The judge, Justice Michael Penny, ruled that preventing expats from voting contravenes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Government argues that the restriction is needed to ensure democratic fairness and prevent electoral fraud. However, the Ontario Superior Court found that there was no evidence of any actual problem resulting from non-resident voting to justify the five-year limit. Penny also noted that the expats in the case remained subject to Canadian tax laws.

The case was brought by two Canadian citizens living in the United States. They are being supported by the British Colombia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA).

In June, Pierre Poilievre, the Minister for Democratic Reform, said that non-residents should have "a direct and meaningful connection to Canada and to their ridings in order to vote in federal elections," arguing that the five-year limit is "fair and reasonable."

Tags: Court | Tax | Law | Canada | Expats | Welfare | Lifestyle | Lifestyle |


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