Politics Canada

Trudeau government says non-citizens should have say in electoral reform

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In the latest twist to its electoral reform narrative, the Trudeau government said Thursday that people who are not Canadian citizens — and therefore can’t vote — should have a say in the process of changing how it’s done.

Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureaux, parliamentary secretary to Government House Leader Bardish Chagger, argued in a debate in the House that non-Canadian citizens should be encouraged to use the government’s electoral reform consultation website, Mydemocracy.ca.

“Let me remind the member that there are roughly one and a half million people that are residents in Canada, for a wide variety of reasons do not have their citizenship. And I would argue, contrary to what the member might believe, Mr. Speaker, that they too have a vested interest in the democracy that we have here in Canada,” Lamoureux said.

He was answering a question from the NDP’s democratic reform critic, Nathan Cullen. Cullen had suggested that the website, by not asking users if they’re Canadian citizens and can actually vote in Canadian elections, had invited participation from non-citizens, undermining its credibility.

“My question to the member is, why does he or his party believe that individuals that are not citizens should not have their opinions taken into consideration?” Lamoureux challenged Cullen.

“With all due respect to my colleague, what the hell is he talking about?” Cullen said. “The survey they set up allows someone from anywhere in the world to answer the question as long as they can fill in a postal code that is connected to Canada. It makes the results of their survey utterly useless.”

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