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

‘Snowmaggedon 2020’ has passed, but 20-30 milimetres of rain expected Friday

Residents should brace for rain and clear drains to prevent localized flooding

What happens in the Cowichan Valley when an earthquake strikes

When an earthquake does happen, will the Cowichan Valley be ready for it?

Exploring life, the afterlife, and near death experiences with Dr. Lynn Echevarria

Echevarria will deliver a talk to the LRCA Seniors Centre Tuesday, January 21 at 1:30 pm

Winter storm warning now in effect for Island’s east coast

Environment Canada issues new weather warning late Wednesday afternoon

Town of Ladysmith snow removal crews prepared to respond to overnight snowfall

10 to 15 centimetres of snow are expected for Ladysmith overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Oil and gas industry applauds Supreme Court’s dismissal of B.C. TMX case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Airliner crash a mistake that pleased Iran’s enemies: Supreme Leader Khamenei

Iran’s supreme leader says dowining of Flight 752 was a bitter accident in rare sermon

Sub-zero B.C. weather freezes clothing in just 45 minutes

A local photographer decided to have some fun with the frosty weather before its gone

VIDEO: Missing cat reunited with Vancouver Island family after three months

‘It was like one day she was there, the next day she was gone,’ said owner

Special prosecutor to review Cranbrook toddler drowning case

Evidence disclosure at issue in the case of a woman sentenced for criminal negligence causing death

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

10 B.C. cities break temperature records in winter storm

Quesnel dipped to -41.9 C, breaking a record from 1916

Most Read