This may be of interest to Canadian citizens living outside our borders for more than five years. If you are able and willing to travel to the last riding in which you resided in Canada, with proof of your ID, your Canadian citizenship, and of your residence in that riding (an old utility bill or tax assessment from CRA might do that trick), you can in fact vote either in advance poll or on election day.
Maybe bring a printed copy of the above CBC story with you.
Your chance to help vote Harper into the oblivion he and his government so richly deserve. For more reasons than I have space to list here, but we can start with the FATCA IGA for openers.
Well that’s great news Schubert1975, thanks for bringing that to our attention. It would be interesting to read more about the loophole that allowed him to vote, as he is clearly a non-resident and Elections Canada didnt think it inappropriate that he use an address he no longer resides at.
Also, Canadians are showing up in record numbers to vote in advance polls. It wouldn’t surprise me if this election had one of the best turnouts in Canadian election history:
Perhaps risking the wrath of the gods, I’ll stick my neck out and note that historically, high turnouts in elections are usually bad news for the incumbent. I think the Harperoids are starting to get very, very worried. High turnout, and their TFW Lizard of Oz hasn’t managed to move their poll numbers above where they were about two months ago. Not looking good for the Tories, but looking good for the Canada I know and love and still hope to recognize (again, if slowly) once Harper is long gone.
Especially delicious is the news yesterday I think that Joe Oliver, outgoing (as in bye-bye) Finance Minister, publicly alluded to the likelihood of a Liberal minority government, combined with the Threehundredeight.com riding forecast for his riding, showing about a 77% chance (at last report) that Joe is going to lose his own seat to the Liberals. First time an incumbent Finance Minister has lost his own seat since the 1993 Campbell-Tory slaughter, if he goes down. But, nice teeth.
The tricky part is coming up with evidence of past residence in a particular riding. Not everyone has kept decades-old utility bills or notices from Revenue Canada (as it was known when I last lived in Canada).
I wonder how far back you can request a copy of a notice of assessment from the CRA?
Yes I would guess that a big voter turnout would indicate people want change.
In anticipation of this I ordered a copy of my notice of assessment for 1986–the last year for which, when I filed, I was still using my last Canadian address.
CRA was able to come up with some kind of a statement of my taxes back to 1986, but it was abbreviated–not a full notice of assessment–and unfortunately didn’t show my address at the time.
That’s a long way back to retrieve records to prove Canadian residence. I hope you find something. Look in your paper boxes, behind the dresser, under the sofa cushions. I think all it takes is your name and old Canadian address on a utility bill, an old cancelled cheque, etc.
At least I hope it’s the same for Canadians living both inside and outside the country. Trust Harper to dust off a previously unenforced election law, just like the USA dusted off the FuBAR.
I looked and didn’t find anything. I’ve moved many times over the years and I think a box with some of my old Canadian documents went missing in one of my many moves. I know that at one point I lost my Canadian social insurance card and had to get it replaced.
I was listening to CBC about some of the problems voters were having with Elections Canada concerning registration. One lady said her voters card was sent to an address she hadn’t lived at for over 30 years! Perhaps Elections Canada itself has something on record.
During the brief period of time I lived at my last Canadian address there were no elections at any level of government. Elections Canada will have that address on file for me, but only because I provided it without documentation as an expat voter in the past–but I was never registered or enumerated at that address as a resident of Canada. The point of the present change is that Elections Canada is no longer accepting such self-certifications of the last Canadian residence.
This is one of the issues that the attorneys handling the case of expat voters have raised, actually. When the last Canadian address was somewhere the person lived only briefly, it can be really hard to find documentation many years or decades later. The person in the Soo (pun intended) in the article quoted appears to have a family address where family still resides as his last Canadian address–that situation is easier.
Just had a wonderful chat with elections Canada 866-222-2565 , after wishing the lady I spoke with Happy Thanksgiving and thanked her for being there at work on the holiday.
After identifying myself , she looked me up in the international registry and we discussed my previous address, postal code in DDO/Pierrefonds, verified that the proof I have is acceptable and recommended the polling place to go on the 19th to vote.
Am doing this, making a little trip and voting in Canada as a Canadian born Citizen according to my rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Part 1 (3)
Democratic rights of citizens
3. Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.
This is so important, with the recent developments of the current leadership, Bills C-51, the omnibus bill with FATCA rolled up in it, simply these cannot stand.
Sounds like you do have some proof of your prior address beyond just what she looked up in the international registry?
Have address listed in a Bank of Canada report online, screen capture, can be replicated on demand. Elections Canada indicated that this was acceptable.
“3. Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.”
Does this mean the 5 year restriction was overturned again? Does it also mean that a foreign-born Canadian who never had an address in Canada can also vote?
Ironically, even having been enumerated while residing doesn’t prove that the person was eligible to vote at the time, so old utility bills and drivers’ licences ought to be less so. I was enumerated at a time when a neighbour didn’t know that I was a foreigner. Of course I have a Canadian passport now but didn’t then.
The five-year restriction applies to special ballots and voting by mail from my understanding. The conservatives, cannot restrict person’s right to vote as a Canadian citizen in Canada.
Being born in Canada and growing up in Montreal, I believe my right to vote is guaranteed by the Canadian charter of rights and freedom which is the highest law of the land that cannot be impeaded on Canadian soil.
They can play political games with fringe areas of the law, those that apply outside of Canada, however when a Canadian Citizen is in Canada, the Charter prevails.
The attempt to undermine non-resident Canadians’ voting rights again smacks of Harper hyper-control and paranoia. His recent statement on those – supposedly – similar to himself as being ‘old-stock’ Canadians; ‘real’ Canadians, superior Canadians, speaks volumes. WTF? You have a career beyond Canadian borders you lose Citizen Rights? Harper has spent CAN$1.3m pushing this agenda. Again, WTF?
There is some sense to that 5-year limit. Before the internet it used to be pretty hard for expats to get news about Canada. When complaining about Harper I’d rather pick on some of his more serious criminal and morally criminal actions.
In regards to the last post, I believe that a right that is guaranteed by The Charter is it right for all Canadians. The five-year rule was just a politically motivated, manipulative mechanism to deny certain Canadians the right to vote. Personally, I will not tolerate such actions, in fact this motivates me more than ever to become involved and vote.
In addition, newspapers and telecasts via cable companies, have made information available to Canadians prior to the Internet spreading information as it does today.
Am standing for Justice, The Charter and encourage all Canadians to write their representatives and vote according to their conscience.
If you want to vote file taxes. Anybody heard of taxation without representation. The corollary should be true. Even a bunch of judges could figure this out. Do you think expat will choose the right to vote over the requirement to file?
The liberal were in power in 1993 to 2006 if they did not implement the rule, they could have overturned it.
“The Conservative government had argued the five-year rule was reasonable and in line with international norms.”
Most countries do not have CBT nor the right to vote for long term non resident..
“He also pointed out that “residence is a requirement of the electoral laws of the other Westminster democracies. The U.K., Australia and New Zealand limit the voting rights of non-resident citizens to those temporarily resident abroad.” The maximum time overseas before one loses the vote is 15 years in Britain, six years in Australia and three years in New Zealand. Canada’s current law is fair.
If you want to be in favour of FATCA overturn you should oppose the right for ex pat.
Canada could implement CBT if ex pats are allowed to vote.
So I take it you support what the US requires of it citizens living abroad.
My right to vote in both Canada and the US is granted with citizenship, not taxation. Let’s not overlook the fact that Canadians are subject to a departure tax when leaving Canada. The citizen and government basically enter into an agreement where the government receives a one-time payment in lieu of continued taxation. So in this way, Canadians are already taxed for leaving.
I sense that some–not all–Brockers are, like you, uncomfortable with expat voting because if you somehow equate voting with taxation, then expat voting is too perilously close to CBT and of course virtually all Brockers oppose CBT.
However, there is no evidence to support a claim that there is somehow a connection between expat voting and CBT. Here are a couple of web links showing that expat voting is the standard practice in (or out of as the case may be) a number of European and South American countries:
Although the USA is listed on one of those links and does in fact have both expat voting and CBT, the USA seems to stand in a class by itself (what else is new?) in that regard. Many other countries manage to have expat voting without falling into the CBT maelstrom.
Also, although the UK-based site decries the lack of expat voting for UK citizens, in actuality even the UK is far more generous than Canada in this regard: UK expats can vote for up to 15 years as opposed to just 5 years in the case of Canada.
Using taxation as a justification for denying voting rights seems like a weak argument because it seems to be only in the case of expat voting that such an argument gets trotted out. We don’t deny voting rights to those who are too young (but >18) or too old to have any income, whose religion requires a vow of poverty that prevents them from earning taxable income, or even to those who simply prefer not to pay taxes (convicted tax evaders in prison can still vote). In short–taxation doesn’t seem to be tied to voting in any other context. Why in this context?
Moreover–in addition to going against the Charter on which much of Gwen and Ginny’s hopes rest–denying expat voting rights is simply bad policy for the same reason that CBT is bad policy. It makes those who might want to be goodwill ambassadors for their original countries feel just a bit chilly about their original countries.
“If you want to vote file taxes.”
I filed even when I didn’t vote. Filing isn’t needed for interest or dividends from Canadian sources because withholding is deducted at the source, but I filed when I had other Canadian-sourced income or losses such as my share of a limited partnership and disposition of Canadian securities.
I can just imagine if Canada copied from Eritrea and the US. The US mostly complies with a tax treaty to give credits for my income tax payable to Japan, and Canada would mostly comply with a tax treaty to give credits for my income tax payable to Japan, but the US doesn’t give credits for amounts of Canadian income tax on Japan-sourced income and Canada doesn’t give credits for amounts of US income tax on Japan-sourced income.
News, maybe you should read some.
“Although the USA is listed on one of those links and does in fact have both expat voting and”
Does in fact PARTLY.
If someone inherited US citizenship from their parents but never resided in the US themselves, they supposedly get to vote for their former state’s electors for US president and VP, which is none. Their parents’ former states don’t count. They still get to file US forms and maybe occasionally get to pay.
A Puerto Rican living in Puerto Rico doesn’t have to pay US federal taxes unless they have income from the US government, but if the Puerto Rican goes to Japan they get to learn about ET — and all the while they do not get to vote in US federal elections.
Mission accomplished, was able to register and vote in my old riding last night!
Bravo, Stephen. Thanks for making that effort.