10% of Vancouver residents, or about 60,000 people, are permanent residents. They work here, study here, pay taxes here, and they’re involved in building our communities.
But they’re not allowed to vote in local elections.
Almost 50 countries, including New Zealand, as well as seven US jurisdictions, allow permanent residents to vote in their municipal elections. Eleven municipalities across Canada are currently working to extend voting rights to permanent residents.
It's time to allow permanent residents to vote in Vancouver municipal elections.
All that has to happen, legally, is for the province to add the simple words ‘...and Canadian permanent residents’ to the relevant sentence in the Vancouver Charter. Read the relevant sentence in the Vancouver Charter here: Section 23 [Resident Electors] (1)(b).
After completing a comprehensive, often multi-year application process for permanent residency, permanent residents are required to follow travel requirements that maintain that they must be in Canada for two out of every five years. While permanent residents must follow these requirements and pay taxes, they are not eligible to vote. Meanwhile, people who own property in Vancouver but do not reside in the city (Non-Resident Property Electors) are allowed to vote in Vancouver municipal elections. An individual who lives in Vancouver should not have less say than someone who owns property but does not live here.
Please sign this petition to help deepen democracy in Vancouver.
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We, the undersigned, support extending the right to vote in Vancouver municipal elections to permanent residents.
We call on the province to add the words ‘...and Canadian permanent residents’ to Section 23 [Resident Electors] (1)(b) of the Vancouver Charter.