An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (voting hours)

This bill was previously introduced in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session.

Sponsor

Don Davies  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Introduced, as of Oct. 16, 2013

Subscribe to a feed of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-450.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment changes the hours of voting in British Columbia on polling day.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Canada Elections Act
Routine Proceedings

October 15th, 2012 / 3:05 p.m.
See context

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-450, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (voting hours).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce a bill to improve the accessibility of our voting system and to strengthen the ability of all British Columbians to exercise their democratic right. I thank my hon. colleague from Burnaby—New Westminster for seconding this important bill.

This bill would change the voting hours in British Columbia for a general election. Currently the polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This bill would set the hours at 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and this would bring B.C. closer in line with other provinces where voting is open until 8:30 p.m or even 9:30 p.m.

There are many working families in my riding. There are many single parents. Many people work long hours at multiple jobs to feed their families, and closing the polls at 7:00 p.m. prevents many of these people from voting.

Everyone in this House has experienced election day. We know that voting places are always busiest in the hours after work. In British Columbia, where the polls close at 7:00 p.m., there are often long lineups and many people cannot make it in time, and those who do are often discouraged by the lines and leave without casting a ballot.

Voter turnout in Canada is worryingly low. I believe it is the responsibility of politicians to make sure the voting system is designed to be accessible to everyone.

In conclusion, this bill is simple. It is reasonable. It would not cost one penny. It addresses a very real problem in our community. I hope the government will realize the importance of this proposal and work with all members of the House to make it a reality.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)