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

Sponsor

Don Davies  NDP

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

Status

Introduced, as of Jan. 28, 2016

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Summary

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

This enactment amends the Canada Elections Act to lower the federal voting age in Canada from 18 to 16 years of age.

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 ActRoutine Proceedings

January 28th, 2016 / 10:10 a.m.
See context

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-213, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (voting age).

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand in the House to introduce a bill that would widen the franchise of this country by extending the privilege of voting to Canadians aged 16 or over, with great thanks to the member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford.

The history of the franchise in this country is one of expansion. At one time only men could vote, only men with property. Women could not vote, first nations could not vote, and people had to be 21 years of age. Studies show that individuals who begin voting early in our democratic process are more likely to continue voting for the rest of their lives. We know that voter turnout is generally anywhere between 50% and 65%. Therefore, this is an important initiative to get young voters engaged in our process.

Young voters often work and pay taxes, and yet they have no representation as to how those tax dollars are spent. Voter promotion could be organized through our public education system and start off the process of engaged citizens early on in their lives. Examples of countries that do extend suffrage to 16 year olds include Austria, Brazil, Scotland, Argentina, and Equador.

I would urge all members of the House to empower young people to get their important voice expressed in the chamber so that their perspective on Canadian life can be fully expressed in our democratic process.

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