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Right to Vote at 16 ActRoutine Proceedings

December 13th, 2021 / 3:15 p.m.
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NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-210, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (voting age).

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce the right to vote at 16 act, which would amend the Canada Elections Act and lower the voting age to 16.

This legislation is about giving young people a voice at a time when our government faces some of the most consequential decisions in our country's history and on no issue is this more true than that of climate change, the impacts of which today's young people will inherit. This legislation is also about strengthening our democracy, which we can see around the world is fragile.

We should all be concerned that voter turnout in Canada continues to be lowest among the youngest voters and this bill seeks to improve that by forming voting habits while young people are still in school. This bill is also about recognizing the rights of young people to participate in democracy.

I want to dedicate the bill to the courageous young people who are currently taking the government to court on this very issue and to my daughter, who is celebrating her 17th birthday today. I wish Ella a happy birthday.

Finally, I want to recognize others in this place who have tabled similar bills over the years. I thank the member for Victoria for seconding the bill. Lowering the voting age is not a new idea, but an idea whose time has come. I hope it will find majority support in the House.

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