The form of ID is not a concern. They've already produced their passport, so that's not the issue. It's proof of address that becomes the issue, and on the proof of address, as I've said, the only federal document is the VIC and I'm proposing that it be accepted for that purpose for subsequent.... I tried to put myself in the head and physical presence of someone who's abroad, a Canadian living abroad, and I was one of those when I was in Washington for a few years. You don't carry your driver's licence any more. You junked that because you knew you would be gone beyond the two or three years that it had been extended. You don't carry bills that have a Canadian address on them, because you're getting your bills in Washington, D.C., or wherever you are.
I'll answer your question a little more thoroughly. That's why I view that as being too onerous in terms of the right of Canadians to vote. That's why I'm proposing the add-on that if you're already on the register, you're looking for the last address. This is what the minister is looking for. “Stop shopping,” he says, “Go for the last address.” Well, we have that on the register of electors. That is most probably your last address and if that coincides, take it. You have the proof you wanted. You wanted proof. A person has to exercise initiative. He was not thrown on the list against his will. He was not sent something without having asked for it, and that's why I think the process needs to be unburdened with what I've said. If the two don't match, then you go into other proofs.
When I was thinking of my remarks, I was thinking that maybe the electors should authorize the Chief Electoral Officer to have access to income tax data for address verification—not for anything else—to facilitate the process. I did not want to go that far in these remarks, but I think it would be another way, because that is something that's in a federal file as well. It's a little unnerving to see this requirement for an address not being met by any federally issued document. I think a constitutional challenge would succeed on that, despite the court case that exists, because vouching has been eliminated as the fall-back.
That's my view.