I produced a report to you, to Parliament, saying that the five-year ceiling should be lifted entirely. I also swore an affidavit to that effect in the case that went before the courts, where the courts upheld that at this stage. It's under appeal. Leave was not granted to withhold the judgment at this stage, and I maintain that is the thing.
The reason that I do that is very simple. To keep abreast of what's going on anywhere in the world now, anywhere there's an advanced democracy like Canada, you just need to go on the web. You get all the media that produce stuff, you get all the political parties that produce stuff, and you still rely on the initiative of that Canadian to be so interested as to make a request. That's why we only have, on average, 8,000 or 9,000 Canadians who are abroad now, with the five-year limit, who actually vote in federal elections.
I heard the minister say there are 1.4 million other Canadians out there. There may well be. I would expect that we will get 2,000 or 3,000, maximum—if that number—who will care enough. The constitutional right to vote doesn't say anything about the timeframe, and you still have to exercise initiative. You still must be aware that this is going on. You still must apply to have it done. You will have to provide proof of who you are as a Canadian and have proof of address as well, hopefully with the changes I've proposed. That's why I felt there's no issue here with removing the barrier. This committee, or one of its emanations actually said the same thing at a moment in time.