moved for leave to introduce Bill C-279, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (voting age).
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to present this bill, not for the first time but as a reintroduction with some modifications, to change the Elections Act such that Canadians aged 16 years and older can vote.
Certainly we see a crisis in the youngest demographic in this country not voting. Clear empirical evidence that we reviewed when we had a special committee on electoral reform pointed in the direction that people who start voting stick with their voting habit, but if we do not vote when we become eligible to vote at age 18, we are unlikely to start at 25 or 30. Voting at age 16 is a key way of refreshing, restarting and rebooting our democracy.
I note parenthetically that there was a similar bill that I also supported before the House, Bill C-240, from the member for Vancouver Kingsway, as well as one started in the other place by independent Senator McPhedran, Bill S-209. I certainly hope the House will be able to debate and vote on one of these worthy pieces of legislation to improve the state of our democracy.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)