moved for leave to introduce Bill C-227, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (voting age).
Mr. Speaker, today I am honoured to introduce legislation that would extend the right to vote to all Canadians aged 16 and over. I would like to thank the hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley for seconding this bill and for his tireless efforts to move this important initiative forward.
The history of the franchise in Canada is one of constant expansion. At the time of Confederation, voting was restricted to male British subjects who were at least 21 years of age and owned property. However, as our country progressed over subsequent generations, voting rights were extended to women, Asian Canadians, indigenous people, those without property and those under 21 years of age, now 18.
I believe it is time to give young people the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship as well. Young Canadians are engaged, well informed and passionate advocates for a brighter future, their future. They work and pay taxes, but they have no say in how those tax dollars are spent. This disenfranchisement is unjustified and must change.
I call on all parliamentarians to make young people equal participants in our democracy by supporting this vital legislation.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)