SCC decision allowing long-term expats to vote won’t harm integrity of elections

January 11, 2019

Partner Andrew Bernstein sat down with the HuffPost Canada to discuss voting limitations in an article on the SCC ruling that allows long-term expats to vote in Canadian federal elections.

“I would say that the majority’s decision, the decision of the chief justice, at least suggest that it’s going to be very difficult to justify limitations on voting for non-residents,” Andrew said.

The decision in Frank v Canada means Canadians who have lived outside of the country for more than five years will be able to vote in federal elections. The court found the law which had previously barred them from doing so was unconstitutional.

He further rationalized the decision, echoing the justices who agreed there is “no evidence” extending voting rights to non-residents would harm the integrity of Canadian elections.

Andrew said the ruling should not be of concern to Canadian residents, as it has “narrow” significance in their day-to-day lives.

Andrew and the rest of our Appeals team have provided more insight on recent court decisions on the relevant practice page.


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