campaign for right to vote
Special to A.M. Newspapers
Canadians living overseas can lose the right to vote
in their country's elections.
Joan Ritchie Dewar, a Costa Rican expat and organizer
of a crowd-sourcing campaign
Yet, if we've lived
abroad more than five years, we don't!"
Canadians living around the world have launched a
Gofundme campaign to raise $50,000 to launch an appeal to the Supreme
Court of Canada to challenge the unjust law that strips 1.4 million
Canadians living abroad of their right to vote, said a news release
about the campaign.
Two Canadian citizens, Gillian Frank of Princeton, New
Jersey, and Jamie Duong of Ithaca, New York, started the “Our Right to
Vote” campaign. Gillian and Duong filed a lawsuit against the Canadian
government in 2012 after they were denied their right to vote in the
2011 federal election, the release said.
Expats said that the legal battle was a see-saw
situation since 1993.
"For a while, we could reset the five-year clock by
returning on vacation," Mrs. Dewar said. "That ended in 2011. In
2012 a lawsuit was filed by Canadians currently living and working in
the U.S.A. In 2014 they won, and now in 2015 it has been
overruled, creating a backlash amongst expat Canadians around the
In a split decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal
overturned the ruling July 21, said the press release.
The campaign said it is encouraging all Canadians,
wherever their residence, to get involved by supporting the GoFundMe
campaign. The campaign already has raised more than $8,000. The
money goes to cover legal fees, expert witnesses and other dibursement,
said the Web site.
|for a court
appeal, say the situation
affects thousands of Canadian overseas.
"The Canadian Charter of Rights and
Canadian citizens the right to vote," said Mrs. Dewar. "There is
no qualification regarding place of residence.
Prisoners and the
mentally retarded have the right to vote.
A graphic from the Web page.
— Aug. 29, 2015