45+ countries including Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, and seven jurisdictions in the US are allowing permanent residents to vote in municipal elections. Currently, eleven municipalities across Canada are working on extending voting rights to permanent residents. Let’s make Vancouver first.
Permanent residents (PR) share the same responsibilities as citizens. They are valuable, contributing members to society. Yet despite their contributions to our city they are left without a voice – without representation by our elected officials whose decisions affect them. In Vancouver, that’s equivalent to missing 30% of voters.
#LOSTVOTESYVR is a campaign to make our local government inclusive and accountable to everyone who lives in Vancouver.
Without a vote, new residents can feel disengaged from our communities. Excluding them suggests that their voice is considered less valuable, and represents a major loss for a city that celebrates the benefits of inclusion, diversity, and multiculturalism everyday.
We believe the responsibilities of permanent residency should count for something.
Voting for city council or the school board inspires confidence in a democratic system. It provides an equal opportunity for those who contribute everyday to the city they call home.
Over 70% of Vancouverites believe permanent residents should have a democratic rights to participate.
The Fresh Voices team of young immigrant and refugee leaders is leading the #LOSTVOTESYVR campaign by asking how we can work together to create better pathways to civic engagement. On April 18, 2018, City of Vancouver Council unanimously passed a motion to ask the province to make the necessary changes to allow permanent residents to vote in local elections.
We invite you to join the discussion and to learn more about the #LOSTVOTESYVR campaign by signing up below to receive updates. Then look out for emails from us with opportunities to get involved as our campaign grows.
Stay tuned about the #LOSTVOTESYVR campaign by signing up below to receive updates and get involved as our campaign grows.
26.5% of British Columbians’ “mother tongue” is a non-official language, followed by Ontario (25.7%), Alberta (19.4%), and Quebec (12.3%). British Columbia has the highest percentage of language diversity of any Canadian province.