Feds to appeal court ruling on ex-pats' voting rights

Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre speaks during Question Period in the House...

Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:30 PM ET

OTTAWA - The government will appeal a ruling that allowed ex-pats to vote no matter how long they've lived outside the country.

Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre said Monday he'll seek a stay of the decision on the grounds non-residents "should have a direct and meaningful connection" to Canada and their ridings.

"For over two decades, Canada's policy has limited to five years the length of time someone can be abroad and still vote. That is fair and reasonable," he said.

Until last month's Ontario Superior Court ruling, non-residents were disqualified from casting a ballot if they resided outside the country for five consecutive years.

Justice Michael Penny said every Canadian - no matter where they live - has a constitutional right to vote.

The ruling opened the door to more than one million Canadians living abroad to vote.

In the 2011 election, about 12,000 non-residents registered to cast a ballot.

 


Videos

Photos