The topic first came up for discussion following a presentation by Mr. Rodrigo Samayoa who spoke to Council at the June 24th session.
At the time he highlighted some of the work of an organization called Fresh Voices which has been advocating on a number of issues for Canada's immigrant and refugee communities, with access to the right to vote for permanent residents one of their key initiatives.
At that June 24th session, Mayor Brain put the topic on notice for consideration at the only Council session scheduled for July which takes place tonight.
The discussion will come up towards the end of the evening, as part of the Council's Commentary period for the night.
The Mayor's Motion for Council consideration will read as follows:
BE IT RESOLVED THAT a letter be sent by the Mayor on behalf of the City of Prince Rupert to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in support of the Fresh Voices campaign to allow Permanent Residents to vote in municipal elections; and
THAT the following resolution regarding support for the Fresh Voices campaign be endorsed by the City of Prince Rupert and that support be shown by way of a resolution vote at the 2019 UBCM Convention:
WHEREAS the Province of British Columbia has the governing authority to implement electoral legislative changes including allowing for Permanent Residents to vote in municipal elections; and
WHEREAS more than 45 countries have granted Permanent Residents some form of voting rights- including seven jurisdictions in the U.S. and 25 European Union countries; and 11 municipalities in Canada are working toward extending local election voting rights to Permanent Residents; and
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Union of BC Municipalities requests the Province of British Columbia to make the necessary changes to allow Permanent Residents to vote in municipal elections in municipalities in British Columbia.
Prince Rupert City Council and selected staff members will be attending the UBCM convention in Vancouver from September 23 to 27.
You can review more of the Fresh Voices initiative here.
For more notes related to tonight's Prince Rupert City Council session see our Preview of the session here, as well as our archive page here.
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