Canadian Citizenship delays prevented people from voting

Some newcomers can’t vote in this federal election because of Canadian citizenship issues

Some people couldn’t vote in this week’s federal election because of Canadian citizenship delays despite living in Canada for years.

About 100 people in Prince Edward Island couldn’t vote in the May 2nd federal election because they were still waiting for their Canadian citizenship and thus were ineligible to vote.

“Truly, I thought this was going to be the first time for me in Canada,” one man originally from China told CBC News. “I’ve been in Canada for more than eight years. Like, in Canada, the big thing is voting, right, so actually you can do something to change your life.”

Application processing backlogs lead to Canadian citizenship delays

In 2009, rule changes led to more people becoming eligible for citizenship, but also made the average wait to obtain Canadian citizenship about 19 months. Over seven months ago 155 additional workers were hired in Nova Scotia to help clear the backlog in application processing, but the delays remain the same.

Unfortunately, those who missed out on voting in this election will probably have to wait another four years to participate in a Canadian federal election.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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