Election day is less then a week away and as we have been mentioning in our Newsletter we asked the Conservatives; Liberals; New Democrats and the Greens two straightforward questions:
- In your Parties’ view what value do Canadian Expat’s provide to Canada?
- Is there value in encouraging Canadian Expats to vote in Canadian elections while they are living and working abroad?
We are a non-partisan organization – our first priority is to represent those Canadians who are and have lived and worked abroad. That is why we thought it important to canvass our political representatives as to their views and opinions regarding the Canadian Expat. The goal was to provide our membership with additional information in order to assist them with their decision on voting day.
While we are pleased the New Democrats and the Liberals responded, we are of course disappointed the Conservatives and Greens have not. Democracy is only strengthened when there is a full discussion and dialogue amongst all interests. We may not always agree with certain opinions and policy decisions but we will always want to hear and understand those views.
For example, the Ontario Court of Appeal decision to uphold federal voting restrictions requires an in-depth discussion about how to treat and recognize Canadian Expats within our democratic process. Expat ties to Canada remain very strong. This is evident when hockey legend Wayne Gretzky goes on record as supporting the Prime Minister even though he cannot vote while movie icon Donald Sutherland argues for his right to vote in an editorial for the Globe and Mail.
We would also point out that the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership means Canadian Expats are going to be an integral part of this trade agreement when it comes to assisting with the flow of goods and services across 12 countries.
Therefore, we know Canadian Expats have a real and viable interest in their country and should not be dismissed – in the coming years their voice and opinions will matter even more and any government that ignores them does Canada a disservice.