The Tri-Cities’ two MPs say they’re looking forward to debating a bill next year that would see the federal voting age dropped to 16.
Currently, a Canadian elector must be at least 18 years old to vote in a federal election.
The move to cut off two years comes as NDP MP Taylor Bachrach tabled a private member’s bill this month following a legal challenge to the country’s federal voting age.
It also comes on the heels of the reintroduction of a senator’s bill to lower the age.
Bachrach, who represents the northwest B.C. riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley, drew the 29th spot in the December lottery for backbench MPs to bring forward a motion or bill.
The bill is similar to Sen. Marilou McPherdran’s, which was not debated in the Senate.
Ron McKinnon, the Liberal MP for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam who leads a constituency youth council, told the Tri-City News that “today’s teenagers are engaged and passionate about politics, and the conversation about dropping the voting age to 16 is timely.”
“I will consult both my youth and seniors councils on Mr. Bachrach’s bill and will cautiously reflect on the second reading deliberations to determine how I will vote.”
Bonita Zarrillo, the newly elected NDP MP for Port Moody-Coquitlam, said topics such as climate change, housing affordability and student debt are top of mind for young people.
She said their voices need to be heard at the ballot box.
“I speak to so many young people that are thoughtful and engaged in addressing these critical issues,” Zarrillo told the Tri-City News.
“They feel anxious about their futures. They tell me they want to be involved in the decisions that determine the future that they’re going to inherit.”