Quebec court rules 4 McGill students ineligible to vote
Green Party candidate Brendan Edge only plaintiff permitted to vote in Quebec election
Four of the five McGill University students who took the chief electoral officer to court this week lost their plea to be permitted to vote in Monday's provincial election.
The only person allowed to cast a ballot on Monday is Brendan Edge, a Green Party candidate in the riding of Chomedey, in Laval.
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"I’m incredibly happy that I’ll be able to vote in my own election," Edge said at the courthouse.
"I’m terribly upset that my co-plaintiffs are going to be unable to. I think that that is a miscarriage of justice," he continued.
The group was represented in court by Montreal constitutional lawyer Julius Grey. He argued that they had been wrongfully denied the right to vote by members of Quebec's revisers board after presenting what he felt was more than sufficient evidence of being domiciled in Quebec.
The word "domiciled" has been a major source of contention in the lead-up to the April 7 election.
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In a ruling that took an hour and a half to read, the judge on Friday explained the rationale for denying the other four.
He said two of the plaintiffs were not of voting age six months prior to the election being called, and therefore were not considered to be domiciled in Quebec.
As for the other two, the judge said that there were legitimate questions about their eligibility to vote and that the revisers were within their rights to raise those questions.
A number of McGill students complained they were told by revisers that they had not demonstrated an intent to stay in Quebec after graduating from university.
Grey said that although the students will not be able to vote on April 7, he intends to pursue the issue after the election as a matter of principle.
"I also think that it opens the door to saying, 'You have a very large discretion.' It’s obvious it’s not for a judge, it’s not for a lawyer, it’s not for anybody else to tell the [chief electoral officer] how to work, but if he does something that is unreasonable, then the Superior court can always come in and do something," Grey said.