CBC Windsor

Windsor Votes: Residents without a Voice

Karen Brady, CBC News

Jeremy Wang_edited-1.jpg

Jeremy Wang has only been in Windsor for a few months, but he has a lot of nice things to say about our town.

"Windsor is a very nice city.", says Wang. "It has everything. Across the border... very close by, and it's a nice living environment. People born here, they probably wouldn't notice that. But people like me have been to many countries, I would say it is a paradise."

Jeremy prefers his Canadian name to Sheng Li, his Taiwanese name. He's enthusiastic about fitting into the local community. Wang is currently a student at St Clair College. In his former life, he worked as an International Transportation Logistics Manager. Now he's training to be a Financial Consultant.

Wang received a flyer in the mail from the city and was left with the impression he could vote. "There is one qualification that says residents can take a vote - I'm so happy when I see that. But later on when I checked the web site, it seems I can't. Then I feel a little bit disappointed. But that's the law."

Elections Windsor confirms, only Canadian citizens 18 years of age or older can fill out a ballot on October 25th. (Who can vote)

Wang says municipal elections are different, compared to his home country. "People here, if they support a candidate they put a post in their lawn but on very few occasions I saw that people will come out and speak out for what they support and what they are against." And Wang says that even though he can't vote, it won't stop him from talking about the issues. "If you don't say it, you give up your rights. That's a pity."

According to Elections Manager Chuck Scarpelli, there are 194 thousand Windsor residents, but only 152 thousand eligible electors. The gap between the two numbers may be explained by Windsor's large immigrant population, none of whom can vote. Scarpelli says, "You might be talking about another 20 to 30 thousand people."

Jeremy Wang wants to encourage immigrants to take an interest in local politics as a way to connect with their new community. He says access to the ballot box is one reason he wants to obtain Canadian citizenship. "One day I'll go for the vote."

Click here to hear about Jeremy Wang's biggest concern about Windsor.