Canada

Elections Act changes deny vote for 1 million Canadians

The federal government said Tuesday it will fix a problem with the newly revamped Elections Act that prevents up to a million rural voters from casting a ballot.

The federal government said Tuesday it will fix a problem with the newly revamped Elections Act that prevents up to a million rural voters from casting a ballot.

Four months ago, Parliament passed amendments to the Canada Elections Act that requires each voter produce proof of identity and a residential address before being allowed to cast a ballot.

However, more than one million Canadians living in rural areas don't have an address that includes a street name and number.

Rural addresses are often just post office boxes. On native reserves, a resident's address is sometimes simply the name of the reserve.

In Nunavut, more than 80 per cent of registered voters don't have a residential address.

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan told Parliament Tuesday that the problem was an oversight and called on all parties to "enthusiastically support efforts to correct this deficiency."

Van Loan also said if a snap election were to be called before the issue is resolved, the chief electoral officer has assured him that he's prepared to use "his adaptation power to ensure that no Canadian loses their right to vote" in the ensuing election.

With files from the Canadian Press