Today, CCLA is appearing before the Supreme Court in Frank v Canada to defend the fundamental right of all Canadian citizens to cast a ballot in a federal election.
The Frank case challenges provisions of the Canada Elections Act that prohibits certain non-resident Canadians citizens from voting in federal elections. CCLA has intervened in this important case to argue that the prohibition on voting is contrary to the value of equality that underlies the Charter right to vote. The legislation in this case create a regime under which an entire class of approximately 1.4 million Canadians is treated differently and unfairly based on a personal characteristic — place of residence. The prohibition on voting deprives non-resident Canadians of their personal autonomy and self-determination, and creates a category of “second class” citizens. A difference in place of residence simply cannot justify depriving individuals of their right to be full and equal Canadian citizens.
Counsel in this case is Mark Freiman and Jameel Madhany (Lerners).