How many non-citizens will illegally vote — intentionally or unintentionally — in the upcoming federal election?
That’s the question many Canadians are asking themselves this week after multiple news reports show that non-citizens across the country are receiving Election Canada’s voter cards reminding them to vote on October 21.
British national Paul Gabriel received a voter card in the mail and went public about his concerns over the integrity of Canada’s federal election. He wrote a post on his Facebook page that was shared 21,000 times.
“I can vote with this card and an Alberta Drivers license, but I am NOT a Canadian citizen,” he wrote, posting a photo of the card he received in the mail, sent to a P.O. Box.
“Asking around some of my non citizen friends, I am not alone. I am not going to vote because I am not legally entitled to vote, but others will,” he stated, adding the following warning: “Your election is about to be stolen from you by illegal voters… Take your country back my Canadian friends, before it’s too late.”
Gabriel is right, he’s not alone.
The CBC found another non-citizen, Australian Glenn Ludlow, who also received the voter card despite not being a citizen.
“He’s not a citizen, he shouldn’t be getting these, and he won’t vote,” said Ludlow’s wife, who is Canadian. “He files taxes as a permanent resident, yet for some reason Elections Canada sends him voter cards.”
She went on, “my concern is, how many others are getting voter cards? If you’re not a citizen it shouldn’t be happening. There’s a glitch in the system.”
If it is a glitch, it’s one that Elections Canada is aware of and vowed to fix just a few months ago.
In May, Elections Canada admitted to a Senate Committee that it found 103,000 names of non-citizens illegally on the federal voter list. At the time, Chief Electoral Officer Stephane Perrault assured Canadians that Elections Canada would remove these names before the 2019 federal election.
Looks like that wasn’t the case.
As readers may remember, I first rang the alarm about this concern a year ago when I spoke to a Mexican family in Edmonton who received the card from Elections Canada despite not even being permanent residents in Canada let alone citizens eligible to vote in the federal election.
At the time, my report was met with a hysterical reaction from Liberal journalists and Elections Canada. My critics accused me of exaggerating the situation. In a series of tweets that sounded like they were coming from Liberal partisans and not the civil service, Elections Canada insisted that non-citizens were not being invited to vote.
Despite this criticism, a few months later Elections Canada admitted that these cards were being sent to non-citizens and committed to fixing it — proving that my story was correct and that my concerns about non-citizens tilting the outcome of the election were valid.
Those concerns are still valid, and more urgent than ever.
The only cases we are hearing about are from those sophisticated enough to understand the rules around voter eligibility, and who are honest and brave enough to come forward with their stories.
There could be more — as many as 103,000 more — non-citizens who will vote on October 21 and sway the outcome of the federal election.