John V. Nunziata
Mr. John Nunziata (York South-Weston):
Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court of Ontario has decided that prison inmates in Ontario are entitled to vote. The court ruled that a provision in the Ontario Elections Act that disenfranchises prisoners is contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The effect of this decision is that all inmates, including federal inmates, will be allowed to vote in provincial elections. The effect of this decision is that inmates such as Helmut Buxbaum, Colin Thatcher, and Clifford Olson will be allowed to vote and to participate in the democratic process. That would be unconscionable, Mr. Speaker.
A Canadian citizen who is incarcerated and deprived of his freedom for committing a crime should also forfeit his right to vote. The right to vote should belong only to those who are Canadian citizens and to those who have respect for the rule of law.
1 call on the Minister of Justice (Mr. Hnatyshyn) to request that the Attorney General for Ontario immediately appeal the decision. As well, I call on the Government to seek an amendment to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to exclude inmates specifically from the franchise.
Subtopic: THE FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic: OPPOSITION TO PENITENTIARY INMATES ACQUIRING RIGHT TO VOTE