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New Canadians

For adult new Canadians, becoming a citizen means gaining the right to vote in a federal election. However, several barriers to voting affect the number of new Canadians who go to the polls, work, or run in an election.

Access-related barriers

  • Compared to other citizens, new Canadians have lower levels of knowledge about Canada's federal election process, including how to register and vote, work in an election, or run in an election.
  • Many new Canadians are not fluent in English or French, which can make finding and understanding election information more difficult.
  • New Canadians are also less likely to know if they are registered to vote, and are more likely to say that they did not receive a Voter Information Card, leading many to assume that they could not vote.

Motivational barriers

  • Some new Canadians' countries of origin don't have a tradition of democracy, which can affect motivation to vote in Canada. Sometimes it results in a greater desire to vote, but sometimes it can lead to a lack of trust in the election process.
  • New Canadians are less likely to feel informed about the candidates and issues in a federal election, and are more likely to feel that candidates do not address their concerns.

Are you interested in sharing information that helps reduce these barriers?

Are you looking for tools to start a conversation about civic engagement in your community?

Based on feedback we've received from community groups that work with new Canadians, we've created a tool kit (coming soon) that helps people share information about federal elections with their communities:

  • the services that can make their voting experience easier
  • the ways in which people can be civically engaged