From Family of Men.
When did men and women have the right to vote in Canada???
This is the letter I sent Elections Canada;
Subject: Elections Canada On-Line – E-mail
Message: When did people have the right to vote in Canada:
- *non land owning men
* all women
* First Nations men
*First Nations women
*all Canadian Citizens
This is their reply; all women had the right to vote before all men
Thank you for your email of August 23, 2012.
- Non-land owning men had the right to vote in 1920.
- May 24, 1918, women were given the right to vote in federal elections if they were over the age of 21, not alien-born and met the property requirements in the provinces where they existed.
- Aboriginals in most parts of Canada had the right to vote from Confederation on – but only if they gave up their treaty rights and Indian status through a process defined in the Indian Act and known as “enfranchisement”. On March 10, 1960, the House of Commons finally gave Aboriginal people the vote without making them give up treaty rights in exchange.
Prior to 1920, the list of voters and the eligibility criteria for electors’ right to vote for federal elections were the responsibility of each of the provinces. Federal legislation in 1920 provided universal access to the vote without reference to property ownership or other exclusionary requirements – age and citizenship remained the only criteria (excluding aboriginals that did not give up their treaty rights). The general election of 1921 was the first open to all Canadians, men and women, over the age of 21.
For your information, Elections Canada offers the publication A History of the Vote in Canada. This publication is a thoroughly researched and comprehensive account of how the right to vote has evolved over more than two centuries. Should you wish to order this free publication, let us know by return email and include your full mailing address.
For more information about the Canadian federal electoral system, visit our Web site or call 1 800 463‑6868, toll‑free in Canada and the United States. Our hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).
Public Enquiries Unit
Women Winning the Vote in Canada
Women in Canada did not always have the same electoral rights as men. They won the vote through their tireless insistence upon it, expressed through intense and imaginative campaigns. Their efforts were finally rewarded. In 1916, Manitoba was the first province to pass legislation allowing women to vote in provincial elections. This breakthrough paved the way towards new suffrage laws throughout the country, where similar lobbying was going on. Within nine years of Manitoba’s suffrage legislation, the federal and most other provincial governments passed laws granting women the vote (1916-25), with Quebec following suit in 1940. Since the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, universal electoral rights are protected in Canada through constitutional law.
Executive of the Political Equality League of Manitoba after they witnessed the passage of the Suffrage Bill, January 1916
© Provincial Archives of Manitoba/N12944, January 1916