11 JUNE 2020 – Two Canadian Members of Parliament, including the Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, have come out in support of the local Croatian community in their fight for the right to vote in the upcoming Croatian parliamentary elections.
The Croatian Embassy in Canada recently informed Croatian citizens in Canada that they would not be able to vote in the Croatian parliamentary elections on July 5.
The Embassy said that because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Canadian government could not give permission to open polling stations at the Croatian Embassy in Ottawa or the Consulate General in Mississauga, outside Toronto.
The State Electoral Commission (DIP) in Croatia said this week that according to available information, Canada seems to be the only country where it won’t be possible to organise voting for the Croatian parliamentary election.
MP Garnett Genuis, who is the Member of Parliament for Sherwood Park and Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism and Canada-China Relations, was first to show his support.
“I’ve just learned that the Trudeau government is effectively blocking Croatian-Canadians from voting in Croatia’s upcoming elections, refusing to allow the Croatian embassy & consulate to set up polling stations. This is ridiculous! Let Croatian-Canadians vote,” the MP said on Twitter.
I’ve just learned that the Trudeau government is effectively blocking Croatian-Canadians from voting in Croatia’s upcoming elections, refusing to allow the Croatian embassy & consulate to set up polling stations. This is ridiculous! Let Croatian-Canadians vote! #cdnpoli #Croatia— Garnett Genuis (@GarnettGenuis) June 10, 2020
MP Kenny Chiu, who was elected to represent the riding of Steveston—Richmond East in the House of Commons of Canada, also has offered his support by sharing Genuis’ message.
“If we can arrange ourselves to let grocery stores to stay open and barbershop to operate in a safe manner, I’m sure we will be able to accommodate for democracy to thrive and blossom,” Chiu said.
Crodiaspora this week urged Croats in Canada to keep contacting their local MPs about the decision.
At the last parliamentary election in 2016, 680 people with Croatian citizenship in Canada exercised their right to vote. The electoral roll has 8,199 Croatian citizens residing in Canada registered with the right to vote, and 682 went to the polls for the previous parliamentary elections for Croatia’s legislature.