Timeline
Illustration

Not for Everyone
After Confederation, elections commanded more and more public attention, as shown in this sketch of a political meeting in Montréal in 1871. But the right to vote was still restricted, and different criteria applied from province to province.

Past A History of the Vote in CanadaPresent Federal Elections TodayFuture The Future is in Your Hands
British North America (1758-1866)From a Privilege to a Right (1867-1919)The Modern Franchise (1920-1997)
Federal or Provincial?Fraudulent PracticesWomen and the Vote

Different Rights in Different Provinces
After Confederation, the provinces initially kept the authority to determine who was entitled to vote, and each province had its own criteria. The federal Parliament took over this power in 1885, only to hand it back to the provinces 13 years later. As a result, in most federal elections between 1867 and 1920, the makeup of the electorate varied from province to province. Property requirements applied in some provinces, but not in others. Persons of Native or certain ethnic origins were allowed to vote or not, depending on where they lived. The right to vote in federal elections has been determined solely by Parliament since 1920.


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