May 24th, 2014: The FJFNB mandated
At the 2014 Annual General Assembly, the Fédération des jeunes francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick (FJFNB) was mandated with the following proposition: That the FJFNB lobby to lower the voting age to 16 and that there be mandatory education about the electoral process in high schools. Since then, the FJFNB has been advocating to lower the voting age to 16 in New Brunswick.
September 4th, 2014: The FJFNB disappointed by the response of political parties:
The Green Party and the New Democratic Party demonstrated openness to the FJFNB’s argument that lowering the voting age to 16 would encourage civic and political engagement among young people. The Liberal Party responded that although it supported the idea of more effective civic education, it preferred to focus on the 18 to 25 age group. The Progressive Conservative Party did not respond to the FJFNB.
December 18th, 2014: First bill introduced by David Coon
David Coon, leader of the Green Party and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Fredericton South, introduced the first bill to lower the voting age to 16.
March 2015: House Debate on the Bill
The bill was debated by members of the legislative assembly. The FJFNB is pleased that politicians are discussing the idea.
June 2015: The bill dies on the order paper
The bill introduced by Mr. Coon died on the order paper. The FJFNB was extremely disappointed.
April 2016: Meeting with The Honorable Cathy Rogers
The FJFNB met with the Honourable Cathy Rogers, Minister of Finance, Minister responsible for Literacy and Regional Minister for Greater Moncton and Southeastern New Brunswick, to talk about #Vote16NB.
March 21st, 2017: Investment in civic education
The government has indicated in a news release that it will improve civic education programs in the New Brunswick school system subject to certain conditions. This follows an announcement yesterday that the government will not be lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 unless the change is approved under a May 2020 referendum.
Now we wait...
Today, the FJFNB is disappointed by the lack of initiative among the various political parties concerning #Vote16NB. “New Brunswick has an opportunity to be innovative and demonstrate that the evolution of a democracy is necessary to achieve a balanced electorate. It is disappointing to see the inaction of the government, but it’s not too late. Other provinces across Canada are also starting the conversation, and we should not miss the opportunity to be leaders on this issue,” stated Sue Duguay, President 2016-2018.