The City of Toronto is reviewing whether to give people with permanent-resident status the right to vote in municipal elections.
And although many believe that voting rights should be restricted to people have earned full citizenship, there are others who argue that a large segment of the city's population are not being represented.
“All the time we meet people when we’re out in our wards who are really frustrated and quite angry they can't participate in municipal elections," said Coun. Jaye Robinson, who chairs the city's community development and recreation committee.
The committee has asked a panel of Toronto's top immigration thinkers such as Jehad Aliweiwi for advice.
Aliweiwi, the executive director of the Thorncliffe neighbourhood office, says at any given time there are at least 250,000 permanent residents living in Toronto who can't vote.
Coun. Josh Matlow agrees it's time to revisit the idea.
"Currently there is taxation without representation in this city,” he said. “We have immigrants to this city who have status but are not citizens who contribute every single day to not only the finances of our city, but to the greatness of our city.”
City staff have been asked to review and report back to the committee by May.