A group of local immigrant and refugee organizations are launching a public awareness campaign ahead of the Sept. 20 federal election, with the goal of mobilizing new Manitobans to get out and vote.
Got Citizenship? Go Vote! targets members of the immigrant and refugee community who have Canadian citizenship and are old enough to cast a ballot in the upcoming election.
Reuben Garang of the Ethnocultural Council of Manitoba — one of the four organizations behind the campaign — said one of the barriers to voting for many newcomers is that they’re not familiar with the Canadian electoral system.
“Lots of immigrants and refugees are used to different voting systems and have much different voting experiences from their home countries,” Garang said.
“We are hosting this campaign to ensure that citizens with immigrant and refugee backgrounds are aware of how to exercise their right to vote.”
Organizers — which also include the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM), Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations (MANSO) and Immigration Partnership Winnipeg (IPW) — will be filming short videos in a variety of languages, including Tagalog, Arabic, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Filipino and more, to educate community members on how they can take part.
The campaign builds on successful voter engagement initiatives in recent federal, provincial and municipal elections.
“We want immigrants and refugees to know that they have choice, and that their voice matters in this election,” said organizer Luladei Abdi Hassen.
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