Hon. Peter Harder: Honourable senators, my question is for the Government Representative in the Senate. It concerns the Iranian elections held last Friday.
Around the world, many thousands of Iranian nationals not living in Iran were able to cast their ballots at polling stations. For example, in the United States, 16 such polling stations were set up and many Iranian nationals voted. Only Singapore, war-torn Yemen and Canada refused to allow expatriate voting.
Can the Government Representative explain why Canada refused to allow the quarter million Iranian Canadians from exercising this vote?
Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you, senator, for the question. The government takes note of the presidential election and remains concerned about the lack of free and fair elections in Iran. Thanks to your advance notice of this question, I have asked the government for more information on Canada’s role in this election; I have not yet received the details that I’ve requested. I can say, though, that Canada continues to advocate for the democratic rights to which the Iranian people are entitled.