Montreal Chileans will finally be able to vote

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The Consulate General of Chile in Montreal has finally found a place that complies with sanitary rules that will allow its nationals living in Quebec to participate in a major referendum on October 25.

• Read also: Quebec Chileans want to have their say despite COVID

The official announcement was made to the 1,463 people registered on the consulate’s electoral list on Wednesday, four days before the vote.

“It shouldn’t have taken so long, but now is not the time to blame it. Now, we have to concentrate on going to vote with our heads held high, ”says Elena Tapia, a Chilean member of the Le Chili Wake Up Montreal collective.

This is a “historic” referendum in her eyes, having herself fled the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in the 1970s with her parents before arriving in Canada as a refugee.

The Chilean community of Montreal has stepped up actions over the past week in order to be able to exercise its right to vote: demonstrations, letters to senators in their native country, petition.

In the end, it was members of the community who proposed to the Consulate General to use the William-Hingston Adult Education Center for Sunday’s poll.

Both the province and the Ministry of Electoral Service of Chile have approved this choice, which allows compliance with the public health measures in force in the red zone.

The referendum will allow Chileans to say whether they want to have a new constitution and, if so, who should write it: deputies or citizens elected to do so.

In particular, the new law could explicitly recognize the rights of women and indigenous people and eliminate clauses that excessively protect private companies, for example.

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