Throughout the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, most Canadians of Asian origin were denied the right to vote in federal and provincial elections.
While the federal Electoral Franchise Act (1885) denied Canadians of Chinese origin the right to vote, new legislation in 1898, did permit other Canadians of Asian origin to vote.
In 1920, Dominion Elections Act took away federal voting rights from individuals who were denied provincial voting rights for reasons of their race. As a result, people of Chinese, Japanese and South Asian origin in British Columbia were denied the right to vote. In Saskatchewan, people of Chinese origin were also disenfranchised.
In 1948, this section of the Dominion Elections Act was repealed. The following year, this change came into effect, and Canadians of Japanese origin also regained the right to live anywhere in Canada. That year too, in British Columbia, the Provincial Election Act was amended, to allow all racial groups, excluding Doukhobors, to vote provincially.
”The dynamism of any diverse community depends not only on the diversity itself but on promoting a sense of belonging among those who formerly would have been considered and felt themselves outsiders.” Sonia Sotomayor