N.B. to hold referendum on lowering the voting age

New Brunswickers will have their say on lowering the voting age in the province, but not before the next provincial elections.

The province announced Monday that it would not act on a recommendation to lower the voting age to 16 "unless the idea is approved by New Brunswickers during a referendum" at the next municipal election.

But the next municipal election isn't scheduled to take place until May 2020 – nearly two years after the upcoming provincial elections on Sept. 24, 2018.

Lowering the voting age is one of 24 recommendations made by New Brunswick's Commission on Electoral Reform in a report early in March.

Health Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also minister responsible for electoral reform, said while the commission made strong arguments in favour of lowering the voting age, the government has heard strong arguments against this recommendation.

"Precedent currently exists in New Brunswick and across Canada to hold a referendum on the question of lowering the voting age, and we will follow that precedent," Boudreau said in a news release.

New Brunswick held a referendum on lowering the voting age to 18 from 21 in Oct. 1967.