Trent Ernst, Editor
After one of the longest elections in Canadian History (to find one longer you have to go back to 1872, when the process took 89 days), we’re into the last week and a half of the campaign.
But are you ready to vote? Registered? Know what you need when you show up? Here’s a helpful guide for voting this year.
If you want to know if you’re registered, go to elections.ca. Right near the top you’ll find the option to Check or update your voter registration now.
Voting will happen from 7 am to 7 pm in Room 5 of the Tumbler Ridge Community Centre at 340 Front Street.
If you are not able to vote October 19, Advance polls will be open from noon to 8 pm at the Community Centre on October 9, 10, 11 and 12.
If you are going to be out of the province and won’t be able to vote at the advance or regular poll, you can apply to vote by mail or in person at the Francis Work Beaton Building, 10003, 110 Ave, Suite 200 Fort St John. But you’ll have to do that before October 13. The returning officer for this area is Jocelyn Eisert. She can be contacted at 1-866-546-7616.
ID to vote
You must prove your identity and address to register and vote in a federal election. There are three options to prove your identity and address:
You can show your driver’s licence, provincial or territorial ID card or any other government card with your photo, name and current address. If you don’t have one of these pieces ID, you’ll need two pieces of ID, at least one of which must have your current address. These include: health card, Canadian passport, birth certificate, certificate of Canadian citizenship, citizenship card, social insurance number card, Indian status card, band membership card, Métis card, card issued by an Inuit local authority, Canadian Forces identity card, Veterans Affairs health card, old age security card, hospital card, medical clinic card, the label on a prescription container, an identity bracelet issued by a hospital or long-term care facility, a blood donor card, CNIB card, a credit card, a debit card, a employee card, a student identity card, public transportation card, a library card, liquor identity card, parolee card, firearms licence, licence or card issued for fishing, trapping or hunting, a utility bill (e.g. electricity; water; telecommunications services including telephone, cable or satellite), a bank statement, credit union statement, credit card statement, personal cheque, government statement of benefits, government cheque or cheque stub, pension plan statement, residential lease or sub-lease, mortgage contract or statement, income tax assessment, property tax assessment or evaluation, vehicle ownership, insurance certificate, policy or statement, correspondence issued by a school, college or university, a letter from a public curator, public guardian or public trustee, targeted revision form from Elections Canada to residents of long-term care facilities, letter of confirmation of residence from a First Nations band or reserve or an Inuit local authority, or a letter of confirmation of residence, letter of stay, admission form or statement of benefits from one of the following designated establishments: student residence, seniors’ residence, long-term care facility, shelter or soup kitchen.
Or if you have none of that or your ID does not have your current address, you can show two pieces of ID with your name and have someone who knows you attest to your address. This person must show proof of identity and address, be registered in the same polling division, and attest for only one person. Then you can take an oath, affirming you are who you say you are.
Your voter information card is not a piece of ID.
If your document was issued electronically, like an e-statement or an e-invoice, bring a printout or show it on a mobile device.
They will accept different pieces of ID from the same source if the documents serve different purposes. For example, we accept an invoice and a transcript from the same school.
Your name and address must be printed on the ID. They can’t be added by hand, unless they are added by the issuer of the document, like a residence administrator or a guardian.
They will accept expired ID, as long as it has your name and current address.
Am I allowed time off work to vote?
By law, everyone who is eligible to vote must have three consecutive hours to cast their vote on election day. If your hours of work do not allow for three consecutive hours to vote, your employer must give you time off.
For example, if you live in a riding where voting hours are 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and you usually work from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., your hours of work will not allow three consecutive hours for voting. To give you three consecutive hours to vote, your employer could allow you to arrive late (at 12:30 p.m.), let you leave early (at 6:30 p.m.), or give you three hours off at some point during the work day.
Your employer has the right to decide when the time off will be given.
All employers are required to give time off work to vote. However, for employers in the transportation industry, the obligation to provide three consecutive hours off to vote does not apply if these four conditions are met: the employer is a company that transports goods or passengers by land, air or water, the employee is employed outside his or her polling division, the employee is employed in the operation of a means of transportation, and the time off cannot be allowed without interfering with the transportation service.
You cannot lose pay for taking time off to vote. Employers cannot impose a penalty or deduct pay from an employee who is taking time off to vote if required by the Canada Elections Act. An employee must be paid what he or she would have earned during the time allowed off for voting.
It is an offence for employers to fail to provide time off for voting if required under the Canada Elections Act. It is also an offence for an employer to reduce an employee’s pay where the employee has been provided time off to vote in accordance with the Act. The maximum penalty for violating these prohibitions is a fine of up to $2,000, three months imprisonment, or both.