It’s that time again. Canada goes to the Polls Monday, May 2. Make sure you vote. This is one of the most interesting elections in years, with the rise of the NDP. In my riding, Peggy Nash, a Canadian Auto Workers negotiator (NDP), and Gerrard Kennedy (Liberal) are neck and neck (not a Conservative in sight round here).
The rules about time off work for voting are dealt with in various elections legislation across the country. In Ontario, the Elections Act governs. It requires that every employee have a three hour block of time on election day to cast their ballot.
That doesn’t mean that your employer has to give you 3 hours’ off with pay. What it means is that if your scheduled hours of work would prohibit you from having three full hours off work to vote, then your employer is required to give you the amount off that would get you to the three hours. The rule appears in Section 6(3):
Every employee who is qualified to vote shall, while the polls are open on polling day at an election, have three consecutive hours for the purpose of voting and, if the hours of his or her employment do not allow for three consecutive hours, the employee may request that his or her employer allow such additional time for voting as may be necessary to provide those three consecutive hours and the employer shall grant the request.
The time off must also be paid. Here is a nice Q & A from Elections Canada explaining this.
The Rise of the Mice?
Finally, in light of the surge of the New Democratic Party heading into tomorrow’s election, it seems fitting to return to the Party’s early roots, and The Greatest CanadianTommy Douglas’famous Mouseland speech. For my youngster students, Tommy Douglas was the first leader of the N.D.P. In this clip, the speech is introduced by Keifer Sutherland.
Sure would be nice to have more storytelling politicians these days.